ScottLog

July 26, 2007

What’s wrong with cell phones?

Filed under: Uncategorized — numist @ 7:43 am

So, we’ve been looking for plans and phones recently and everything sucks. While there could be volumes written on this topic, I’m going to stick with generalized points found through experience, friends, and research. Some data has been lost in the condensing of the information.

It turns out that the problem isn’t really phones, it’s the carriers.

Here’s why you don’t want to use:

  • Sprint:
    • Expensive
    • No service (it is my opinion that Sprint radio waves cannot penetrate walls of any sort. Although my parents dont seem to have this problem, I’ve had issues with all 4 of my phones.)
  • Verizon:
    • Castrated hardware
    • Customer Support
    • False advertising
  • AT&T:
    • Customer Service
    • “Abusive Marketing Practices”
    • Coverage, apparently
  • T-Mobile:
    • Customer Service
    • Defrauding Customers

But the real problem doesn’t lie in any one company. All carriers have these nebulous service plans make strangling babies more attractive and relaxing than shopping for plans.
The only carrier that doesn’t seem to totally suck is Helio, but it doesn’t have a suitable group/family plan for our purposes, and it only has a limited number of phones. (also, say what you want, you’re still a phone company. You just don’t suck nearly as much.) Cellular phone companies need to simplify their plan structure. Unfortunately, it’s likely that the complex plan behemoth that exists today probably makes cellular phone companies more money due to the confusion, and that makes it less likely to ever change.

The problem isn’t entirely carriers… phones are only now starting to really mature (how can you tell? we’re starting to see Open Source offerings). Not helping things, for a long time it felt like phone manufacturers weren’t even using their own phones, and were programming features without checking to see if anyone cared about the functionality first.

The final result? Ben is waiting for the neo1973 so is going to get a K320 for now (justaphone), I’ll probably get an E70, and Cindy has fallen in love with at least the appearance of the A727. The iPhone was considered (since it really is pretty cool), but it doesnt fit my usage needs, Cindy thinks it’s overkill for what she’d use it for, and Ben is “over it”.

Ultimately, phones are more mature and simpler than the plans and companies that provide them with service, and there’s no good reason for it other than to make money from customers who are not reading 10-page contracts or are otherwise not vigilant.

This needs to change.

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