Showing posts with label cell phone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cell phone. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Complicated History of my Cell Phone Usage

 
I don’t recall how long it’s been since I first looked into purchasing my first cell phone.  I believe that Corey was on his mission and that I was experiencing problems with my car. 

I remember walking to a nearby strip mall after my car broke down.  Outside one of the stores stood two men with a table displaying information about cell phone plans with Voice Stream (which I had mentioned in this post).

I had asked one of the men if I could use his cell phone to call my mom – and that’s where she found me – being sucked into the world of cell phones.  I don’t know if I had already signed my contract before my mom showed or if I was about to.  But mom ended up showing interest in the convenience as well, and we ended up getting two phones on the same plan.



I don’t recall how long we had our plan before the bills stopped coming from Voice Stream.  Funny how I hadn’t noticed – though I did notice a tremendous amount of garbage from a place called T-Mobil – which I had never even heard of.  I already had a cell phone plan and didn’t need another. 

One month I did open what I thought was an advertisement.  It turned out to be a bill with this outrageous amount attached to it.  Why would they send me a bill?  I had never signed a contract with T-Mobil.!  Who the heck did they think they were?!  Turns out that either they had merged with Voice Stream or had bought Voice Stream out or whatever.  Oh . . .

So I was with T-Mobile for nearly twenty years.  I ddin’t have any qualms with them until the last two or three years.  I’ve come to hate T-Mobil – which is too bad.  There really was a time in my life that I was happy with them.

We joined Consumer Cellular (here) to cut the cost of what we were paying to T-Mobile.  Bill had made the same switch and seemed satisfied, and so we switched over as well.  But we did keep our T-Mobile phones.  Initially, anyway.
 
            Bill’s phone wouldn’t transfer.  He held onto (and was without service) for a month waiting for T-Mobile to unlock his phone and ended up purchasing a new one as T-Mobile had screwed up.  My phone seemed to set up just fine, but I know Roland had troubles with his. He still cannot receive the Internet.  Just as well.  An extra expense that we just don’t need.

            I loved my LG.  I think I had purchased it used.  It worked fine for almost a year after we had made the switch.  But then my calls started cutting out – like the battery was dead.  It wasn’t.  Texting and other features of the phone worked.  But when I had tried to call Consumer Cellular one day – like ten times in a row – and I kept getting cut off – I broke down and looked into purchasing a new phone.



            Consumer Cellular offered two that weren’t touch screen.  I was most interested in the Doro.  But when I was offered a “gently used” envoy for just fifteen.  I thought I’d take advantage.  I had my envoy for only three days as I had the volume up as loud as it was go and could only hear my phone ring if there was no other noise beside – yeah, like that was going to happen.  I take public transportation.  I am going to encounter noise much louder than any phone.  And because I don’t have ears like Horton, I traded it in once again.

            This time I encountered a problem like no other.  One that presented a problem of strangeness as poor Jake went from advisor to advisor on what suggestions they might have that he could try.

            About two hours before I started talking to Jake, I had been on the phone with Cindy.  I was using the Doro, but I had figured out the problem was with the Doro or the way that Consumer Cellular had somehow tied in my brother-in-law’s number with my sister’s.  After all, they are on the same plan, and they do have similar phone numbers.  But every time I had wanted to talk with Kayla, I would get Bill.

            At first I believed that Bill was just being silly in answering Kayla’s phone, and even having his voice mail on her phone – he just seems to have that kind of personality.  But when I had dialed Kayla’s number over and over again, Bill was at work believing that perhaps I had some kind of an emergency.

            It didn’t matter whose number I dialed – if I dialed it directly, speed dial or returned call.  It kicked into Bill’s cell.  For CRYING OUT LOUD!  I needed to get a hold of Kayla.  I was so frustrated – I’m sure, as Bill had been as his phone had gone off multiple times.  It was only those two phone numbers.  I was the only caller.  There hadn’t been a forwarding on her end.  But I finally realized that I had never been able to call her on the Doro itself. 

            So I tried Cindy’s tricks before I got off the bus.  Nothing.  I had to call back and go through the rigmarole of calling the number and pressing 2 and then 3 and sometimes not make it that far because they’d been closed for the holiday and so were experiencing a higher income of calls than on their normal Tuesdays. 

