How To NOT Lose Your Cell Phone
Ever Lost Your Cell Phone? - Fess up!
If so, did you find it?
Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Cell Phone Gone?
"Honey, sweetie-pie," I typed, sending my husband a gooey instant message while he was at work. "Sorry to bother you, but could you call me?"
I didn't have to explain why; we'd been through this umpteen times before. Last time he'd called my cell phone for me, it rang ... in my back pocket. Yes, I am a doofus.
But, aw, come on, you know you've done it. Maybe your phone wasn't "lost" in your back pocket, but if you're a normal human being with a mobile you just can't live without, you must have misplaced it at least a time or two, yes?
If so, you know the feeling -- that moment of panic when the phone is not right where it's supposed to be ... which may be any of seventeen places.
Then, when you recover your breath, you break out in a cold sweat. You panic and start rummaging through your underwear drawer, through the laundry basket, the freezer. Your house is a wreck, and then you gasp: *Gasp!* You used your cell on the city bus! Or was it in Wal-Mart? At the dentist's office?
I've been one of the lucky ones, though, always finding my missing mobile within an hour or two and usually in ridiculous places (even once in my sock ... that I was wearing at the time), but my mother wasn't so lucky. She must have dropped it at the Senior Center one day, never to be found again. So I got her a lanyard (her choice of accessory) to wear the phone around her neck. Then, once we'd gotten her a new one and I reprogrammed all of the numbers we could remember and those I could easily look up, I decided to put together this page to offer some suggestions to the rest of the wireless phone-addicted world.
The following are some tips, stories, funnies and handy accessories, as well as what to do if, by chance, your phone joins the millions of other wayward gadgets in the lost-but-never-found piles of the world.
A Simple Way to Keep Track: A comfortable and convenient lanyard
This is a very cheap way to save yourself a lot more money and hassle. My elderly mom used a lanyard just like this, to keep her phone literally at hand all the time. This may not be the best option for someone who's on the go a lot -- to have a phone hanging around your neck -- but for someone like my mom, who was very sedentary and also quite forgetful, this was the perfect solution.
There's not much to say about a lanyard like this, except that it's simple and easy and probably best for times when you'll be walking or sitting a lot and want easy access to your phone without the risk of dropping it. My elderly mom had a lanyard like this for her cell phone, which was the perfect solution for her.
Top 10 Worst Places to Lose Your Cell Phone
- Top 10 Worst Places To Lose Your Cell Phone
#10: Your Mother In-Law's House "Yeah, it sucks that you have to go back there and endure another long conversation about when you are going to give her those grandchildren...."
What To Do If You DO Lose Your Phone
Several steps to take to try to secure and, hopefuly, find it....
1. First things first: THINK. Where did you have your phone last? If it was in your house and you haven't left, well, nothing to worry about, unless maybe your dog looks like he has indigestion or your toddler just flushed the toilet. Otherwise, take a deep breath and look around. Better yet, if you think the phone was on, call it from your land line or have someone call your cell so you can follow that ring tone or happy little song to the source.
Don't have a land line? Not at home and don't have access to a tele but you do have a computer? Then try this: Go to Where's My Cell Phone? .com a free service by iGoogle. Simply enter your number and listen for a ring. Cool!
2. If that doesn't work, well, then you should call your provider, so some less-than-ethical doobie doesn't run up your bill calling all his (or her) buddies all over the globe. Let your provider know you can't find your phone, but tell them not to cancel your service just yet. Have them deactivate your phone while you continue your search.
Here are the numbers of some common wireless providers:
- AT&T: (800) 331-0500
- Verizon Wireless: (800) 922-0204
- Sprint Nextel (888) 211-4727
- T-Mobile: (877) 453-1304
3. Now that your phone can't be used, think again. Where have you been since you last saw or used it? Call those places or businesses where your cell might be and ask if it's in their lost-and-found or, if you can give them a specific location where you sat or shopped, perhaps a nice employee or manager might take a look for you.
4. If your phone still hasn't turned up, call your provider back and ask if there is any way, pretty please, that you can get a free replacement. Or perhaps you have insurance that will cover at least part of the new one. If not, don't sink a lot of money in a new phone, because your old beloved might still turn up somewhere (like in that black hole you call a purse perhaps).
