sprint-Motorola-Clutch-i465-cell-phone-1The young man on the phone asked for my daughter, with whom I had just been speaking….

Me:  “She doesn’t live here. She was in college in Nashville and now she is working there. Can I help you?”

Verizon Guy: “Well, I’m from Verizon Wireless. We noticed that she just suspended her service with us, and we wanted to ask her why.”

Me: “Well, you should really be asking me. I’m the one who paid her phone bills all these years until she graduated August 14th. What’s your question?”

Verizon Guy: “We wanted to know if she was dissatisfied with the service or….? Why did she break her contract with us?”

Me:  “The service is great. The cost could definitely use some cutting, but the service was fine. She had to quit using Verizon, because she is going to be selling Sprint phones, and they frown on their employees using another service, which I’m sure you can understand. In fact, I was hoping that this fact would give her Papal Dispensation to not have to pay the breaking off fee or something… If you want to ask her about her experiences using Verizon over the years—which have been many and varied, including losing 9 cell phones and having her phone taken away twice in high school (service suspended) for failing to maintain a “B” average…I’ll be happy to give you her cell phone number. Trust me: it will be either in her hand or at her ear or mouth 90% of the time, so it shouldn’t be any problem for her to answer…And, by the way, suspending service is really a pain in the neck. You guys should work on making that an easier process; it works like a charm.” (A pause)  I can give you her cell phone number…”

VG:  “Oh, we’re not allowed to call anyone on their cell phones. If they’re driving, they might get in an accident.”

Me: “Trust me. I just hung up. She’s not driving. She’s sitting around at her boyfriend’s eating bon bons and waiting for him to get out of the shower so she can take him to work, because his car broke down. Go ahead and call her. I’ll give you her number…but I can tell you why she quit Verizon…, which, by the way, we are THRILLED about.just THRILLED. Do you know how much money we’ll save in just a month? True, she had to pay $140 to get out of her contract, but we’ll make that up in one month or less and, from now on, she will have to pay for her own phone bill and…more importantly, her own lost phones.”

VG:  “Did your daughter have the insurance for lost phones?”

Me: “Yes, she did, but she used it entirely too frequently. Let me run this down for you….Phone #1: dropped it in the bathtub.

Phone #2: Dropped it in the toilet.

Phone #3: Dropped it in a swimming pool….

Now it gets more interesting and varied from this point on.

Phone #4: A man at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard in Colona, Illinois called us up late one weekend night. He said, ‘A gentleman just found your daughter’s phone in a ditch outside and brought it in the store and we called the ‘home’ number.’ My husband went out and picked it up and thanked the kind man.  How did her phone get in a ditch outside a Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard in Colona, Illinois? Beats the hell out of me!

Phone #5: Left it on the counter at the Coop Tape and Record Store in Iowa City, Iowa during her freshman year in school. (That one we got back).

Phone #6: Dropped it in a Porta-Potty at the fairgrounds. (That one we did NOT get back…nor did we WANT it back.)

Phone #7: Was stolen from her glove box while her car was sitting in our driveway, unlocked.

Phone #8: Left it in a cab in Chicago…a cab that drove away. Never got it back, but picture her running after the cab like a dog trying to bite the tires. Called the cab main office. Never saw the phone again.”

Phone #9: A bus ran over it in New York City while she was there doing a music business internship.  Yes, we had the insurance for lost phones, which we always made her pay herself. Did it help? What do you think?

Now, she does not have insurance for lost phones because she chose to purchase a used cell phone on Craig list rather than pay $500, but she does get a special employee discount plan.

All the years she had her phone with Verizon, the bills were astronomical. It wasn’t until quite some time along that we found out we were paying 10 cents per text message and she had set the World Speed Record for texting. I swear to heaven, I don’t know how that many text messages can be sent in one day.  No one at the store ever mentioned that there was a better way to pay for this, so we just kept getting astronomical bills until my sister-in-law clued me in that there was an “unlimited” option that would help.

However, when Verizon had their Blackberry Storm special, we both got them. This was right after the unfortunate city bus accident in New York City. We both took them back. Neither one of us liked them. I couldn’t work it at all. I need a button or a toggle or something. That flat screen was a mystery, and who wants all their computer messages scrolled across their phone without a password? Not me, said the Little Red Hen. What’s the point of having a password if the cell phone computer messages are just there for the world? Kind of defeats that option of the Internet, doesn’t it?

My husband and I got the simplest phone they had. . I don’t text. I don’t know how to take a picture. I can just barely work the message function. Hers? With a little tweaking, she could put herself in orbit!

When we found out that she was going to be working for Sprint, we were ecstatic! I said to my spouse, ‘I’ll bet you that we save at least $150 a month on our phone bills now!’ My husband doubted my claim. It escalated into one of those old-married-couple fights over who was right. I made him get the bill from last month out. It was over $300. Her share of that bill? $157! So, we are DELIGHTED that she is now going to be paying for her own cell phone usage AND her own cell phones, on her own dime. And how much will this service cost her, with the Super Duper phone that sends the Internet to you and all that rot, with Sprint? $35. She just has to hope she doesn’t lose Phone #10.”

VG: (Suppressed laughter). “What did your daughter say when you asked her about all the lost phones?

Me: “Well…I have always said she should become an attorney, because she LOVES to argue. She believes that “the best defense is a good offense.” She always tries to ‘deflect’ criticism away from herself by going on the attack and accusing you of something, sometimes something totally unrelated.  She said to me: ‘Well, YOU lose things, too.”
VG: “What did you say to that?”

Me: “I said, ‘Yes, I lose things, but I have NEVER EVER lost a cell phone. Not that I couldn’t, but I just never have. Yet she has lost 9 phones since she began using one at about age 13, at a rate of one phone per year.  Do you know what she said then…when I protested that neither her father nor I had ever lost OUR phones?

She said, ‘Well, I use my cell phone a lot more than you do.’

What’s that got to do with LOSING the phone you claim to use more than me? Wouldn’t that make you MORE careful about hanging on to it, since it is attached to the end of your arm (or ear) permanently? (Apparently not.). See what I mean about how she should go to law school and learn to argue for a living?”

There was a long pause.

Then the Verizon Guy said….

VG:  “If she is at her home, could you give me that cell phone number, please?”

Me:  “I can, and I will.  I am delighted that someone other than me is going to have a conversation with her about her cell phone usage. Good luck with that, then.”
And I hung up.