I have a cell phone that I bought 3 years ago when I switched over to
Sprint PCS. I signed a 2 year contract and when that ran out, they
offered be a better plan if I signed another year contract--so I did.
Right now my plan is 300 minutes with nights starting at 8pm for $30.00.
There are a couple of problems:
First, my phone's battery is really flakey. I have a Samsung Uproar
which weren't particularly popular, so finding a new battery is difficult
and I'm not sure it's worth the money.
Second, I'll be having a nice conversation and getting a great signal,
then suddenly the signal disappears for 10 seconds causing me to drop
the call and then comes back again at full strength. I talked to a guy
at Radio Shack the other day and he said this is because my phone uses
the old cellular service stuff and when I'm in a dense area and the
cell tower needs more bandwidth for a G3 phone, it'll dump all the CDMA
phones. I don't really know anything about cellular stuff, so I don't
know enough to guess the veracity of his explanation. (Can anyone shed
some light on this?)
Third, the Samsung Uproar has an exposed face. Since I've dropped it
on parking lots and other gravelly surfaces, I've really scratched up
the display making it harder to read. So it'd be nice to get a new phone
that I can read.
On Friday, I went to talk to the Sprint PCS folks in Burlington, MA. After
standing around in an empty store for 15 minutes someone finally
"became available" and walked me through their "great upgrade plan". Turns
out I have to get a plan that's $35 or more (my current plan is $30) in
order to qualify for the $150 mail-in rebate on a new phone. The problem
is that the $35 plans they showed me were $5 more than my current plan
(which is obvious), had the same number of minutes (300), but nights start
at 9:00pm so it's inferior to the current plan I have.
I did some rough math (which stunned the guy I was talking to for reasons
I'm not entirely sure of) and figured that if I have the new phone for
three years, then $5 * 12 (months in a year) * 3 (years to have the phone)
is $180. That makes getting a new phone with their mail-in rebate and
forced plan change $30 more than just buying a new phone outright. After
I pointed this out, the guy didn't want to deal with me anymore which
really surprised me.
I think I'm going to call Sprint PCS customer care and see what they
say. I want to upgrade my phone but not downgrade my plan and pay more
money in the process--that's a scam. If they're not interested in helping,
I'll just wait out my contract and investigate my options. Maybe I'll
switch carriers. Maybe I'll just wait until I've accrued enough
Amazon.com coupons (I have an Amazon.com credit card) to buy a phone from
them--though I'm not sure how switching from one phone to the next works.
06/01/2005: I don't understand why people find this entry and feel the need
to comment on their sordid Sprint PCS stories. Anyhow, the update and
conclusion to this entry is
Read that before posting your sordid story. Also, cell phone carrier coverage
is very area specific. It's fine in my area. If it's not fine in your area and
you go sign another Sprint contract, I suggest you do better research first.