When I was 16, my parents bought me a cell phone. I was suddenly driving and they wanted me to be able to call home in case my bumper met the ditch.
(Strange, I don’t remember my siblings getting this same treatment. My brother was lent the family cell for such emergencies, but I was the only one actually given one. Either this is a reflection of my parents’ changing socio-economic status as I grew up or their nervousness about their more flighty youngest behind the wheel.)
It was a pay-as-you-go Bell cell phone. I kept it as such (leeching off my parents’ credit card) until my second year of university. At that point, I lost the phone, replaced it (with assistance. It was the cheapest phone, but they’re expensive!) and, about a year and a half ago, signed a contract for a Fab 5 plan.
I hated it. But, unfortunately, at the time, the $25 plan sounded like a good idea and I signed the contract confident I wouldn’t slip up and get a higher bill. After all, the only people I ever called were on my Fab 5!
Of course, that didn’t happen. I had forgotten about the monthly $9 access fee. And the extra $6 for a voicemail service that no one ever left messages on. And the extra numbers I would have to call: optometry clinics, doctor’s offices, hour long phone interviews.
I got sick of it pretty fast. When my year’s contract was up, I cancelled (a pain in itself) and went to pay-as-you-go. And I was good. I only needed to top up about once a month, every two weeks if I only added $15. But then, my phone would sit in disuse for weeks at a time, not ringing. And I don’t call people. (I’ll admit… I’m kind of phone shy. Always have been. Probably always will be.)
Also, the phone was ugly. It was sturdy, yes. I could do anything to it and it wouldn’t break. But ugly, ugly, ugly. A tiny grey brick holding the basic of the basic mobile software. I loved it and hated it at the same time.
M’s phone died a couple weeks ago. He’s more than ready to switch from Rogers in the same way I more than ready to switch from Bell. Every since Koodo arrived on the block, I’ve been curious, fascinated. Can it offer all it promises?
I bought a new phone at Future Shop last night. It’s an LJ Keybo. Looks kind of like a basic brickish phone with a tiny tiny screen on the front. But then you flip it open, and there’s a qwerty keyboard with a screen the same size as the screen on my work BlackBerry flanked by the cutest little tiny speakers. I’m not in love yet, but I think I will be soon.
My plan: custom. $20 giving me 50 anytime minutes with 7pm (!) evenings and weekends, and 50 text messages. Add-ons: $12 ‘Must-Have Bundle’ with voicemail, caller ID (I haven’t had this since my phone was first on pay-as-you-go!) call forwarding and unlimited Koodo to Koodo calling (useful for when M gets his). $2 long distance saver, giving me 5 cents a minute rates in Canada.
No activation fee, since I had it activated in store. No monthly access fees. There’s no additional fees on top of that $34. Anywhere. Also, no contract. I can cancel at any time.
Sounds great, right?
It might be. If they every got my phone activated.
When the (bumbling, mumbling, confused, but egotistical) salesperson handed me my phone last night, he told me it should be up and working in a few minutes. It would take up to a couple hours, maybe, depending on the backlog of people moving their numbers at Bell.
I waited, tried it every few minutes. Couldn’t send, couldn’t receive.
At 9:00 this morning, I got a call on my old cell. A Koodo representative. The process of moving my number from Bell to Koodo had failed and they needed a code off my cell phone. The guy got confirmation that it worked and said I should be good to go by 9:30.
At 11:00, I called their customer service. The rep was confused. He was getting an error message when trying to refresh my profile and couldn’t get rid of it. So, he said he needed to escalate it to the development team.
It’s going to take three days (maximum, thankfully) to get to and resolve the issue.
Which leaves me phone-less. My Bell phone has stopped working since Bell gave confirmation of the movement of my number and closed my account. I’m not a home phone person because I can’t afford two phones.
I want to love Koodo. Really, I do. So far, nope.
They better get their act together.
(Note, my number will not change. If you try to call me right now, an automated message will snarkily tell you that my number isn’t valid. Please don’t delete me from your address books! I will be valid soon! And if I do end up having to change my number, I’ll send you some thing called a ‘Name Card’ if I already have your number.)