[Review] I Love Lucy: the Complete Series Boxset

I Love Lucy: the Complete Series boxset is currently available at Walmart and Amazon for about $40. However, Amazon has it on backorder currently, while Walmart has it available at its stores (FYI, it cost like $5 more at the Walmart store than it does on Walmart.com, so I recommend buying it on the website and choosing the Pickup option instead).

The first thing I love right away is that finally they released a complete series boxset! I’ve been waiting years for this to come out, and the great part is that it’s the affordable price of only $40… which leads me to believe that I was right, eventually they will colorize the whole series (but not before they milk it for all it’s worth).

See, years ago (like 15 years ago), I bought the whole series as individual seasons when they first came out. It was expensive too! The first season was a boxset that had like 7 DVD cases in it, and cost around $100. Eventually the other seasons came out too, but they were packaged differently, in a more compact way, and cost a lot less too. They repackaged season 1 so that it was uniformed with the other seasons, but there was never anything like this current boxset that was available though.

I had the whole series, and I actually resold most of the seasons on Amazon, but each year the DVDs got less and less costly. I eventually started seeing the individual seasons at Walmart and Amazon for like $29.99, $19.99, $14.99… and the individual seasons now retails around $10 each. A huge difference from when it used to cost about $500 to own the whole series. I’m sure collectors and I Love Lucy fans are probably pissed at having wasted so much money instead of waiting for this boxset to finally be released. I’m glad I resisted re-buying the whole series each time I saw the price drops, because now I own the whole thing for $40.

It comes with 2 DVD cases inside of the box. One case is really thick, and that case holds all the discs from season 1-5, and the second case holds all the disc from season 6-9 (which includes the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour episodes). It’s also in its original format, which is the stick-figure cartoon of Lucy and Ricky (instead of the syndicated heart on a stain background). I absolutely LOVE it!

This is the ultimate DVD release for I Love Lucy fans. Obviously if you already have all of the seasons and completed the series, there’s no reason to buy this — but if you don’t, then definitely buy this! One of the reasons why this is so affordable now is because DVD isn’t what it used to be (even like 10 years ago)… soon, DVDs will be as old news and historical as beepers, VHS, and cassette tapes.

A lot of people rather stream videos now instead — it’s instant, and you don’t have to worry about it getting lost, stolen, or damaged like you do with discs. One thing I do have to mention is that the discs are overlapping each other in the two cases, and I find this to be prone to scratching.

Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the CBS app has episodes of I Love Lucy available for streaming, but it is NOT the complete series (there are a lot of episodes missing, and it’s labeled as “The Best of I Love Lucy Season…”). So while you can watch a lot of the most popular episodes of the show whenever you want as part of those streaming apps, you don’t get every episode. This is definitely worth it if you’re a fan of the show, as the whole series is very affordable right now. I really think that this will sell out by Christmas time (if not before), and you’ll have to buy it on eBay or from a third-party seller on Amazon for like $150 or something.

As an after-thought, I probably should have not gotten the colorized “collection” DVD. It cost $20 and you get 16 episodes… but I have a feeling that CBS is probably going to keep releasing these colorized collections in volumes, then releasing individual colorized seasons, and eventually about 5 or 10 years from now they’ll have the whole series colorized that is available in a box set that cost about $35 (that is, if DVDs are still around 10 years from now). As a huge fan of the show though, the temptation is too great to not buy it whenever something like that comes out though… the worse part is that I know better.

The first release of anything is always more expensive and not as great as later releases. I’m sure if I wait a few more years, the series will be digitally enhanced or remastered, and the coloring process much better quality… and the price more affordable, with the availability to buy the whole series in color in like a compact boxset. As the saying goes, good things are worth waiting for.

[Review] I Love Lucy: the Colorized Collection

Today I received my I Love Lucy: the Colorized Collection. Available on Walmart.com and Amazon.com for $19.99 (FYI, Walmart will ship it right away for 2-day delivery, while Amazon has in bold that it takes 1-2 months to ship.)

It comes with two discs. There is only bonus features on the second disc, and it’s just the colorized episodes that have already aired on CBS during their Lucy specials. Also, it is not done in its original opening and closing credits (with the cartoons of Lucy and Ricky), instead it’s the syndicated heart on a satin background. It’s not a bad price for $20 (there’s 16 colorized episodes).

