Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Okay our cell phone contract is now up. We have been loyal AT&T customers since Cingular, almost ten years. Now I am ready for a change. It seems they have become a bit arrogant. As I mention we have been loyal customers for a long time, so when my daughters phone stopped working instead of offering to help they instead wanted to charge us to replace it. Of course that was when we found out the "new" phone we had bought her was actually a rebuild.
My friend has Verizon, her phone broke and they just replaced it, no questions asked, no insurance (did I mention we had been paying insurance on my daughters phone?). My oldest daughter has Verizon, she likes it, despite the fact that she gets poor reception in her home(?). My son had Verizon, he hated them? He has T-Mobile. He loves it.
So I have been doing the research and I have checked many of them out, their plans, customer service, etc. We have had a great offer from Sprint, but they have had a bad rap for service, and quality. I wonder, because I do not know anyone with this service I can ask. My son said he was really not impressed with T-Mobile the first year and had coverage issues, but they have greatly improved in the last couple years. Hmmmm
What do I like about T-Mobile? Well for one, "no contract". Yeah I have to buy my phone, but I do not have to worry about being "stuck" in a plan I hate or cannot afford. Still I worry about reception. I do not want to buy phones then hate it.
Sprint has offered everything we want, it is a two year plan however, still much less money and the texting my daughter wants.....but again I know no one that has Sprint that can tell me if they are happy with their plan.
I have been upset with AT&T. I have had issues with them "adding" things to our bill (they for several months allowed a ring tone company or companies to add charges to our bill. I keep having to call and get the charges off since we never have signed up for anything. We had the text, data plan options blocked since the onset, and that took four calls). They offer nothing really affordable. The problem is I have been with them for a while. At one time I had their service for my home, Internet, and cell. They offered me a great deal to bundle. That lasted one month before they decided they were losing to much money and jacked up the plan price. Instead of the 20% off they promised they lowered it to $3.00 off a month. Needless to say I no longer have them for my home and Internet. Now I need to address my cell bill.
My friend has a "go" phone and she just buys so many minutes each year. She does not use her phone as much as our family does. It might work for me, and maybe my husband, but not for our daughter. I would get a plan just for her but it actually would be more expensive to do that. She is in school full time and working part time. She cannot afford a plan of her own but can pay her part of a family plan. I need to find a solution that will work for all of us.
What I can tell you is that I talked to a Rep from AT&T. I told him that I had up until the last few years been happy with them (not their pricing or adding those charges), but noticed in the last two years we have had several dropped calls and no signal. He said "Well cell phones are constantly upgrading and your phones are old and out of date."
I thought about this, then I said to him "Really? Because we resigned only two years ago and so you are telling me that your company sold me phones that they knew would be out of date in less than a year then committed me to a two year contract knowing that there would be trouble, drop calls, not get a signal, etc.?"
Of course he stumbled around saying how things are always changing, blah, blah, blah. All he did was validate any suspicions I had that they change signals, and such every so often to get you to change phones or services. It is all a game to generate sales and upgrades. Yeah, I know I am probably stating the obvious to many. Which brings me back to what to do.
I will be making the trips to all these stores and checking them out, but I would appreciate any help or info anyone could share with me. Suggestions, warnings, or better plans out there? I have time but want to do something soon and many have holiday offers, no activation fee, phone deals,etc. I do not need texting, but of course my daughter wants it, and has offered to pay for it (with what I do not know). I would like the max minutes for the buck of course, but most important is customer service (I want to be treated as though my business is important, which sadly AT&T has not done), and call quality. We will be checking out a couple options this weekend and hope to be able to make a choice next month. I would feel so much better if I knew someone who had a Sprint plan and what they liked/dislike about them.
Yes there are other choices, PCMetro, Nextell (I beleive they just merged with Sprint), and I am sure there are others but I think I will stick to the bigger names as I like that they offer nationwide service, and some of the smaller ones do not offer this. My brother had Nextell, and my sister but he left for AT&T when he could not get service in Indiana (he travels for work). My sister left them too, for better service and prices (she lives up north).
What to do, what to do........


Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

oh you poor thing. the phone company totally sucks. i use verizon for my cell phone. but then it's only me and i rarely (and i mean rarely) use it. so i apologize that i can't help you here. once my contract is up, i'm not renewing. i will then get me a pre-pay phone because if i use a total of 2 mins. a month - that's alot.

anyway... many happy wishes for a truly blessed christmas.


Terri said...

Family friends in Milford had Sprint and they were happy. Not sure what they have now. My girlfriend and her husband in Burton has or had Nextel. They liked it. I think most of my friends have Verizon.
Att if they are not careful will loose out because of over charging customers. I wouldn't be surprized if a class action law suit takes place.
I think the T-Mobil sounds good.
I know you after all that is said and done you will get what works for you and your family.

marilyn said...

I've used Verizon mobile phone service for at least 10 years, and I really think it's the best, hands down. It's been years since I've experienced a dropped call. And I never have a problem placing or receiving a call, no matter where I am. They're extremely accommodating resolving any issues, as well. For example, I recently travelled to China, and they lent me an international phone, free of charge, so that I would have service while I was there. My daughter recently switched to AT&T so that she could get an IPhone, and hates the service -- dropped calls constantly -- so I understand your frustration. Even though I'd love to have an IPhone myself, I wouldn't switch service from Verizon. I really think, all things considered, that they provide the best mobile phone and customer service. Good luck whatever service provide you choose. And happy holidays!

Renee said...

Next problem I have with any kind of company at all, I want you to handle it for me.


Pretty Things said...

Sometimes I hate technology just as much as I love it.