            So when I got to Kayla’s house, I called Consumer back from her phone.  So I had her phone and my phone, but no other phone.  Poor Jake would call her phone and have me hang up my phone or vice-versa and we would try a variety of security related fields to unlock or free. 

            It took over an hour.  Final was doing something on her phone while receiving instructions from my phone and then calling back on her phone so that I could hang up my phone and call her phone.  And it worked!  I was surprised.  Jake was surprised – so happy to be done with me – FINALLY.  And then I started an email to Bill.

            Before I hit send, I thought I would try calling Kayla one more time.  Oh, no.  Back to Bill’s phone.  I had not only wasted more than an hour of Jake’s time (not to mention however long with Cindy) but wore down my battery as well.  Really.  I had just charged it up Monday night.  Unbelievable.

            I recharged my phone before I left.  As I was waiting for the bus, and had the time anyway, I went over some of Jake’s tricks again.  We had gone in to do a master reset – but not a master clear.  I decided to try the master clear – which wiped out everything I had added to the phone.  Fortunately I had not transferred that many names.

            So I put Kayla back in the system.  Hers was the first number I entered.  I called it and got her voicemail.  Hallelujah!!!!  I have now added to numbers to my phone.  Before Disneyland I was carrying two phones around – my Doro and my LG.  LG still has a lot of numbers.  Many I may never transfer.  This time I will only add as I go (which is what I mostly did the first time around) but I will not be adding Bill this time.  I may not ever call his number from my phone again.  I haven’t decided.  It’s more important for me to get a hold of Kayla.

            Leave it to me to have this unique problem that has Consumer Cellular stumped.  May none of us have to go through this again.  What a pain!  But if ever this should happen to you – just start over.  You may just end up having to do that anyway.

            I hope I didn't wear Kayla's battery down as I did with my own.  Thank you for letting me use your phone.  It will be nice to talk with you again.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bussing it to St. Mark's


When Jenna goes to school, I have taken the bus with her.  I normally have my backpack which contains my water bottle and a book.  Or at least I try to have a book – so I can read during the ride when Jenna isn’t with me.

Jenna and I have ridden the bus all summer.  We’ve gone in a variety of directions.  But we have always started out on the same bus that we have taken when she’s been in school.  Instead of continuing to our normal bus stop near her school, we have been getting off at the college and making a transfer connection to a different bus.

Just north of the college is a foot bridge that leads to the junior high across the street.  Jenna has always wanted to cross it.  I figured she’ll have the opportunity to cross it in two years – almost daily for the three years that she attends the junior high. My initial plan was to cross it with her, as I’d need to take a return bus home.  But this morning I learned that is no longer in my future.  She will either have to get off one stop before me, or cross at the light.  I think she will choose the bridge – which is what I would prefer for both of us.


 Jenna was so excited about being on this steep uphill bridge; it did make the crossing worthwhile.  But the side with the junior high is fenced in, and there is no slit in the fence and so we had to walk around and it took us more time than if we had just gotten off at the college and crossed the street.  Jenna apologized for my error.  But it was my error.  And it really was nice to learn about it now as opposed to when it’s full of junior high traffic.  And Jenna really did think it was cool to be on the bridge.  So it was fine.  I wasn’t upset about it.

We took a bus to the train station and transferred to another bus that took us to St. Mark’s hospital.  Before my mom passed away, I had driven to the hospital many times to see her – the same hospital I went to today, but for a different reason.  It was actually my first time riding the bus to St. Mark’s.  It was so different arriving at the hospital with a different form of transportation.

Instead of going to see my dying mother, I entered another part of the building that brings new life.  Up in the maternity ward is my sister, Kayla and her husband, Bill and their new arrival, BJ (not his real name – but I highly suspect that he is a “Bill Junior” as he seems to have had Bill’s sense of humor even while in the womb; and as their other two look like Kayla, I suspect BJ will not only act more like Bill but look more like him as well – kind of hard to tell right now who he takes after in the “looks” department) who’s been named after mom.

Roland’s office is located about four and a half blocks east and south of St. Mark’s.  I noticed that he hadn’t taken his phone, and grabbed it since he was so close.  Though I considered just keeping it as my phone has been flipping out the last two days and every call is broken and gets cut off.  I wondered if he had left it for me intentionally. 