The episodes that are colorized are: Pioneer Women, Lucy Does a TV Commercial, Job Switching, The Million Dollar Idea, Bonus Bucks, L.A. at Last, Lucy Gets in Pictures, The Fashion Show, The Dancing Star, Harpo Marx, Lucy Visits Grauman’s, Lucy and John Wayne, Lucy Goes to Scotland, Lucy’s Italian Movie, Christmas Show, and Lucy and Superman.

Okay, first, the format kills me. I hate it. You have to use whatever zoom mode is available on your TV to get it to full screen, otherwise you get the box-cut screen. Not a big deal, except that when you zoom to fill the screen, it cuts out some of the picture (including cutting out parts of a person’s head even!), and zooming makes the picture very noticeably flawed. As for the coloration… well, it’s better than when Ted Turner did it back in the 1980’s, but it’s still not the same as it would have been if the show was originally produced in color.

It’s not the same as watching the seasons of The Lucy Show, Bewitched, or I Dream of Jeannie when they switched to color production in later seasons. The best way I can try to describe it is an Andy Warhol-looking design. The colors definitely do pop, but it’s very unrealistic — it’s definitely not the same “pop” that you get with Technicolor (I’m a huge fan of Technicolor)… instead, it looks like Andy Warhol’s pop art paintings, even the colorized blonde hair on the show looks like the blonde hair of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe painting.

Also, certain frames the picture is not steady and seems shaky. I’m not sure if that was caused during the coloring process, or if it was always like that and I just didn’t noticed it because it was in black and white. The colors also seem overly aggressive, like you’re in Willy Wonka’s world or something — like green, fuchsia, orange, yellow, pink — the colors are very bold and loud (and I can’t help but wonder if they got the colors wrong when they were processing it). When they finally arrive in Hollywood, their hotel room was a ridiculous color, and it just seems like such a stark contrast because in the colored seasons of The Lucy Show, all the furniture and clothes looked normal.

However, you can own the whole series in its original version for $40. That’s a great price, because about 15 years ago, I spent about $300 buying the series; and I remember the first season was over $100 and there were like 9 discs or something in a box (a few years later it was $30 and they repackaged it to look like the other seasons). Prime instant video and Hulu have I Love Lucy available to stream, but it’s not the complete series, and a lot of the best episodes are missing, but now each season is only around $10 and very compact (I guess prices don’t always go up after all).

Anyway, if you’re a fan of Lucy, you’ll enjoy this. I hope they’ll eventually colorized the whole series… and technology is always advancing, so maybe the next process will make it digitally better.

[Book Review] Cryptocurrencies…

Cryptocurrencies: An Essential Beginner’s Guide to Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency Investing, Mastering Bitcoin Basics Including Mining, Ethereum Smart Contracts, Trading and Some Info on Programming (by Herbert Jones)… like, seriously, that’s the title! (Well, I finally got around to it — I’m reviewing book requests from 2018, people!)

Anyway, to be frank, this is not something that I would sought out on my own, or even have a remote interest in. Also, as a Social Studies teacher, the bit of “history” in the first chapter was lacking and not informative; also as a Social Studies teacher, having a book used as a guide by quoting sources like Wikipedia to me is the equivalent of quoting “news” articles from InfoWars… and if you don’t understand why InfoWars is as legit as The Onion, then I just can’t explain it to you, but as a teacher, I’m telling you it’s not a legit source.

However, if you’re someone interested in this sort of thing, it might be worth a read to you. It’s easy to understand, but this might also feel like the sort of reading that your finance class is required to read. It’s always hard to read these types of books unless you’re specifically looking for something to be explained to you.

[Book Review] The Smart Couple Quote Book

THE SMART COUPLE QUOTE BOOK: Radically Simple Ways to Avoid Pointless Fights, Have Better Sex, and Build an Indestructible Partnership (by JAYSON GADDIS)… okay, first, that title is a mouthful! I got a request to review this in February 2018, and I finally got around to it almost 2 years later — sorry!

The first part of the title basically tells you what the book is all about. It’s a book of insightful quotes, from the author himself, I assume. It’s like when military commanders quote Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and uses that as their mantra on leadership. This is the sort of book that would best be suited for the gift section of Barnes & Noble, or the kind of books that you’d find at the Hallmark Store — you know, it’s not quite a self-help book, but it’s like one of those “Chicken soup for the…” books, or one of those books that you’d buy as a gift to a newlywed.

It’s challenging to review something like this because it’s just random thoughts on love and marriage. This is translated to random memes on social media that your friends post and some of which you like, and some you don’t (that’s the best way I can describe it, I guess). Through the years, I’ve received many books like these — usually long rectangular shaped, hardcover, and with birds or flowers (or both) printed throughout the pages as background, with each page containing an inspiration of something or another.

