User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » General Discussion »

problems with the cell phone service people...


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
problems with the cell phone service people...
Thread Tools
.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-12-19, 01:32

I recently dropped my phone. Open. It broke in half. When I say that, I mean the screen has been separated from the body of the phone. Now the body works and all, just no screen to show what's going on.... I have at least 80 cell phone numbers that seem to be used at least once (that's in a period of a year. I rarely use more than 200 minutes, which is pretty good for a teenager whose active in extracirriculars)! The first problem is that the people at the cell phone place said that there are several models of phones which they don't have the ability to salvage any data from... My phone happens to be one of those models. I'm thinking that's wrong since the phone I have is advertised as "buy our service and get x number of this kind of phone!" So that doesn't make me too frustrated since I just have to go to a high school function and ask for certain numbers.

My second issue is what kinda ticks me off. Months ago, my dad and I were at the mall. We have moved to a different town, and the service my phone currently uses doesn't work to well where we live so we want to switch providers. Well, the guy at the mall a few months back says that our service needs renewal in January. Well, the date of renewal (according to the representative of our service provider) is coming up in about 2 or so weeks. We were thinking that I'd just have to use my dad's phone for the time being, while he uses his work phone. Somehow, when my parents went into the store to see if there was any way of gathering the numbers off of my phone, the cell phone people said that our contract is up for renewal in March... They then said that it was last renewed in March of '04. Im-flippin'-possible. I distinctly remember being told by a different rep that my service was to be renewed in January not March. I wasn't with my parents today, but I'll be paying our cell phone service people a visit I think. I know that we didn't renew my service in March! Another reason I know that is because my parents have both moved on to a local provider here in town, and I'm the only one with this network...

What do I do when I visit our cell phone store next week? I know there's gotta be a way to make them let me renew/cancel (which is what's going to happen) my service in January w/o crazy costs... there just has to be! Any ideas on what to do here? Basically they told my parents that it's a personal problem and the only way to fix anything is to either buy a used phone which starts @ $128 (even though my phone mysteriously only costs $30 in the store) or get ANOTHER two year contract... This is really frustrating. What do I do?
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-19, 01:47

Just tell them you're interested in canceling your plan a the end of your current contract, that usually makes them sit up and take notice. If not, you may be SOL, you signed the contract, you're in it until it expires. Someone may have made a mistake in telling you that it was January when it expired, unfortunately, there's little you can do about that.

Come waste your time with me
  quote
.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-12-19, 01:51

I could deal with waiting a few extra months... but telling me that I'd have to buy a used, refurb of my phone for $128 which costs $30 off the shelf, NEW! That's stupid, and I don't see how anyone in their right mind can justify that... Are they going to say "I know it's the same model, but it's used and refurbished. That means it costs $100 more because of that..."
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-19, 01:54

They make no money on the phones, that's why they charge you so much for service. If they have no guarantee that you're staying with their service for more than a few more months, it makes no sense for them to take a loss on a phone. If you need a phone, look on eBay. I washed a cell phone with about 7 months left on my contract, instead of renewing my contract I found a $15 phone on eBay that was more than adequate for the 7 remaining months of my contract.

Come waste your time with me
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2005-12-19, 01:57

I wouldn't be so smug about assuming that your phone only costs $30 retail. Most prices of phones in stores are accompanied to some very fine print saying that you have to buy in to a special contract to get the sticker price and that the actual retail price is much higher.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
  quote
.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-12-19, 01:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMBand0026
They make no money on the phones, that's why they charge you so much for service. If they have no guarantee that you're staying with their service for more than a few more months, it makes no sense for them to take a loss on a phone. If you need a phone, look on eBay. I washed a cell phone with about 7 months left on my contract, instead of renewing my contract I found a $15 phone on eBay that was more than adequate for the 7 remaining months of my contract.
Did you have to change numbers? And how exactly does that work? Do I just find a cheapo phone that works w/ my network and bring it to the service people and say "this is my phone for the next 3 months!"
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-19, 02:04

Exactly, like I just said...they make their money off the service, not the phones. Say you get a contract for $50 a month, you sign it for two years...that's a $1200 contract you just signed. Your provider buys phones in bulk, they'll pay (hypothetically) $45 per phone and they'll buy them by the 1000. They turn around and sell them for $130 per phone in the store, a profit of $85. What's $85 bucks to them when you just forked over $1200? Nothing. Not only that, but they'll still get money for the phones through rebates and stuff. The reason you get a cheap phone with a new plan is because they're making their money on the plan, not the phone. They cash in on service, not equipment.

Note: The above situation is entirely hypothetical. I don't have a clue what cell phone companies buy phones for or how much they mark them up.

Come waste your time with me
  quote
.Hack
Valiant Vicks Vizier
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-12-19, 02:07

Another option I've thought about is just reducing the plan we currentlly have to their lowest, cheapest one while we go ahead and move to a new carrier. We have several friends who've done this and said it works out pretty well... But I dunno. I'm going to call the support line tomorrow and see what's going on...
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-19, 02:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by .Hack
Did you have to change numbers? And how exactly does that work? Do I just find a cheapo phone that works w/ my network and bring it to the service people and say "this is my phone for the next 3 months!"
You do not need to change numbers, and there is a new(ish) law that says you are able to keep your current wireless number, even if you move to a new carrier. Find a phone that you'll be happy with from a reputable seller, make sure it will work with your network, purchase it, bring it to an authorized retail store of the carrier, tell them you'd like that phone activated and what number you'd like it activated for.

