A cell phone saga that ends where it started.

In early December, my cell phone died, or the battery did.  I didn’t want a new phone, so I bought a $4 battery on Amazon.

Last Saturday, that battery died.

Near-Ancient, but beloved phone of Ginger Kay.I debated over replacing the battery again or buying a new phone.  Even if I put a new battery in it once a month, it would be cheaper than a new phone.  However, that would mean either stocking up on batteries or going without the phone for a week every time the battery dies.  Then, too, what if the batteries start dying more frequently?

The safest bet would be to buy a new phone.

I went to Costco to look at phones.  I did not really want any of the phones they offered.  I like my old Droid 2, with its slide out keyboard; I didn’t want a touchscreen only.  So I bought a Samsung Galaxy with a keypad for $50 (plus the $30 activation fee).

I hated it.

There is nothing wrong with it, I’m sure.  I know it is me.  I just didn’t want to take the time to figure out how to use it.  I hated that the phone kept guessing at the words I was typing and getting them wrong.   I hated searching for the functions I use the most.  I just hated it because it was different.

This isn’t surprising.  I’ve already admitted that I am on the low end of the tech learning curve.

My son has a newer Droid, with a keypad, so Monday morning, we went to the Verizon store to see if it was still in stock.  It was not on the floor, but they said they did have one, for $200 (plus the $30 activation fee).

No thank you.

I briefly considered abandoning a smart phone altogether and getting a flip phone.  Or seeing if my old flip phone still worked.  I think I could relearn texting on a number pad.

New Droid PhoneThen I went back to Costco and exchanged the Samsung for a new Droid, with only a touchscreen, for $70 (plus the activation fee).

Since my son was still home, I asked him to set it up to look exactly like my old phone, with the things that are important to me on the main screen and all those irrelevant but pretty features hidden where they won’t distract me.  Ten minutes later, he had it just like I wanted.  I have no idea how he did it.

I still missed the keypad from my old phone.  However, I could find everything on the new phone, so I accepted that I’d just have to hurdle this learning curve and get over it.

Tuesday morning, I woke early to see my son off.  My new phone was dead!

Dead!

I told my husband, and he mentioned it had been lit up all night while charging.  What?

The charger killed the battery!

Did it kill my old phone, too?

I’d been using this charger from at least two phones ago for, let’s say, at least seven years, because it has a really long cord.  All the phones I’ve bought since have had short cords, so I just kept using the one that nicely reached up to my night stand.

Who knew phone chargers could go bad?

So I charged both my new and my old phones with new chargers, and they both worked fine – negating the need for a new phone.

Thursday, embarrassed and hoping that a different employee would be working the phone kiosk at Costco, I went back to return the new phone and re-activate my old one.  I did indeed find a different employee, but I ended up telling the complete saga anyway.  He had never heard of a battery charger killing a battery, but said that most people don’t keep those things for years and years.

He also said that most people are happier getting a new phone than getting back their old one, but he was friendly and non-judgmental.  I promised that when I was ready for a new phone, I’d buy it at Costco.
Stealing the Sunlight | A Faded Ginger

Lessons Learned:

  • Do not use the same charger for more than five years.
  • Do buy your phones at Costco.
  • Do not hesitate to return a phone to Costco.
  • Cheap batteries from Amazon do work.
  • Twenty year olds can do with a phone in minutes what would take you weeks.
  • If you put a chair in the sun for a photo shoot, it becomes a dog portrait session.
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13 thoughts on “A cell phone saga that ends where it started.

  1. All I can say is that you (as usual) handle these little nuisances with humor and grace and I love that! Trixie looks absolutely delighted with herself in her little patch of sunshine. And I love the fabric on your chair.

  2. I agree, buy your phones at Costco! Before I read the whole thing I was thinking you could just switch with your son. I swear kids are so good at figuring out new things. My husband is having a heck of a time going from a Droid with keypad to a touch screen!

    • Several years ago – before the smart phones – I switched phones with my son for that exact reason. I just don’t use all the features these phones have, and he does. There is no reason for me to have the newest phone.

  3. Glad you got your phone back and that Costco would refund the new phone purchase. They don’t sell phones here – I did look when I wanted to buy my iPhone. The dog rule/photo made me smile – I read the list allowed and Trilby pointed out that would only work if you actually have a dog, around here it is more likely to be a cat 😉

  4. You think you’re pathetic? All I have is a TracPhone and I still don’t know how to use it. I can make a call on it. That’s it. I don’t even know how to set up voice mail or add phone numbers to it. And I hardly ever use the blasted thing. At least I don’t have to pay monthly for it; withTracPhone you buy minutes as you go. The problem with that is when you buy minutes you also buy service days, and my service days run out long before my minutes do! Why can’t we all go back to good old-fashioned easy telephones at home?

    • Elaine, I do not know how to set up voice mail, either. Not on my cell or my home phone. My husband or son set it up on my mobile, and I pretend like the home phone does not have it.

  5. my phone died right before the new iphone came out. i’d never had a smart phone and therefore was really not smart enough to intelligently shop for one. my contract was up, my daughter was leaving melbourne to work harvest in california and needed a phone. it was her birthday. i bought two iphone’s-one for her-one for me after the saleskid told me we could facetime when she went back to australia. with my signing bonus and contract renewal they were $100 apiece-way more than i wanted to spend but the facetime sold me (somehow i forgot about skype). i even took a class at the apple store. the phone’s still smarter than me but the facetime has been worth it. it does often strike me that the one thing the phone never gets used for is a phone…

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