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Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Tale of Two Phones


This is a tale of two phones or more accurately three phones or more.  It all started a few years ago when I switched from my flip phone to my first iphone.  I keep my phones and computers forever because I don't like setting up new devices and learning about them all over again.  They change things enough to make it miserable.  I don't even use all the features available, and it's still a pain.  My husband only uses a phone In Case of Emergency or a rare phone call.  He did have a "bag" phone way back when, but the first time he needed to use it he had a dead car battery.  It turned out to be not very effective because he realized that in order to make a call, it had to be plugged into the cigarette lighter (as they used to call it) and the phone needed the battery to power it.  Phones have certainly evolved over the last twenty years.  We have had a few phones since then.  He usually gets my old phone when I get a new one.  His last phone, however, was a smart Tracfone which turned out to be very dumb.  It just didn't work out.  Since the year was up, we decided that he would take my iphone 6, and I would get a new phone.  Fortunately Costco has a kiosk which offered what we wanted.  The phone stores have a tendency to up sell, give free items which aren't really free and try to get you to buy cases and covers that could be purchased cheaper elsewhere.  The kiosk was great but it still opened a can of worms.

We entered the store and went directly to the kiosk.  The nice young man said they were having computer issues, but they would be up and running shortly.  We said we would do our shopping and return when we were finished.  We ate samples around the store, and we picked up things we probably could have done without plus a few favorites we always buy.  When we returned the system was working and the paperwork for the phone was written up.  We also wanted to convert my iphone to my husband's phone number.  At Costco you then have to go to the checkout.  After you pay, they get the phone and walk it back to the kiosk.  I followed along like a little puppy.  When I got there, they needed the sales slip but my husband had it to get out of the store.  He took the groceries to the car.  Fortunately he didn't wait in the car which was a strong possibility, but returned knowing I may need the sales slip.  We finished the transaction and left.  Little did I know it wasn't as simple as that.  I put the phone in my purse, and we made a couple more stops before heading home.  We were about half way home, and I decided to pull the phone out to see if I could figure it out.  I reached in my purse and suddenly it started buzzing and a red dot was flashing and counting down.  I saw it was calling 911.  I had the forethought to end the call but apparently not in time.  Within seconds the 911 dispatcher called back to ask what my emergency was.  I told her about the new phone and that I must have pushed a button I shouldn't have.  She said it happens often.  It still didn't make me feel any better.  I had to give my name, number and location anyway.  I set the phone down and didn't touch it again until I got home.  I carefully carried it in the house and put it on the table.  Then I googled the SOS feature and how to fix it.  It was easy to go into settings and change the emergency setting but until that point I was ready to take the phone back.

Next I got a call to tell me they couldn't port my husbands number without another number which was printed under the battery of his Tracfone.  I got the back cover off and wrote down the number.  Then I put the battery back in because the phone was still working.  I tried to enter that number online but there was no account for it.  I tried to call the number they left and it also said there was no account.  I used my new phone to make this call and had to enter my account number on the keypad which ended up calling my daughter.  I still haven't figured out why that happened.  Thank goodness it was her number and not someone else.  It was a butt dial without the butt.  My next step was to call the young man who sold me the phone.  He took down the information and said it should be ported in 24 to 48 hours.  The next day, I got a phone call from him that said the number I gave him didn't work.  I needed to take the battery out again and read him all the numbers under the battery.  He waited while I got a screwdriver to pry off the back and found the numbers.  I thought all was well.  It was finally ported over four days later.  The guy called me and told me it was up and running.  Again it wasn't.  I called the phone and it said the voice mailbox wasn't set up.  I tried to set it up and it wouldn't work.  I again had to search how to set up a voice mailbox but nothing worked.  I had to call the young man again.  By this time, I was getting to know him.  I even learned when he did his laundry.  His last name was familiar so we discussed if he was related to someone I knew.  He was not.  We finally came to the conclusion that we had to clear all the information off my old phone and start from scratch.  I set up the phone for my husband, and it is finally good to go.  However, I lost all my apps and contact information.

I sure hope these phones last us for many many years.  It gets more and more complicated to set up, and it will take a while to get things the way I want them.  Some things I may never figure out. I still have to endure the emails and surveys from the phone carrier company.  My advice is not to upgrade unless it is absolutely necessary.  It is expensive and doesn't get you many more useful features, but in this day and age it is kind of a necessary evil.