I don’t like calling him at work through his work phone as I’m often redirected to the location in Phoenix – even with an extension.  Sometimes I am tempted to call the President of the United States just to see how much harder it would be than trying to get Roland at his work.  But that’s beside the point.                

While we were at St. Mark’s, Bill’s sister brought his kids to see their new little brother.  Anna lovingly held her new brother and smiled at him.  Gary, on the other hand, seemed freaked out and afraid.  I’m thinking it was time for a nap (perhaps he hadn’t had his Super Why fix)  He clung to Bill who wanted to take pictures and handed the camera to one of his nephews as Gary wouldn’t let go of his dad.  I noticed the time on the clock and asked Jenna if she wanted to go see her dad and come back later.  And so we left.          


The hospital and Roland’s office building are both on the same side of the street.  I told Jenna our two choices.  We could either cross the street, ride the bus down four blocks, cross the street(s) again or we could stay on that side and walk to Roland’s work.  We ended up walking.        

I didn’t remember Roland taking a lunch and wondered if he was at the nearby drive-in.  Jenna and I checked before making our way to his office.  I had her stay downstairs so we wouldn’t miss him if he got off the elevator.  I went from cubicle to cubicle not even knowing for sure in what section he was even stationed (he’s been relocated several times due to change of management and HUGE turn-overs)

I placed the phone on his desk and wanted to know if he’d be going to lunch.  He finished up what he was doing and met Jenna and I in the downstairs lobby and we went to lunch.  I should have gotten something for Bill, but just dumped the leftover fries in a bag along with half a shake and half a drink.  But he seemed grateful.

He asked me if he could take Jenna with him to the DMV as he and Kayla just purchased a van that still needs to be registered.  Their kids call it a bus.  Jenna’s actually excited about it because they will have room for her in addition to their three children.  She normally has fun with Bill and usually delights in his overly-done sense of humor.

I actually ended up leaving shortly after they did.  They may have still been in the parking lot actually.  But Kayla looked really tired and I could sense that she wanted to rest more than she wanted to visit.  I’ve actually had an obnoxious dry cough that seems to worsen when I talking, and so it worked out for both of us.   
 I hadn’t planned on returning home alone as I naturally figured that Jenna would be with me; therefore had nothing to read.
From the train station I have three options on returning home.  Instead of transferring back to the 41 (which is the route Jenna and I had used for getting to the train station) I decided to take the train to the next stop and wait for the 35 which gets me closer to wear I live.  

Now i am home writing this post, frustrated by a stuck shift key that keeps giving commands on my word that i have to go back and correct.  (That cap is one example.  It was also underlining and bolding – but the caps don’t seem as correctable – even on a different computer.  I was able to change the font size.  But I had to copy and paste this part)

Now that this is posted, I will go to the other room to wait for Jenna and the kids (who will be staying with us for a couple of days) I don’t know when Bill will be dropping them off.  He may try calling, but I can’t guarantee there will be a connection. It's been almost five hours now and I haven't heard from them.  Roland is home now.  Perhaps I should use his phone to find out where my daughter might be.

According to customer service, I’ll be receiving my new phone in just a few days.  That sounds unbelievable to my ears.  I’ll be surprised if it comes on Saturday or even Monday.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thank you Debbie – I Feel a Great Kinship for You

       
            I AM THE PRIMARY CARRIER ON THE PHONE PLAN – ALWAYS HAVE BEEN.  SO WHY DOES T-MOBILE AND CONSUMER CELLULAR INSIST ON CALLING ROLAND’S PHONE?   Roland always seems to be passing the buck because “they won’t talk to me.”

            “Why won’t they talk to him?  He’s on the plan.”  I don’t know how many times I told T-Mobile that Roland “Does Have Authorization” I am so tired of being a third party between Roland and the company or Roland and the neighbor or worse – having him try to communicate with my brother-in-law through me and Kayla.  Give me a break!

            At least Consumer Cellular is human.  Even T-Mobiles “caller” is a machine that tells you to press this button and that one.  HEY – you called me.  I don’t have to accept – especially for a machine.