Come waste your time with me
  quote
Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2005-12-19, 12:15

Judging by your description of the situation, you probably have Verizon. I'm tipped off to that by the two-month difference between the two contract dates you were told. Verizon lets you get a new phone at the discounted price two months before your contract expires. Therefore you can get a new phone in January, but you can't switch providers until March (two months).

Also, assuming you're with Verizon, you were given a $200 discount (at least) off of your phone when you signed the contract. They recoup their losses from giving you that discount through the 22 months that they don't allow you to get a new phone at discount (you repay just a shade under $10 a month for your phone--it's not enumerated like that on your bill, but that is built into your monthly bill). It's a complete logical error to say that they are charging you more for a refurbished phone to replace the one you dropped. Quite to the contrary, if you paid $30 when you signed your contract, you actually end up paying $230 for the phone (thanks to the built-in phone cost recovery in the monthly bill). If they're willing to sell you a refurb for $128, they're giving you $102 off the cost of a new phone. They're giving you a discount of nearly 50%.

Either get a new phone with a new carrier and with a new phone number a couple months early (and pay two bills--still slightly cheaper than cancelling) or bite the bullet and buy a refurb. However, if you intend to switch, be careful about buying a refurb as they might extend your contract without telling you. Make sure they don't do that.

Otherwise, your only option is to switch carriers and pay the early termination fee. Those are your three options: 1) pay two bills and get a new number; 2) buy a refurb; and 3) switch now and pay the fee.

Remember that what you're dealing with is not a "problem" caused for you by your provider. This is standard practice in the United States. "Free" phones are not free and "$30" phones are not $30. You are given a discount which you repay. Accusing the service provider of being unfair in this situation is like being angry at a bank for asking you to repay a loan. They want their money back, and you signed a contract which you are legally obligated to complete. Your service agreement includes language that insists you will not recieve another discount until you are 22 months into the contract (again assuming you're with Verizon). If you didn't like that, you should have cancelled during the 14-day no-penalty grace period at the start of the agreement.

You broke the phone. You got yourself into this situation. They're not screwing you. They're just doing business. If you don't like it, switch to another provider, but you'll find that every cellular provider in the US does business the same way.

Twitter: bwyatt | Minecraft: bwyatt_IN

Last edited by Wyatt : 2005-12-19 at 12:21.
  quote
heramsey
 
 
2005-12-28, 15:01

Concerning refured phones: Is it difficult to switch to a refurbed phone? How is this done? Can't you just switch the little chip?
I got a freebie phone from Cingular a few months ago and after 30 days I realized I hated it (a Samsung SGH-P777?). Now I regret I didn't do something about it sooner, but I'm stuck with it. But I have noticed some decent phones for around $100 on ebay, and I'm thinking that might be worth it to switch. But you are saying they may extend my contract? Any other caveats?
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-28, 15:04

If you buy a phone on eBay and want it activated on your plan, all you have to do is switch the SIM card and take it to an authorized Cingular retailer. Tell them what you want to do, they'll take your eBay phone, program it, than activate it. Easy as that. You are not required to extend your contract in order to do this, so don't let anyone tell you that you have to do that.

I've bought phones off of eBay in the past. I have Verizon service, but I know for a fact (through several experiences with friends) that switching phones is easy enough through Cingular.

Come waste your time with me
  quote
Wyatt
On twitter: @bwyatt
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Near Indianapolis
 
2005-12-28, 15:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMBand0026
If you buy a phone on eBay and want it activated on your plan, all you have to do is switch the SIM card and take it to an authorized Cingular retailer. Tell them what you want to do, they'll take your eBay phone, program it, than activate it. Easy as that. You are not required to extend your contract in order to do this, so don't let anyone tell you that you have to do that.

I've bought phones off of eBay in the past. I have Verizon service, but I know for a fact (through several experiences with friends) that switching phones is easy enough through Cingular.
Actually, with Cingular you just switch the card and you're done. Verizon requires you to take phones to a dealer because the retailer (such as myself, until Saturday) has to actually change your phone in the billing system. With Cingular, your service is not tied to the phone, but rather to the SIM card. As long as you don't screw up the card, you can change phones at any time.

Twitter: bwyatt | Minecraft: bwyatt_IN
  quote
DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2005-12-28, 15:30

Cool, you learn something new every day.

Thanks for clarifying that for me, and for heramsey.
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just got a new cell phone Wrao General Discussion 2 2005-09-15 20:36
stolen cell phone karma Linus van Pelt AppleOutsider 9 2005-08-30 12:56
How many people are having problems with their PowerBooks after updating to 10.3.8 sith_lord Apple Products 23 2005-03-20 13:42
Mini PowerBook/PDA Messiahtosh Speculation and Rumors 31 2005-03-11 16:07
Cell phone use while driving...where do you stand? pscates2.0 AppleOutsider 47 2005-01-06 01:14


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 22:20.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2021, AppleNova