Thanks To Changes In The Wireless Industry, I’m Very Confused and Still Without A Phone.
My cell phone is busted. I need a new one. This should be easy. A week later, and holiday weekend wasted, and still no new cell phone. Why is this taking me so long to figure out? Maybe I'm just too picky. Or, it's the fact that the cellular world has re-invented the wheel.
Think I may have said it before, but I'm a Sprint customer, always have been. And I have an old plan, one they won't even let me upgrade a phone to (with the standard 2yr agreement) in the Sprint store. Strike that. They will, but then I have to order the phone, which is completely strange as they have the phone in stock, which I can have if I switch to their new plan, which replaces their latest plan, which lasted about a year. Ummmm, confused? I know I was.
I'm not trying to attack Sprint by any means. But they helped open the door for me to look elsewhere. And nowadays, many of the major carries have this shared plan deal, then a separate "pay off the phone in monthly installments without a contract" deal. Totally makes sense. No contract, just pay for service, then pay for the phone separate, and once the phone is paid off, your bill drops drastically.
No More 2 Year Contracts! Seriously?
Okay, seems too good to be true. Honestly, it kinda is, as it takes roughly 2 years to pay off the phone, which is similar to the 2 year contract, especially when you can't switch carriers without unlocking and a bunch of technical stuff I still don't understand. But wait... one clerk told me that's the idea behind this new way of plans... to give customers back their freedom. She assured me, that they are working on making phones capable of crossing to different carriers in the future, without the reprogramming. This is why they have separated the phone from the plan. Truth or BS? Not sure. The bigger question, how soon? But you gotta admit, it'd be nice if it does happen.
So long unlimited data plans!
The next thing I discovered, the "grandfather" plan I'm on now has unlimited data, but limited talk. Sounds completely old school, right? Who really uses talk minutes anymore anyway. Which explains why all new plans are unlimited talk/text, but VERY limited data. To switch off this plan or not? Wait, I really only use 1-2G data a month? Guess I don't need unlimited. As long as I keep the phone connected to a wifi network, my data will be nill. I can live with that... except when the kids stream netflix on long car trips... DOH!
Upgrades? We don't need no stinkin' upgrades...
The other concern, how often do I need to upgrade? I like new things, but I've never been a tech junkie needing the hottest-latest-greatest-newest-most-advanced-phone. But if I get the option to upgrade sooner, maybe a monthly plan vs. a 2yr contract isn't so bad.
Uggghhh, choices choices. Trying to save money overall and pick the best plan for my needs... way to tough. We'll see what I come out with.