A Realtor, Verizon, and his Smart Phone

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I just counted. My cell phone rang 37 times today. I didn’t count how many phone calls I made, probably at least a dozen, probably more. Actually, I had to increase my monthly minutes with Verizon to 3000. I got clobbered last month, a $467 Verizon bill, because I went over my minutes. I took the time to call up Verizon and complain. “Shouldn’t you have a feature where you can get your system to send out a friggin’ text message to let me know that I have run out of minutes on my plan, so that I can have the opportunity to step up to the next plan?”

The guy was very nice, actually. He said that no, there was no such feature. Of course there’s no such feature – such a feature would probably cost Verizon millions – dozens, hundreds of millions! – per year in lost revenue.

Of course, not having such a feature might end up causing them to lose customers, and thus revenue, in the long run. OK, probably no major carrier has this feature. But they should.

Anyway, the Verizon guy was very apologetic, and said he’d give me a $100 credit on my account – that was nice of him. It did take me about 1/2 an hour on the phone, which since I value my time at $100/hour, means that really, I only saved $50. And I still ended up with an exorbitant phone bill of $367.

Somewhere in the course of our conversation, he mentioned that I was eligible to upgrade my cell phone. Of course, I’d have to sign a new two year contract. Natch. The thing is, I hate my cell phone. It’s a Treo 700p, and it’s a piece of junk. I’m on my third one – the first two were faulty. I read (in Realtor Magazine, of all places) that the Treo is the shiznit yo for Realtors. Because it’s Palm OS, and Palm OS has all the kewl Real Estate apps.

It’s a sad reflection on the savvy of the tech writers for Realtor magazine to say that the Palm OS has great software for Realtors. I couldn’t even find a decent friggin’ mortgage calculator that would calculate payments for a first + second loan combination. And I looked. Long and hard.

Yeah, the Verizon guy told me that I should check out…some Samsung phone, I forget. I told him I didn’t want a Windows Mobile phone. I’ve never had a Windows Mobile phone, but I’m sure it sucks, because pretty much every other technology product with the name “Windows” in it is a mediocre, steaming pile of doggy doo. He said it wasn’t a Window Mobile device, this Samsung – must be Symbian. Whatever.

But the Verizon guy did turn me on to a cool web site – phonescoop.com. He said I could go there and get un-biased reports about what next smart phone to buy. I thanked him, but I have a dirty little secret. Which isn’t a secret to anyone who knows me, and no won’t be a secret to anyone who reads my blog. My secret is…

My next phone is an iPhone. I’m just waiting for Apple to release the “real” next generation iPhone, the one that is a 3G phone and also slices and dices onions like my Nicer Dicer does. Yep, once Apple kicks down with the real new iPhone, it’s bye-bye, Verizon. And back to Cingular – err, AT&T. And, yeah, there’s no Realtor software for iPhones. Unless, of course, you count all the zillions of web sites which eitiher don’t work or hardly work on my EDGE-network Treo 700p. Like, oh, mlslistings.com – the web site that is the bread and butter of my professional existence. Doesn’t work for beans on my Treo, but I’m sure that Safari on my future iPhone will handle it with aplomb.

Verizon is better, but their phones suck. And please, don’t tell me how much I’ll miss the physical keys of my Treo 700p. If I don’t end up auctioning this thing off on eBay, I’ll smash it to bits with a hammer – I’m that enamored with it.

OK, that’s enough of that. Back to the salt mines.

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