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Monday, 27 March 2017

So My Cellphone Contract Expired...

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Both can make and receive calls. 
I recently found out that my cellphone contract had reached it's retirement date.

I excitedly began my usual process of checking out the latest deals to find a good value for money replacement contract. I say excitedly because, over the last few years, with each contract I have taken, I found that I was paying less and less while the quality and features of the phone and the benefits of the contracts generally got better and better.

Technological Deflation - what a time to be alive!

So I immediately started sifting through the deals - but low and behold, there was nothing that could come close to beating my current deal. Bummer! I braced myself for an inevitable +-50% increase in my monthly cellphone expense, and figured, well this is the first time in a very long time I am actually going to be paying more for a cellphone contact, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

But then I took a step back.

By default I never get a "top of the range" cellphone contract (I put top of the range in inverted comma's because by next month it will just be a "of the range" cellphone contract) because my cellphone needs are pretty basic, and usually something at the lower end of the price range is more than good enough for me.

So I asked myself - what do I need want out of a cellphone and a cellphone contract?
  1. I want to be able to receive calls (duh!)
  2. I want to be able to make calls - and preferably cheap calls (okay still in Nokia 3310 territory for now)
  3. I want to be able to receive emails, be on Twitter, and use Whatsapp (Okay into smartphone territory)
  4. I want a camera
And that' pretty much it!

With regards to camera, bear in mind my 5 Megapixel camera on my current phone was considered pretty amazing just a few years back. Personally I cannot justify the cost of a cellphone with a ga-zillion Megapixel camera, I am not a professional photographer...

Then of course nice to haves for the phone:
  1. Battery life (girls say longer is better ;) Hey! Head out the gutter!)
  2. Size (girls say it matters ;) - people! I said head out the gutter!)
I then came to a startling revelation....

My current phone and contract kinda meets all my requirements, and is also decent enough in the nice to have department - although battery life is deteriorating...

My current phone is a slightly rare Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. It pretty much looks exactly the same as one of S's (I think S4). I would have taken a photo of it to show you, but I realized that my phone can't take a photo of itself...wow there's a loop that would break the universe.... I considered using Mrs Stealthy's phone to snap it, but then I remembered that hers cant take any more pics because the memory is full of photos of her awesome husband Stealthy Junior. I swear if you had to play the pictures on her phone from beginning to end, at 24 frames per second, you would pretty much get a movie of every waking (and some sleeping) moment(s) of Stealthy Junior's life from when he arrived home to the present second!

So anyways, no photo of my phone for you guys... Instead have a picture of a cat....

Not a cellphone
My current contract is from Telkom Mobile - I get 600Mb of data, and 100 minutes, and I pay R149/month (I just checked the Telkom mobile website - I could get 3 and 1/3 of my contracts for the price of the bottom Fruity iPhone 6s. I am not sure what I would do with the 1/3 of a phone, but I really hope it's the top third, at least then I could see any notifications. Something to think about - not the which third would you like part, rather the cost of the iPhone part...)

So I have been and will continue to roll my current contract month to month until a decent deal comes along. It's a nice position to be in - to choose when to upgrade instead of thinking I have to upgrade. But I think I will put a time limit - by end May I should choose a new contract and phone, before my current phone needs to stay permanently connected to a charger.

Now I know I could probably just switch over to prepaid while I wait and maybe score a couple of rands per month. But the admin of that hardly seems worth it...

Needless to say, the cellphone company peeps have been hard at work trying to get me to upgrade. I even received this cringe worthy sms which I was not sure whether to be angry about or disappointed in! I will type out the SMS as I pretty much received it:

"Dear customer. Your cellphone contract is due for an upgrade. Get the latest smartphone and be the envy of all your friends. Don't delay, upgrade today. Check out our latest deals on www....."

Wow.

"Be the envy of all your friends" ....

Sho... guess everyone has different priorities right?

But I think the SMS pretty much sums up the consumption orientated, money wasting, be-better-than-your-neighbour type mentality that a lot of people live in...

Finally, I thought I would also share these interesting links on cellphones, contracts, and new tech:
How are You Happy Without the Gizmo-Gadget 3000?
Rethinking Buying a Phone: Contract vs Prepaid




Till next time, Stay Stealthy!
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