Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cell phone woes... already

Lets start with the fact that, in America, my cell phone is like an extension of my body.  Bahrain is the first place I've ever had a prepaid cell phone.  Getting a cell phone in Bahrain was like reverting back to the Stone Age.  Although lots people in Bahrain walk around with their Blackberries and smartphones.  I don't know enough people here (or want to) to warrant paying more than $30 or was it 30BD for a phone and whatever plan I have to get to go with it.  The price to call America is still $0.09 like it was in GTMO, so I'm not so much worse for the wear, the difference is now I don't have to deal with SCSI (thank God).

The problem lies with the fact that very soon, I am returning to America.  I currently own a Blackberry Curve that I got when my Pearl (Tech rest it's soul, and I miss that sucker) died.  It died and they said, we don't make that phone anymore because no one likes it.  I LIKE IT, asshole!  That didn't matter.  I was stuck having to get a different, larger version.  So I went with the Curve, because I knew I was leaving for GTMO in 2 months, even if the rep didn't.  It was also only $50 and my E3 pay plus my eating out habits = broke Teh Megan.  The Storm came out 2 weeks later and I felt jipped and sad and almost considered returning the Curve, but then heard about all the issues with the Storm and just settled on hating having the Curve for 2 months then freezing my account.  I knew that when I finally got back stateside, I'd get a new phone.  I'm a tech goddess, I'd have a new, shiny, sparkly, tech savvy, beautiful phone.  It just what Teh Megan does.

So.. I'm less than (I like saying that, haha) 2 months away from being on a rotator flight (ugh, but why be picky when its off this God-forsaken island (God forsakes this island, Allah doesn't.. haha)) out of Bahrain and my dinky (who's bitter?) cell phone might just be overwhelmed by all the awesomeness that is American cell phone systems/services now.

I've been looking at cell phone options on Verizon.  After finally popping my own ipod cherry last year, I don't care about having a phone that plays music.  I already have a device for that, kthx.  I am interested in something that will let me check my email, send text/pic messages (do they have video messages yet?), and hold a sufficient amount of photos which I will promptly post to FB, because I think my dog by far cuter than all your newborn babies (please don't be offended, its just, dogs don't cry or need to be feed as often and the worst part of changing him is having to put the leash on and standing outside in the cold, and he sure as hell isn't growing up anytime soon to talk or make me have to spend more money on him.. and think of all the money I'm saving on clothes for myself!).  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl has the Droid Incredible, which she brought back to Bahrain after her leave.  I looked at it, it was kinda thick.  I played around with it, and accidentally reset her icons and couldn't fix it (oops).  I looked up the specs on it and it has an 8mp camera, which is better than my current 2005 point and shoot (don't judge).  It didn't have a keyboard, which is apparently the new thing, and I'm sure I could eventually get used to a virtual keyboard, but I really like the clackity-clackin of my fingernails on a keyboard.  But overall, I liked the phone.  Seemed techy and cool.

I also looked at the iPhone specs and wasn't super impressed.  $100 jump for double the amount of memory, and you can't put an SD card in it?  Only a 5mp camera (haha I'm such a camera snob)?  Does everything my iTouch does except get calls, but with a price?  Keep it.

I looked at some other phones on the website, but just like anything else (cars included), everything is better in person, which I guess is how I've been able to curve my internet shopping problem I had in GTMO.

So then it came down to plans.  With most? all? smartphones you have to have a data plan.  Despite being in Bahrain, I've heard all the talk about no longer having unlimited data plans by the major carriers.  It made me sad, but I moved on because I wasn't currently in America and it didn't affect me... at the time (oh yes, this is foreshadowing).  I looked at family plans, because Teh Bear doesn't have a cell phone (don't ask me how) and I know that being back in 'Merica, I'm going to be out and want to show him stuff that would be funny to him, except he doesn't have a cell, so how would I show him?  Fail.  Soo..  I was looking at family plans.

700 shared minutes $69
Unlimited shared text messaging $30 (and they gave you the option to not have shared, why would anyone want to NOT share unlimited messaging and have to pay more?)
So far, this wasn't seeming like a problem, because I already pay $100 a month for my blackberry.

Then we got to data...  ..... ..... which I was required to have........ .... ...
there was no unlimited package.  It wasn't even an option to pay exuberant amounts of money for.  O.M.G.W.T.F?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
The highest data package was $100 (which I would never pay) for 12GB w/ mobile hotspot (which I'm not really sure what that means, but whatever).  My heart kinda sank.  Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy would they do away with unlimited data!?!?!  Don't they understand my needs!?!?!??!  Of course they do, in capitalist America, so of course they would do away with a great thing and want to charge money for something that everyone "needs".  Queue my loathing of America.

This leaves me in a predicimate y'all.  If I get a new phone, at the 2 year price, they will make me upgrade my contract.  Or I suck it up and deal with the shitty Curve from 2009 or buy a phone at market price (which might be worth the money I'd save with keeping my current plan).  The other problem with this option is it leaves Teh Bear still with no phone and me with no way to show him funny crap throughout the day.  Wah, I know.

Because my plan was frozen at the time they did away with unlimited data, or because I already was on an unlimited plan, I have been able to stay on that plan.  I'm not sure how they would kick me off, but I'm sure they could if they wanted, which would result in pissed off Teh Megan.  So besides no unlimited data, what is the strongest push to just stick with my current plan?  Well, let me show you something.

The dates I used my phone for this period was Sept 11-23, 2010.  This was the time between GTMO and Bahrain.  That was less than 2 weeks.  In less than 2 weeks, I used over 19MB of data, and that was me only on TFLN and my email, because I was with Teh Bear for 5 days, so I tried to pay him some attention.  Then Mrs. Boomkin and Mr. Voices came to see me for the weekend I was in Lenoir, and we did lots of hanging out, so the cell phone usage was low.  The closest plan for my (estimated) usage?  2GB for $30 (which isn't eligible for discounts).  Which would bring a shared plan to prob around $140-150.

They also billed me for minutes, because I went over my pro-rated allotment.  As always, Verizon's pro-rated crap is for the birds, which I often told to the ex-fiance, who worked for Verizon.  Not that he could do anything about it, but it always felt good to tell someone who worked for Verizon, that Verizon was shitty.

Also, hell yeah for a military discount?!  Every 15% counts when your bill is $100 a month.

So now you understand my dilemma.  Going back to America seems to be providing many, many dilemmas for me to overcome, which is such a bummer.  I want this to be a happy, rejoicing time, instead its just turning out to be a super expensive life upgrade that I'm not sure I was ready for/totally wanted.  I mean, I definitely wanted to be back in America (no jk), but its very expensive there, lol.

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