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Old 08-21-2006, 01:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can someone please explain to me why wireless companies make it so difficult to upgrade phones?

I am currently a Cingular customer and have been for 4+ years. I have 10 months left on my current 2 yr contract and am ready to make the jump to a Blackberry for both my wife and I. BUT Cingular won't let me upgrade unless I pay a fortune for the phones ($299 each phone). To cancel the contract would only be $300 and I could get free BBs with any other provider. Go figure!

Has anyone ever cancelled a contract with a provider only to go right back to that same provider? For instance, if I cancelled with Cingular is there anything to prevent me from going right back to them? Can I port my same phone numbers to them? This is such a pain!!

Any advice on how to work around this would be much appreciated!
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I just realized this is probably the wrong place to put this. Anyone know how to move it to the general discussion? Thanks and sorry.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (Cingular 7130c: BlackBerry7130/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

You can't keep your number if you cancel your contract. And they won't let you upgrade because they sell the phones cheap, expecting you to keep them for 2 years. If you don't want to keep it for 2 years, they expect you to pay more money. They look at the contract as a contract for the service and the phone.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The key word there was 'Cingular'. I my dealings with them from the corporate side, they are one of the worst to deal with. So bad, in fact, that we won't buy any more of our corporate-paid phones from them. I'm working on closing out the account.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry7290/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

You should go buy a few BB's off ebay
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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But I can keep my number by porting to another service provider? Does anyone else not see why this is not making sense?

It is cheaper for me to just cancel my contract and start a new contract with Cingular to get free BBs. Same for any other service provider.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Buying them off eBay is still not any cheaper. All that saves me is from being locked into another 2 year contract.

It seems like a better deal to get the phones for free upfront and then if you decide to go another route (i.e. another device, another provider, etc) just cancel the account and start over...
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, you can port your number to any other US provider. You can even port your home phone to a cell phone. I know several people who have done this, too.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not sure that you can get a BB for free, at least not the new generation 8700s. $299 is the upgrade price I think. I got my first one for that doing an upgrade from a Treo 650. When I had to replace the 8700 due to water damage, I had to pay the full $450.

Buying on eBay to me seems very risky. First you need the right phone on the right system (CDMA vs GSM) and you also need the PIN released so you can use it. Plus you need to make sure it actually works as advertised!
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can get them for free on amazon.com with a new service activation. I think I am going to just cancel my Cingular contract and place the order for a new phone through amazon. I'll get 2 phones for what Cingular will charge me for one right now.
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Old 08-21-2006, 02:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANNABB
Has anyone ever cancelled a contract with a provider only to go right back to that same provider? For instance, if I cancelled with Cingular is there anything to prevent me from going right back to them? Can I port my same phone numbers to them?
I am pertty certain that you can not cancel a contract and start a new one with a provider without waiting 90 days. Essentially the rule is that if you have been with them in the past 90 days you will not be considered a new customer and you won't get new customer pricing.

You better make really sure you read all fine print because attempting what you want to do could end up getting costly if there are any problems. My advice is to just go with another provider.

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Old 08-21-2006, 02:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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toddz - Thanks for the tip about the 90 days - I had never heard of that. I am guessing I'll wait to see what Verizon offers in the next month or so and then decide between them and Tmobile.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi ...can you help me ? My business colleague gave me his BB 7290 and I have tried my Pay as you Go sim card in it and it works as a phone but wont connect for data with out the provider selling a contract to me...dont want that is there some way of getting around this and getting acess. BB orange have set up an email and sent me a SIM update
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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What I have heard, to get the Amazon deal, you can not port your number to it. That means you have to have a brand new phone number.

Do NOT cancel your contract if you thinking of keeping your old phone number. When it's time to get a new phone for yourself, (For example, Verizon) Verizon will cancel your Cingular contract and port the phone number to your new cell phone.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANNABB
Does anyone else not see why this is not making sense?
It doesn't make sense to you because you're looking at the matter from a consumer's perspective. Wireless carriers aren't in business to do you a favor (I'm not arguing for them, just stating how it is). They subsidize phones for new customers to lure them in. Once you've signed a contract they honestly don't care much. If you want some leverage in upgrading, you need to be out of contract entirely and then you need to negotiate with the carrier's retention department. The standard customer service reps just don't have the same ability to negotiate.

$299's not a bad price if you're not a "new" customer. You should check out what full price on a Blackberry runs. Subsidized handset pricing has really skewed the average consumer's perception of what these things cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by secrecyguy
What I have heard, to get the Amazon deal, you can not port your number to it. That means you have to have a brand new phone number.
You can port with Cingular via Amazon but it will invalidate any rebates as Cingular closes the account established through Amazon and sets up another with the ported number(s). I ended up getting an 8700c for $150 instead of free this way ($150 rebate was invalidated).

Last edited by takeshi : 08-24-2006 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paygo Dave
Hi ...can you help me ? My business colleague gave me his BB 7290 and I have tried my Pay as you Go sim card in it and it works as a phone but wont connect for data with out the provider selling a contract to me...dont want that is there some way of getting around this and getting acess. BB orange have set up an email and sent me a SIM update
No, please read the forums or use the search. Blackberry Data service is special and is not the same as just plain GPRS service.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANNABB
But I can keep my number by porting to another service provider? Does anyone else not see why this is not making sense?

It is cheaper for me to just cancel my contract and start a new contract with Cingular to get free BBs. Same for any other service provider.
I do not think YOU understand.

Cancel your contract and they will make you pay an ETF. They are not going to let you take your number with you! ALL of the service providers do this so it is YOU who do not understand that they sell you your phone at a lower price and expect you to stick to your contract to pay for it.

If you want a fresh Blackberry, go to eBay and get you one. It is cheaper than what you are thinking of doing.
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Old 08-24-2006, 04:31 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I DO understand what's going on and what their reasoning is. Next time use your rudeness to respond to someone else.

When it comes down to it, I'm not questioning one provider's practices. Instead I'm suggesting that there's something wrong with the entire industry as new customers are more valuable than those who have remained loyal customers for 5+ years.
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I understand your point, but coming from cingulars point of you, you sign a 2 year binding contract with whatever phone you unitally signed up with and you paid the subsidized price for it so in return for paying pretty much nothing you give them 2 yrs. Think about it, what you initially paid for it, Cingular in most cases paid at least double for it from the actual manufacturer.
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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While I understand both the carrier's and consumer's point of view - the fact is that consumers hate this policy (Wall Street Journal just ran an article on this). When I wanted to upgrade my phone with Verizon, they would not let me even after I offered to pay for the termination fee. In this day and age of rapid technology change, 2 years for a phone is too much.

Why not have a policy where if you have been x months into the contract, you pay $y, x+ months, you pay $y-. Make it fair to both the consumer and the carrier. I would think that the carrier who did something like this would fair well given the amount of angst on this topic
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