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.
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.
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!
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.
- 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.