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Verizon Forgets Women’s Needs

Classic Pin-up Pose with Cell Phone by Frank Kovalchek

I have been with Verizon for as long as I’ve had a cell phone. They provide great service. I have reception almost everywhere I go. However, I was disappointed when I went shopping for a new phone last week.

My first smartphone was the LG Ally. It was simple, and it worked for my needs. I didn’t need or want a super fancy phone. I needed a phone that allowed me to make calls, check email, and update Twitter. The LG Ally fit my needs, it was small enough to fit in my hand and in the front my pocket of my jeans, and I preferred the pop-out keyboard to the touch screen. It was a good phone until I added Google+ and my phone ran out of space. It was time to update.

I walked into my Verizon store, held up my phone, and basically said, “I need this with more space.” I was disappointed to learn that Verizon’s current phone selection does not cater to women’s needs. I walked out of there with a new LG phone, but it’s not a phone that was made for me.

For one, my new phone is too big for my child-size hand. I used to be able to use my phone one-handed, but that’s a thing of the past. It’s obvious the people who designed my phone did not try it out on small-framed women.

I learned that one the reasons why my phone is so big is because it has a bigger screen to better accommodate the touchscreen. Verizon had few phones that had a pop-out keyboard. I was frustrated that the clerk who was helping me failed to mention that I didn’t have this feature until he had run my credit card. Apparently, “I need this with more space,” only meant “I need a phone” to him. The upside to not having a pop-out keyboard is my new phone has few moving parts so it will be harder for me to break it and it can have protective rubber cover. So far, I’m not thrilled about using the touchscreen and I hate autocorrect.

I told the clerk that I needed a phone that would fit in my pocket. He said his phone fit in his pocket. I had to remind him that there’s a big difference in the amount of space guys get for their pockets compared to women. Women’s pants have micro-pockets, if they have pockets at all. My clerk pointed to my bag and said, “It’ll fit in there.” What about when I don’t want to carry a bag? My new phone only fits in my back pocket so I’m good as long as I don’t sit down.

My grateful Verizon gives me two weeks to try out a new phone. I may take it back and see if they have something better suited for women…but I’m not holding my breath. I thought I was being petty about my phone until I shared my concerns with other women and they exasperatedly agreed that their phones weren’t made for them either.

If any woman has a phone that fits in her hand and her front pocket comfortably, please let me know what it is. I’d be interested in trying it out.

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8 Comments

  1. Abbie says:

    That’s so true – I have the same problem. Check out http://www.flygrip.com to help you hold your phone with one hand AND still fit it in your pocket or purse 🙂

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Katie says:

    you should try Sprint, I was in there recently replacing my phone and they had a lot of small options, especially this one that’s made from recycled materials (Samsung Replenish or Samsung Reclaim). It had a keyboard and was really cute. I’m also thinking of the Samsung Trender or Kyocera Milano.

    Good thing to note though – it’s the phone manufacturer who determines the style of a phone rather than the service provider (though they do choose which ones to feature) and it sounds like maybe your sales guy simply wasn’t listening to your needs and was just selling you whatever was getting him the biggest commission or was the hottest phone at the time. I think there are probably some smaller options out there that he just didn’t show you.

    Personally I have the HTC Arrive (win7 🙂 and I love it. I’m not a pocket girl (I love me some purses!) so I don’t have that requirement. But I do want to have a slide out keyboard AND touchscreen (check and check) and have it be super easy to use (extra check) so I’m happy.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks Katie! I definitely felt like the clerk wasn’t listening to my needs.

  3. Beth says:

    I have the Samsung Continuum and I can usually operate it one handed and fit it in most pockets. I’m not certain Verizon still has it, since I bought it last May but they may have something similar.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Beth! I’m so glad to hear from women who avoided the frustrations I had with my shopping experience.

  4. Until recently, I had a “dumbphone” that only did texting. But it had a keyboard. I recently upgraded to “smartphone” but I hate it. I feel like I got pushed into this phone by the Verizon rep and it’s terrible.

    I’m looking on ebay now for something to fix this mistake that’s going to cost me several hundred. I also felt the selection of phones at the Verizon store was terrible. Smaller smartphones with Keyboards just felt filmsy and cheap. Others were huge and unwieldy. Ladies are being forgotten by today’s manufacturers!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Good luck finding a phone that works for you! I’ve become comfortable walking around with my phone in my back pocket – it’s too big to fit in the front one. I don’t like not knowing what to do with my phone when I sit down.