Some of the first things I remember teaching my children were how to write their names, address and phone number. I explained that even though I was Mom to them, the rest of the world knew me by another name. I taught them how to dial 911 and told them never to go anywhere with anyone they did not know, even if they were nice or looked like a police officer.
When my oldest was 8 years old, I purchased my first mobile phone. It was 1994 and a friend of mine was working for a company she highly recommended so based on her great pitch, I took the plunge. I was able to choose my own number. I chose one based on simplicity and repetition so my children would have no problem remembering how to call me. It’s eighteen years later, and I still have the same number and until today I had the same service provider.
Today, I dropped Verizon Wireless and switched my service to Wal-Mart‘s Family Share Plan. Being a creature of habit and the type of customer who doesn’t like the idea of having to shop around for the best deal, it was a tough decision. I like to save special voice mail messages and did not want to part with the ones stored on my account. I had the last one left by my dad, my husband saying “marry me”, dozens of Happy Birthday wishes, Merry Christmases and other make me smile recordings. So despite the fact that I was paying double for something I could get elsewhere, I continued with Verizon.
This year my husband and I paid $2268.00 in cell phone bills for service that did not include mobile web or unlimited anything. Looking back it would be fair to say, I have paid over $35,000.00 dollars for cell phone service over the last 18 years. Switching carriers has cut our bill in half and talk/text and web are all unlimited. Sure we had to buy two phones at a cost of $179 each, but with the $100 credit allowed per phone it will take less than two months to recoup our out-of-pocket expenses.
The website for is easy to navigate and the coverage is great so what took me so long to switch ? I guess I am sentimental. My stored voice mails were important to me, listening to them always made me smile. It’s too bad Verizon didn’t value me as a consumer as much as I valued them as a service provider. When I called to cancel my month to month contract, they didn’t say thank-you for being our customer for the last 18 years. They didn’t ask why I made the change or offer me anything to stay. In fact all the fella on the other end of the call had to say was, ” you’ll be billed for these first 10 days in December.” I almost laughed.
I intend to go to a local store front and pay my last bill in change. As I stand and count out $63.00 in pennies, nickles and dimes I wonder what they will say. Maybe they will go home at the end of the day and talk about the inconvenience I caused, I hope so. After 18 years it will be nice to be remembered.
Teaching children their phone number is a very big deal. Teaching them to value other people is a bigger deal. It’s the one of the traits that helps to build healthy friendships, great marriages and successful businesses.