This picture is reminiscent of my first cell phone, circa 1987. I was selling computers, and Cellular One was a big customer of our store (ComputerLand). Back then, as a C1 vendor, we got a *great* deal - $7.95 a month for cellular plan, plus $0.65/minute local calls, plus long distance, plus roaming. Some calls were $1.50 a minute - $15 for a 10 minute call. Pretty steep for a guy making about $15,000 a year. However, when I went off the freeway in the winter on I-96 in between Lansing and Farmington Hills, and a tow truck was there in 30 minutes, I vowed never to go without a cell phone again. 26 years later I have not broken that vow.
However, I frequently had $150 a month (or more) bills - just for my phone. Now, $135 covers my iPhone (unlimited texting and data), much more sophisticated. However, I have a new problem.
Our family plan has 1,400 minutes a month among 4 phones (under $250 for 4 phones all said and done), and any unused minutes roll over, expiring after 12 months. That was great at first - many years ago, I actually dipped into my rollover minutes one month. Once. However now, mobile to mobile calling is free in US and Canada, and our A-List 10 numbers don't count, neither do evenings and weekends. So basically calls during the day to non-A list and non-mobile (heck, everyone is mobile nowadays). So I have been trying for a couple of months now to diligently use my cell phone for work calls, and use up those minutes. Cause, you know, everyone texts, e-mails, or IM's nowadays instead of calling, so the rest of the family doesn't use very many minutes.
I am now 2/3 through this month's billing cycle, with less than 50% minutes consumed using my cell for conference calls, customer calls, and more. It is really hard to dip into those minutes.
Great, except what I would really like to do is donate those minutes, like you can airline miles, to charity. It would be great if I could go on AT&T's web site, and donate say 10,000 rollover minutes to Make A Wish Foundation, and AT&T would convert it to a cash value. I don't even care if I can't write it off, just would like that to be able to do some good.
Does anyone know anyone at AT&T who might be in a position to make that happen?