Thursday, March 10, 2011

RIP Sidekick

TMobile announced the Sidekick's data plan will be kaput on May 31, 2011. Afterwards sidekick phones will only be capable of calling or texting.

The worst part of all this is our e-mail addresses will be gone. I've been anny(lastname)@tmail.com for so long its even printed on my business cards. *SIGH*

After my initial shock wore off I gave TMobile a call to see what options we soon to be ex-pats will have.

Here's where I finally had to admit the truth: TMobile has awful, awful, awful customer service. I've been with them since 2001 and have never gotten through to customer service quickly. The last time I had an issue the customer service rep's accent was so terrible I had to apologize and tell her we were having a language barrier issue. Now, I've taught bilingual classes and am a second generation American. I'm incredibly sensitive to people's accents and will go out of my way to make sure they don't feel self-conscious about their speaking but after 43 minutes on the phone I just gave up. I'd finished dinner, ate and done the dishes while she was still trying to resolve an issue I kept telling her I didn't have. I'm all for humoring people and don't mind letting customer service prattle on speakerphone while I do chores but even I have my limits!

So I talked to customer service, who tried to sell me a $300 phone, in spite of my insistence that I was more interested in how much the plans cost. Finally they told me the cheapest data only plan they offer is $59.99 for what I currently pay $29.99. The customer service rep insisted this is the cheapest I would find, which is ridiculous because I listen to the radio and they are always advertising "unlimited phone, web and text for $49.99" at Metro PCS.

I talked to AT&T next and I can get the 3g iPhone for $49 (like in the commercials) and then pay $44 if I jump unto my aunt's family plan. I'd get 2gb of data transfer, unlimited data and would be part of the family voice plan: http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/welcome/index.jsp

Right now the front contender is Virgin Mobile. For $25 a month I'd get unlimited texting, web and 300 anytime minutes. http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans.jsp Plus Target sells Virgin Mobile top-up cards and they frequently go on sale for a couple of bucks off.

Ironically, if TMobile hadn't been such douches and cancelled the sidekick plan without offering a comparable option or their customer service reps were ...better... I wouldn't even be shopping around and realizing what great plans exist.

I'm still mad my business cards will have a non-existent e-mail address on them.

Update: I went with the Virgin Mobile plan and am quite happy.

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