New Phone (Sony Ericsson T237), Leaving T-Mobile



I ordered a new phone today, a GoPhone from Cingular. It’s a Sony Ericsson T237. It cost me thirty bucks.

You might wonder what the heck a guy like me is doing with a cheap little pay as you go phone. The short answer is that it’s part of the master plan. The long answer follows.

You see, my wife’s contract with T-Mobile is up in late May. Mine isn’t up again until October, but we’ve decided to take the early termination fee on one but not both accounts. I love T-Mobile but the only data plan that you can actually use with anything other than WAP is $20 a month. That’s just more than I’m willing to pay for (slow) GPRS. I really do love T-Mobile. They’ve been great to me, their customer support rocks, their in-store employees actually care and try to help. I just really need data.

On a side note, I’m really unhappy with the recent switch in T-Mobile’s customer support phone setup. They used to have a nice standard menu driven system that let me get the information I needed quickly and easy. Account information, minutes remaining, and other basic stuff was available from the menu. If I had a question that required a human, I chose the right menu option and had a kind and helpful customer support rep right away.

Now when I dial customer service (*611) I get confronted by an IVR that thinks she’s smarter than me. She probably is, but that’s not the point. After a short greeting she prompted me to ask her a question about anything.

“I would like to speak to a human please.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I would like to speak to a human please.”
“I’m sorry. Try asking me a question like ‘How many minutes do I have left?’ or ‘When is my bill due?’”
“I would like to speak to a human please.”
“I’m sorry.”

The IVR then listed about 5 or 6 things that I could ask for that sound suspiciously like the old “press 1 for…” list.

“customer support”
“Would you like to speak to a customer support representitive?”
“I’m sorry. Did you want to speak to a customer support representitive?”
“One moment.”

I managed to supress the urge to throw my phone across the room and was actually calm by the time the customer support rep answered. She was kind and helpful as always, and as I inquired about the contract status of the two lines on the family plan, she said that she would be sorry to see us go but understood if we had to. I thanked her very much, told her that she was helpful as always, and registered my complaint with the IVR bouncer at the front door.

Where was I? Oh right. The master plan. So late May, early June, the plan is to switch both phones over to Cingular. They’re really my only option. I’m a GSM guy, so Sprint-Nextel and Verizion are out. Since I’m leaving T-Mobile, that leaves Cingular. I’m hoping that the Nokia 6682 makes an appearance at Cingular during the 2nd quarter of 2005 as predicted. It looks like the 6680 is poised to hit Europe in April as promised, so I have no reason to doubt that the 6682 isn’t on track for some in May or June. If the 6682 is delayed, I can still get a good price on a 7610 on contract, and honestly if the 7610 is my fallback, things aren’t that bad.

If we’re planning on making the jump pretty soon, it’d be nice to have a backup phone that speaks 850Mhz. I’ve got a ton of GSM phones, but they’re mostly 900/1800/1900. While these will probably work most of the time on Cingular, it’d be nice to have a “native” 850 phone as a backup. It’s also a good chance to audition the signal levels in our apartment and other places we usually hang out. I have to stand near a window if I want to carry on a conversation on T-Mobile, but I think that Cingular has better reception here.

Plus, with GoPhone, I can have data again. I can do things like use WirelessIRC or test network-enabled Python apps. It’ll be pretty cool.

To summarize: I’m leaving T-Mobile for Cingular some time in the next few months. I don’t want to leave, but T-Mobile just doesn’t offer me a data plan that I can live with. Their cheap plans don’t let you deviate from WAPland, and their unlimited plan is just too much for GPRS. I’m going to miss them though. They rock and I can’t say a bad thing about them (data aside). I’m wary of Cingular, since they lead the pack on customer complaints. I’m willing to give them a shot though if it means I can have EDGE and get a decent deal on a new phone on contract.


6 responses to “New Phone (Sony Ericsson T237), Leaving T-Mobile”

  1. Jonathan Greene Avatar

    I am contemplating a similar move all for EDGE. TMO is great, but they have made no formal moves towards higher speed and I can’t just sit here with a phone (Treo 650) that goes faster than my carrier allows… 😉

  2. Matt Croydon Avatar

    Actually I think they’ve officially made a statement of non-commitment on 3G until at least 2007 and I haven’t heard any firm commitment on EDGE. It’s a shame really, considering how much they rock.

  3. David Adams Avatar

    I had the EXACT same experience this month. T-Mobile’s network is just too slow to justify the $20 extra for the data plan. And since they tightened controll on their gateways all I get is WAP. I made the switch to Cingular last week. Looking forward to that Nokia 6682!


  4. Matt DeGeorge Avatar

    I have been pondering the same move to Cingular for a while as Tmobile’s data network was too dog slow for me and my Sidekick 2. Come June im taking a hit on 3 lines and jumping ship. Data has become a big part of my lifestyle and I really like Tmob customer service but they have been way to slow on data network upgrades.

  5. Emerson Avatar

    I’m thinking about such a move soon, but my experience is a little bit different. I think their customer service sucks, as it’s been a least 8 months since the Yahoo IM on my MDA has worked. They claim they’ll call me back when it’s fixed. I’ve just gotten tired of waiting. I have the data package now, and I agree, it is slow, but I’m away from home alot during the day and need something. Plus, I haven’t heard of anything they’ll come out with to compete with the iphone that just came out. Don’t want to take the ETF hit though.

  6. propecia Avatar

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