Sprint PCS

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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.

Any thoughts?

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 here. 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.

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.