The 7th Grader and the Phone, Or Did I Screw Up?

After much deliberation I got Chippy an inexpensive phone from AT&T (20$ after rebate). Since he is now walking home from school a sizable distance, I wanted it for safety. 

With the AT&T phone I purchased the Smart Limits program (5$ per month) that gives parents the ability to limit texting, downloading, etc.

However, I assumed that when I specified the phone numbers (up to 15) that could be called I was also limiting in-coming calls to only those numbers.

A reasonable assumption, right?  But I was wrong. 

Incoming phone calls and texts are NOT blocked, even if you use the time span blocker, e.g., 9 pm to 7 am. 

So, by using the AT&T Smart Limits program you are only limiting the user of the phone  — that is, your child — not people you, as a parent, want to keep blocked, i.e., the other kids and the “bad guys.”

In order to block in-coming calls you must put in the specific number. OK, that works for some pesky nuisance, but it doesn’t take care of the really nasty text message or phone call. 

I want them all blocked except for the numbers I have chosen in advance.  Is that so much to ask?

Help me here!  How could AT&T be so stupid to offer a program that does only half the job? 

Or, was it me who was stupid not to read the fine print before slapping down the plastic!

Is there anything better out there?

Deal W. Hudson


Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ He is the former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

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