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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any other cell phone provider than nextel that they have a horror story/good story for?

I kind of like T-mobile on paper but I'm not sure yet. I had Verizon before Nextel, liked that but I don't know if I want to go back. I like Nextel but it's too expensive and I dont use the direct connect.

So if anyone could give me any info! Please let me know.
 

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Well, I've had Cingular (back when it was CellOne), Verizon, AT&T and now Sprint.

The best service is the one that works for YOU! My choices may not meet your needs, but since you asked . . .

Far and away the best value for the dollar will usually be Sprint. Sprint really shines with the Family plans, Free & Flexible (overages billed at very small increments rather than $0.40/min) for those that fluctuate usage wildly, Vision Pack gives free Internet access that does NOT take minutes from your usage, business discounts up to 25%, etc.

No big problems with the other providers (except as I'll note below), except for no reception where I live/work <minor detail>!
- Some places where Cingular doesn't work are totally mind-boggling. Rte. 28 lower Cape Cod (South Harwich) in the heart of a shopping/boating area - DEAD ZONE! My AT&T phone saved that day that time (our friends had Cingular).
- AT&T changed their policy on WARRANTY repairs mid-contract. Went from $10 for "S/H" on replacements to $50!! I understand that they dropped it back to $25, but still! I loved my phone but there was a mfg defect that caused the earphone jack to lift off the circuit board and the phone wouldn't work. Panasonic acknowledged the problem, but when my 4th phone (in 18 months) failed, AT&T said "so sorry"! Panasonic did replace it for me, but the whole thing pissed me off about AT&T.
- I was a customer of Verizon for ~5 years, nobody ever offered me any "retention deals", phone rebates, etc. If you know who and how to ask, this is all SOP with Sprint.

If anyone is interested in SprintPCS, blast me an Email and I'll refer you to a Supervisor who will take good care of you (especially LE). He's currently working in the Burlington store, but it doesn't matter where you are located for him to cut you a good deal. He dropped my monthly bill by $10 and added another 50 minutes/month back about a year ago. They have the ability to give you some unadvertised plans/rates under some circumstances.

But always keep in mind that the best phone deal is useless if it doesn't work when/where you need it! So, only the user can be the judge of what is best for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much, that's a lot of good info.

Didn't Cingular and AT&T merge?

Thanks again, I really appreciate all that.

I was also wondering, has anyone gone through Amazon.com? I was just looking up phones on there last night, my friend got her nextel there with all these rebates. The phone I was interested in came to -50.01, and they do go through the provider for the plan and after you get the phone it's you and the provider. I think I will go through there unless someone has any info not to.

Thanks!!!
 

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Yes, Cingular and AT&T have merged. No idea if it is better or worse now. Time will tell . . . it usually takes 6-12 months post-merger to see the real effects (on the customer).

Sprint has announced that they want to merge with Nextel, but FCC and FTC both have to approve the merger first (then the stockholders of both companies vote on it, but this is nothing more than a rubber stamp). Look for this to happen within ~4 months. When it does, Nextel (actually Motorola) will be creating new phones using Sprint's frequencies (part of the plan as the FCC has given Nextel a limited amount of time to get off some of their freqs . . . they interfere with emergency services radio band) and eventually forcing all Nextel users to replace their phones! Calls are rarely dropped on Sprint due to a different technology used on "handing off calls" vs. all the other providers . . . a big plus to me since I live/work in an area that has marginal coverage (by anyone) in lots of places. Also, we were told that Sanyo works better than many/most other brands in signal retention for marginal areas . . . we have to agree after ~16 months.

Amazon is a very good outfit to do business with and has a wide selection of phones/providers to choose from.

If you do decide on Sprint, you should check out Costco's! Costco's only has ~4 models to choose from (and only Sprint currently, to be replaced by multi-provider kiosk within ~4 months) but their prices beat everyone else for high quality phones and they throw in an "accessory pack" (case/holster, car charger, etc.) as part of the deal (e.g. some of their phones are $40 cheaper than buying at a Sprint store + you get the accessories free). The best part of Costco is that they have an UNLIMITED customer satisfaction guarantee . . . no questions asked, money back if you are EVER dissatisfied with a product at ANY TIME (exception is computers, limited to 6 months only). You activate directly with the provider, but qualify for all the rebates ($150 and sometimes more).

Also, if Sprint opens a new store, watch carefully for their "grand opening" sale. We walked into such an event in October 2003 and they were GIVING AWAY a free ($270 normally) phone during a 2-4 hour special sale. We got two Sanyo 8100s for NADA, with a 2 year contract. In April 2005 we are eligible for the $150/phone rebate if we decide to buy new phones again (not likely).
 

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I had T-Mobile for a year and could NOT wait to get rid of it...I got nextel as soon as my one year was up. I didn't get service ANYWHERE and people that I called were constantly yelling at me "your phone SUCKS". I finally bought a new cell phone and it got a little better, but I still couldn't wait to ditch it!
 

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I have Verizon and love it. I had Sprint and T-Mobile before. Verizon's coverage is outstanding. I always have a signal and rarely drop a call.

If you want all the little toys go with Sprint.
If you want to newest/coolest phones go Cingular.
If you want a phone that works everywhere go Verizon.

Also Verizon give a 15% LE discount. 8)
 

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Zuke isn't wrong, but nobody forces you to get the bells and whistles at Sprint (I'll assume the other providers are similar here).

I'm a pretty basic phone user: all that I really NEED is the ability to make good, clear calls from damn near anywhere. Occasionally it's nice to be able to pull up a weather forecast, sports score (World Series during Town Meeting was popular) or a news story when you are sitting around with nothing to do (my Wife does this frequently while waiting for the commuter rail). The text messaging can be useful when you just want to send a quick note without spending lots of time talking. Most useful is the ability to look up addresses/phone numbers on the web without incurring fees for "information" or web-access taking away minutes from your plan (Verizon does this). [A couple of times I've left the Internet browser up on the phone, put the phone down for an hour or two before I realized that I was still connected to the Internet. No problem since I have unlimited web access . . . if I had Verizon I would have lost 60-120 minutes of talk time! Ouch.]

Generally, Verizon has excellent coverage in Eastern MA and Sprint probably is pretty close behind. Verizon and AT&T/Cingular "direct traffic" by handing off calls-in-progress to less busy towers arbitrarily . . . this leads to dropped calls even when you are stationary (confirmed this with customer support as it used to happen to me a lot from my home). Sprint doesn't hand off a call until it verifies that there is adequate signal strength from the other tower to your phone . . . this leads to much fewer dropped calls.

I ran across my old Verizon bills from 2001 recently and found that I was paying ~$55/month for 200 minutes/month (me) and 20 minutes/month (Wife) for basic digital phone service back then (no web/email). No discounts, no free phones, no phone rebates ever and I had been a Verizon customer for ~5 years when I left them (they also did automatic contract renewals each year, which I did NOT like, so you only had a 30-day window each year to cancel or you were locked in for another year). Today I pay ~$65/month (all costs include all taxes) after a 23% business discount for 2 phones sharing 750 minutes/month, unlimited text messaging/PCS-PCS/evenings/weekends/web-access/no roaming or long-distance fees to/from anywhere in US. They also give me up to $5 credit/month if I download ringers/games (which I don't do).
 
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