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(Gizmodo)   List of new "fees" snuck on to your cellphone bill to help cover the "costs" of number portability   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
•       •       •

17077 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Nov 2003 at 4:04 PM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

126 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-11-06 06:17:35 PM  
And the word now is Verizon is eyeing a take over of Sprint PCS.

The word now? This has only been smacked around in the financial news for two years or so.
2003-11-06 06:32:53 PM  
actually just called sprint. I need a new phone, and my contract is up in a couple weeks. I asked them what deals they could give me on a phone if I agreed to renew my contract. I found out that everybody in here is exactly right - if you are an existing customer looking to renew a contract, no way will you get anywhere near as good a deal on a phone as somebody who's starting with sprint for the first time. unbelievable. what kind of business philosophy is that? what are you telling your customers what you think about them?
2003-11-06 06:47:21 PM  
Yes, sorry, I did forget to mention that it is a good thing for consumers, IMO. But that doesn't mean it's not costly to implement.

For one thing you have to verify that the person bringing in their old number is actually a customer in good standing with their previous provider. That alone is a huge pain in the neck. You can just walk in and say "my number is 555-1212" and have them believe you.
2003-11-06 06:55:15 PM  
"I asked them what deals they could give me on a phone if I agreed to renew my contract. I found out that everybody in here is exactly right - if you are an existing customer looking to renew a contract, no way will you get anywhere near as good a deal on a phone as somebody who's starting with sprint for the first time."

I was just at Nextel, had to replace a piece for my belt clip on my work phone/radio. A guy was trying to get a "good" deal on a new phone.

"with a 2 year contract, that phone is $158... with a year contract, that phone is $201...."

frickin re.dick.u.lous.

2003-11-06 06:56:18 PM  
reddoghud: "they no longer offer any plans that have less minutes than what I have now"

Ditto, SD area here too. When I first signed up, I signed up for a 1 year plan (having no clue how much I would actually use the phone) I signed up for a 500 minutes/month plan, throw in a corporate discount, and another $10/month discount for signing up for the 1 year plan (or I could have gotten a free phone, I opted to pay for the phone ($80).

One year later, I looked at previous bills and noted that the most I had ever used my phone was 80 minutes in one month. The lowest plan they had advertised was 300 minutes/month. I was told that if I switched. I would have to sign up for 1 year again, and I would also loose the $10/month discount. Net effect is that my bill would go from ~$45 / month to ~$39 / month. I didn't like that.

Moved to Verizon, 150 minutes / month. My bill comes to ~$29/month.
2003-11-06 07:04:21 PM  
What is with most cellphone customers always expecting free phones and better deals every few months? Especially the ones on the under $50/mth plans?

This is based on personal experience... I worked at XXX as a csr during university, customers would call in and gripe about something and expect 'compensation or free phones etc etc'. You'd check their account and it would show the revenue that customer made for the company. I would say 85% of the people that complained the loudest were generating under $10 a month for the carrier. And they were expecting free phones, or unlimited calling etc etc and they didnt want to sign a new contract and prove they were willing to stay with the company.

Now I am not defending any one company, but hell some of the shiat these people expect.... its a for profit company and if you dont make them profit why the hell should they give you stuff. That being said, the guy who said you should speak to the retention deparment hit the nail on the head. Thats exactly right, speak to them... and if they still dont give you shiat its probably cause you arent making them crap.

Oh, and since I am here lets talk about coverage. If you dont have coverage where you need it, change carriers! It will not change anytime soon... unless they are migrating from TDMA to GSM. When you sign up with them you usually have 30 days and like 30 minutes to return the phone and cancel the contract. TAKE ADVANTAGE of this option! Get the phone and pull a MR. Verizon and call your buddies 'can you hear me now?' *click* -drive to your gf's condo- 'can you hear me now?' If it doesnt work where you need it, drop em!

But given the above information you should be able to get a better deal, or get something special for being a long term customer if you are actually generating a profit margin for them.
2003-11-06 07:09:51 PM  
I am paying no new fees here in NJ for Cingular. But who knows what will happen once my plan is completed.

