I just like simplicity, you know? Like the name of this blog. Aspiring to Simplicity. Can’t we all just get on that bandwagon? Don’t we all want things a bit simpler?

Apparently no.

I have a cell phone, you see. It’s red and shiny, and only has a few dents and dings since I acquired it late last winter. But I’ve had other cell phones. And, more importantly, other cell phone carriers. Through no fault of my own, mind you. Many moons ago I shopped around and drove to every cell phone store around (back when I had less than four children and doing that wasn’t an exercise in insanity) to find the best deal. And I did. Hubby and I shared minutes on a nice, frugal plan.

Eventually that provider was swallowed up by another. This benefited us eventually, granting us free mobile-to-mobile minutes that weren’t free before. But it also confused us; our nice frugal plan, of which we had a nice, color-coded coverage map, wasn’t so cut-and-dried any more. When I went to buy the pigs, I added a ‘package’ of roaming or text messaging or something… but then all the calls never showed up as roaming. After many months, I finally realized that I wasn’t being charged roaming for the split-second emergency phone calls I made while visiting Gi-gi. What HAD BEEN roaming was now NOT. Very handy, that. Kinda.

When I went to see Granny last winter, I figured I was still roaming AT my folks’, but not ON THE WAY TO them. This was a fallacy, and my roaming charges showed that along one stretch of highway I was fine, then roaming, then fine again. Huh? I called to get the FINAL WORD BOTTOM LINE to WHERE I might be roaming and where not. I mean, if I’m going to spend 45 cents per minute, I’m going to call my friends in New Zealand or England or something. The BOTTOM LINE was that my little roaming indicator could be trusted. That if it was off, I was fine (I figured that). If it was on, I was roaming (figured that, too). If it was blinking at me… I was also fine (huh?). Which explained my time at Gi-gi’s. It blinked.

So – secure in the knowledge that the little “R” would let me know if I was in a pay-thru-the-nose zone (even if we wouldn’t know ahead of time), we sallied forth. Well, not really. I hardly leave the house. But IF I DID…!

Fast forward to Hubby’s trip over labor day to the motorcycle paradise. Me, at home with the kids, a new baby, and mastitis. And 150 lbs of peaches. And an impending birthday. Hubby’s first call was, “hey, guess what?!? I’m not roaming down here!” Ah great! Considering I’m going to be calling you every time I can’t find the can opener. And apparently I couldn’t find it several times. Many, many times.

And apparently he was wrong.

Apparently the little roaming indicator only works if you have nationwide roaming, not a ‘local plan’ (um, if I have nationwide roaming, I’d never be roaming, right? And wouldn’t need a roaming indicator..? Right?… Huh??). Of course, this directly contradicts the BOTTOM LINE I got from customer disservice last winter.

*trying to unscramble my brains and still hear the thickly-accented customer rep who DOES understand how I feel*

I THINK the customer service rep has submitted an offer to management that I purchase a bundle of roaming minutes, retroactively. That is, I can pay $10 instead of $45, which would be nice.

I ALSO think I understood her to say something along the lines of giving us nationwide roaming for free, starting now. Not that I ever leave the house.

So my phone doesn’t know whether we’re coming or going, or whether we’ll be able to afford it when we get there, or where to find the can opener.

Oh, and our carrier is in the process of being swallowed by yet ANOTHER provider, making it highly likely that all of this hullabaloo will be ancient, irrelevant history in another month or less, and then I can start all over again. With free GLOBAL-ROAMING, maybe?

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