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Author Topic: Cell phone/service questions?
MissEltoe
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I have been with Cingular for a few years now, and in a word, they suck.

For my particular usage, I am going to switch to Sprint, and I was going to purchase the LG Fusic.

Anyone have any pros? Cons? Stories?

Thanks.

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Nicki
Deck the Malls


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Funny. I had just the opposite. I had Sprint for awhile and thought they were horrible. Customer service was awful. I've recently went with Cingular and love it. Sorry.

I think a lot depends on where you live and work. Check with people in both areas to see how the service is.

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Purple Iguana
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I had AT&T for a bit... no problems except for my own bad fortune of moving places juuuust outside of their coverage. Now I have T-Mobile, which is working for me just fine. Minor gripe, tho, a few months ago, there was a charge for a ring tone on my phone that I had not ordered. When I called and told Customer Service my story, I was essentially told that they would remove the charge... just this once... as a courtesy... but if I called them again with a similar complaint, they would be less accommodating. Nice much? Hubby's thinking of switching to Cingular so that he can get cell reception when visiting his folks in the mountains...

Best of luck with your new phone and new plan!

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Mr. Furious
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I've had AT&T and I currently have Sprint. The only problem I've had with them is that they sold us a crap phone (which wasn't cheap, either) and were dickish when we tried to get the situation resolved. The phone was horrible and buggy, and Sprint knew this - they pulled it about a month after it was introduced, but kept replacing it with the same phone when we took it in for service. When they ran out, they replaced it with an older, less-featured, discontinued phone - the same model she'd traded in to get the evil phone! Finally, after going through this for months, we got a rep in a Sprint Store who helped us out.

Since then, we've had no problems. Coverage is perfect for us, and the rate plans are good.

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Gibbie
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Check with people in your area and see what the coverage is like. For me, Sprint sucked. The coverage in my town was poor and I couldn't get it in my house at all. We switched to Verizon and could not be happier. Service is great, coverage is wonderful all over the country. Only ever had one customer service problem and that was one jerk in the store. The people at the 800 number straightened the problem right up. I heart Verizon.

Gibbie

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diehard
Deck the Malls


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I second the vote for verizon I have had them since they were Bell Atlantic Mobile, which has been years and have never been a problem. Their service is great, very few if any dropped calls, great customer service, great plans and you can get a new phone every 2 years for nothing.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Take advantage of the return policy. I would seriously make a call or two to customer service to ask newbie questions about the equipment just to get an idea of what that experience is going to be like (I've heard bad, bad things about Sprint's customer care). You could check Consumer Reports or JD Powers, but IMO it's probably just as good if not better to see for yourself what that will be like with the new company.

Also, make sure you make a point to use the phone everywhere you're planning on using it. Cell phone companies in particular cannot and do not guarantee service inside of buildings, for example, even if you live in the coverage area. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the time your phone will work in your house or apartment, but if it doesn't then the cell company unfortunately can't magically remove whatever is obstructing the closest cell tower from reaching your phone. As such, it's a lot better to discover where your new service won't work while you can still get out of your contract.

A brief rundown of each company's gimmick:

Cingular - rollover. Great if you don't use your phone so much most months but go way over your minutes once or twice a year (after you've built up the rollover minutes, of course).

Sprint - Fair and Flexible plans automatically bump you up when you go over your allotted minutes. This is nice if you don't want to bother checking your minutes every month but if you go just a little bit over your threshold you can end up spending more with them than with their competitors. Also, the more minutes you use on a smaller plan, the less cost-effective it is.

Verizon - You can change up or down to any calling plan at any time, and so long as the bill month hasn't ended you can backdate a move up to avoid overages. If you're the kind of person who proactively checks their minutes (and Verizon's got several ways to do that) then this can work quite a bit like Sprint's Fair and Flexible plan in that you can move up for a month and then move right back down. In fact, it can be quite a bit more cost-effective than Sprint - if, again, you're willing to proactively track your own usage.

T-Mobile - Low monthly rates, great customer service. Yes, that is their gimmick. I don't see anybody else regularly offering 1000 minutes plus (with night and weekends and mobile to mobile calling and so on) like T-Mobile does. The only knock is that they often don't work so well outside of the big cities.

Alltel - The Circle of Friends thing. Actually a really good idea for a smaller carrier because, well, who cares about mobile to mobile calling along the Alltel network? Instead you get to choose 10 people to talk for free to at any time. Still a regional carrier, definitely someone you'd want to check service on before getting locked into a contract.

I admit my bias in that I work for one of these companies, but I think this is about as objective a breakdown as you can get.

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Gibbie
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Ooo Verizon does the friends calling thing too. Any call to any other Verizon user while you're on the digital network (doesn't apply to the extended) is free. We have so many friends on Verizon we've never ever gone over on minutes. And we share 700 minutes among three phone lines.

Gibbie

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MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Johnny, that is definitely a good point about whether the phone will work where I am.

That is exactly my issue with Cingular. I think it's funny that all their commercials say they are the "allover network", but the main two places I am (home and work) I don't get reception. My best friend and ex-boyfriend both have Sprint, and whenever they were at my house, they had excellent service.

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
Ooo Verizon does the friends calling thing too. Any call to any other Verizon user while you're on the digital network (doesn't apply to the extended) is free. We have so many friends on Verizon we've never ever gone over on minutes. And we share 700 minutes among three phone lines.

Gibbie

Verizon does in-network calling, which you accurately described. What Alltel does is allow you to choose up to 10 phone numbers in *any* network to talk to for free. Verizon, landline, two cans on a string - doesn't matter, Alltel will let you talk to them for free. Again, it's almost a necessary response from a company as small as they are because if they just offered the ability to call the other 3 people on their network everyone would point at them and laugh.

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MissEltoe
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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two cans on a string! [lol]

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Licorice of the Lord! This is classy stuff...Should I be wearing a tie? Or, at least, pants?
~I'mNotDedalus

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Mr. Furious
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
Ooo Verizon does the friends calling thing too. Any call to any other Verizon user while you're on the digital network (doesn't apply to the extended) is free.

Sprint does the same thing. I don't know if it's part of every rate plan, though, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to RedNextel.

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by MissE:
I think it's funny that all their commercials say they are the "allover network", but the main two places I am (home and work) I don't get reception. My best friend and ex-boyfriend both have Sprint, and whenever they were at my house, they had excellent service.

My Tante had the same problem, so she bought an old phone off eBay and now has great reception.

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