This would make a great gift for a bridal shower or engagement party.

[Book Review] True Grandeur

So, I actually received this book review request in the beginning of 2018, and finally got around to reading it almost two years later… but I digress. I basically rewrote the same review on Amazon.com, but it was rushed, so the grammar is probably sloppy and I didn’t devote as much attention as I did on my blog review.

TRUE GRANDEUR reminds me of the Young Adult fictions I used to read as a teenager. The book is easy to follow with no complicated plots or intricate summaries to follow (it’s definitely not a Dostoevsky novel, and I mean that in a good way!).

It’s the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man in his early 20’s in LA, who’s trying to become a great script writer in Hollywood. He falls for a woman named Gracie, and that’s what the plot of the novel focuses on.

The dialogue is easy to follow, but it feels a bit cheesy though at certain points, especially with Gracie — and especially for people in their 20s. See, this dialogue would be okay if it was in the Roaring 20’s like The Great Gatsby (and parts of it did remind me of that book), or if it was during the Golden Age of Hollywood like Sunset Boulevard (a favorite movie of mine that the author also mentions besides from Fitzgerald)… but I’m imagining this as a modern era book, so it didn’t seem believable to me the way Gracie spoke the way that she did — because the way the author describes her, I imagined her as Paris Hilton, actually.

This is a coming-of-age novel that would be great for the Young Adult genre, and possibly even as a movie based on the book… it has elements that reminds me of the movies I used to watch in the 1990’s that were originally novels, like the novel/movie Beautiful Girls. It also reminded me a bit of the teen flicks from the 1980’s and 1990’s, like Breakfast Club. The author will find great success if this book is targeted towards teenagers.

API Hand-Held Algae Scrubber [Review]

This was from Amazon.com and cost about $3, but  now that I actually have one… I would recommend buying the scouring pads at the dollar store instead because it’ll be a dollar and they usually come in a pack of 3.

5G Network

I’m in NYC for my annual summer vacay… but here’s a nice surprise this year — as soon as I was within the NYC airspace, my phone picked up 5G. I must say, it’s pretty awesome!

Okay, so I’ll tell you straight out, I have no idea what all this 3G, 4G LTE, or 5GE is… I don’t even know what 1G or 2G was (maybe basic text messaging back in the day?)… all I can really review is how my phone is running on the 5G network.

To be clear, I’ve been on mobile data since I’ve left my house (where I was on WiFi). My mobile data was on 4G LTE, and at the airport while waiting to board, my internet was okay, but wasn’t great. I had a hard time uploading pictures on to Facebook because the connection was slow, and YouTube didn’t have great video playback and there were some buffering issues… now, it can also just be the city because let’s be real, Nashville is no NYC. I’m assuming NYC still has superior 4G capabilities because that was the network that I was running on before when I visited with my Note phones.

As stated, I haven’t connected to WiFi since I’ve left my house, but I’m able to stream HD videos, and upload and download with a speed that is comparable to being connected to WiFi. Also, my video chats with the hubby on WhatsApp is excellent (although it sucks on his end though). To really test its capabilities, I streamed a video on Hulu (an episode of the Golden Girls, but since that series was filmed in SD, I decided to test another video) — I streamed Coco on Netflix in 4K UHD and there was no buffering or playback issues (although I couldn’t tell the difference between 4K and HD because I was streaming on my phone) and you can’t appreciate the picture quality unless you’re watching on a 4K TV that’s at least 55″ (in my opinion).

If you don’t have a WiFi connection, then having a 5GE network is actually really great, but unfortunately you won’t be able to enjoy its capabilities unless you’re in a major city like Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, London, NYC… I mean, major Asian cities have already had 5G for quite some time now, while the US is just getting it (and only in a few major cities). Also, you’ll need a phone that can support a 5GE network, so unless you have a new phone that came out this year in the US, chances are that your 2018 (and older) phone wouldn’t even be able to connect to the network at all. That’s not a big deal if you’re in a major city like  NYC because the network capabilities for even a no-name, pre-paid carrier like Boost Mobile will still have excellent connections to call qualities and internet access… it does matter if you live anywhere else outside of NYC though.

I guess when I’m back in Nashville I’ll have to connect on to a WiFi again, but it is pretty awesome being able to “test” it out though.

Singer Classic 44S Review

Excuse my hubby’s messy office in the video (which I’ve turned into my craft room during his deployment — ha!).

