November 24, 2007

More than you wanted to know about my new cell phone

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.


  1. Well, it seems that from now on you should just skip the part where you have Bart do the calling. Obviously it is not working for you. As a matter of fact, the next time I spend a frustratingly long amount of time on hold, I'm going to give you a ring and have you take care of it. And congrats on your splendid new phones. I just gave one away so I could use Dario's old phone with the long life battery, and now that long life battery is staying charged for approx. 5 minutes. Maybe you can get me a new one.

  2. That story was hilarious! You have such a way with words, i love it. SO i think it is very clear that next time i'm stuck on hold for HOURS i'll call you and you can deal with it! :) How funny that you have all the luck! poor bart :(

  3. Wow, what great luck! . . .or maybe it's skill. I used to have a very similar phone (it was a Samsung), and I loved it, so small. One day it just completely stopped working. I was only a year into my plan, so I could either buy a new phone for $100+ (ridiculous) or buy a warranty for $50 and get a new phone. I obviously chose the warranty, but unfortunately I had to take the phone they gave me, which is about three times as thick as the old one.

    Okay, so there's more than you every wanted to know about my cell phone!

  4. how old does it have to be for you to be eligible? because... my dad's rocking one which has all of the silver rubbed off and is now offiically beige.

    And I can't stand the fact that mine thinks that I unplug and replug in the charger many times every night. WHICH I DO NOT, OBVIOUSLY, SO QUIT BEEPING ABOUT IT.

    Okay, done now.

  5. Ooo...good looking phones! And excellent work on your phone skillz. I'm very proud.

    Plus, now we get to text! What fun!

  6. Maybe I should hire you to be my Verizon agent. I think this is the only nice post ever written about a cell phone company EVER!

  7. Yeah, Sprint is consistently rated one of the worst (if not the worst) for customer service, and I can vouch for that (they are my provider too). At least they usually fix the problem once you do get a hold of someone and its someone who actually seems to know what's going on!

  8. Ha! Good job! Poor Bart though :)

  9. Awesome. That reminds me, we have a new "free phone" coming, yet I'm always the one who waits on hold for hours...


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