Two phones, four lines
The Good Life
with Eli F.J. Tajanlangit
In a bid to cut my phone bills, I have been using dual-sim phones and all three telco providers for over a year now, and I should be something of an authority on this.
Essentially, I got a line from all three telcos to take advantage of the unlimited call and text services – you know, calling Globe numbers using the Globe line and so on so they do not cost much.
So how has it been after over year now?
The good news is that this has really lowered my phone bills from the horrendous levels they were in the past, to a manageable, conscionable level now.
The bad news is, the savings may not be worth it. I am now rethinking which way to go to keep my communications costs down. You see, when you get down to it, having two dual-SIM phones can be time-consuming and stressful. Having three lines and basically four phones because I have to have two numbers with one telco multiplies the stress.
First, my directory had to be redone; actually, split three ways, the Sun numbers going to the Sun line and so on. With over a thousand numbers, you can imagine what a grand production that can get.
Then, the numbers had to be labeled according to what telco they belong to so I can use the same line for each of them.
It was nice and neat on the first few weeks, especially when the bills came back, showing huge savings: Then, the problems started surfacing.
When an unidentified number calls, which line do you use to answer it? It used to be easy identifying the mobile service provider, using their prefixes, but not so anymore, with each of the three provided with more prefix numbers to accommodate the huge volume of mobile users.
This had led me to watch out what line the call or text is coming in, because oftentimes, but certainly always, they are the same. Too, in the case of text messages, you need to answer in the same line your texter is using, otherwise, it’s your other number that will appear in his or her phone.
The savings, I realize now, do not come without a price. The time you lose trying to text or call on the right line is one, and it could get pretty confusing, even horrible, when you are in the midst of an important function or event.
Add to that the silliness of having to carry two phones with you, adding to the already complicated contents of your bag: the camera, the keys, the pens.
And then there is the reliability factor of the Nokia dual-SIM phone. I don’t think it is made for heavy users like me. Until now, I still cannot figure out why the names in my directory are disappearing.
There is a contact I keep feeding my phone and I just cannot find it when I need it. I don’t know what sort of a phenomenon this is, but I have had to fly out of town to smooth some ruffled feathers because I couldn’t recognize the number he had been calling me and he got pissed off big time.
And then, one time, without warning, the names in my directory changed positions, with the second name going to the first, thus rearranging the whole directory to even more confusing levels. This had exacerbated things because I had put the name of the telco after each name, and so when this happened all of them were grouped under the G’s and S’s.
Now who says saving is easy? If you ask me now, all I can say is like dieting, there no better way to cut down your phone bills than by stop using it.*
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