August 1, 2014

Thoughts...in brief: Contract, no contract, or screw it all?

thoughts_in_brief

If you have read my bio, you know I am a mother, wife, writer, and low-grade tech junkie. I’m no expert when it comes to technology, but I easily learn from experiences and thoroughly enjoy listening to what others have to say.  With that in mind I was sitting in my office last week reading through a vast array of headlines and thought to myself, I would love to start a piece where others could easily voice their opinions on what is currently happening in the Android world. So ladies and gents, here we go…

Contract, no-contract, or screw it all?

gphone_old_schoolThis week I want to talk about phone plans. There are so many options anymore it can make your head spin. This may date me a little, but I miss the days when I could walk into a cellular dealer, pick out a free brick phone, tell them I don’t want to pay any more than $30 a month for data and minutes, and walk out with a smile on my face and a new brick phone in my hand.

Now if I want to look at a new plan or purchase a new device I have to take a day off and spend endless hours waiting in lines, going through credit checks, and researching plans (all the while hoping I choose a plan that gets me the best deal.)

That brings me to options. Anymore, companies are changing their plans so much it is a wonder anyone can keep up. I have been recently looking for a new plan (I already have a phone,) but one that really caters to MY needs and doesn’t break the bank. My husband receives a pretty decent discount at one carrier, so my first thought was to check them out. What a mess! This certain un-named carrier, colors are black and red and they use a very large ‘v’ at the beginning of their name (but we will leave names out and be respectful) was beyond busy. So much so in fact, that I had to sign in and patiently wait while I watched my name on a large flat screen move up and down.

Once it was finally my turn (almost 25 minutes later) it seemed like all the agent wanted to do was sell, sell, sell. I understand a lot of them work on commission, but at least try to listen to what I have to say. Oh, and when it comes to credit checks I could really go crazy. My husband is the one who “brings home the bacon” in this household. To get more specific, if you look at my credit, the fact that I am a stay-at-home mom who works a little from home yet has school loans out the whazoo is not a good thing. That evil credit score number only looks at your individual debt to income ratio, so I’m screwed. I left frustrated and confused.

angry

After settling down a bit I wondered what a no-contract plan would be like. I have one or two that I am quite interested in, but the amount of options out there is so great I get a headache just thinking about them. The fact that I need to research if the company covers the areas I travel most in, as well as what the true data caps are (and so on) really aggravates me. I also would like to be able to go to an actual location and speak to someone about an issue if one arises, and that slims down the no-contract pickins quite a bit. What to do!

Honestly at this point, I don’t understand how anyone would put up with all of this. The hassle and frustration people go through just doesn’t seem worth it to me. It may sound crazy, but I’m really thinking about saying screw it all and just use Google Voice. Simple to set up and simple to use.

Now it’s your turn…

Please ladies and gents tell me, what do you love or loathe about your plan or service? What is it that drives you to stay with a contract carrier? What is it that made you leave and try no-contract? Maybe your stories and advice can help this lost gal see the light.