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.