Recently I lost my Verizon Wireless phone (just a few months after receiving a free upgrade on my account). I waited a couple weeks hoping the phone would magically appear (I mean, I looked around my house;-). Pretty soon, I discovered that a phone call had been placed on the phone since losing it.
So, I called Verizon. They were able to put my cell phone number on hold for 15 days “free of charge” meaning that no one could use my phone during that time. After the 15 days, I’d have to pay a service fee to keep the number…or else risk losing it. Well, I couldn’t lose my cell phone number. It was printed on too many business cards and in too many people’s hands.
So, I had no idea what to do. I went down to the local mall’s Verizon Wireless kiosk. But those guys were complete assholes. They wanted nothing but to sell me a new phone and a new phone plan. They had no interest in being real human beings and helping a real human being with a real problem. But they did tell me to go see the other Verizon Wireless kiosk on the other side of the mall.
So off I went. Why the other kiosk was supposed to be better, I don’t know. But, indeed, the guys were cooler and nicer and more friendly. They still wanted to sell me a new plan and a new phone. One guy took me aside and actually gave me a tip so long as I promised not to tell anyone.
You see, to buy a new cell phone without also signing up for a new plan costs, at a minimum, $150. I didn’t want to spend $150. I was pissed off. But this dude was cool and he told me that I could hop on eBay and find a nice used cell phone that would work in my service area for $30. Well, I ended up getting mine for $26. The nicer phones were going for $50 or $60. I didn’t need anything flashy since this was just for basic business stuff.
The cool thing about using eBay to find a used phone is that they actually have this cool little script that tells you whether the particular model will work with your service provider in your service area. I just did an eBay search for “verizon cell phone” and voila, a whole slew of options came up. Some very nice deals.
When the cell phone arrived, I charged it up, called Verizon Wireless, and they led me through the process of programming the new phone for my old number. Fairly painless.
So, the next time you lose your cell phone, don’t fret about having to buy a $200 model. You can find some pretty nice phones on eBay for under $50. Just make sure they work in your service area with your service provider.