UPDATE: I called the company twice (once on Monday and again on Tuesday) and on Tuesday after asking a few questions they shipped me a new phone (arrived on Saturday and worked correctly!) and a label to ship back the defective unit. (I also emailed them on Sunday, and received an email reply 8 days later, after already receiving the replacement phone…so I would recommend persistent phone calls (it took a few tries to get to a human instead of voice-mail) over email.
I purchased a SpareOne phone, which is a very simple GSM handset that is powered by a single AA battery. It has even less functionality than the Motorola MotoFone F3, as it has no display other than two indicator LEDs, so you can’t send or receive SMS messages. It comes with an Energizer Ultimate Lithium battery which has a 15 year shelf life (if you keep the battery disconnected from the phone with the provided plastic pull strip) and offers “up to” 10 hours of talk time on a single battery. My invoice number was 393, so it looks like I was within the first few hundred orders.
Unfortunately, when I received the phone and pulled the battery guard out, instead of turning on it just lit up both LED’s solid red (which I assume is some type of error code, although it is not mentioned in the small instruction sheet that came with the phone. I have tried a new battery, veracious press combinations of the ON button, and the keylock button, etc, but have gotten none of the feedback beeps demonstrated in the “how to” videos.
I will be calling their support line on Monday to see if they have any advice for how to re-set it, or return it for a replacement.