"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live." -Mark Twain


All a father wants, I think, is to be a hero in the eyes of his children. I’ve tried to do this with varying degrees of success, but this week, I think I finally succeeded.

We upgraded the kids’ phone plans to unlimited data.

I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was twenty-five years old, in the spring of 1999. The reason I got one is because I had recently been hit by a truck on the side of the interstate after our car broke down. Before then I had got by just fine using payphones and land lines, which I just realized makes me sound really old. So I bought a Nokia 5160 (selling points included “three built-in games” and “clock with alarm”), tracked my monthly minutes on a piece of paper, and constantly checked AT&Ts map to see which states I had coverage in.

Ten years later in 2009, I got my first iPhone. The following year, Susan got one. Before the time Mason was out of grade school, he had one. Morgan’s in sixth grade now. She’s owned three.

I don’t remember how much my first monthly cell phone plan cost, but it’s done nothing but go up. When Susan got a cell phone, it went up. When we traded in our simple cell phones for smartphones, it went up. When Mason got a phone, it went up. When Morgan got a phone, it went up.

As of February, our base cell phone bill was $250/month, but that doesn’t include overage charges. With that plan, Mason only gets 3GB/month and Morgan gets a paltry 1GB. Each time they go over their limit, AT&T charges us an additional $10 and I do a lot of yelling. Last month our bill came to $310, and my throat hurt.

Enter Verizon, who last month announced a new four-phone unlimited plan. By the time I noticed it, AT&T decided to match the deal — four phones, unlimited minutes, unlimited data, for $180/month. They also expanded our coverage to include all of North America, including Canada and Mexico. All of that, and we’re saving $70-$130 per month.

And my kids think I’m a hero.

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3 comments to Hero

  • AArdvark

    Man, where does all the data go? I have trouble using up my 6 gigs in a month. Of course I don’t game or stream stuff on my phone.

  • lethargic

    Up until this new Verizon plan I was only getting 250 MB of data a month and never had an overage charge. And this guy just called 1 GB paltry.

  • Tex-Hogger

    Where all that data goes with kids one app, Snapchat. They take all those photos and short videos, but don’t realize it that they are probably using the 1080p 4k resolution where the photos are large megabyte in size,then send it over the cell network, while at home where the WiFi is free…

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