After two years, my phone has finally bitten the dust, it is kaput. What brought this on was that last night it decided to declare that its charger was an "Unauthorized Charger" and therefore it refuses to charge the battery. However, the phone will still run on the charger by itself. Being tethered to the cord pretty much defeats the purpose of a cell phone, so it was off to the store to have my original phone looked at to see if it could be saved, and to also look at new ones just in case it was done for.
I visited Verizon's website before heading out to see what kind of phones and plans I qualified for since I will have to update my plan if I have to upgrade my phone. I had already pre-decided this in my mind, and after crunching the numbers I have decided to run with getting the Nationwide Select plan and add VZ Navigator to it as well because not only do I get the unlimited text, picture, video, and IM, I also get GPS navigation built into my phone that includes turn by turn directions with voice, traffic updates, and can give pedestrian directions.
I had a list with me of the phones I could get for free, which ended up coming in handy later. After handing over my phone to the tech support folks I started browsing. I looked at the Samsung SCH-u340, SCH-u410, SCH-u-550, and the Gleam. There was also the LG Chocolate 2 and VX5400. Along with that was the Motorola W385, W755, and the V750.
Clearly I checked out a lot of phones, and that was because I had plenty of time since it took the techs almost 60 minutes to figure out that my phone had issues with the charger and could not be fixed. I got to play with the various phones and get a feel for them, along with checking out the sounds and features. The nice thing is that the phones were compatible with VZ Navigator so I was able to test it out on all of them. All of the phones were able to continue to provide directions after being closed, but the better ones show a small display of the current directions as well.
I ended up reviewing the list and checking out some more phones that I hadn't originally known would be free. Ultimately I ended up liking the Motorola Adventure v750 the best and so I figured if my current phone was dead I would look into getting that one. Eventually the tech declared my phone was dead, so it was off to the sales queue.
I don't know if the salesperson was having a bad day or what, but he totally half-assed it with me. I told him what phone I wanted and he simply showed it to me and told me it was $100 and there was a $50 rebate, didn't even look too hard at my account because if he had, he would have noticed I had a $50 credit. So I bailed.
I tried another Verizon store this evening, and the salesman was much nicer, he gave me a better offer than the guy in the first store, but he couldn't beat the website price, so ultimately I placed my order tonight for a new cell phone. Not only did I get the phone for free, but I got 25% off of accessories as well, so it cost way less than buying them from the store. The phone itself is made tougher because it is designed for those who want that walkie talkie capability, such as construction workers or emergency workers. That's good considering how much I beat the shit out of my phones at times.
I think I'll continue to just buy my phones online. Of course now I am locked into another contract for two years, but by then there will be even better phones out there. I had wanted to wait and see what the Blackberry Storm was going to be like, but obviously I couldn't wait. At least in two years the bugs will be worked out of that one.