Command Center Breach

While we were on vacation in Utah my cell phone disappeared. “Oh,” you might think, “That’s a shame. Good thing it was just a cell phone.” The problem is it was not just a cell phone. That little black brick was our family’s Mobile Command Center. Since 2006 I’ve used it and its older brother before it to keep track of and control nearly every aspect of our family’s lives.

I’m currently using my sister’s old Razor and although it’s very cute and I’m really grateful to borrow it, it’s missing a few of the things that I’ve come to feel are necessary in a Mobile Family Command Center. Here is a partial list:

-Auto-sync calendaring connecting my phone calendar with my home calendar and Dan’s work, phone and home calendars

-A complete list of every contact I may ever need with their phone numbers and addresses included that auto-syncs over the air waves as soon as I update it

-Documents and spreadsheets of just about any piece of information I could want

-Full-text scriptures

-Internet access

-All kinds of applications that do all kinds of things I don’t really need but have learned to depend on.


-Cool personal ringtones for all my family members and friends

-A slide-out qwerty keyboard for text messaging


-Digital UNO

Don’t forget the fact that I feel kind of violated that someone is walking around with pictures and video of my kids I don’t have backups for, all of my recipes, emails and a lot of personal information.

When we realized it was really gone, like gone gone, like obvious-someone-had-pocketed-it gone, Dan sent out a command to do a remote wipe of all my data from the phone. We got a message back saying the wipe was successful when someone turned the phone on at about 4:30am the morning after it disappeared so that gives me comfort.

Now I’ve got my Razor and a paper calendar that I’m madly filling in with all my info from outlook and I feel so old-school. Remember this? At that point I had just begun my dive into techno-mom-dom. I’m really quite dependent now and I’m actively seeking a new phone.

The PR people from Verizon asked me a while ago if I wanted to try out a few of their smart phones and possibly review them. Now that I’m actually considering which phone to buy I think that’s a great idea so for the next several weeks I’ll be trying out some cool new devices and if I find anything worth telling, I’ll let you know.

My breached Command Center was an HTC Touch Pro from Verizon running Windows Mobile. In our area we get much better reception with Verizon than our friends who have other providers. The customer service has always been decent and most of our family members use Verizon so calls to them are free.

I have to say I was not uber impressed with the customer service we got when I lost my phone. For one thing, they could not perform a remote data wipe or track the phone’s GPS. For another, the guy at the call center told me that if the phone were turned in, they had no system in place for finding me and returning it based on the phone’s serial number. Through further investigation I found out that this was false. A kid named Dean in the West Valley store told me that they always do their best to get returned phones back to their rightful owners.

They were also unable to reactivate my service to my new/used phone until the following day because we had already deactivated, reactivated and deactivated the stolen phone that day and there is a hard-coded limit on the number of times you can do that. Apparently no supervisor has the power to override this so I was phoneless on vacation for a full day. I know, WAAAH, right? Still, it seemed strange to me and no one could give a good explanation as to why the policy was in place.

Still, we’re fairly loyal to Verizon and to phones that can play nice with Outlook. So, I’m on the hunt. Any suggestions?

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13 Responses to Command Center Breach

  1. divrchk says:

    I’m a Verizon loyal customer as well. I just got a Motorola Droid and am in LOVE!

  2. grammyelin says:

    Your Dad sure loves his Droid. I swear that phone does everything but scratch his back – which is a good thing for me, since it keeps me from becoming completely obsolete.

  3. Katie says:

    The Droid does look amazing – I played with it for only a few minutes and found it very intuitive and easy to use. It is definitely the command center I would purchase.

  4. Kate W. says:

    I love, love, LOVE my Droid!!

    • Do you know if it works with exchange?

      • Kate W. says:

        From initial research, it appears it does, although I don’t know about how it’s set up or anything so useful as that. I use mine or EVERYTHING though (and since I’m a gmail, gcalendar, google-phile, I haven’t had any compatibility issues).

        EVERYTHING includes, but is not limited to: Sudoku, scheduling everything, video of my baby’s attempts to roll over, video of my dog showing her how, reading online books, listening to music at gym, GPSing foreign places, proving my husband wrong about useless trivia, scanning barcodes to compare prices, tracking calories (when so inclined) and mahjong.

        It’s awesome.

  5. Megan DeFilippo says:

    Do NOT get the XV6800 (no cool name). It is one of the smart phones which my husband has to have for the microsoft programs. he has not liked it at all since we first got it. I am sure they have made some improvements on it in the last year or so but he was not happy with it. Let us all know what you get, we are in the market for new phones too. 🙂

    • I’m fairly sure that’s the phone we bought in 2006 and yes it had some serious problems. Our current HTC is better but I’m hoping to move up in the world. I’ll let you know.

  6. Valerie says:

    The Droid is great.. and it has the slide out keyboard. My boyfriend has it. I got the HTC Droid Eris. It was a deal they were offering .. buy a droid get a droid eris free (now it’s buy a droid get a droid.. go figure).
    I use Excel files on my Eris. Have never tried it on the Droid.

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  8. I got an old smartphone model by Nokia so I can’t suggest anything good. However, based on the suggestions here, I’m now interested in getting a Droid. Haha

  9. Pam in Utah says:

    We’re up for updating our phones as well, with Verizon, so I’m interested in what everyone says as well. I’m old fashioned, and need it to to be good AND easy to use. I’ll check back!

  10. ellen says:

    like you, I carry my extra brain around cleverly disguised as a smartphone. I’m a palm fan, and I managed to convince my DH to get the pre instead of the droid. I liked the pixi better. we l.o.v.e these phones. webOS is amazing. please give it a try:)

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