This is going to be rambling. Bear with me.
My poor old cell phone is dying. It won’t hold a charge, it likes to turn itself off and sometimes (just to be fun) it holds voicemail or text messages hostage, not letting me know that I have them for days at a time. I think it’s time for a new one. So Ben and I happily trotted off to the sprint store this weekend (as happily as you can when you know you’re about to attempt a cell phone purchase with two toddlers in tow) to check out the options. We have been off of our cell phone contract for a few years now and actually like not being beholden to anyone. We always say “we could switch any time”… so we walk into the store with two options in mind. Either we resign our contract (hopefully for the same price we’re currently paying) and get free phones out of the deal (sweet!) or we just pay out of pocket for the phone and carry on our merry contract free way.
Of course Sprint had other plans. No, you can’t just get a new phone for your current plan because your current plan is OLD and we want you to have the NEW one… so if you get a new phone you have to get a new plan. Ok, so basically the options are A) keep awesomely priced plan and trade in my smartphone for a dumb old regular phone or B) get a new smartphone and change plans to one that costs almost $50 more per month (grr)
Not satisfied with either option I went into a flurry of research. Comparing plans within Sprint, comparing Sprint to other carriers. I even made a spreadsheet with costs of different plans per month and cost of phones up front and how it all pans out across two years of use (no, I’m not kidding, how sad and nerdy am I?) Try to figure in things like possible AAA discounts (which are always sketchy and some people think they exist and others don’t) and varying fees (some companies have activation, others don’t, some places waive the fees if you purchase from them and others don’t) and at the end of the day all I have to show for hours of research is a big old headache. And I’m still not sure what we should do.
I know they do it on purpose, if it were simple or easy to understand and choose then what would be the fun in that? But come on. I just want a phone. I just want it to work and I don’t want to go broke paying for it. Is that so much to ask? Apparently the answer is yes.