Welcome to Gabb

Words by
Stephen Dalby

AUG 13, 2019

Welcome to Gabb

I’m Stephen Dalby, and as the founder of Gabb, I want to welcome you. Not to our website or even to our company, but rather to the movement Gabb is quickly creating to protect kids from the dangers inherent in smartphones.

To be clear, I’m not anti-tech, but I do believe that giving kids too much technology, too soon, is too dangerous.

Because of that belief, my team and I created Gabb—the world’s first mobile phone network dedicated to protecting children. Our phones are designed to provide safety for kids and peace of mind for parents by removing the browser, app store, games, and social media. 

That may sound radical at first, but we simply know things about mobile technology now that we didn’t know 10 or 20 years ago. For example, no one foresaw the negative effect that screen time would have on our kids’ social and cognitive skills. And no one could have predicted the loneliness and isolation that would result from being connected to thousands of people on social media—and the stress, anxiety and depression that follow.

Nor did we understand how addictive screens are—let how alone how addictive and destructive some online content is. And we didn’t know that screen addiction actually changes our brain chemistry and has a very real, very negative effect on behavior.

I think we’ve been irresponsible as a society by putting computers powerful enough to land a man on the moon into the hands of children who don’t have the maturity necessary to use good judgment and discipline.

I think we do our kids a disservice when we enable them to lose their childhood to screen time. What happened to playing outside for hours, to building forts and treehouses, and to impromptu games of capture the flag? We’re losing a generation of kids to computers, and the obesity epidemic is evidence of that.

And from a practical perspective, I think it’s lunacy to spend $500 or $1,000 on a phone for a 12-year-old and to replace that device every couple of years. How did that ever become normal?

As the father of a large family and as someone who has spent much of his career working with youth, I started Gabb to provide families with a better option for introducing technology to their kids. Every idea we conceive and every plan we make is measured by asking the question that defines our mission: “Will this help and protect children?”

I know firsthand how important that is. When I began Gabb, it seemed like I was on my phone all the time.

Luckily, I had a wake-up call when my 6-year-old son asked, “Daddy, can we play a game — or is your phone too important?” 

That question hit me like a freight train. Because I loved spending time with my kids, I thought I was on top of my “dad” game. And because my wife was supportive, I assumed I was being a good husband — but we were both actually missing our nightly walks. 

Today, I ask them to tell me if I’m overusing my phone. I slip up sometimes, but I’m committed to being the best parent I can be.

Instilling healthy phone habits are not just my mission. From coast to coast, thousands of people are joining our movement to protect kids by providing them with age-appropriate technology.

I hope you will join us, too.


  • Kelly Y on Oct 05, 2022 03:17 PM

    Mr Dalby, You look like a nice man. I'm hoping you will hear and appreciate my story of my experience with gabb. I'm an older woman with a teenage son. For the first year or so, he really enjoyed his gabb phone. We had the protection plan, and his phone cracked. He didn't want to replace it because he didn't want to lose all of his info and music, and it was still working. Some time later, the phone stopped working. I was thinking of reactivating his account, so I contact gabb and asked if he could get a replacement phone, since it broke while still under the protection plan, and they said I could, for $35 and I'd have to reactivate it first. A few months later, I contacted gabb again and said I wanted to reactivate it. I told them I wanted the same plan as before, $25 per month for unlimited talk/text, and no internet, plus the protection plan. The person I spoke to in chat told me it would still be $30 per month, as before. I was surprised to my credit card bill because they actually charged me $37, which they explained was due to taxes. Plus, they charged $40 for the replacement phone. My son just got his first job as a grocery bagger, and has agreed to pay the $30 per month. But, now, with taxes, it's almost $40 and he can't afford that. I called gabb to see about a contract plan, and with taxes, it's still almost $35 per month. My son said he'd rather get service through a company like T-Mobile, which would only be $15 per month. One person in chat said he could still use the new phone with certain other companies. So, in the meantime, I was in touch with someone from gabb via email, and they said none of your phones could be used with any other company. So, I asked if we could just return the phone since he's only been using it a couple of weeks. We went back and forth in emails several times, but she never answered my question about the refund until today, and now she's saying it's too late to get the refund on the phone because it's been more than 15 days! I doubt you'd be okay with basically taking $40 from a teenager because it was not correctly conveyed to me in the chat that his monthly bill would almost $40 instead of the $30 bill they told me about. He's been charged $40, $37, and now another $35 (for the next month) and has only used the phone for a couple of weeks. It doesn't seem right.

  • Ray Norton on Oct 06, 2022 11:37 AM

    Hi Kelly! We’re sorry to hear that you’re feeling frustrated. We understand how bills can add up and everything counts - especially for your son that is working to pay for his own phone bill. We were able to look at the chat you had when our Gabb rep confirmed with you about the monthly cost and were able to verify that they communicated “You will be billed $24.99 + $4.99 (extended warranty) +tax.” The $35 is the extended warranty deductible that we were able to process to get you a replacement device. We confirmed that you were charged $40 when we processed the extended warranty to get you a new phone, replacing the cracked one. $40 is our new warranty deductible cost, but you were credited $5 to make sure the replacement was correct at $35. We also were able to look at your chat where you asked about using a Gabb phone with a different carrier (company) - our rep was able to communicate to you that our devices cannot be used on other companies/networks, but they did confirm that you could take the phone number over to another carrier (port out your number). As communicated in your most recent email with a billing supervisor, one option you have to lower the monthly payment is to get a 2 year contract plan instead of the month to month! This would decrease your bill from $24.99 + $4.99 (extended warranty) + tax to $17.99 + $4.99 (extended warranty) + tax. Thanks again for reaching out, we’ve reached back out again via email.

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