5. If you didn't have it before, now's a good time to sign up for insurance on your phone. My experience with Verizon is that it costs $5 per month, and that insurance will cover the cost of a replacement if yours is lost or damaged.
The photo above is in the public domain.
Can You Imagine?
You're away on vacation, oblivious to the fact that your cell phone back home has been stolen, and the thief has run up a $26,000 bill!
This really did happen to Wendy Nguyen. Read the story and learn the outcome in Customers Pay For Lost Cell Calls.
In Related News.... - Some useful and interesting related links
- Don't Lose That Number (Or Phone)
An article from the Minnesota Fantasy Legislature Commissioner's Blog, including tales of lost cell phones and proposed legislation to protect customers.
A lost and found recovery service. I have no personal experience with this service, but it may be something to consider. The company claims to have returned over 85% of their customers' lost mobile devices, keys, luggage, and more, and that they usua
- "Find My Cell Phone" ideas on WhyNot.net
Some creative suggestions from cell phone users, including this one: "I'd like to be able to log into my Verizon account online and enter a password. Then my phone will automatically ring (possibly gradually getting louder) until I can find it. It wo
Just in Case
Don't lose all those numbers you once had at your fingertips.
Read Lost Cell Phone? Your Carrier Has Your Backup from The Wall Street Journal's "The Mossberg Solution."
Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Cell Phone
- Keep your car keys next to your phone as it's charging.
- Place your purse or wallet next to it and the charger.
- Be consistent: Always put your phone in the same place in the house.
- Attach it to your person at all times (ie. with a hip belt case) ... except maybe when you're in the shower or in bed
Ways To Keep Your Phone Attached
To you, that is....
The following are some handy accessories -- cases, arm and wrist bands, and lanyards -- for keeping your phone from wandering off.
Many of these products are also handy for attaching other gadgets -- like iPods, MP3 players and digital cameras -- to your personal person.
I'm trying to decide which type of case is right for me. Or maybe I'll just need more than one....
How About a Genuine Leather Cell Phone and Tool Holder - Hang, strap or clip it on. (Just don't forget to put your phone IN it.)
You can hang, strap or clip this cell phone, tool and accessory holder on work belts, suspenders, pants, etc. This is my husband's preferred way to keep his phone attached and its whereabouts known at all times (other than when he's sleeping, in which case it's right on the nightstand, every night).
This case holds most brands of compact phones and securely holds small tools and accessories like pliers, mini flashlights, and screwdrivers.
Other Similar Accessories for Encasing and Protecting your Phone
This waterproof cell phone case has an adjustable neck lanyard, a yellow sealing clip for high visibility, and twist open knobs for easily sealing out water, sand and dust. I go hiking in wet weather and canoeing quite a bit, so this is the perfect kind of case for me.
A Waterproof Case
Protect your phone (or camera and other items weighing up to 11 ounces) from water, dirt , dust and more and keep them afloat in this 'jellyfish" case, which is airtight down to 5ft. in submersion.
This case has a removable wrist strap, waterproof camera clip and floatation ball, as well as a stealth bottle opener. This is another good one for those of us who are really outdoorsy and on or in the water a lot.
A Wristlet Case for Your Phone
This wrist wallet comes in a variety of colors and has a snap closure and removable strap. The genuine leather case measures 5 inches long x 1.25 inches thick x 3.75 inches wide, with 2 interior zipper pocket, 6 card slots and center cell phone slot. You can carry your iPhone, Blackberry, HTC or most any cell phone, so this is one of those handy cases that can double as your wallet if you don't carry a lot of cards or change.
A Neoprene Armband Case for Active People - for cell phones, iPODS, & MP3 players
You can use this comfortable armband at the gym or any outdoor activity. I jog a lot, so this case encourages me to bring my phone more often, which is great to have on longer runs ... just in case.
This case is compatible with lots of different phones.
Other Accessories for keeping your phone hanging around
You can use a lanyard like this (which comes in black and red too) to carry any number of valuables, including your phone, camera, keys and more, so you can grab and use them quickly and easily without worrying that they might slip out of your hands or pocket.
Just a few dollars can help you save hundreds by keeping your phone or other accessories secure.
This is also a good idea for use when traveling -- and a simple preventative measure against pickpocketing too.
© 2009 Deb Kingsbury