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Researching Cell Phone Plans
Posted By Jim On 08/12/2005 @ 10:17 am In Shopping | 5 Comments
When number portability became widespread and available to all, I’ve been switching cell phone carriers every year so I can get a new free cell phone, maybe some cash back, and the joy of another one year contract. My first cell phone carrier was Sprint, my second was T-Mobile, and my current, and longest running carrier, is AT&T Wireless/Cingular. Of the three, T-Mobile had the best customer service (drop call credits!), Sprint had the best coverage, and AT&T Wireless has the worst customer service ever. But… it’s been over a year so I’m scouring the Amazon.com Free After Rebate plans for a hot deal. The only downside though is the number portability problem with Amazon.com deals for some carriers.
At first I thought that my decision was among the four other carriers but actually I just remembered (with some help from the news) that Sprint acquired Nextel. So until that shakes out I won’t know what their offers really will be… plus I don’t know how good service will be for each carrier until I can poll my friends. Regardless, I can still check out phones.
||The Motorola i850 Phone  looks awesome and I’m a huge fan of Motorola flip-phones. It has color display, a stupid camera, and Nextel’s walkie-talking service. A huge factor in cell phones is size and I right now have an ultra light Samsung SGH-X426 which has the same dimensions and weighs an ounce less. The weight isn’t a big deal but the size is key since I don’t wear a stupid belt clip and just throw the phone in my pocket. One downside about it, and all Nextel rebates, is that you need a 2-year contract.|
|Sprint:||Nothing – there isn’t a single “rebate-able” phone on all of Amazon’s site. Could be because of the impending acquisition…|
||The Motorola RAZR V3 Phone  looks phat and I want it (no rebate now but they have one all the time). It’s a little bigger than my current phone but apparently it’s the sick new phone out there. I’ve always been a fan of T-Mobile service and so I’d gladly go back. One upside is that T-Mobile only requires a 1-year contract.|
||Yes sir, yet another Motorola flip phone… I like them, what can I say? Anyway, I saw the Motorola V710 Phone  before I got my Cingular plan and now there’s a cash back rebate so you get $25 (which almost covers the activation fee). There are other phones with more cash back ($75 for a Samsung A670 ) but I like the Motorola brand (there’s a LG too, but I’ve heard too many bad things about LG flip phones). The size of this thing is a little on the bigger side (compared to my last phone) but it is only a 1-year contract… so maybe this is a candidate.|
I’ll have to figure out the number portability issue with regard to the Pennsylvania to Maryland move and whether the new carrier can handle it. A big problem is that when I call to ask, they always try to dissuade me from buying from Amazon (so they can make a commission of course), so I can’t get a straight answer from most carriers. Right now I’m paying $60 a month for two lines and never come close to using up my minutes – it’s a status quo I’m happy with. Maybe I shouldn’t mess with a good thing?
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 Amazon.com’s number portability instruction page: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=easeoftravel-20&path=tg/feature/-/508597
 Motorola i850 Phone: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=B000A2REVG
 Motorola RAZR V3 Phone: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=B000A6KMTI
 Motorola V710 Phone: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=B0002W2H2K
 Samsung A670: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=B000659X16
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