            Roland and I have been married almost twelve years now, and he still hasn’t seemed to figure out that I REALLY DON’T LIKE THE PHONE.  Just because he and my boys seem to be surgically implanted to their cell phones does not mean I even want to use mine.  I purchased it in case of an emergency.  Calling the cell phone provider (especially the former never-will-use-again provider) does not quality as an emergency.




            I’d much rather do things in person or through the Internet than over the phone.  The rep at costumer service said the same thing.  I didn’t get her full name, but I would gladly accept a friendship request from her were she to offer.  But I don’t know that I provided my maiden name with consumer cellular.  My married name is way too common.  She’d need them both to find me - provided she’d even be interested in having me as a friend.

            I asked her why she would be answering phones for a living if she truly loathes the phone as much as I do.  Some people, unfortunately, have to settle just to make ends meet.  Perhaps she took the job out of desperation.  She does at least get to type along with answering the phones. 




            Debbie made a marvelous impression.  She was very helpful and kind.  I really enjoyed talking with her and wish we could have had a more personal conversation.  I really would like to get to know her better.  I’ve really got nothing to go on accept for the name of the company for which she’s employed.  That doesn’t narrow it down.  I have no idea what state she’s in.


            Often when I try contacting Roland in Salt Lake City, I get connected to the Phoenix location.  Talk about frustrating.  Normally I just text his cell phone or e-mail him messages (I really don’t like to text either – having a full size keyboard makes it so much easier.)

           How great it would be if we didn't need phones anymore!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pixie Sounds and Fairy Ringtones





Most people have heard that “pixie music” whenever a fairy waves her wand or sprinkles her dust – or even when a child knows he or she is supposed to turn the page whenever they hear that magical sound.  Imagine that as a ringtone.
I don’t remember Kayla’s phone bearing anything that resembled fairies – yet when she turned it over to Roland (who is still without SIM card usage on his once-upon-a-t-mobile phone) all those fairy tones were present – an assorted variety of pixie music.  I don’t think there is a normal ringtone included on the phone.  I believe Roland has checked it.
For the most part I am not even aware that his phone is going off. The ringtones are hidden by any other sound that may be going – the air conditioning, the humming from the laptop, Highness snoring . . . sounds that I don’t even notice usually.  They all blend in to our atmosphere.
          When I am aware that Roland’s phone going off and actually hear the very soft fairy music, I laugh. It’s just so unlike anything that Roland would purposely choose of his own free will.  I think we need to find a more masculine (or at least powerful) sounding phone.  Or Roland needs to work harder at finding the volume and perhaps another tune.  One that doesn’t sound like a wish is being granted.  Though it would be really awesome if our wishes were granted every time that phone plays this “happy dusty”  tune

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Good-bye T-Mobile: I Now Have Consumer Cellular!

 
I have had so many problems with T-Mobile the last couple of years, it’s a wonder I haven’t dropped them sooner. I created this post last year and had actually taken it down for two days when I thought that the problem had been resolved – but returned it two days later as there was still miscommunication.  
My brother-in-law had also switched to Consumer Cellular – but was without service for a month.  He blames T-Mobile.  I don’t have all the details, but because of my own experience, I think that sounds pretty accurate. 
I decided that we would just keep our phones and have new SIM cards through Consumer Cellular.  I was pretty distraught to learn that I would still have to call T-Mobile to get the SIM unlocked as we wished to keep our current phone numbers.  I ended up going through four people before I was given instructions and could receive the rest by email.
It really didn’t take as long as they said – well at least for my phone.  I was able to follow the step by step instructions that T-Mobile sent me (surprise) and was able to connect no problems and now I am no longer with T-Mobile.  However Roland’s number is still on the T-mobile plan because they had indicated that the set up will not work at this time but that we can try again in 40 days.  What the flip????
I won’t be billed for Consumer Cellular for at least another month. But thus far I like them like a zillion times better.  And I can’t imagine that I will ever be as upset with them as I am with T-Mobile – though I have had some really professional treatment from some employees – I’ve had to deal with more that seem clueless or don’t have the authority, major buck passers – major run around.  No wonder their mascot is a droid. I am so tired of it.
I think we need to find another way to free up Roland’s SIM before waiting forty days.  Because really, what guarantee do we have that it will work in 40 days?  What a bunch of bogus crap.  I’d like my days of dealing with T-Mobile to be behind me FOREVER!