02 July 2008

Diligent Consumer

Speaking of being a consumer, I took the kids to the dollar theater the other night to see Wall-E. It had some terrific messages about where we are headed with consumerism and technology. I loved it. I do think however, that all things in moderation. The trouble is that we live in an indulgent society - and we are not used to being limited. We want excess, we demand it. I think that being afraid of technology or staying away from it is not the answer either - but to remember always that it is a tool for our use and not something that uses us up in the process.
That being said, being a conscientious consumer, being sure that you are treated fairly and not cheated or misused in some way is a non-stop, full-time job. When Kendra turned 17 the only thing she wanted for her birthday was a Blackberry Pearl. It had all the features that she wanted, and whatddya know - she had a rebate on her phone that enabled us to get it - and only it - for her birthday gift. She wanted music, pictures, texting - all the features that teenagers want in a cell phone. I was sure to ask specifically for these features. We were not able to add the package to support any of them except texting until recently, only to find one of the features she most wanted and has paid for herself is not available through Sprint. (she has friends with the same phones that have this feature with other providers) Ugh. It would've been nice to be told that before we got her such an expensive phone - especially since we asked about it. I had two options - tell her to lump it or try to get Sprint to make it right. Here is the sticky part of the situation - it's your word against theirs. Long story short, after 6 phone calls and a run-around, we were finally told that the picture mail was not available with this phone - and if we wanted we would qualify for a rebate to get a different phone soon. Are you hearing this - they want me to purchase another phone! No thanks. I decided to start tackling this via email, and it looks like they might be replacing both of our phones.
It is a fine line to walk. I want to teach my kids to learn to be content with what they have, and not to foster the overindulged American mentality. At the same time, I want them to learn to stand up and insist on getting what they paid for when it comes to situations like this.
On the "not letting technology take over your life" note - my friend Tami posted about her summer puzzle tradition. I loved the idea, so we decided since we don't have a puzzle in the house right now to leave a Sudoku board game out - and play it as we go. Kullen and I played 3 full puzzles together last night. It was great!

Please spare me any of the sarcastic poor, deprived child comments. The phone was the only thing she got for her birthday. She even paid for her own party, and she is paying for her own features.


  1. I've never seen a soduko board game! Sounds fun! I love that it provides for extended and casual time together in close proximity!

  2. Sprint sucks. I am thrilled to be able to publicly comment my feelings about them here. I was also quite vocal about their suckishness in their store. They are good ones to promise the moon over the phone and then deny everything.
    Sorry for Kendra, though.

  3. I can't wait to get my new phone!

  4. If I may ask - please tell me how you get these little inset rectangles of text. I've seen them here or there on some blogs, but HOW do you do it??

  5. A phone is not only too expensive to let that mistake slide, but it's for a long time. What's with the 2 year thing anyway?

  6. I never could get my blog to do the BLOCKQUOTE thing like yours. Oh yes, it will indent, but there's no box that the text is sitting in. Is that just weird or am I simply stupid??


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♥ Juls ♥