Friday, September 26, 2014

Phone Shopping...Oh, The Choices!

"So, we were wondering, would you be interested in going in on a cell phone plan with us? We're thinking of getting new cell phones."

My in-laws asked my wife and I this the other day. It's a big change for them, considering they've been Tracfone customers for about a decade. I told them I'd be glad to go shopping with them--I wanted to make sure they understood all the stuff that was going to be thrown at them.

Thus begun a journey, a sort of like the Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, if you will...

Okay, it's nothing like that, but in the three hours of time we spent driving to and from various businesses, I learned a lot!

Even though commercials for the major cell phone providers makes it appear so, not all carriers have the same plans. T-Mobile has a killer deal if you get three other people to join up with you. Then you must buy the phones separately, and the $100 phones are not all that great--not the kind of phone my mother-in-law wanted.

So, Mickeal (a very nice salesman...) gave us his card and we headed off to Verizon. Now, Verizon didn't have the "family plans," but they had better phones, with a higher cost, of course. Verizon offered pay-as-you-go plans as well as two-year contract plans--both have advantages and disadvantages. We thanked Brennan and told him we had other places to check.

We went to the Cell Phone Center at Wal*Mart and they had the cheapest plan of all, and unfortunately, the cheapest phones. Of course, all three places had the top-of-the-line phones, but they were pricey.

Will all these plans and phones and option swimming in our heads, we decided to go visit The Apple Store. And it was there where we found what my mother-in-law was looking for. You see, the Tracfone she has pretty much have everything she needs in a phone, but when she saw a shiny new Samsung Galaxy 5 phone someone using while on a vacation recently, she fell in love.

We explained the situation with Mike at The Apple Store (all the salesmen were nice...), and he told my mother-in-law all about the iPhone 5s. But then he thought of something none of us did. My mother-in-law didn't necessarily want (or need...) a new expensive smartphone. Something else would probably be better for her.

And that's how she came to own an iPad Mini.

All logos used without permission and taken from various websites.

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