The Silence of the Cell Phone

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
http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2003/11/unlocking_your_nokia_phone.html
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

Cingular
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.

Thanks,
Carl


Comments:

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

Posted by GELILA on June 20, 2006 at 06:14 PM PDT #

Hello, I almost deleted your comment just because of the language, we're a family show around here ;) , but I pretty much agree with you, but the worst part was is this wan't phone support this was a walk in to a big cingular store, which makes the experience so much worse, oh yeah i found the unlocking instructions on the cingular site, which makes me even more mad. Carl

Posted by Carl Backstrom on June 21, 2006 at 05:17 AM PDT #

Cingular can not unlock the phone. they will never do it, because it is "impossible" to do. most of the people do not know how to use search engines and will not figure out how to unlock the phone anyway. they use "locking" to prevent people of frequent switching between networks. There is a problem though. In Israel you can unlock any phone for a samll amount of money (under $10) and for little bit more reprogrammed. This service is not provided by the phone companys (it is "impossible"), but by small repairing shops (some guys have PROM/FLASH programmers). Here the fun starts. Let's say you found a phone on the street. You pay $15 and get the phone reprogrammed with any phone number you tell. Got the idea ? You can make any phone to work for you (may be not any, but Nokia, Samsung, etc.) even if the phone was turned Off and protected with password

Posted by larry on July 06, 2006 at 03:11 AM PDT #

Carl, ATT (Cingular) told me that I need a whole new plan in order to get a new phone. My old plan is really good though it's just my phones that are getting old. Anyway do you think my old ATT sim card would work in an "unlocked" phone? Thanks in advance for any help. Vic

Posted by vic on July 06, 2006 at 07:31 PM PDT #

Hello, I'm not sure I guess the only thing would be to try, truthfully my new plan is better it was the issue with being forced to buy a new phone that made me so mad especially since the instructions to unlock the phone were on the cingular website.

Posted by Carl Backstrom on August 03, 2006 at 04:48 AM PDT #

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