I’ve never had a sewing machine before. I know how to hand sew from my childhood, and I knew how to do it in the most basic of ways. I was good enough to repair small seam rips, but that was it. Ironically, my mother had a sewing machine and used to make my clothes all the way until I was like 10.

I went with Singer because they are probably the most renowned brand in the sewing industry. They have been in business since the 1800’s even! Although, like with everything else, they don’t make them like they used to. If you’re deciding on getting a sewing machine for the first time, I recommend the 44S.

This part has nothing to do with the actual machine, but I did wanted to add that I had a bit of a mishap at Walmart. I had originally purchased the Singer 3232 model, which was not as good as the 44S, but cost less ($100). I ordered it on Walmart.com, directly from Walmart, not a third-party seller; it arrived in like 3 days from the date I ordered it, so super fast shipping and delivery! However, the needle would not pick up the bobbin thread, and I decided to return it. Walmart is only about 5 minutes away, so I had the convenience of store returns.

When I went to return it, the serial number on the box did not match the serial number on the machine (it was off by one number). I said that was the machine that I had gotten, and that it was just delivered… after about 10-15 minutes, after talking to a manager and calling the Walmart.com people, I was issued a refund. It was probably previously  returned by someone who switched it out, or just a straight up lemon from Walmart (I really don’t know)… another reason why I recommend to replace it with an in-store model too! I still decided on the 44S though. The 44S is available at the store itself, and although it cost $50 more than the one I returned (straight out of the box) — it’s also better quality too.

This SINGER CLASSIC 44S HEAVY DUTY sewing machine can sew through just about any type of fabric (great for heavy projects and fixes like jeans or coats). This sewing machine features a powerful motor and an extra-high sewing speed (1,100 stitches per minute, according to Singer). The heavy duty metal interior frame and stainless steel bed plate was another deciding feature for me, it just makes me feel it’ll last longer. It also includes an automatic needle threader with a top drop-in bobbin system, which I like way better than the ones that you load on the side. It comes with 22 built-in stitches (and a zipper-hole stitch), and you can adjust the stitch width and length with separate turn dials. There’s also three needle positions (right, center, left), and lots of accessories in the super handy side compartment.

According to Singer, it weighs 14.5 lbs, and measures 15.5″L x 6.25″W x 12″H. Threading the needle is easy with the built-in automatic needle threader, which is perfect for those with poor vision. I don’t use it, because it’s easier for me to just manually do it since my eye sight is still good… and it took me a while to figure out how to work it at first. When you release the little thread lever, it’s supposed to pull a loop through the eye of the needle. For me, personally, it’s faster to just thread it yourself directly.

There’s a top drop-in bobbin with a clear view cover. The bobbins and bobbin cover are both transparent. Just place the bobbin into the bobbin case, thread according to the guides, then draw up the bobbin thread. Snap the cover in place and you’re ready. I didn’t read the manual at all; I watched the Singer YouTube channel, found my product, and watched their awesome tutorials. I literally learned how to sew from watching a how-to YouTube tutorial by Singer on my product. This machine has a more powerful motor than the completely plastic ones that cost less, and it sews faster than most other sewing machines according to Singer. The inner frame of the sewing machine is constructed of heavy duty metal, great for overall durability. It’s built for years of extended use.

The machine has 23 built-in stitches including basic stitches, decorative stitches, stretch stitches, and a buttonhole stitch. It also comes with a buttonhole foot. Feed dogs are located under the presser foot of the sewing machine. (Feed dogs move from front to back in a rotating motion, to move the fabric through the machine as you sew.) FYI: to sew fine or sheer fabrics, the presser foot pressure should be loosened by turning the dial counter-clockwise; when sewing heavy fabrics such as denim or canvas, tighten the presser foot pressure by turning the dial clockwise. (For most of your sewing, you can just leave the dial in its pre-set position though.) There are also three needle positions to choose from. You can leave the needle in the center position for most of your regular sewing. Move the needle to the left for inserting zippers, making piping and inserting piping, or move the needle to the right for topstitching.

The machine includes: All-Purpose Foot, Buttonhole Foot, Zipper Foot, Button Sewing Foot, Edge/Quilting Guide, Needles, Bobbins, Thread Spool Caps, Auxiliary Spool Pin, Spool Pin Felt, L-Screwdriver, Seam Ripper/Lint Brush, Soft-Sided Dust Cover, Instruction Manual, Foot Control, and Power Cord… oh, and it has an LED lightbulb that automatically comes on when you turn the machine on. It takes Singer Class 15 plastic bobbins, Singer needle sizes 2020 and 2045, and there’s a 25 year limited warranty on it.

