Tags: cell phone

Switching cell phone services

My sister had come into town for the Dogwood Festival last weekend (she who lives in Flowery Branch, about40 miles away). After waiting at the Midtown MARTA station for a coworker of hers (who ended up not making it due to problems on the rail line), we went walking around the festival. I ended up picking up a book which will be donated to Interfilk and a wonderful piece of artwork that will get framed and put up in the bedroom.

While heading out from the festival to treat my sister to lunch, she suggested to me that I transfer my phone number over to her account. See, I've been using T-Mobile's PAYGO (Pay As You GO) service for almost 5 years. She said I could add my number to her AT&T service (for which she gets a discount through her employer) and it wouldn't cost her much of anything, if anything at all. Well, if it will save me $100 a year, then OK. After more than an hour of AT&T trying its best, I am now part of my sister's family plan. It also means I get more minutes (not that I'll use them, but it's nice to know they're there). The only other change is that I gave up my purple Motorola W490 (which will go to the troops) and am using one of my sister's old Motorola RAZR V3xx phones.

Question for those of you in the know

A lot of you know that I have T-Mobile PAYGO, where it costs $100 per year for me (for 1000 minutes). If I run out of minutes, I merely buy more. Up until late last year, I was using a Morotola W490 until the main screen died. Turns out it would cost more to fix it than to get a new phone, so I updated to a Samsung SGH-T259, which I don't like. The only other "feature phone" T-Mobile has now is the LG dLite, which looks like garbage. Can anyone recommend a basic phone for phone calls only (no texting - I don't do it) that has decent to better-than-decent quality, that won't cost an arm and a leg, to use instead? Ideally, I'd like getting a Motorola because it can link into my computer and I can put stuff on it (like ringtones and my phone book).

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My cell phone died on Thursday

This was the purple Motorola W490, my "gay" phone (because of the color). When I turned it on, the screen above the keypad would not illuminate. Not at all. It sort of makes the phone not useful. I called into T-Mobile customer service, who told me to contact Motorola, since I'd gotten it from Motorola. I went online and talked to Motorola customer service, and found that it would cost $75 to repair the phone. Funny thing - the phone had cost me less than $75, but I won't get into that saga again.

In the meantime, until I could find a newer phone, I pulled out my unlocked world phone, the blue Motorola KRZR K1 and put the SIM into it so I would at least have a phone that works 100%. I then started my search. Most of the phones out there now are not for people who simply want a phone to make calls on - they're smart phones with Windows Mobile or Android on them. They're not just phones! I went to T-Mobile's website and found that the only non-smartphones out there were, to put it mildly, pieces of junk (I checked reviews of them) - the LG dLite. I then heard about a T-Mobile phone that was rated very highly, sounds great, is not a smartphone, and would meet my needs. The only problem was finding one at a decent price. At the T-Mobile site, the one that appeared to meet my needs was $129, but that would drop to $29 if I got a 2 year contract. NO THANK YOU! I use about 1000 minutes a year, which averages out to $8.33 a month. Why would I want to pay more just to save $100 on a phone?

Ebay is your friend. I found a brand new phone of the type I wanted, and bid on it. Overnight, I won the bid. Including shipping, it's costing me $72. It should be here in 6 days (I can afford to wait for it). It's been highly rated by several techie websites. A sound quality sample tells me I should have no problems listening to people on it. The only downside is that it's not a Motorola (sigh). I have the software on my computer for Motorola so I can put my own ring tones on it (as I have) and save my phone book (as I have). I just hope this new one has a similar capability. Otherwise I'll just have to do that stuff manually on the computer and figure out how to do it on the new phone which, by the way, is the Samsung T259 (in blue).

I am not happy - again

This time, it's Motorola.

I bought a brand new purple W490 phone off ebay in September. After using it for a couple weeks, all of a sudden I couldn't hear anything from the earpiece and I couldn't be heard through the "handset." So I called Motorola tech support and after a good long time on the phone, it was decided the best thing to do would be to send it in for repairs. I'd also checked and found that the phone was indeed within warranty. About a week after I sent the phone in, it came back with a note saying that the "PC board" was damaged and the phone was out of warranty. I disagreed with that, at which point I was told to re-send the phone in and it would be looked at by a department called "repair escalations." Several days later, after sending the phone back a second time, it came back with the same note and a card saying "oh, and by the way, call us to buy a new phone and get 15% off with this coupon and coupon code." Thank you, NO! I want my phone to work. Move to October 1. I call again and was firmly told that the phone couldn't be repaired, it was out of warranty, it was my fault (I must have dropped the phone), and the best we can do is offer you a replacement black T-mobile capable phone (mine was unlocked and was purple) for $75.00. Now, I had paid $54 for the phone originally, and now they're wanting more?!

