Thursday, August 7, 2008

Saga of the Cell Phones...

This week has been absolutely ridiculous. Many of you received a text from me on Sunday (or Monday?) with a new cell phone number. That number is no longer accurate and the service has been canceled! Why you ask? Well, thus begins the subject of today's post...

Cell Phone Service #1 - SPRINT

Sam and I have never been entirely happy with Sprint. The phones stink, customer service is subpar, and well, we were just ready for a change. Our 2 year contract expires next week so we began exploring our options. We did some pretty serious comparison shopping and were bound and determined to get the best deal. On Saturday we thought we had done just that.

Cell Phone Service #2 - T-Mobile

We signed up with T-Mobile through Costco and got the smallest shared plan we could find (we used to have 300 shared mins, and never went over that) so we thought "Hey, let's go with the smallest and cheapest plan we could find." Plus, Bonus! Free Blackberries! Sam got a very cool black one, and I got a matching red one and we set off with what we thought were the best phones, best rate plan, and a pretty cool internet package. We went home and spent the weekend updating our address books, chatting with friends on the Yahoo! IM feature, surfing the web, and feeling pretty dang cool. Then comes Monday and we go to work. I sit at my desk to start my day and think, wow, sure is cool to have a new phone. Maybe I'll send an email from my phone since I have all these new features. And what do I see, but a big red "X" where all my reception bars should be. No Service. Ah man, I was heartbroken. I jump up and start asking everyone around me what cell service they had. Verizon, verizon, verizon, and... T-Mobile! I asked this lady if she gets service and she says, nope, only outside and she's switching to Verizon next month. Ok... I guess Verizon must be the way to go then, right? I get a 17% discount for being a state employee and everyone in my office has it. How can we go wrong??

(*Side note: I forgot to mention that the geniuses at T-Mobile gave us long distance Bellingham numbers! I realized that when I tried to make a local call to Sam from home and it told me a "1" was required! So much for changing our eastern WA 509 numbers to 360's! Shoulda known it was doomed from the start.)

Cell Phone Service #3 - Verizon

We did our research and realized plans with Verizon were going to be the same price and the network was much better. We weren't going to get free phones, but they were still going to be the next generation Blackberries with a much faster internet connection and lots of other cool new features. Worth $50 each. We stop by Verizon on our way home from work on Tuesday, talk it over with the salesguy and feel like this is the way to go. We would cancel T-Mobile tomorrow (we got a 14 day trial period) and live happily ever after with our newer and cuter (note that mine was super cute pink!) Blackberries and put our T-Mobile days behind us. Good job to you Amy and Sam. We left Verizon feeling pretty dang good about our choice. Nevermind that we have THREE cell phones in our pockets from THREE DIFFERENT SERVICES!! Now, that wonderful feeling would have lasted a good long time if we had never had to go home. Oh yes. We get home and I notice that the phone is telling us we're not getting the best possible signal. In fact, we're not getting signal enough to pick up the internet. That's weird. We start making phone calls and they're not getting through! We call from our home phone and the phones don't ring. We finally get connected and start walking throughout the house saying, "Can you hear me now?" from various spots in the house. Long story short, it was impossible to talk to one another while both on our cell phones and the calls were dropped more than once. No service at our house. I call customer service and they confirm my fears... "You live in a known dead spot and we don't see any fix for it within the next 2 years." Great.

Flash forward to today. We are conceding to what our good friend Ryan has been trying to sell on us from the very start:

Cell Phone Service #4 - AT&T

Yes, this is it. The big Kahuna. We're doing it. The iPhone. It's a much larger up front cost and they don't exactly give these puppies away with new activation. But you know what? This is the pedicure after the end of a hard day. The hot bubble bath after a rough day of work. The ice cream at the end of my emotional break down. It's the same monthly price as what we would pay for T-Mobile and Verizon, and you get oh-so-much-more. We'll be able to surf the net and feel like we're actually surfing the net. In other words, we'll be getting what we pay for. As far as reception goes, I've called AT&T and they say there is a tower less than a mile from our house and service should be great. I'm crossing my fingers. I work with a lady that has AT&T and she loves it. But there is one hitch. I couldn't get reception with her phone at my desk, and you know what? I've given up! I don't care anymore!! Just give me a phone that will work other than the place where I really don't need to be using a cell phone (I am a state worker you know, and I need to be productive on taxpayer time, mind you!).

There is hope though. The new iPhones operate on a 3G network which is much stronger than the previous 2G networks. There is a chance that this phone will pick up reception where the ladies phone drops off... aka: my desk. She gets it everywhere else at Ecology, but all bars die when she steps into my section. More confirmation that I work in a black hole.

Long story short (too late), we're getting iPhones and it will be glorious. Don't tell me otherwise because I don't want to hear it. I've been sold, we've made up our minds and we're sticking to it. I just hope AT&T offers a 30 day trial period as well...


  1. Hooray for you guys! Maria told us the whole long story tonight but it was much more entertaining actually coming from you. She told us though that you were going back to Sprint rather than AT&T...but oh well, it doesn't matter. You have your phones and life is all you need to do is give us your number since we've never had an Amy number :) PS...nice to see that you're back to the blogging world, I've missed you.

  2. that's quite the story. I've deleted your sprint numbers and now have your "old t-mobile" numbers. so whatever you guys end up with, just let us know! have you tried Alltel? they work like a champion down here in green river, where nothing else comes close to the service here...just an idea before you settle with sprint again. welp, check ya later, and keep us up to date.

  3. Wow! Sounds like even more drama than my girls can conjure up in an afternoon.

    For what it's worth, I have a friend who has an iPhone and she is absolutely in love with it. Hope it all works out!

    Can you email me your new numbers? Sure glad I was lazy about adding the new numbers to my address book before.

  4. You should've talked to me in the beginning! I have been with cingular/at&t for like 8 years and have NEVER had a problem with dropped calls and service. I seem to always get reception when others don't. However, we don't pay for all those fancy, fangled(sp?) options like internet and we just barely signed up for unlimited texting now that we have a 12 year old (He now thinks it's his phone). Well, let me know your new number. I am glad you got it figured it out!

  5. I'm glad it all got figured out for you guys. That is a huge pain in the rear. The iPhone would be really fun. Good luck!

  6. Holy cow what a phone adventure...little secret...they all STINK!!!!

    Love you though!


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