Monday, May 22, 2006

being cheap

I don't mind spending money when I feel that it's justified (e.g. Tivo, premium orange juice, nice sheets and towels, trying out new restaurants) but I hate discovering that I've paid more than necessary for a particular item/service. So, I research purchases online ad nauseum, check prices on eBay for weeks, and track cash rebate credit cards and savings account rates.

Recently, my Nokia 8265 started to run out of power at an alarming rate. The battery gauge would go from four bars to one during a 15 minute call. Since I've had the same phone for at least three years now, and it's a TDMA model, I thought I'd look into getting a new phone; maybe a quad-band GSM.

I called up Cingular, and asked for deals on new phones, and was told that I qualified for a new phone, but as an old AT&T Wireless customer, I would have to "upgrade" my rate plan in order to get one. By "upgrade", they meant, switch from my current $34.99/month plan (with unlimited incoming text messages) to a new $39.99/month plan (with no text messaging). Apparently, even if I bought a phone from a retailer, in order to activate it, I'd have to "upgrade" my rate plan. I declined, of course.

A week later I bought a new battery off of eBay for $6.96, including shipping and handling.

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