S10+ (AT&T) Review

Update on my S10+ (AT&T network).

First, I deeply regret not waiting for the Note 10 (my flagship phone)… my hubby said something along the line of — it’s basically like the Note without the pen; wrong, unknowing iOS Apple man! Second, and this distresses me greatly, I wish I had switched carriers back in 2003 when my original contract ended (I’ve been with Verizon since 2001).

The pre-installed AT&T apps are overloaded and annoying; such as the default Samsung SMS app. Unfortunately, with any carrier, you’re going to get unwanted bloatware… on the AT&T network, it has a third tab on the default SMS app that is annoyingly visible and can’t be removed — a category called “chatbots”, basically text messaging from apps. Super annoying and irrelevant, especially in the era where you have to reply “STOP” for every unwanted text message you receive, as well as having to be constantly aware of scams. The only solution to fix this is to download another SMS app (I chose Google, because I’m a Google gal).

I found some AT&T forums where reps were being a bit misleading, blaming Samsung instead of acknowledging their own faults; this is NOT a Google/Samsung decision, but an AT&T network decision — because my Note 8 runs Android Pie (after installing the released update about a month ago, it’s the same version that comes with the S10+), and the app looks the same and has the same settings, except for the noticeable chatbots category. So this is a network carrier feature, not a developer/device feature like some AT&T reps have been deceptively claiming to customers on forums. However, in AT&T’s defense, they are a corporation that is after consumers, so like any company they’re looking to get your money.

To the phone itself — there is a reason the Note series has always been Samsung’s flagship phone. The only thing to really challenge it is Google’s own Pixel smartphones, but it’s still not as savvy as the Note (the Note being the consistently reigning champ of phablet phones). Really, until I switched carriers, I’ve never had another phone series since the Note 3 (my last one was the Note 8). Right away, something I’ve noticed — there are no LED notifications.

Yes, that’s right, the S10 series DO NOT light up with blinking lights to alert you of a text, email, missed call, etc. WTF!?! The only way to fix this would be for Samsung to release a software update that specifically addresses it for the S10 series (hasn’t happened yet, and might not happen at all), or to personally install an app from the Google Play Store that will basically force it on the front camera — there are a few good ones to choose, Google search for “S10 LED alert apps” for results… although neither options (including the edge lighting on the phone) is a true LED notification indicator, as it would require a hardware fix, and must be physically installed on the phone itself.

This is a Samsung design/developer fault. Now, I have no idea what the Note 10 is going to look like (Samsung is notorious about keeping leaks on new phones, especially the Note, to nothing but mere rumors), but I can’t imagine it having the annoying “punch-hole” front cameras being a part of the screen like the S10 are. First, it makes the screen look weird and is distracting when watching videos; second, it actually makes the status bar smaller because it takes up physical space. It was rumored that the punch-hole front cameras (there’s two on the S10+) is the reason why Samsung decided to do away with the LED notification light… it simply just had to go because there was not enough room for it. I am not a fan of the curved screen or this new ridiculous punch-hole camera screen. I hope the Note 10 will leave the front camera(s) off the actual screen display, and have it above like normal, so that a LED light can also be there.

The Note 10 is not available yet, and I could have went with the Note 9, but I didn’t want to because the S10 series was already out. Really, I should have just waited for the holidays, when the new phone would definitely have been released, and all the great promotions going on (especially for a new customer). Alas, this truly was a spontaneous buy, and not very thought out… I’ve had a few of those in my lifetime. However, FYI, one consistent rumor has been that the Note 10 will not have a headphone jack… that would be as awful as not having LED notifications on the S10 series! If the rumor is true, Samsung will realize their mistakes — like, with the Note 5 not having external storage capabilities, that was quickly reversed in the Note 6.

However, sometimes it’s actually a good thing not getting the next line… for example, the Note 7 (I never had one, going straight to the Note 8 instead). In closing, personally, I would have waited until the Note 10 was released before buying a new phone (as that was the phone I really wanted anyway); and if you’re not in the Alaskan wilderness, then I would recommend any other carrier besides Verizon as they are the most pricey mobile network carrier… I, myself, was a Verizon customer for 18 years before I made the switch this week! Their reasoning is their largest network coverage, but again, most people I know are on WiFi most of the time anyway and don’t even use their mobile data or actual calling service.

