Cellular Service Question...

Discussion in 'Community' started by PlaceofDis, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    just wanted to ask a question of you guys here quickly.

    I have Cingular as my cell phone carrier, i signed up to a two year agreement, and i got a Motorola V400 at the time. This was back in October. I am happy with their service, but am disappointed in the phone. My question is, would there be any problems if i walked into a Cingular store and wanted to change phones? i know i will probably have to pay an activation fee, thats understandable, and i know that i won't get the 'reduced' costs of the phones either, and thats fine as well, its just a POS phone. But would there be any problems in renewing my contract with them and getting a different phone? anyone else go through this? i just dont know what to expect, and i don't want to switch providers as that would cost a lot in early termination fees, and Cingular wouldn't charge me anything more than an activation fee right (i hope)?

    Thanks in advance.

    also if you have any recommendations for a good phone let me know, i will probably stay away from Motorola and i want something with BT...
  2. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Okay the way Verizon does it:

    You can only get the promo price on a phone when your contract is up in two months and you are renewing or you are starting a new contract. You can pay retail for a new phone at any time and it does not extend your contract. You may want to check with Cingular on this, but I am fairly sure that they do it the same way. A great mobile phone resource is http://howardforums.com - I go there often and they have a nicely-sized Cingular section under US Carriers. You might want to check them out - they are fabulous.
  3. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i have no problem paying retail as i have a year and four months left on the contract.... thanks for the site i will be sure to check it out
  4. selloutvixen macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2003
    Connecticut, USA

    I used to work for cingular, so I can help. I can't say that the V400 is a POS phone, since I've had mine for almost 2 years and just about a week ago the speaker is starting to go. Other than that, no complaints.

    You have to be 18-21 months into a 2 year contract before they will allow you to sign another contract and upgrade phones. Period. No negotiations. Your options?

    1) Deal with the phone you have until you're 18-21 months into the contract
    2) Go on eBay and find a cingular or unlocked GSM phone and slip your sim card into it
    3) Cancel your contract for the low low price of 150 bucks. (I think? It might be 175 now)
    4) Put wireless phone insurance on your plan for 4 bucks a month, wait 15 days (the standard waiting period for insurance to kick in) then make a claim. Since the V400 is phased out, they'll offer you a comparable replacement for 50 bucks.
    5) It's been less than a year since your contract started, therefore your phone is still under warranty. You could try a same-phone exchange and hope you get a better V400.
    6) Buy a new phone outright for 150+ bucks.

    The choice is yours.
  5. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    thank you for the info, i will see what they tell me at the store. i basically just want a new phone. the V400 isnt that bad, its just doesn't seem to work as well as others i have seen. my girlfriend has Cingular as well, she has V551, we can be standing right next to one another and she will have a strong signal and i will have none at all. the other issue is that it doesnt ring all the time and that on a limited basis i will open the phone up to find a white screen and the phone locked up. i have no problems buying a new phone at all, but i didn't think i could just move my sim card to a different phone, or does it have to be unlocked for that? i know what phone i want (Sony Ericsson T637) and i will see what they say when i stop by this week, and thank you again very much for that info.
  6. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I would also recommend that you visit your local Cingular store PlaceofDis. Explain the problem that you are having. Be very polite but firm. There is always a chance when visiting in person, many times it can make a difference. I wish you the best of luck.
  7. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Looks like you can get one of those Erricsons unlocked on ebay for roughly 140. I'd reccomend saying screw cingular, they'll prolly want a tidy sum for a "new" one.

  8. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    As I just got a cell phone, I'll tell you EVERYTHING, some you may know, some you may not, some may be on topic with this and some may bore you.

    Cingular and Verizon have the same plans for the same rates but with Cingular's Rollover and much MUCH better phone selection (although Verizon's Motorola V710 beats any Cingular phone and costs less), stay with Cingular.

    Also, Motorola has amazing - if not the best - phones out there now.

    Before I continue, let me tell you that ALL Motorola Phones have the same reception everywhere if it begins with V infront of it. The others are more affordable but less reliable.
    When I was going to get Cingular, of course I wanted the RAZR V3, cingular's best phone. But since its also crazy expensive, I wanted their second best phone, the V551. Anyway, to make a long story short, my parents had Verizon so thats what I have now (and because I was upset with the change kind of they got me the V710, perfect in every way and highly reccomended).

    You will either want:

    V400, V300, V330, V551, RAZR V3 (although the V330 and V300 may not be available for Cingular) - these are the best cell phones for Cingular from Motorola. The V400 is not a bad phone, and if you can, exchange it for another V400. Keep in mind that once you change that phone you can't anymore - Cingular won't allow it.

    If you definitely don't want Motorola, here are other highly reccomended phones:

    Siemens S66
    Sony Ericsson Z500a
    Sony Ericsson S710
    palmOne Treo 650

    Now, with the plans:

    Some Cingular phones use a card called a SIM card - this card has your activation information and owner information on it. Don't go the route of changing it with another phone. It screws things up.

