::Chirp:: Can Your Weiner Dogs Hear Me Now, Catherine Zeta Jones? ::Chirp::

Tobyjoe and my T-Mobile contract expired last week. Normally, I’d just keep going with it until someone either slaps me with a 500 dollar bill (hello, ATT) or charges me for services I don’t have and never asked for (hello, Verizon). This time, Tobyjoe wants to consider switching because we’re paying for roughly a gazillion minutes but are only using about 300 a month. (When they tell you to up your minutes in the family plan and you really only ever talk to family [which is free] just say no.) Basically, if we lower our plan, we have to renew our contract, so we may as well evaluate other carriers.

I don’t know anything about cell phone companies and the things that actually SHOULD matter. I choose them by disqualifying the ones who were previously mean to me and then deciding based on things like, what are their ads like? Do they make an annoying chirping sound when you talk to someone? That said, the last time I went with T-Mobile because Catherine Zeta Jones is a freaking knockout and my mother and I want to make out with her (but not at the same time). I would have gone with Sprint, because the guy they were using as a spokesperson was also quite charming. Plus, he was able to herd small weiner dogs whereas Catherine Zeta Jones herds only weiners.

Our contract is up and we’re shopping around again. I imagine we might just stick with T-Mobile, who knows. But if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to read them. What do you use? How often do you use it? How much do you pay? Does your phone drop calls? Do you have a lot of cool phones to choose from? Because I like cool phones. I need to always own the coolest most recent phone. Seriously.

Any suggestions and/or horror stories are greatly appreciated.

One thing to consider is Internet access. Toby is hooked on his broken Treo 600 and would like another ‘smart’ device, so the question of high-speed comes up. GSM vs CDMA and similar terms are gibberish to me, though.

Cingular is the only unionized cell company (and they attribute a great deal of their success to that fact) so we lean towards them in some ways. Sprint and Verizon have better high-speed and newer Palm devices, so that’s a factor.

Maybe we should just switch to carrier pigeons.

12 Comments

  1. I had Sprint and HATED it. I didn’t ever have reception inside my apartment, and my calls were dropped so often.

    So, I switched to Cingular and bought myself a pretty Razr. I love Cingular – I always have at least 4, if not 5 bars everywhere, even in the movie theater! (my old phone would have been dead in there.) I pay 34.99 a month, and they have rollover minutes. I would highly recommend Cingular.

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  2. Sorry, I ment to say I pay 39.99 a month.

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  3. i have sprint and I’ve been happy with it. I don’t have reception probs, but maybe its just where I live. Although Richmond is a pretty bobo city so if that were the case I would expect to get no reception here… We have a family share plan with this overdraft protection kind of option. Basically, in the rare event that we exceed our minutes, they tack another 100 on for $5 instead of charging us $0.40 a minute. Plus, all the calls I make to other Sprint customers are free, and that’s key because I got my mom and sister to get Sprint phones as well. Plus, I’ve only had good customer service experiences over the phone. I had Verizon previously and I had a terrible time with them. My phone got stolen and I called about 8 times but they kept failing to stop the service so I got a 33 page bill in the mail a month later for $1000. Then it took over 6 months for them to finally credit that money back since it was their error. Good times. It made for a great story though, because apparently the guy who stole my phone was the biggest drug dealer in Chestertown.

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  4. aimee, don’t even get me started about Verizon. (Sorry, family of mine). In fact, I think mihow.com was basically ihateverizon.com for its first few months. They took advantage of me without any lube.

    This is tough. Tobyjoe likes the fact that Cingular is a union-friendly and successful company. I am fine with T-Mobile, but I understand his problems with them. I really love Sprint but that’s mainly because of their ads.

    Oh, and one more thing I might add, we use ONLY a cell phone. We don’t have a landline. So it has to be pretty reliable.

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  5. Cingular is pretty good. But they bought AT&T Wireless, so you may not want to go with them.

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  6. I am willing to forgive them for that. I suppose. If it were the other way around, I might reconsider.

    Also, this leads me to something I have been wondering about lately. Who’s the shark in all of this? Or the killer whale? One guy eats another guy and then another guy eats another guy… do they ever run out of big fish? Who are the little fish anymore?

    Colegate (sp?) recently purchased Tom’s of Maine. That was pretty heartbreaking for me, I have to say. I mean, if I can be so dramatic. I liked Toms! I am not too keen on Colegate.

    Who’s left? It’s like some sort of board game. Kinda sad. Is there no room for the little dudes anymore? Or, worse, do the little dudes really just want to sell and get as much money as they can? What about their loyal supporters?

    I’m rambling.

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  7. Sprint has the most dead zones of any carrier I’ve used. ( i haven’t used T-Mobile, but i hear they’re comporable ). their dead zones are also oddly placed – you can walk down the sidewalk or across your apartment and every other step will have 5 bars or 0/1 bar.

    Unfortunately, Sprint also has the best wireless internet network (when you can get it )

    Verizon has a good wireless network too, but they’re evil.

    T-Mobile has spotty service (i’m told) and most people I know have switched away.

    While Cingular has a decent reputation – they also have priciest plans and disable a lot of features on their phones and network. Like the same motorola phone will use internt at 800kbps on verizon, but 150k on cingular – and cingular will disable the bluetooth and half the other features on it. yay.

    nextel was good, but they were expensive – and then sprint bought them so they probably suck now.

    the only service i ever heard good things about was at&t wireless, and it was because everyone had their office pay for the phone and didn’t care about the minutes.

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  8. It’s very clear: Everyone has a totally different opinion on every single carrier. We haven’t ever had any trouble with T-Mobile. And ATT was the devil. I will never, ever go back. Good thing I can’t.

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  9. Jon – Cingular doesn’t have the high-speed capabilities of Verizon. They’re different types of networks and their high-speed services are very different. GSM and EDGE isn’t as solid as CDMA and EvDO.

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  10. yeah, its the truth. everyone is happy with one carrier or another. its a conundrum. i think you’re quickly ruling them out by process of elimination though. that’s certainly one way to do it. or, you can flip a coin!

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  11. i know everyone has differing opinions. :) so i’ll add mine. i’ve had T-Mobile for 4 years and have had zero problems with them (and excellent customer srvc). my contract is up and i am deciding between them and cingular (b/c of better Bay Area service) but now that i am leaving SF, i’m not sure i’ll switch. (cingular has orange phones, orange is my fave color, and unfortunately things like that lure me… but they want a 2-yr contract not a 1-yr like good ol’ TM)

    most of all, though, i would tell people to avoid Sprint. i don’t care if they start some plan to send people cakes on their birthdays and wash their cars for life. i had the worst company experience with them ever. it’s still too horrible to tell, even 5 years later. let’s just say they dropepd all my calls, double charged me, refused to handle the dispute with me, and when i called to talk to them about it, they actually HUNG UP ON ME (and i was NOT screaming). then they sent everything to a collection agency, which they were not supposed to do before contacting me, but they lied and said they couldn’t reach me (um, you have my PHONE number). so please avoid Sprint. they fill me with rage.

    yeah, ok, not helpful, but i’m not good at “letting go” and these people f’d with my credit and yeah i despise them.

    i say TMobile or Cingular, based on satisfied customers i know who have either carrier.

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  12. SFgirl, your experience with Sprint sounds almost exactly like my experience with Verizon. That happen to me nearly five years ago. I haven’t been back since. I am a lifer. Can’t stand ‘em. (But my entire family uses them.)

    I think we’ll just stick with T-Mobile. They haven’t done anything worth leaving them for. :]

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