Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pleasure Doing Business With You

Vero Beach
27.39.56 N 080 22.27 W

My Droid has been getting old and ready to retire.  The on/off button failed, then the volume up/down buttons, then the touch screen started going crazy.   I have the $2/month insurance so I could get a reconditioned Droid for a $50 deductible.  However, reconditioned is not new -- the next phone might not be much better than what I have and I might have needed yet another reconditioned one in a few months.   I decided to spend $100 for a new phone rather than $50 for a reconditioned Droid.

I got a new Pantech phone from the Verizon store at the mall.  I must say that Verizon is not dumb.  Their price for service is sky high.  Their service is good, but everyone loves to complain about the phone company.  However, when your 2 year contract is up and you're free to stay a Verizon customer or not, then they treat you like royalty.  They sold me a new phone for $99.  It is like the Droid but only half the weight (no keyboard) and with a brighter screen that easier to use in sunlight.  It is also faster and has a later release of Android software with many refined features.   

Best of all, they let me retain my $30/month unlimited data plan. That's $20-$40 dollars per month cheaper than data plans offered to new customers.

So far, all my old apps work, including the easytether app I use to slave my laptop to the phone.  There are Verizon tethering and mobile wifi hotpot apps included, but I'm highly suspicious of those.  I think they will charge me $20/month extra if I try to use those apps.  Indeed, I'm suspicious and resentful of all Verizon pre-installed apps.  I don't trust them, and they won't let me uninstall them.

I have to download my apps fresh, but so far the ones I paid money for before are smart enough to download for free this time.   

Total time in the store to choose and activate the new phone -- 20 minutes.  All that adds up to a pleasant customer experience.  Like I said, Verizon is not dumb.  They focus their efforts where it really counts.

Now it is Libby who has the biggest task of getting accustomed to the new phone.  It does not say DROID when I get a new email.   Does anyone know how to download that sound for a non-Droid brand Android phone?

 I could have switched to an iphone for the same money.  No thanks, I rebel at giving Apple monopoly power over what I can and can't do with my device.

UPDATE:  The Pantech had problems with the charge/recharge.  I looked up the problem online.  It seems that numerous users had the same problems. I went back to Verizon and exchanged it for a Samsung Droid.   That cost a bit more but it is a higher quality phone.  So now I still have Droid, but from a different manufacturer.


  1. Re: Giving Apple Monopoly the power over what you can and can't do with your device:

    That struck a chord with me as I usually use Apple devices (computer, music player), but when it came to the phone I ended up with a 'droid for reasons too long and boring to post here. It bugs me because it tells me what I can and can't do with it! I hate that!

    1) I cannot get rid of all the pre-installed apps (which would not be the case on an Apple phone). Annoying!

    2) It will ONLY let me synch to the web/Google, and not to my own computer (without the web), (which would not be the case on an Apple phone).

    I just had to laugh and then type in this comment because we are both "steamed" but from opposite sides.

    (Fellow cruiser)

    PS: I'll be curious how you feel about the no keyboard. I think I could get used to the digital keyboard for its own sake; but I think I might miss being able to web browse with the whole screen being a web page and then the keyboard being separate (i.e. not taking up half the screen).

  2. I never used the keyboard on the old Droid. I didn't like it. However I do like Swype. Swype allows you to use an on screen keyboard with continuous swiping motions; no peck at individual keys. It compares the result with a dictionary lookup and chooses the best match. For me it works very very well. I can swype much fast than I can type on the phone, but not as fast as I type on a laptop.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation - I'll have to check out Swype.

    The 'droid keyboard is not as comfortable for me as others have been, so I do use the onscreen keyboard quite a bit instead (and will perhaps enjoy it more with Swype). But I do like the "offscreen" keyboard for when I wanted to see a full-screen web page (and yet be able to type too).

    Of course you can't have it all in something as tiny as a phone, and the 'droid is kind of heavy, so all-in-all I would probably choose a non-separate-keyboard phone.


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