    Cingular will allow you to change phones, but not for free - you'll need to pay FULL RETAIL (+ rebates if there are any) for the new phone.

    It makes more sense to just keep the V400 and get a newer phone for less money.

    And just a tip - go to an Authorized Reseller to do this as the guy in charge is always more lienient (or however you spell it) and may give you a better deal than an actual Cingular store.

    Hope it helps!

    If you decide to just cancel Cingular and pay the cancellation fee, switch to Verizon and get a Motorola V710, again I'll say its the best phone out there.
    Don't switch to anything else - everything else sucks.

    Hope SOMETHING in here helps!
  9. selloutvixen macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2003
    Connecticut, USA
    Wrong. ALL new cingular phones use a sim card; it's a requirement for the GSM network. You can pop your cingular sim card into *ANY* GSM cingular phone and it'll be *your* phone. You'll take with you any information saved on said sim card. Therefore a sim card can automatically activate with any cingular or unlocked phone.

    Wrong again. I worked for an authorized reseller and we actually had to pay MORE for the phones than direct company dealers and got in loads of trouble for selling the phones for less than retail. Call a few stores and ask if they have any refurbished GSM phones; that might be a cheap way out.

    And don't haggle. Policy is policy is policy. We had almost no breathing room when it came to pricing. Don't make the clerk feel bad that they're doing their job.
  10. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Eek! After reading these posts maybe it is a blessing that I don't have cell phone service where I live....at least I don't have to think about the calling plans and service charges and the like....wow. (We are getting a cell tower this summer though....I might have to break down. :rolleyes: )
  11. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    For the SIM card, I meant from provider, like from Cingular to Verizon. And some unlocked phones that DONT work with Cingular, buying it and trying to put in your SIM card WON'T work.

    And I believe YOU are wrong for the second part, maybe the one you worked at is more strict, but the resellers tend to be less strict and just want to make money so they give you all these rebates and deals that dont exist - some do, not all. But if you want the best price, go to a reseller.

    And your comment, "Policy is policy is policy" reminds me so much of Steve Balmer's "Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!" :p
  12. selloutvixen macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2003
    Connecticut, USA
    This can be helpful and it can't. If he does go to the store, go to a direct corporate Cingular store. (you can do a search on their website for one) It's as good as calling customer service sans the hold time. They used to do the same phone exchanges in-store as well, so you might even walk out with a new (well, new to you) phone right there. Don't quote me on that, I haven't worked for them in about a year. Good luck, though.
  13. selloutvixen macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2003
    Connecticut, USA
    Well, the sims don't work at Verizon because they're on a completely different technology called CDMA. CDMA doesn't use sim cards, which is why I told him to buy a cingular or unlocked *GSM* phone. Sprint and Verizon uses CDMA, T-Mobile is GSM, and Nextel is in their own little world with iDen.

    The resellers are strict for a reason. Why? Because Cingular charges the resellers more for phones and takes their cut off that. It's the trade off for being able to sell their product. My company had about 15 stores and we still paid about 80-100 bucks a phone and would charge between 150-200 a phone for outright sales. No one would budge on the price of the phones because my company would take the price difference out of your commission. When training at cingular headquarters in Massachusetts, some resellers were even more strict than we were.

    What drove me crazy more than anything is someone thinking they would get a special discount because they were a special case. No one is a special case. A cell phone contract is just as legal as any other contract. It states clearly in the contract that no one ever reads their obligations. The contract is for the service, and the phone is the vessel to use that service. They offer warranties and insurance to protect that vessel. If you don't like the phone/break it/lose it/have it stolen, too bad. It's your responsibility to get a new one.
  14. evilernie macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2005
    My two cents

    I had Cingular for two years and their service was absolutely horrible. Terrible reception, crummy customer service. I switched to Verizon and will never go back. Just my 2 cents.
  15. PlaceofDis thread starter macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    selloutvixen, thank you for all your useful info, i have no problems paying full price for a different phone, i just do not want the one i have right now that is all. i do not want the same model and i want to continue using cingular. i have no expectation of anyone there breaking or bending policy, i just want a different phone simple as that.

    so any unlocked GSM phone that supports the appropriate bands will work correct? if things do no work at the store when i finally get there tomorrow or wed. i will probably look into buying a Sony Ericsson T637 off of ebay that is unlocked, there are plenty of them and it is the phone i would want ideally.

    i just didnt know that i could put my sim card into a different phone. say if i wanted to switch phones with my gf for a day or two, that would work as well? (she has cingular service and a Moto V551, which is the other phone i might consider, although i would love a Razar, they are out of my budget right now)
  16. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    you could definitely swap phones, its wicked easy to do.

    alternately, and this is kinda sneaky, you could find a friend who has a cingular contract that's up or qualifies for an upgrade, and either buy their old phone or the new phone from them....my brother and i kind of did that when he upgraded, i took his old phone.

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