What to do when your phone dies

Saturday morning, at the ungodly (for a weekend) hour of 8, I heard sobbing. It sounded pretty pathetic. I opened my daughters room. She was cradling her phone and crying. Upon further inspection it looked like the phone was in the middle of the blue screen of death. Only this was more like the stripped, flickering screen of death. We watched it  take its final digital breath and die.

What made this ordeal even worse was the phone 1. was long past warranty. 2. Didn't have a service plan. 3. Was 3 month shy of the upgrade date. Now I wanted to cry. I thought long and hard about what we could do that wasn't going to cost me a fortune to replace the phone.

First I called AT&T they wanted me to go with the NEXT plan. Which means I buy a phone and pay it off monthly. I really don't want to add to my bill, especially since it was so close to the time that I could get the same phone they want me to pay 30 a month for, for free.

Next I went to Verizon. All of my lines are close to the upgrade date so I thought maybe it would be ok to just switch carriers. Only the deals they have online they don't have in the store. Like the phone my sister wanted. Which is 100 in the store, but free online. Then my number and my sister's number wouldn't "port over". Because of this I wouldn't have gotten the 150 credit to our second bill (notice they don't credit that first big bill.)  After sitting with her for an hour and a half trying to make it work and determining to keep what I have with AT&T I would be paying 40 extra a month. She said maybe I should just do it online. I took that to mean, maybe you should stick with AT&T.

Finally I decided to add a line. It cost me 1.50 for the phone. I will pay for the extra line, until the upgrade date on the broken phone and then cancel that line. I'll still be paying the 40 extra but only for 3 months instead of the forever with Verizon, or 24 months with AT&T NEXT plan.


  1. Ugh, this is a reminder of why phone contracts are such a pain. I had the same thing happen - my phone broke 6 months before the upgrade date, and the only thing they could offer is to buy a new phone and "pay it off monthly." You know what that's code for? That's code for "you're going to spend $800 on this phone, but you only pay $35 a month for 2 years so that number seems smaller to stupid people." I borrowed my mother-in-law's old, old iPhone for a few months and just rode it out until the contract expires. $40 for 3 months is a drop in the bucket compared to the $800-something you would be paying otherwise. What a ripoff.

  2. Its hitting me hard too. I never realized how much I rely on phones to keep tabs on her. How did parents do it pre cell phones.....there has to be a blog post in that.

  3. It is a rip off. I am so annoyed, but I rely on the cell for everything so it is pretty much a necessity. Which is funny, because I was the last of everyone I know to have a cell, and the last to get a smart phone. I still don't care if I have the most sought after brand/version/whatever.

  4. I know the feeling. I don't have a home phone, so my cell is all I have. I tried to tell the guy at the Verizon store that I didn't care what phone I used for the next 4 months. Just give me an old brick Nokia that can only call and text so I can still communicate with people. His response? "Oh yeah, we've got something like that... but since you aren't eligible for renewal, the price is $250."

  5. I would love to say that surprises me, but nothing about customer service surprises me anymore.

  6. That sucks! But that's also a clever way to outsmart their plans!

  7. I hate they make people get creative in order to replace a phone, but oh well.


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