Worst Purchase EVER – My Phone

Once in a while we all just “HAVE to Have” something. I do this mainly with electronic stuff, and generally it works out well and I’m happy with the purchase.

However 5 months ago when I got the Treo 700w when it first came out from Verizon Wireless, I had made a terrible mistake. Unlike my “Have to Have” cameras or tablet pc, this phone came with a contract.

I’ve had my phone for about five months now, and here is what I’ve paid so far for the phone and phone bills:

Because I just HAD to have this phone immediately, I irrationally accepted the high monthly fees, high starting costs and the expensive low-end service plan. The high overages were part part Verizon’s fault for screwing up an order for a larger plan, and part my fault for being irresponsible. However in the end I’m paying the (very expensive) price of an emotionally driven purchase.

I went from loving this phone to hating it, as graphically portrayed here:

I don’t actually hate the phone itself, just what it represents. I rank this as my WORST PURCHASE EVER.

“Have to Have” purchases aren’t always bad, but when irrational thinking muddles the details of a contract, beware.

Blog posted on: September 29, 2006

16 comments on “Worst Purchase EVER – My Phone

  1. Anonymous

    for those who use their phone very little, cingular’s pay-as-you-go $.25/min in a $100/365day quantity gives you about a half hour per month of airtime for under $9/mo.

    not for everyone, but probably the best deal for occasional use.

    personally, upon receipt of a $772 cell phone bill, i’d throw said device in a nearby body of water.

  2. Lazy Man and Money

    I’ve had every Palm Treo there is. The key is to buy through Sprint. I have been there long enough to get some special deals that the average consumer wouldn’t, but it still has a $15 high speed data plan where Verizon charges something like $40. That savings alone is big – I’ve never paid more than $40 a month for phone service.

    The Treo’s are also much cheaper if you can use the new contract discount (Sprint allows you $150 for phone upgrades every two years), and you sell a previous Treo. There are ways to make it work, you just have to be really creative.

  3. personal finance advice

    Have to haves are always expensive, especially if they are brand new. Patience can save a lot of money here. This is especially true with electronics (including, as you have seen, phones).

  4. Anonymous


    I just cancelled our cell phone plan with Verizon and it was $175 per phone. It sounds like it would be more than worth it for you.


  5. Anonymous


    Nice blog. I did what a previous poster suggested, threw my cell phone in a nearby lake. I HATE Sprint, and getting a monthly bill for a telelphone just makes me sick. I haven’t gone back to the pay-phone, (yet) but I did purchase the Vonage USB “phone on the go” stick, and now I can call from my laptop. If anyone needs to get a hold of me when I’m away, they can leave a msg.

    It’s like I got out of jail when I ditched cellular service. FREEDOM!

  6. Anonymous

    I thought you were all about saving money. Fools pay thousands to have a cell phone. I get unlimited internet access and plenty of minutes for 70 bucks hahahahahaha. You dont make any sense.

  7. Stephen


    great site man. it’s nice to see more people financially conscious these days. I also think you have a unique spin going on in the right-hand column of this blog in stating your income each month.

    You should def. place a few ads on your site. your site is about bringing in the cashflow right!? as long as they don’t over crowd things you’ll be good.

  8. Johnie

    Not to say, we told you so… but “We told you so..” read the comments from the post after you got the phone…

    “At 1:48 PM, Anonymous said…
    Getting a toy will not make you more “productive.” People use things like this as crutches or excuses to spend money saying that, “if I only had XYZ I would get more done…” At the end of the day it all comes down to you making it happen.”

  9. Anonymous

    Same here

    When the blackberry phone came out I had to have it.

    If I had patience, I would have waited at least 6 months,

    The first 3 months cost me a bundle nearly a $1000 dollars

  10. Sam Soong


    Big mistake.

    For me, prepaid rules. I did a bit of research and discovered NET10 was the best for my purposes. I don’t use a lot of minutes — maybe 200 or so a month — and I’m not a mad texter or websurfer either, but 10¢ a minute for calls and 3¢ for texts is crazy good. And no fees per day or other bs.

    I got a very nice Samsung phone with a slide-out qwerty keyboard and no one knows it’s prepaid. Costs me a big $30 a month for all my stuff.


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