Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Phoneless Or NOT Phoneless, THAT Is The Question

My wife says that she’s going to give up her phone. I’m not in favor of it, but I understand her point. Several weeks ago, Straight Talk stole $30 (plus tax) from me by selling me a number that they had to know was bad Why did they even print a card with a number that had already been used? I usually save my receipt until the card is installed but, somehow, I’d lost that receipt. Without it, Chinamart could do nothing, and Straight Talk runs their sites so as to avoid any possible contact with customers. So, my wife loaned me $30 until the following month (our budget really IS that tight) so I could get another card.

This past week, we got our cards again. I put them on both our phones as my wife watched. Today, nearly a week later, she noticed that those new days were missing from her remaining time. They had literally stolen them back off her phone! Thinking she was safe, she’d thrown the receipt away. If she wishes to keep her phone, she’ll now have to pay out another $30, plus tax.

When I came downstairs just now, from taking a late nap, she told me that she’d decided to give up her phone. She said that $30 could be used for more important things. The only people who ever call her are telemarketers, she said. She has kept it for years “so her son could call her if he needs to,” but he almost never does. She and I call one another when we separate in Chinamart, so we can ask the other questions if needed. Also, though she’d never admit it, she gets terribly uneasy if she can’t contact me. But she’s right, the money might do her more good elsewhere.

If she gives up her phone, though, why should I keep mine? Yes I call other people, but most of them could be called on a cheaper VOIP system. I’ve always considered it a safety thing to even have one with me when out in the yard, in the woods or in the truck. However, generations of folks have lived (or died) without them. If Straight Talk’s system is so flawed, or their morals so missing, that it’s okay in their eyes to steal money from old people on fixed incomes, why should we continue to do business with them? A decision must be made, but it will take a lot of thought. Copyright 2018


deborah harvey said...

get walkie talkies to talk across the store
keep some kind of phone for police and fire

M. Silvius said...

I use an old prepaid flip phone cheapest plan available from AT&T. No internet, no email, could text but it is darn near impossible, just phone calls. 100$ a year. Some times I go weeks without turning the foolish thing on. Never use my minutes up at all. For the first three years I kept adding the 100$ at renewal time, cause, well they said I had to, till I got wise and just called them and told them I had 300$ credit on the darn thing and it made no sense to add more when I was not using it. Took a bit of talking but they let me roll it over and have not paid a fee for three or four years now.

Ralph Goff said...

Those phone companies are out for all they can get it seems. I mostly keep my cell as a safety measure if I get stranded or in some sort of trouble and can use it to call for help. I'd feel a bit lost if I go out without it now.

Lady Locust said...

I would say you need a phone at some point be it a land line or cellular. For being separated at WMart, do you have a set of walkie talkies you could pack along? Even if you're just out in the yard, they are handy. If not, one months worth of phone card could get you a set that could serve the purpose and last a long time... There are definitely times I would prefer not to have mine. Hope you work it out.

Gorges Smythe said...

To dh and LL - I already have the walkies if I can Just get her to use them. THAT will be the problem.

Sounds like a deal, Michael!

I know what you mean, Ralph, it makes me feel a bit vulnerable now that I'm a crippled-up old geezer.

Leigh said...

We went with TracFone. They have a 60 day smartphone card for $25. The minutes, texts, and data accrue as long as you aren't late when it's time to top up. We call so few people anyway, that we're accruing a lot. So we each have a no frills $30 phone, alternate renewal months, and only pay $25 per month for two phones. That works well for us.

Gorges Smythe said...

Sounds like a winner for you, Leigh!