In August, we realized Bart was eligible for a new phone with Sprint. If we did it online, Sprint told us, not only would it waive the $18 activation fee, but we would also get a $50 credit.
This would have been fantastic news except that the online thing? It did not work. We could not, for the life of either of us, get it to work (you may think we are idiots, but I challenge you to get on the Sprint website and get yourself a free upgrade phone. That's what I thought). Bart called numerous times, but he would end up listening to elevator music until he was too frustrated to even consider waiting "until the next customer service representative was available." And if we went into the store to get phones, we were told, there was no way to waive the activation fee.
We finally just gave up - Bart liked his phone more than the ones being offered anyway and we decided we'd just wait. After all, the credit for the new phone wasn't going anywhere.
Then, his phone started acting up. When he'd go to answer it, it'd hang up on the unfortunate caller instead (sorry, if that was any of you). My phone's battery life started getting shorter and shorter. A week or two ago, I hit the two-year mark with my phone as well, so now we were both eligible for $150 worth of free phones.
Last night, as we were going to bed, I told Bart, "Tomorrow, I'm going to get this straightened out and we are both going to get new cell phones, without paying any fees."
This morning, I fiddled around on their website, realized the website was still a garbly unworkable mess and made a phone call. It went straight to a lovely girl named Holly who figured out what I was asking, put two $18 waivers on our bill and told us we could go to any Sprint store and get our free phones - no fees. I was off the phone in literally five minutes.
I find this all hilariously amusing - I have no idea why it is that when Bart calls, he waits on the line for hours (no joke) and finally gets connected with someone with an unintelligible accent who eventually discovers that, "oh, this is the wrong department, let me transfer you" and back to queue Bart goes to wait for another long period of time. Me? I get straight through to a very competent person who does exactly what I want and I'm done. It's a miracle. (This is what happened with our airline tickets too - Bart spent FIVE HOURS getting his ticket exchanged. I called up the same company a few months later and had gotten myself a $100 voucher in ten minutes).
Anyway, we now have new (matching) phones. (I've been desperately hunting for one of my beloved Apple stickers to put on the back of it, but I've had zero luck so far). It's an LG like like my old phone and so the setup is fairly similar, which I'm grateful for. Plus it is super thin (Bart keeps saying it's like having a matchbook in his pocket - his old (non-free) phone was about three times as thick).
We also each got a text messaging plan because, well, welcome to the 21st century. Also? Text messages are now TWENTY CENTS a piece, so it's definitely worth it to get a plan, particularly since we get 24% off our entire monthly bill, taking those plans down to $3.75 each..
And when I got home, I called Sprint back, confirmed that we would NOT be charged for the activation fees and found out that we had each gotten a $50 credit. Why, yes, thank you.