Section Editor Joni Blecher, a.k.a. the Cell Phone Diva, wants to answer all your questions about cell phones, service plans, and wireless connectivity. Send her a question!
Pocket dialing leads to heartbreak
My last girlfriend broke up with me because every time my phone is in my pocket, it always dials numbers accidentally, and of course it dialed her number instead of the 50 other entries in my phone book. In short, I got caught making rude comments with my guy friends. I know I shouldn't be mad, but what can I do to prevent this from happening again?
--Bad Luck in Tucson
I've always thought that, like in Vegas, what happens when guys are out on the town should stay between the guys out on the town. But I can sympathize with your situation. In fact, it's the very reason I prefer flip phones to candy bar-style mobiles--which, incidentally, is the kind of handset I suspect you carry. Your phone is prone to accidental "pocket" dials, but there's no need to lose another girlfriend over it. Just activate the keypad lock on your phone; you'll be required to set a four-digit code that must be entered before your phone can make a call. You should be able to find this in the settings menu in your mobile. Keying in the extra digits will be a pain at first, but you'll soon get used to it, and the peace of mind is well worth the effort.
International phone of mystery
I'm going to Italy with my T-Mobile V60. How much is it going to cost to call back home to the States?
Good question--if you're not careful, keeping in touch while abroad can land you with a phone bill as expensive as your room and board. That said, T-Mobile's Web site
is pretty forthright about what it will cost.
Let's start with the basic facts. Your trimode GSM phone should work just fine; however, you should contact customer support to find out how to get the phone to roam when you land in Italy. Any call you make or receive there will be deducted from your overall minute plan. That said, making or receiving calls will cost you 99 cents per minute, whether you're calling home to the States or to a restaurant on the other side of the piazza. The price is the same regardless of where you're calling. And don't forget to factor in the steep price of checking your messages, as that's also considered placing a call.
If you'd rather spend your money on fine wine than international minutes, consider taking up the art of text messaging. Messages such as "missed plane, arriving tomorrow" are fairly easy to type on a phone and could extend your travel budget. Add the unlimited messaging feature to your plan during whichever month(s) you plan on traveling. After that, each text message will cost 35 cents to send from outside the United States and 5 cents to receive.
Sex and the City lives on
I'm not really sure if this is your thing, but I've been looking for a pink cell phone like the one Sarah Jessica Parker's character used on Sex and the City.
I know just the phone you're describing--it's a Motorola T720
with a removable pink faceplate. The one on Carrie's phone was especially made for her by the prop department. If you don't happen to have this luxury, you can get a similar sparkling gem
for $59 from RhinestoneFaceplates.com. If you don't like that one or its New York-style high price, you can dress up the T720 any way you like. Faceplates for the popular mobile range in cost from $12 to $20, depending on the theme.
As an aside, if you really like the show, you can deck out your phone even further by downloading the Sex and the City
ring tone for about $1.50.