They got me by the nuggies

I was dazzled and fell in love with the sparkly.

I was dazzled and fell in love with the sparkly. Now it’s over and the divorce will be expensive.

A year ago, I finally bought a cell phone. It was a smart phone with the latest features. I posted about it here.

I was all giggly, like a kindergartener with a better toy than anyone else. It was better than the beloved husband’s dumb phone that only did calls.

After a year I only use the texting feature. I rarely use it as a phone. I never use the web features because it’s small and hard to read. I much prefer to use my fancy-dancy Kindle to surf in transit.

So…I have a plan where I am paying for features I don’t use. That’s when I saw the AARP ad which comes with a discount. I can change carriers and cut my bill in half. I still would have way more stuff than I use and it comes with a monthly charge of $15.

Woo hoo! Gotta do that!

I’m not on a contract so I start investigating. Turns out that the phone I have is incompatible with the other carrier (GSM versus CDMA). It’s beyond locked or unlocked it works on radio waves differently (and I know way more about this stuff than I want to).

That means buying a new phone.

An alternative was to go back to my carrier and see what else they offer. Yes, they offer a low use plan but they also require a new phone purchase.

So….even though I bought my phone from them one year ago, I need to buy a new one if I want to downgrade plans and save money. That’s odd, don’t you think?

Factoring in the cost of a new phone, I won’t save anything for several months. It’s the gotcha. They may not require contracts anymore but they found another way to fleece you.

My advice to new cell phone users (especially older folks) is to buy the simplest, low-cost plan you can. These companies let you upgrade easily but you can’t downgrade without pain.

I wonder if my current phone could find love in someone else’s purse?


24 thoughts on “They got me by the nuggies

  1. Pingback: Of Cell Phones and the Balance of Nature | Snakes in the Grass

  2. Hubby uses 2 old flip phones and swears by them. I have an iPhone, but that is because I like to read blog posts from y’all when I’m out and about!!! I’m sorry you don’t like yours . . . .


  3. i’m happy with my flip phone for very infrequent calls ~ “sorry, we’re running late” or “we’re in the neighborhood but can’t find your house” or “I’m on my way home.”

    We pay $100 a year for minutes that roll over at the end of the year as long as we buy another $100 worth of minutes before the old minutes expire. Right now, we have $240 worth of minutes sitting on the phone because we don’t even use $100 of minutes a year.

    That’s OK ~ it’s a great $8 a month investment.


  4. Very timely. My husband and I are in the market for new phones and a new carrier (Verizon is too expensive and limiting). I saw the Consumer Cellular ad this morning and thought I’d check it out. We do like some of the bells and whistles, though, so we’ll be looking at the iPhone 6.


  5. My sister talked me into upgrading to a smart phone a couple years ago (when she was on my plan, and wanted to upgrade). I’ve regretted it ever since. I much preferred my antiquated flip phone, and I hardly ever use anything on my smart phone except the calling feature, texting, and the camera (all of which were already on my old flip phone). I’m in the same position – to downgrade, it would actually cost me money, so instead, I lug around a phone I don’t even like, and rarely use. But at least I’m not locked into a contract. Don’t even get me started on how expensive it was when my sister dumped her old smart phone for a new smart phone with another carrier, and I got stuck with the “early termination” fees because she was on my calling plan. Never again. Never never never never.


    • There is a lesson here for me. I wanted to select something with the features most of my friends thought were valuable rather than start simple and step up. Turns out, I’m a really simple person. I don’t even post photos to facebook which is something my friends do. As you say — never, never, never…..


  6. Ah, that would be me….with my trusty flip phone with pre-paid minutes for a year. I can call and text and that’s all I need.Even so, I’ve had a hard time using $100 worth minutes over 12 months. My motto: Don’t call me on my cell phone…I’ll call you :-)! Other than that I have an iPad and desktop if I can’t to know anything! You’re much more the techo adventurer than I, Kate. Thanks for the education here. It was great although you’ve had to “suffer” to get it.


    • OMG, OMG! My old phone which the beloved husband has is a flip phone that I would buy 1000 minutes for $100 for the year. I loved it! We have never used more than maybe 15 minutes in a whole year! (and it was a red one too) I find that I don’t play games on the smart phone (too small for my eyeballs) nor do I surf, order pizza or find a restaurant. Perhaps 20 years ago maybe but not now.


  7. And this is why I love Consumer Cellular. I can change my plan even on the last day of the billing cycle each month, and their customer service is fantastic, and they don’t have contracts, and they don’t make me buy new phones. Been with them for years, and can’t imagine anyone else.


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