Cell Phone Control

I’m getting close to my “New Every Two” mile marker with Verizon. That is a plan that gives you a new phone free (or more expensive phones with a big discount) every two years. I am nearing that point again and am wondering what to buy. I have been with Verizon, or companies that Verizon has purchased) for fourteen years. They have great coverage and great service where I live and everywhere I go. I never have seen any reason to change.

They almost lost me at the last renewal, though, over the phone they gave me. I know, it’s free, don’t complain.  ;o)  The phone is a Motorola Razr. It has done a good job for me these last 18 months. The quality is high, the call quality is good, and the feature set is just fine. What annoyed me was the software for the phone. In anticipation of getting the phone, I bought software that would allow me to access the Razr’s programs so that I could use my computer to load sounds on it, and to take photos off the phone. I even bought a gigabyte of flash memory to put things in.

However, when the phone arrived, Verizon had pruned off the internal software bits that would allow me to do that. Instead, I had to use their V Cast service for everything to be uploaded and downloaded into or out of the phone. I have to tell you, that truly annoyed me. I’m not a ring-tone freak or anything like that. But like a true geek I had a plan and was looking forward to implementing it.

What I wanted to do is this: I wanted to have everyone that usually calls me record a short message that I could loop as their personal ring-tone. You know, one could say, “Hey, it’s me, Amanda! Answer the phone!” and another could say, “Hey, it’s Harold. I know you’re not doing anything important, just pick up the phone, all right?” That way, I could easily tell who was calling and could easily answer the phone situationally. I thought (and still think) that it was a cool idea.

I am always annoyed when somebody tries to take absolute control over a device or program that I have paid money for. In this case, though, I had to bring myself up short and say, “Self, you didn’t pay for the phone, at least not directly.” So I probably didn’t have much room to complain, even though I was still a little annoyed. You can’t win them all.

As much as I like the Razr for it’s thin shape and big buttons (I have very large hands), there are still some problems. Sometimes it simply refuses to respond to input and I have to remove and replace the battery to get it going again. The little screens are nice and colorful, but they seem to be permanently smeared, which is almost certainly a bad material choice on the part of Motorola.

But every time it rings without saying who is calling in the voice of that person, I get a little annoyed all over again. I think I am going to do my homework a little better when it’s time to cash in on a new phone.  ;o)


Cell Phone Control — 4 Comments

  1. I sympathize with you and absolutely hate it when manufacturers push you to use nothing but their software. If you want to customize your ringtones you should have been able to do it on your own time and without V-Cast software.

    In the long run, I guess that’s why my ears haven’t perked up for the iPhone. Apple, with all of its products, insists on tearing the user away from any alternative but them.

  2. Jerad –

    Your comments are right on the money! That is my major complaint with Apple as well, in addition to the elitism they work so hard to foster. In the case of the iPhone, it would appear to be all slick commercials, smoke, and mirrors. What I mainly hear about it is bad telephone quality and crappy (and dangerous) materials.

  3. Pingback: Is My Cell Phone Going To Be Liberated? : The Kansas Curmudgeon

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