Having just ported my number to AT&T this week, I will have to wait at least a year (a fair amount of time) to decide if I want to switch to another carrier or not. To be fair, this is also because after 18 years, I am clearly having some sort of divorce-like resentment with Verizon, feeling as if I’m the spouse who wakes up one day realizing I’ve been cheated on for 18 years.

The Great Leap Forward

I did it!

After 18 years with Verizon Wireless, I’ve switched over to AT&T… and I’m feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse on the phone (it’s the first time in about 5 years that I don’t have a Note series). I suppose that’s normal when you make a change like this.

My phone worked fine and the only real problem I ever had with Verizon is their questionable billing practices, and they are the most expensive carriers. When cell phones first came out, I stuck with Verizon despite them being so much more expensive because of the coverage. They have the largest network of all the carriers, with about 70% coverage in the country — and that’s mostly because a lot of their towers were from when they used to be Bell Atlantic, and when they bought MCI (anyone remember those telephone companies anymore???). AT&T currently has about 58% coverage… I remember when some of my friends were “roaming” in the basements of their own homes when cell phones first started replacing pagers, or couldn’t get a good connection, but I never had that problem.

It was a big deal when I lived in the middle of nowhere Iowa, and I suppose even out here in the boondocks it’s kind of a big deal… but honestly, with all the phone scams going on, you’re kind of happy you don’t get your calls sometimes! Besides, even with bad connections, the voicemail always works! I supposed now that I’m older, there’s only a handful of people I want to talk/text to, and most of the time I’m on WiFi so it doesn’t matter what mobile network I have!

It is a bit sad switching networks after 18 years though. Very bittersweet kind of feeling, but there’s no reason to have Verizon as your carrier unless you’re out in Wyoming or Alaska with the bears and foxes. One of the things I truly regret is not switching as soon as my contract ended in 2003, instead of renewing it for a new phone every two years — especially because back then, I remember all the carriers had free nights that started at 7PM except for Verizon, which started at 9PM instead.

I got a Galaxy S10+, this is also the first time in over five years that I don’t have a Note phone. I’ve been a huge fan of the Note series since I got a Note 3 in January 2014, and my last one was the Note 8… I was waiting for the Note 10; but I had that momentary restless spending that everyone occasionally gets, and I got the S10+ instead. I’m not crazy about the phone, because I’ll always be a huge fan of the Note series; but I’m always an Android gal at heart, and stuck with my Samsung Galaxy brands. (I had wanted the new Google phone when the Note 10 wasn’t an option yet… but the AT&T store I went to didn’t have one in stock.)

I ported my number from Verizon to AT&T, which basically means I kept my phone number. It’s done instantly at any mobile carrier. I would recommend porting close to the end of your monthly cycle though, that’s because when your new carrier sends a porting request to your current carrier, it’s basically also a request to cancel service; however, even if you cancel your service, you are billed at a monthly cycle, so if you do it at the beginning of the cycle, you’re basically billed for a month that you’re not using.

Since most carriers have done away with service contracts (including Verizon and AT&T), most customers only have a phone payment installment “contract” that they need to pay off. The phone is usually broken down into 24 monthly payments; which is the equivalent of a two year contract when you’re paying retail price for your smartphone… however, it gives people who aren’t on a tight budget the freedom to pay off their phone and not worry about early termination fees on top of it.

Verizon bill a month in advance, so if your account is up-to-date, you should get a refund back when you close your account… but, as I’ve said, they have questionable billing. The thing with Verizon is that they’ve ALWAYS been the most expensive and the most stingy, and refunds with them are nonexistent. As mentioned, their “free nights” back in the day started at 9PM, while all the other major carriers started at 7PM. Whereas others had unlimited data, for a long time, they didn’t have that option, and then they did, and then they didn’t… and back and forth. They also didn’t have rollover data or minutes, and they held on to 2-year service contracts for the longest even as other carriers did away with it.

As someone who had been a loyal customer for 18 years (my service date was October 2001), I finally just didn’t want the expensive  service anymore. The coverage was no longer important to me because I am always on WiFi and never even use the data/phone anyway, and nowadays you have so many options online that you don’t even really need a carrier. You can Skype, make calls on Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. You can even download free texting apps… it seems pointless to have such a monthly expense when there are more affordable options out there (again, I’m constantly on WiFi).

I will see how I like AT&T, I might switch to T-mobile since they are the least expensive of the carriers… but I’ll never go back to Verizon, after 18 years, they got enough of my money (18 years is a prison sentence… or a child support order!).