With all my ranting about public cell phone use, it might surprise you to find out that I just purchased a brand-new cell phone for myself. I never use the damned thing, but I always like to have the latest model. It's a tech geek gadget thing. But the guy at the Cingular store was a little thrown off by someone requesting the bare minimum service plan and the most expensive phone in the store. Ah, contradictions.
The new phone is a black Motorola Razr. It's really thin and tres hip, and does all the geeky stuff you'd want it to do. Not that I'll use it to do all that stuff -- no cockroach-sized Bluetooth headsets for me. I just use it to check my answering machine when I'm out. What a waste of technology. (But it is really cool!)
I switched service providers from Sprint to Cingular, because I hate fucking Sprint. My old phone, a Sanyo model, just plain sucked; I couldn't hear squat with it. (The Razr is noticeable improvement on the sound quality front.) But the back-breaking straw came about a year ago, when I got a promotional mailing from Sprint advertising a new, lower-rate service for infrequent callers like myself. Sprint thought I should switch, I agreed, and tried to do it. Then the fun began.
First, Sprint won't let you manage your service plans over the web. Annoying, yes, but not a deal breaker. So I called customer service, said I wanted to switch plans, and entered into thirty minutes of hell. The customer service rep led me down the long, convoluted path to changing plans (which should have been a simple checkbox on a web page), at the end of which was this interesting and unexpected revelation: To change plans, I had to sign up for another two-year contract. That's right, I couldn't just switch plans, I had to resubscribe to the new plan. This was unacceptable, to say the least; after all my hassles with Sprint, not to mention the sucky phone, I didn't want to extend anything -- especially when the suggestion to switch plans came from the company itself.
So I told the nice customer service lady to scrap the plan-switching paperwork, and to tell her supervisor that I would be switching companies instead, when my original two-year contract was up. Which it was this week, hence the new phone with a new company. Goodbye Sprint, hello Cingular.
But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.