Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Hell Phone Dilema

You just can't win. Remember when cell phones were fun? They were cool. You carried around this thing that was the size of a brick in your bag all day. You waited until you were on your way home from work to call someone because your night-time unlimited minutes started at 6pm. Then you could call anyone, anywhere. It was fantastic!
How things have changed. Now it's such an integrated part of life that it's just a given. And they have (thankfully) gotten smaller with more bells and whistles than ever - actually, whistle is just about the only thing you can't do with it.

I've been with just about all of them - AT&T, Cingular, Sprint... and honestly, none of them have been that great. Cingular had some serious deadspots. Like in the middle of downtown, mid county, my office, and home. Sprint has been pretty good - mostly. I can't seem to make a call from my house - unless I wear the earpiece and leave the phone in the window sill. It was a bumpy start with Sprint. There were a LOT of calls to their billing office, who constantly screwed things up. Two years later and I still dont' think I'm paying the right price, but it's not worth the hassle so I pay the few extra dollars and wait impatiently for the end of the contract. Well, it's finally here. This month. August. I'll be freed of their shackles. And go to... hmm... you'd think there's nowhere to go but up.

I started poking around online to see what I could learn. Mostly I learned that there are no good service providers. Just a bunch who you get to pick from who argue they are the BEST, or maybe not as bad as their competitor at most. I've heard horror stories about Verizon and their billing and (lack of) customer service that would set your blood to boil. They're off the list. And locally, I read that Altell and TMobile are neck and neck as far as service. I've pretty much settled on Altell. But then.... I'm reading more about them, and I see the word "merger." Well crap. Guess who just bought Altell? Verizon! Oh yippee. Shit. So now the company with the worst customer service just bought the company with the best working service. So you can see my dilema. Frankly, they all suck, but how do you get comfortable with something you know you will be unhappy with?

I know (or have read) that some of them will offer a "trial" period. Although, I've yet to find out exactly who has this. I just want to be able to get reception in my house. It's gonna be really ugly if I get a new service and new phone to find out that I can't make a call from home. I'm starting a little research on the iPhone. Not because I need to be one of the cool kids. Honestly, I don't use most of the features I have now. I want to take a call, make a call, and use voicemail. Beyond that, picture mail would be nice once in a while, and I like the alarm feature for those times I'm traveling. But that's pretty much it. Not sure I need email, internet, and a thousand other "apps" to take with me everywhere. I'll admit I'm a geek, but not a Geek. But I may be willing to spend the extra money for basic service that works.

Just the basics is all I really want. A phone that works. Are you listening to me, Jim from Sprint?

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