Amanda’s Cingular contract finally ran out on Monday, so we ran out and switched to Verizon last night. I’d always been pretty happy with my Cingular service, but I was using their old CDMA network (that they stopped selling new phones for over 2 years ago) and a carefully selected phone. And my phone was getting pretty long in the tooth… I was largely content with the feature set but the battery could get 3 days or so on standby (pretty darned good for a 3+ year old phone I’d say). While I may well have been able to get a GSM phone with good reception/call quality, Amanda’s gone through 2 crummy phones that Cingular refused to do anything about (aside from possibly sell her yet another replacement in exchange for 2 more years of suckitude).
First phone she had suffered major battery issues after a year or so (connector didn’t seat properly with the phone so it frequently turned off suddenly). Second phone had poor reception (couldn’t reliably make calls in our old apartment) and had this obnoxious habit of screeching at an ear-splitting level (regardless of what you had the phone volume set at) at random when you were on the phone, and would routinely drop calls. Basically your typical bad cellphone stuff aside from the screeching which I’d never heard of. Oh, and I think it may have caused weird audio interference on our TV sometimes… Simply put, after the wonderful phone experiences she’d had, and the piss-poor customer service she’d received from the Cingular folk (their response to the whole screeching issue was that she had battery problems and removing/reinserting the battery would solve all her problems), Cingular was history. Oh, and of course when she called to confirm her contract end date last night they gave her a huge run around (“oh you had bad service??? well what’s your address I’ll look up the towers. looks like you should get like 2-3 bars there” nope, more like 0-1), tried to schmooze with her, tried to convince her to get a new phone (“oh don’t you want a camera in your phone???"), and after much persistence would eventually admit her contract had already expired. (Did I mention that Cingular sucks?!?!)
So we ran down to CC to port our numbers over to Verizon and set up a family plan… were tacking on her sister Katie since it’d be cheaper than feeding her prepaid cards, and another phone for her folk so they’d finally have a cellphone :). Getting 4 phones on one account was cheaper than the combination of Amanda’s and my individual plans with Cingular plus Katie’s prepaids and gives us more minutes. And that’s with 4 lines. And all calls between us (or any other Verizon phone) don’t count toward our minutes. And Verizon appears to actually give a rats ass about signal quality/coverage. Hard to beat really.
We went with 4 LG VX3300 phones that should cost us a total of $60 and appear to be pretty solid phones as far as I can tell. Will have to see how they fare over the next couple of weeks (we have a 15 day satisfaction guarantee during which we can cancel or switch to different phones for just the cost of the price difference between the phones).