Home > Uncategorized > Phone woes again: Now it’s the OTHER phone!

Phone woes again: Now it’s the OTHER phone!

This is getting ridiculous. Just weeks after my land phone line (and Internet line) finally got fixed, my mobile phone started acting up. Its apps started crashing randomly, giving me “Unfortunately, X has stopped.” messages whether I was using the apps in question or not. It also started rebooting itself at random, often freezing on the boot-up screen. This got rapidly worse until I could barely use the phone for more than a few moments.

Folks on Facebook suggested that I might have malware or a bad app, which could be purged with a factory reset and restoration from backup, or that I might have a loose connection I could fix by fiddling with the battery and SIM card. The latter didn’t work, and I didn’t feel ready to tackle the former. The timing is bad — I’m two weeks from deadline on a major project and really need to focus on that.

So I set it aside for a couple of days to concentrate on my writing, and it was interesting to realize how little I actually need my smartphone on a day-to-day basis, since I don’t go out often these days. Mainly I use it to play backgammon and other games, and as an e-book reader — and I was using it for audiobooks borrowed from the Hoopla online library, until they suddenly stopped working on my Hoopla app a while back. I couldn’t get any tech support because my phone is 6 1/2 years old and they no longer support its software.

Because of that, and because the case is kind of worn out, I was considering getting a new phone anyway. If this had happened early next year, when my money situation is better, I would’ve just gone ahead and upgraded. Right now, though, money is extremely tight. So I gave some thought to just riding it out for the next couple of months, not using my phone except when I go out to get groceries, and hoping it would at least keep working enough to let me call the store to notify them I’ve arrived.

This afternoon, though, I figured I should turn the phone on just to make sure I hadn’t gotten any voicemails (which are almost always spam anyway). I saw the battery was low, so I decided to plug it in to recharge.

And the plug wouldn’t go in.

I realized I was very stupid the other day. Remember how I fiddled with the battery and SIM card? Well, it’s been so long since I opened the back of my phone that I confused the charging port for the bit where you stick in a screwdriver to pop the back open. When it wouldn’t open, I got kind of aggressive with the screwdriver. And apparently I bent the pins inside the charging port, and now I can’t recharge the phone anymore. Aggghhh!

So me am dumb, and now I have no choice but to replace the phone. Fortunately, it looks like there are a couple of decent upgrade models I can get for only an extra $5-$10 per month on my current bill. I could cope with that for the (probably) 2-3 months remaining before my income begins to improve. However, looking over the terms, it looks like there might be an up-front lump-sum charge as well, and that would be more of a problem. I’ll just have to hope I can weather it somehow.

Ugh, this would also be easier to sort out if I felt free to just drop into the phone dealership a couple of blocks away. They could answer my questions about an upgrade, smooth the process, or maybe even help me fix my existing phone (although I doubt that — my past experience is that the people at those stores are only salespeople rather than repair people). I suppose I could at least call them and ask some questions.

This is rotten timing on a couple of levels. But I guess it could’ve been worse. If I had to have both my phones fail within a month, it’s a good thing they at least took turns.

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  1. Marc Hart
    October 27, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    What phone do you have?

    I have several old phones I can send as a replacement. They work fine but the memory is minimal. They were cheap phones. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll send you a list of options.

    They’re all Android smart phones. I’ll send the phone, charger, and plug. I have several of each.

    • October 27, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      How would that work? Would I move my SIM card to the new phone, and it would then have my current phone number? I think that’s how it worked last time I got a new phone.

      I have an Android Galaxy SIII Mini.

      • Marc Hart
        October 28, 2020 at 11:03 am

        You may have to unlock the phone first, I’m not sure. I’m on Metro by T-Mobile (formerly MetroPCS).

        I have an LG Aristo, a Kyocera (not sure which model) and a Coolpad (again, not sure which model). I’ll charge them and figure out the models if you want to compare them.

        If you decide you want one, I’ll do a factory reset to clear any crap off it. You’ll probably need to do an update once you get it. The LG I think is the most recent but it’s about 4-5 years old.

      • October 28, 2020 at 11:23 am

        Thanks, but I don’t know if that would work for me. I’d prefer to stick with my current carrier so I could keep my cell number, transfer my backed-up data from cloud storage, etc. (Assuming backup has been working.) Plus it sounds like it would be a lot to figure out, and I don’t have the mental space for that right now, less than two weeks from a novel deadline.

      • Marc Hart
        October 28, 2020 at 11:29 am

        Not a problem.

        Good luck on the deadline.

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