Cell Phone Renewal Time!

It’s that exciting event that only comes once every two years, renew the cell phone contract!  Woooo! 

In preparation I spent a month talking to people about their phone carriers.  What’s the service like, how much does it cost?  Then I spent a few hours doing research on the internet looking at the different providers, looking at their costs and coverage areas.  And the result was the same as the previous biyearly event, the carrier we currently have is still our best option.  I did find one company that was a little less expensive, but their coverage was not as complete in our area and since none of the people we talk to on the phone have that provider, we would be using minutes to talk to them where currently we are not. 

The next step was to look at different phones and select between a smart phone or a less intelligent phone.  Rich and I had already decided to upgrade to smart phones for several reasons.  One of those reasons being that we can then accept credit card payments using a free scanner from www.squareup.com when we are working our stand at the farmers market.  It’s a pretty neat service available with smartphones.  By attaching a small device that reads a credit cards bar, the funds  can be instantly transferred from the card owners account to whatever bank account the credit card reader is pointed at.  The device is free and there is a 2.75% charge to the recipient for its use.  I have already ordered a reader for our stand. 

Photo from the Squareup website - I like that it appears to be in a farmers market, so appropriate

The decision to get smart phones was sealed when we returned to the market a few weeks ago, after taking two months off this winter, and three customers wished to pay for their purchases with credit card.  The market does offer a credit card machine that gives patrons wooden tokens for use at any market stand in return for their swipe.  But  more often than not our customers are reluctant to use the service and never seem to make their way back to our stand to pick up their items after going to use it.  On this particular market day, one of the customers did return to the stand and handed over the tokens in return for our merchandise, but two did not.  Both being sales of around $40 each.  That was $80 we lost in one market because we did not accept credit cards.  This locked in my decision.  Smart phones it is. 

One of the less important reasons for getting smart phones is to be able to access email more frequently, for myself in particular, as I am frequently out of town and without computer access for days at a time.  Also there is the most obvious reason, they are really cool. 

After we officially decided on smart phones we needed to decide on which one.  So back to talking to workmates and friends, because of course they all have had smart phones for years now, and can lend advice from their trials.  After much discussion, reading of countless internet reviews and comparisons, and then finally, looking to see what the price difference would be, we decided on the iphone4.  Although the 4s is available, and it really sounds cool, it is a bit more expensive, and since we will be new to the smart phone world, we decided to draw the line between the 4 and the s. 

Rich was able to order his phone about 3 weeks ahead of me.  I am not sure why this is since we are on a family share plan, but for some reason his renewal date trumped mine.  His new phone arrived a few days ago and I was more excited than him.  “open it open it!” which he did, with me looking over his shoulder, grasping my hands behind my back so I wouldn’t inadvertently grab it from him.  And then, his old phone rings.  And it’s one of his friends that he chats on and on with for hours, walking around with the charger in hand, plugging into one location after another.  There went the night.  I was in bed when he finally got around to messing with his new phone.   

I assure you though, I am diligently, and repeatedly, counting the days until I can renew my phone, next Wednesday the 28th.  It will take a few clicks on the computer and then 2 more days of waiting, but soon I’ll be part of the smart phone craze too.  Credit card accepting and all. No more dumb phone for me.    

Photo from the Squareup site

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