EZPass was supposed to be cheaper and free. Now you pay $1 a month to have it, and the local port authority wants to eliminate commuter discounts.

Moral of story...everytime they find an better way, you will pay for it.
2003-11-06 07:11:26 PM  
oh, and my personal rant doesnt include people getting screwed over by the carrier, or their gov'ts.

And I guess now isnt a good time to say my wireless bill has always been paid for by my employer?
2003-11-06 07:38:05 PM  

I'm not looking for a handout here. Just a sign that says they appreciate my business and they would like to keep me. Now, I'm no sports agent when it comes to cell phone usage, but I have given Sprint a fair amount of money every month. I bought a "top of the line" cell phone from them that basically turned into a half-pound plastic brick, and I don't want to pay through the nose for another phone that will actually last past warranty. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the same types of deals on phones that Joe Schmoe (who won't necessarily be making Sprint a huge profit) does when he walks off the street, especially if I've said I'm willing to commit to another year.
2003-11-06 07:40:30 PM  
I have T-Mobile and have since they were VoiceStream 5 years ago. They gave me a sign up deal where I could pick the last 4 digits of my phone number, which gave me the world's easiest to remember number. Their service just keeps getting better too.

1. I never go over my minutes, and I use my phone a lot.
2. I pay no roaming
3. No long distance.
4. 50 free text messages per month.
5. I can use my phone in Europe.
6. And now, "loyalty minutes" rather than an added fee.

The only problem, according to some here, their coverage isn't as good as some others. I live in a nice big metropolitan area and when I travel, I stay in cities. Only when I'm in the wilderness do some of my friends have coverage when I don't.

I get my broadband connection through Comcast, and my front door is connected to my cell, so I was able to give Qwest the finger and haven't regretted it a bit. No land line! I could let people into my building from a bar in Prague!!
2003-11-06 08:04:56 PM  
I'll almost bet T-Mobile picks up some business from this thread. I just hope they don't do what so many companies in the past have. Have a great service and work like hell to build up a customer base, then slack way the fark off and let it go to shiat.
2003-11-06 08:09:34 PM  
ToeKnee - Your front door is connected to your cell? What does that mean?

I haven't gotten loyalty minutes with T-Mobile, but I've been damn happy.
2003-11-06 08:14:28 PM  
I have had both Cingular and T-Mobile and their coverage (at least in my area of NJ) is much worse than Sprint that I have now. Also I never have problems getting things (Deals on Phones, etc.) out of Sprint. You just call and tell them you are mad and they give you stuff. Just recently I got night hrs. starting at 8pm, as opposed to 9pm. This is in addition to unlimited nights and weekends, free Sprint to Sprint, and an additional 150 mins each month, all for free.
2003-11-06 08:19:45 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

2003-11-06 08:47:27 PM  
Verizon...No fees? We wanted to cancel our phones but they want $250.00 to do it. So we are stuck paying $75 a month because we cant afford the $250. I hate that.
2003-11-06 10:59:27 PM  
I've had my verizon account for something like 4 years now (used to be Airtouch for the LA area people). They've been really good for the most part and the customer service people have rocked too. I get a new phone every 2 years for free basically and I can't complain a whole lot. I have my mom on my plan and she seems to love to use her phone (I was getting some nasty bills). I called them one day to say hey, what can you do for me to get these minutes taken care of? They found a better plan for that phone and gave me a credit for the previous month.

