So after a lot of research I decided to switch from Cingular to Sprint. I ordered a Palm Treo 700p smartphone for myself, and a Samsung MM-A900 for Stacey. Experiences so far:
- Reception is superb. This addresses our #1 complaint about the Cingular service, so the rest is gravy. Maybe it’s the phones, maybe it’s the service; whichever, we can finally relegate the landline to “emergency backup” status, instead of falling back on it every time we wanted a call to last longer than five minutes.
- LetsTalk.com gets an F for execution. While the ordering process itself was painless, they shipped promptly and they kept me updated, they screwed up my order. First, they made it look as if the “Power Vision Plus Pack” I ordered in order to get unlimited data service was an option that applied to the whole plan, including both phones. “Great!” I thought, “unlimited web access for $20 a month!”. As it turns out, it’s a per-line option, something they never made clear. Then, they failed to actually activate the Power Vision Plus option on either line. So unbeknownst to me, we were being charged $0.03 per kilobyte. By the time I discovered the problem, we had racked up $50 in data usage fees.
- Sprint gets an A for customer service, because after I explained the above snafu to them, the very polite Sprint lady agreed to take the $50 charge off my bill. I’m still paying twice as much for data as I expected to because it’s per-line; but at least I’m not paying for usage that was supposed to be included in my plan.
- Sprint still gets a star for making unlimited net access an inexpensive add-on to their regular plans, rather than a whole separate plan, like some providers do.
- My corporate discount is kickass: 24% off my bill!
- The 700p is very nice, in a clunky kind of way. It actually sort of reminds me of using Linux, the way there are all different not very well-integrated apps with differently-styled interfaces, and about a half-dozen ways to get to any given feature.
- The Samsung is a lovely little thing, and I almost envy Stacey. If I didn’t want a smartphone’s features, I’d get me one of them.
- Until I actually played with it, I hadn’t grokked the full ramifications of internet+wireless+media player. I can play internet radio stations anywhere I go! The implications are astounding… I could play RantRadio on my way to work!