The Silence of the Cell Phone
By carl.backstrom on Jun 20, 2006
Sorry people another non Oracle Tech posting but well it's my blog.
So here's the situation, my daughter lost her cell phone, and I told
her mom I'd go get here a new one, simple right? Let me tell you things
are never simple.
So I go into the Cingular store tell the sales person I want to get her
a new phone. Since I'm an old AT&T customer the sales person says I
need to change my whole plan to get her new phone and keep her signed
up on my account I also need sign on for 2 more years , if I want the
discount on the phone, which isn't too big of a deal since , until 30
minutes later in the process, I've been happy with Cingular. So I pull
out my Nokia 6620 which I bought from AT&T since the salesperson
says we need new Cingular chips, again no problem, her phone starts up
great everything is fine, put the new chip in my phone and it's not
recognized, so here is a paraphrasing of the next 1/2 hour.
Salesperson : Your phone was vendor locked by AT&T
Carl : How do I just unlock the phone?
Salesperson : You can't.
Carl : What do you mean I can't? I know it can be done, I just don't know how, Can you unlock my phone?
Salesperson goes in back to make call or talk to manager something (10 min).
Salesperson : Well we can't , don't you just want a new phone?
Carl : What do you mean you can't your Cingular you bought AT&T so you have to be able somehow, plus I like my phone.
Salesperson : No you will need to get a new phone and I can only give you a discount on one of them.
Carl : Ok, I'm past my last service agreement length right.
Salesperson : Uh yes.
Carl : Ok I want to cancel.
Salesperson : What ?
Carl : Yeah I'm going to go to Sprint and get some new phones over there.
Salesperson : Sir can you wait a second ?
Salesperson goes in back to make call or talk to manager something (5 min).
Salesperson : Uh what if I give you a discount on both phones.
Carl : I thought you couldn't do that?
Salesperson : Well we can work something out.
Carl : Like what?
Salesperson : How about a discount on a Razor.
Carl : I don't like Razor's, I like Nokia's
Salesperson : Well thats all I can do.
At this point I'm under time pressure since the kid has to be somewhere.
Carl : Fine lets just do it.
Salesperson : Oh the discount is all mail in rebates heres all the paperwork.
Carl : Mail in rebates? Fine whatever.
Now it's the next day and the whole unlocking thing is burning me, I
know it can be done. I look online and after , and I'm not exaggerating
30 seconds find
which then leads me to
http://forums.mobiledia.com/topic24896-0-asc-20.html and in 3 minutes
have a fully unlocked Nokia that I can swap sim chips from all three
(two new / one) old phones.
So what lessons to learn from all this,
A. buyer beware.
B. don't go to get a new cell phone under time restraints.
C. make sure you know if your phone is vendor locked.
D. don't trust the salesperson/ or the salesperson doesn't know anything.
E. All of the above.
Of course the answer is E
My kid loves her new Razor, my Nokia is back in top form and I have a
spare if either should break. And oh yeah I'm saving the rebate money
because if anything else happens I'm going to use it to pay the early
termination fee, which is only about a month and a half of my normal
bill anyway and go somewhere were they treat long term customers right.