The people at their stores are another story all together. My battery took a crap on my phone within the warranty time and I took it in. While I am a goofball for not keeping my receipt, I couldn't get it replaced because I did not have said receipt anymore (even though they know exactly when I bought it cause I had to renew my contract). Oh well, I got a cheap replacement and everything seems good again.
2003-11-06 11:17:53 PM  
I'll be another person in the very small minority that has very little problem with Sprint's service. When I expect my phone to work, it always has. Bottom line, until another company offers a way cooler phone than my Sanyo 5300 or has some really cheap kick-ass plan, I'm staying with Sprint.
2003-11-06 11:38:01 PM  
Here in The O.C. my T-Mobile service is pretty decent. It doesn't work in the metal walled building I work in, but then again neither does Cingular which is also GSM. Also I needed to get the phone unlocked so I could use the phone in Morocco (bought a $25 SIM card there) and they unlocked it no problem. Before I went with T-Mobile I asked AT&T and Cingular if they would unlock the phone; AT&T said "no" and Cingular said "what's that?" So I'm a T-Mobile customer for a year at least.
2003-11-07 12:41:01 AM  
I just did 2 weeks of research on this and have decided that Verizon Wireless is the best carrier for nation wide reception but that T-Mobile, if you live in Metro area, will be a much better value. Verizon uses digital as well as analog towers while T-Mobile is digital only. But be careful! If you buy a Verizon phone that doesn't have analog capability, you'll be stuck with digital only access that may not be suitable for your locale!

Verizon actually uses a completely different network than basically every other provider. Instead of using TDMA (basically analog) AND GSM (digital), it uses a weird hybrid that can be capable with both analog and digital phones. Eventually they'll be going all GSM because it's better, but right now coverage sucks for all GSM phones and all carriers because the network is still pretty new. In about a year most of the country will probably be covered. So if your coverage sucks, you probably have a newer phone. Verizon is the #1 wireless provider, even though that guy in the commercials sucks. I had Verizon for a while, and I remember all kinds of whacky fees being on my bill and me scratching my head thinking: WTF?

Cingular just came out with an awesome new exclusive network with comperable Nokia phone called GAIT. It combines TDMA and GSM towers so you pretty much get reception everywhere in the country. (small spots in Nevada and Maine with no service) The phone is awesome, the plan is competitive, (lotsa rollover, plus the new 500 minute promo! Wee!) the accessories are useful and cool, and the coverage is amazing. Hopefully more carriers will adopt this network style.

Sorry. Knibb High Football rules!
2003-11-07 12:51:05 AM  
you babies....if you don't like to pay for wireless service...don't get a cellphone. It would make my job easier. BTW...the charge at AT&T wireless is not just for is there to enhance 911 and the ability to find you if your sorry cheap ass is lying dying on a road somewhere.

If you are one of those whiney bastards...switch companies....have fun
2003-11-07 12:55:23 AM  
Gait is available on AT&T wireless too
2003-11-07 01:49:10 AM  
I was *told* by T-Mobile "periodic drop outs can be expected with your service". In otherw words, they ADMIT they suck! So I dropped them...

For suncom. Which was great for awhile. Now I get drop outs every other call. Which is STILL better than TMobile - but the suncom $60 "don't worry about anything" deal is the best.

It would seem that with every company, there follows a trend:

1) Get new cell service
2) get good reception/service for about 4 months
3) start getting dropped calls
4) complain and be told "you need to get a hand set exchange".

EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE - sprint, powertel, Tmobile - the quality gets unusable, if I call their tech support - IT MYSTERIOUSLY CLEANS UP.

Which makes me surmise:

They ramp your bandwidth down after a few months, or if you use your phone a lot.

But still, I'd like to reiterate: suncom is STILL better than TMobile, despite the typical drop out problems.

2003-11-07 01:50:43 AM  
Did I mention,

2003-11-07 02:09:25 AM  
Well, personally, I love T-mobile, or if you were around when they started...Voicestream. Of course I live in the home office neck of the woods...Seattle. There are a couple of "dead zones" that I just know about and don't use my phone in those couple of spots. Other than that, if I go on the road, I have to stay in major cities to get reception. O WELL! I get 3000 minutes for $50 a month!

As for the extra taxes and crap...YEAH T-Mobile!!!
2003-11-07 05:06:06 PM  
T-Mobile didn't start as Voicestream. Voicestream started as Omnipoint. The coverage/service (as in reception not customer) has hardly progressed, at least in NYC. I know because my first cell phone was an Omnipoint POS.
2003-11-08 11:48:31 AM  
Voicestream was Powertel where I am.... Powertel started out ok until they became Voicestream. That was the start of the current bs IMO.

I would like to again say at this point - T MOBILE SUCKS.
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