Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cell Phones and Cochlear Implants

Last week I got my very own cell phone!!!!

That's another huge "CI" type hurdle for me - never in my wildest dreams, even after having my Cochlear Implant activated, did I think I'd ever own a cell phone, but after talking to my parents, and my bf, we all thought it was best that I have one on me, especially after a car accident last fall as a result of some seizures I had, AND after the VA Tech massacre - we thought the peace of mind/security of being able to contact them in case of any emergency far surpassed the cost of a phone plan.

I did some research, and spoke to a bunch of retailers (Bell, Telus, Fido, etc,) to find out what plans they offered - none impressed me. Finally, I went to the Rogers Wireless store in the mall and told them what I was looking for as well as the fact I had a CI. Apparently they had never dealt with people with CI's before, and I wasn't aware of the limitations with cell phones (telecoil compatibility etc. - and for that fact neither was I - call this a learning experience.) I got a fantastic plan, but the phone they gave me "for free" with the plan (a Samsung) was not compatible. When I tried to use it when I got home, I got horrible static interference.

So that night I did some research and came across a website called "Phonescoop" and was able to print out all the T3/M3 and T4/M4 cell phones available. I went back the next day with my phone and explained my situation. They offered me a LG phone for an extra $85, but I told them I was pinching pennies as it was, being a college student, just to afford the plan that they sold me the day before.

I told them about the list of phones I found online that were CI-compatible, he asked me if I would mind running home to get the list, so I did.

When I came back, I gave it to him, and I also told him that I thought the plan was fantastic, and how I hoped we could find a phone I can use so I could stay with their company (it's a great plan - it included 700 minutes, in my price range, where every single other plan from other companies only offered 150 minutes unless I wanted to pay $60/month or more.)

The guy said to give him a moment, he went in the back, and came out with a box and asked me "can you swing $25?" I told him I could do that...

And for that he gave me a brand new Motorola Razr!!!!!! I tried it - NO static or feedback, and it came with a ton of goodies that the original freebie phone didn't have. If I was happy then, that's nothing to say how I feel now!!! What fantastic people!! I've used it several times and it is clearer than my house phone!!! I am on cloud 9 - just could not be happier.

So the moral for this story - make sure you get a Telecoil compatible cell phone if you have a CI - see if they'll let you use a particular phone for a day or 2 and then if it doesn't work for you, return it for something else.

And if you are Canadian, I also recommend Rogers Wireless!!! They get 2 thumbs up from me!

In other news - I'm back in college finishing the last of my upgrading of my high-school classes - even though the Biology 12 class I am taking is too dang easy, I only got a C in high school because of the lack of support I received way back when. The thrill of being able to understand my instructors without difficulty doesn't wear off. I love it!