Friday, August 11, 2006

Mostly Cool, but just a little bit Cheesy...

My trusty-rusty vTech multi-handset cord system has been dying a slow death lately. I've had it for more than 4 years now, so I'm okay with that....

I figured it was time to get a new system, plus it enabled us to upgrade to a new 5.8Ghz!

I did some comparison shopping at Best Buy, Costco, and Amazon, and ended up finding this phone for a pretty good deal at amazon.

The key factor was that it has 4 handset. I know that may sound excessive, but that's how many phone units we use in our house: 2 upstairs, and 2 downstairs. We only have telephone jacks upstairs, so it's very useful to have the option of plugging the other handsets downstairs in regular power outlets.

This phone has really great functions, but the one that sold us is the "phone book sharing" feature that allows you to share all or some of your phone book entries from one handset to the others. This means that you only have to go through the process of entering your names and numbers into one handset!

Another really cool feature that I didn't know about until the phone was shipped today is that you can use an online service to type your names and numbers into your computer, and have them automatically downloaded into your phone. That's Cool! It's so much easier to type names and numbers on a keyboard, rather than plugging them in one-by-one on the telephone keypad.

So, we go to this site. We're all excited. We create a login. We enter all of our names and numbers. We press the "Save our Numbers" button.

...and then it asks for payment...

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I mean, it is a pretty helpful service.

But, it turns out that they charge $9.98 for a four-month subscription, which is then auto-renewed! Is it me, or does that sounds steep? Plus, i hate "auto renew". AND you don't see the charge anywhere until after you enter all of your names and numbers in, OR you happen to click on the FAQ and read all the way down to #7.

We were trying to decide whether or not to pay these guys, or bite the bullet and just enter in our information manually. Curiosity got the best of us, and we ended up paying. The geeks in us wanted to see how the whole thing works.

We paid, we downloaded, and voila: our contacts were all in our phone! It was pretty cool. I appreciate having it as an option. I don't see a need to continue our service after the first 4 months, but it was cool to have the info plugged into our phone automatically. I put a note in my calendar to cancel our subscription in 3.5 months.

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