How did I get a free iPhone, you ask? Let me tell you the story!
I'm not someone who carries a phone around with me all day. I'm not connected to the world very well, in a technical way. I don' text, I rarely turn my phone on and I insist that participants in my programs, kids included, shut off their phones when they are in my groups or come in for counselling. I won't even let my kids have their phones on when we meet for family dinners. I tell them to text their contacts to say that they are shutting off for an hour for the sanity of their momma. Thankfully, they comply and for an hour, we can have peace from calls, beeps, buzzes and texts! I personally don't see the need to be "plugged in" 24/7 and don't ever plan to be but am fine that others are.
So how did I, Justice, with the old phone that in the last 2 months I used a total of 6 minutes of air time decide on an iPhone to replace the old phone when my contract was up? Well, the guy at the other end of my call told me the benefits and I got hooked!
Here's the good news:
- phone is free, totally free, no rebate to send in, no gimmick, no hidden cost applied to a future bill.
- phone was sent out 20 minutes after our call ended and will arrive at my home in the next day or so.
- my plan has been reconfigured and discounted to a place that I felt comfortable at and my provider gets to keep me as a customer. They took off $25 a month for 3 years just to keep me happy.
- it's pretty and has cool graphics that my old phone, a Samsung slide did not have.
- if I ever, ever choose to text (never gonna happen), it has an impressive screen size and a bigger keypad than my old phone.
- the battery life is more than twice as long as my old phone, handy as I will have this phone on a lot starting August 1st as I will now be "on call" for my job. I doubt I will get many calls after hours but at least for that one that does come thru, I can help out a family without a wait.
The bad news:
- my plan has gone up by $25 from what it was. My old plan was obsolete and had been greatly discounted because I never used it. So I knew an increase was coming. This is actually less than I budgeted for because of the nice guy I got who offered a discount. See above!
- Kent is pouting. His plan just came up a few months ago but at that time, the iPhone was not part of the free promotion. He has a great phone, bigger than this one but he's still pouting! I offered to give him this one and I'll take his but he declined. The teasing has been relentless but I'm sure in time, he'll get over it! He is proud that I negotiated such a great new plan for us.
So here's the numbers. We just cancelled our daily newspaper delivery, saving us $28 a month. Our car insurance renewal came in the mail this week. Our policy has dropped down by $42 a month. The cell phone company also dropped Kent's plan by another $5 because of how my plan works, so he needed one less feature. So now his new plan is cheaper than his old plan. We're saving $75 a month with these items but with the new cost of my plan, a $25 hike, we're now saving just $50 a month. We'll put that amount into our travel account, giving us an extra $600 dollars a year towards our holidays, an amount previously not accounted for in our budget. Bonus!
Our cell phone plan together, with all the features, unlimited this, unlimited that and the data plans, costs us together less than $100 a month. All my colleagues told me this week that their single plans, with most of the features my plan has but not all, cost more than $100 a month, so we're ahead of the game in this department.
So that's the story of my free iPhone. It pays to be a loyal customer and it pays to "suggest" to the cell phone company that you've shopped around for the best plan out there and then ask them what they are willing to do to keep you as a customer. Took a hour or so out of my own time but worth the effort!
Now to call our cable/internet provider and renegotiate our plan with them.