730 Days in Dumbphone Hell: A Diary

You just walked out of the store, and you're stoked to get home and start enjoying your new phone. Who cares if you're stuck with it for the next two years? What could possibly go wrong? Comedy writer Gabrielle Moss is here to paint you a picture of just how sci-fi horrible things can get in 730 days.

Day 1: This time, things will be different. This is not going to go the way it has with all the other phones I've owned, where I destroy it by accident and have to pay an insane fee to get a new one before my contract is up. I will not drop this one in any toilets, forget it in any cabs, or use it to smash any small-ish bugs. I will guard this phone with my life.

Day 22: Dropped my phone while running for the bus, which makes me the proud new owner of a screen so cracked I can barely read it. But I think I can work around it. I mean, I’m only stuck with this phone for two years. That’s only 17,520 hours! That’s only…1,051,200 minutes! I should probably set a kitchen timer so I don’t accidentally miss it, right?

Day 199: My train got stuck for almost an hour this morning. Just me, a few other commuters, and an entire first grade class on a field trip. The commuters around me happily whipped out their phones to watch, read, listen to, or play something to get them through the delay. I tried to play a game, but my phone froze up almost immediately, and I had to spend the next 50 minutes listening to the children of P.S. 42 sing “The Song That Never Ends.” It really doesn’t, you know?

Day 389: My phone died about ten minutes after I unplugged it today, so I guess my battery is dead. I went to the store to try to get a new one, but they told me they’d stopped making batteries for this model a while ago. The guy there said my best bet was to look online.

Day 390: I lost all the auctions for the legit-seeming batteries, but just won one being shipped from…Kepler-69c? Is that in Canada?

Day 411: Finally got my new battery! It has some foreboding ancient runes engraved on it and emits an eerie green glow, but it holds a decent charge and that’s what matters.

Day 590: It’s great to have a working battery again, but now there’s a new problem: my apps are crashing. A lot. I have to restart every single time that happens. Also, I seem to be kind of growing a small tentacle out of the palm of my left hand, where I touched that weird new battery a few months back? It’s probably nothing.

Day 729: I made it! Tomorrow, my contract runs out and I can hand this phone over to those terrified scientists from the local university who keep bothering me. The scientists also told me about T-Mobile's JUMP! Upgrade program, where I can upgrade my phone twice every year after 6 months with trade-in of my old working phone. So the next time my phone gets busted or outdated, I can just get a new one, instead of dealing with cracked screens, constant crashing, or cursed batteries from outer space. Wonderful. My tentacle will be so pleased.


This could happen to you! Well, ok, maybe it couldn't. But being stuck with a terrible phone for two years can be a nightmare. Click here to find out how T-Mobile's JUMP! Upgrade program can save you from a similar fate.

Gabrielle Moss has written mostly funny stuff (but also some serious stuff) for GQ.com, The Hairpin, Nerve, etc. You can follow her here.

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