I said that was unsatisfactory - that 1) I didn't break the phone; 2) the phone was purple, not black; 3) why should I even consider getting a replacement Motorola phone if this is how I'll be treated the first time I have a problem with the phone? The person with whom I spoke said she'd see about getting an unlocked phone and would call me back by Monday, October 5. Fine, I said. Well, October 5 came and went, so on October 6, I called in and ended up speaking to a supervisor named John who told me that I'd hear from someone within 2 days. Cut to Thursday, October 8 - the person who had called on October 1 and told me I'd hear from her on October 5 called while I was in traffic. I asked her to please call me back at home in 10 minutes, giving her my number after explaining that I was in traffic and didn't want to risk an accident or anything.

Fifty minutes later, after she had not called back, I called in again and after nearly 20 minutes on the phone, I ended up speaking with Angelina (I'm guessing at the spelling), who said she was the Manager in charge of Repair Escalations. One of the first things she said was that the problem with my phone was the "flip," (now wait a minute! The cards I received said "PC board" - how could it suddenly be the "flip"?). After telling me twice that it was the flip and my reminding her that the cards said PC board, she admitted she was wrong, but she also said that there was nothing they could do with regard to the phone, that it was out of warranty, that I'd have to buy a new phone. I told her that her alternatives weren't satisfactory, that I still hadn't received any explanation as to why a brand-new phone could suddenly be out of warranty when I didn't do anything to damage the phone and it ends up damaged, so I demanded (I'll admit it) that I wanted to talk to her superiors. What ended up happening is that I faxed a letter to "Corporate Advocacy" explaining exactly what had transpired: the lies, the no calls, the no explanations, etc., and how I was still dissatisfied. What Angelina refused to tell me was the name of the CEO, as I wanted to contact him. She didn't know, and I didn't tell her, I was going to cc the CEO of Motorola Corporation. Well, the letter has been faxed, and it's in the mail to go to the CEO of Motorola today.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I know this: a company that has been respected in the US for so long is doing all it can to be disrespected. I realize that "customer support" has become "customer no support" and that the only way it seems to get any sort of satisfaction is to post your displeasure on the internet (although this is not as good as the youtube video "United Breaks Guitars (part 1)," which actually gave me the impetus to sit down and write this). All I want is a working, unlocked, purple W490 that doesn't have problems. Is that too much to ask?

Well, the

replacement phone arrived yesterday afternoon. I knew it had to be a legit phone because in 2 hours it was fully charged (as opposed to 50% in 6 hours for the previously-mentioned phone), and when I tried registering it online, it showed up as a brand new phone made for use in the US of A. It's a Motorola KRZR K1. I'll be able to use it around the world (except for Japan, which is on another type of phone system - CDMA vs. GSM). Since I'm hoping to do some more traveling outside the US, I'm looking forward to having a phone with me that I can use without having to rent one and pay an exhorbitant amount for minutes.

The phone is unlocked, which means it's not tied to one service provider. The upside to that is that I can use it wherever I go. The bad side is that some of the features I get from T-Mobile I don't get because the phone isn't locked into the T-Mobile system. Ah, c'est la vie.

SIM cards vary in price depending on what country you go to. However, what I found out is that it's cheaper to get a SIM card for another country and use my own phone rather than renting a phone. For instance, in Hong Kong, for $29 (IIRC), I get a SIM card, a Hong Kong phone number, and phone calls in Hong Kong cost me $0.10HK a minute (which comes to about $0.015US a minute). Plus, with the SIM card, I get about 680 minutes of phone time immediately.

Now all I have to do is get out of the country.
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I'm miffed

I had bought what had appeared to be a brand-new unlocked GSM quad-band cell phone from a vendor on ebay. The vendor has a 99.3% positive rating. Well, after not hearing anything after sending 2 messages, I received the phone today at work. After downloading the software to hook the phone up to the computer, it turns out that the phone is out of warranty. Say what?? Well, I called the phone's manufacturer and it turns out that not only is the phone not new, but it was not manufactured for use in the United States. He lied to me.

I've filed a claim with paypal (which is how I paid for the phone). Have to check in 2 weeks to get a status updated. I'll ask them to put the money back into my checking account. I then contacted my cell service and found that they do not have a quad-band phone available for PAYGO customers, that the only quad-band cell phones available are for people who have contracts. Considering that I'm paying an average of $8.33 a month for my phone service, the sales rep said that it'd be best if I bought a cell phone from an outside provider. I then checked and bought a new unlocked GSM quad-band cell phone from J&R Music World (with a $5 reduction from the published price). With shipping, it'll cost $25 more than what I paid for the phone on ebay. I should get it no later than Monday.

I'm miffed that I got taken, and I'm miffed that I was lied to. I will leave negative feedback after I receive the replacement phone and my money back. I will be happy once I get the new phone and ensure that it indeed works and is new.