burner phone

How This Sacramento Realtor Uses an AT&T Go-Phone on Vacation

old telephone booth in dunsmuir

Elizabeth Weintraub at a phone booth in Dunsmuir, CA, before Go-Phones

How do drug addicts do it, I wonder, because somehow in their addled minds they are still capable of refilling their burner phones? Yet, I struggle with this issue. I have taken apart computers and put them back together again and I have a hard time figuring out these AT&T Go-Phones. Granted, those computers were an XT that ran on DOS — not to mention, it was the 1980s, a forgettable decade in so many ways, an astounding 25-some years ago — yet, you’d think that in 2015, stuff would be simpler and easier to operate.

Reading the directions would solve a lot of these problems, most likely, but that would involve extra time that I don’t have during my 12-hour workday. Plus, there are those stupid pictures that don’t mean anything to me. I hate the secret world of icons and don’t get me started on laundry symbols. Everybody knows what they are except me. The AT&T directions make the activation difficult and refilling almost impossible.

You might ask why would a Sacramento Realtor need a Go-Phone, and that would be a reasonable question. I use a Go-Phone when I travel to areas where I don’t get reception from my cellphone service provider. As of yet, there are still places in America that are served by only one service provider and some not at all. I have a weekend trip coming up that will take me to a remote area in the mountains northwest of Redding, and I may need to talk with clients outside of email.

Other agents might say screw it, I’m on vacation, anybody who calls can talk to one of my team members, but I feel an obligation and duty to personally stay in touch, even if it’s only for a 2-day period. I’m a nut-job that way. When I went back for a reunion several years ago in Nederland, Colorado, I bought a Go-Phone from AT&T. I tried to refill that phone this weekend, and spent more than 2 hours on the phone with AT&T to no avail. The end result — after setting up a new account at AT&T, discovering that despite what the website promised, I cannot merge all of my AT&T accounts into one account and, after wasting time with the Go-Phone department on top of it — is that my old Go-Phone cannot be refilled through the website.

I suspect AT&T doesn’t want you to refill a phone unless you do it every 30 days. So after I figure out all the nuances with my new Go-Phone, it will end up being thrown away after I leave the mountains and come back to Sacramento. I can always buy another burner phone. For next weekend, though, at least it will keep me in touch with my real estate clients. Life doesn’t stop for them just because their Sacramento Realtor is in the mountains.


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