Saying Goodbye To The Two-Year Contract
Like most everyone else, since getting my first cell phone in early 1990, I’ve signed a service contract. That first one was for a year, but now they’re all mostly two-year contracts. But when our last contract ran out a year ago, we didn’t rush in to get a newer – read: more expensive – phone because we just didn’t want to sign up for another two years. We’re getting more resistant in our… (cough)… maturity.
Whenever we’d talk to our provider and ask about new phones over the past year, we’d learn that we’d have to buy a minimum data package which would push our monthly bill up to $130 between us, and that would be with limited minutes and data, plus that ubiquitous two-year contract.
We had looked at Straight Talk in Walmart a couple of times but couldn’t seem to find someone who could connect the dots for us about their service.
But then, last week, I got yet another email from Walmart touting their current store specials, and it included a blurb about the Samsung Proclaim which was available on their Straight Talk network.
I snooped about online for descriptions and reviews and, basically, it looked like a decent phone that would do everything we would want and then some. It’s not the very latest and greatest – it was introduced in May of 2012. According to information I found, it’s a rebranded Samsung Illusion just for the Straight Talk network. And we learned in the store that this phone uses Verizon’s national network, so we get the same coverage we’ve had on our previous phones.
We decided to go for it and paid $149 each for the two phones, plus we kicked in an additional $15 each for a two-year full-replacement warranty. If we drop it or lose it overboard, it’ll be replaced.
A month of service including unlimited minutes, data and texts is $45 with no contract. Our service is simply charged to a credit card every month. As of this writing, we’ve had them for less than a week but we’re rapidly turning into smartphone junkies. I’m already accessing stock market data, playing Solitaire when I have to wait somewhere for a few minutes, checking the weather radar, and scanning email.
I can feel myself becoming a glassy-eyed digital zombie but at least I feel as though I got a good deal. And a nifty phone. And no contract.
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