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Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Dave!I loathe shopping.

I really, really do. There are few things I enjoy less.

That's why I so rarely do it. I buy most everything online and have it sent to me. On those rare occasions when I do have to venture out, I don't actually "shop" per-se... I just go directly to the store that has what I want, and buy whatever is available. No looking for options. No comparison shopping. No hunting for hot sales. No running around trying something better. If the store doesn't have it, I buy whatever is the most similar.

Here are the stores I shop at...

  • Clothing... Eddie Bauer (Nordstrom if I'm in Seattle).
  • Shoes... Foot Locker.
  • Everything Else... Target.

That's it. I don't go anywhere else. I may not always get exactly what I want (and I'm sure I don't get the best price) but I don't much care. The time saved from actually "shopping" makes it all worthwhile to me. Today (well, yesterday now) I had to make a trip to all three of my stores, plus get a haircut. It took three hours, including the 40 minutes it takes to get to Wenatchee and back, plus the time to run across the river to Target.

I'm telling you this to put things into perspective. I go after what I want, and don't mess around when it comes to getting it.

Except, it would seem, when it comes to getting a mobile phone.

Shopping for a mobile carrier sucks ass because if you make the wrong choice, you are trapped in a 24-month contract. One goof and you pay for it for the next 2 years. And it doesn't help that there is no "right choice." There are plusses and minuses for each option...

  • Verizon... PROS: Great local coverage. Exceptional national coverage, even in rural areas. Fairly good customer service. CONS: No international coverage. Suck-ass, crappy, outdated, dumbass phone selection.
  • T-Mobile... PROS: Fantastic phone selection. International GSM phones. Good national coverage. Decent customer service. CONS: Poor local coverage. Not-so-great rural coverage.
  • Cingular... PROS: Great phone selection. International GSM phones. Great national coverage. CONS: Not-so-great local or rural coverage. Crap customer service.
  • Sprint... Won't work for my needs.

After spending hours pouring over plans and phones and costs and all the rest, I eventually settled on Cingular. Mostly because they had the next-best coverage after Verizon, and would allow me an international phone so I can call or be called everywhere. Unfortunately, that didn't work out, and the customer service was too frustrating to make me want to stick around.

And that's when something miraculous happened. I was bitching to Verizon about a problem with my phone and brought up how frustrating it is that they don't use GSM phones for international use, and how I was planning on dumping out of my contract because of it. The very nice lady on the other end of the line then goes on to tell me that they now offer "Global Phones" which are combination CDMA/GSM and can be used anywhere. I'll get great coverage locally, as always, and also be able to roam globally via GSM... all with the same phone number!


It was a very expensive $550 phone (and doesn't have BlueTooth) but, as incentive not to leave, Verizon made me a nice offer. It was still more than I wanted to pay... but, just like when I "go shopping," the effort saved was worth the additional cost to me.

Now, I realize that not a lot of people travel as often as I do, but why would Verizon keep this amazing option such a secret? It's buried on their web site in some obscure corner of a FAQ and even the customer service agent had to dig to find it. Bizarre.

Oh well, one less thing for me to do before I have to pack my suitcase.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm just a mean green muthah from outer space and I'm bad!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. PeggyArcher says:

    WHAT? Verizon has international phones?

    Dayum. I wish I’d known that the last time I went to Europe and had to buy a ‘special’ phone that sucked and cleaned out my wallet.

    To paraphrase Homer Simpson:

    “Alright, Verizon.. you just made the list.”

  2. The Ref, LGC, England says:

    Ahh but does Verizon give you a nice magenta (it’s not pink) St George’s Cross?

  3. Dave2 says:

    I think that Verizon’s “Global Phone” is something brand new. According to PhoneScoop, the Motorola I just bought was only just released for Q2 2005. It was tough finding anything out about it.

    Hmmm… the article I read says “GMS” – but when I GoogleFight “GMS” vs. “GSM”, the term “GSM” is much more popular, so I changed my spelling. Thanks! 🙂

    Verizon doesn’t give you ANY magnets. Of course, nobody here would hand out St. George’s Cross on anything… though a magenta Stars & Stripes flag magnet would certainly be interesting if T-Mobile US were to make one. Given prevailing attitudes, however, you’d probably be branded a traitor and shot for displaying such a thing! 🙂

  4. Michelle says:

    Yup you’re male! I’ve been shopping twice this week already and am going out again tomorrow and still not bored of it!

  5. Kevin says:

    The cool thing is that this is not always limited to just men. My wife loathes shopping. She realizes that it is a necessary evil. But, if she could trust clothing and shoes to be the size they say they are so she wouldn’t have to try it on and could just buy it online and avoid stores altogether, she would. But there is no rhyme or reason to sizing and that’s what makes it necessary to go to stores and “shop” (blech!) for your clothes and other things.

  6. Larry B says:

    Wow, your shopping universe is very close to mine, except that I skip Eddie Bauer and add Macy’s or Bon Macy’s or whatevertheheck they call it up here.

    I do, however, really enjoy grocery shopping, and even like the giant randomness to be found at Costco. Oh, and I like bookstores too, but I don’t think of that as shopping.

  7. Larry B says:

    Oh, and you’re right, phone shopping bites. I’m locked into Verizon for network reasons (too many friends on Verizon, so switching would make my minutes needs triple).

    I just got a new Verizon phone (US only) but only went for a one-year re-up. I just can’t bring myself to sign up for two years – it’s way too restrictive.

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