None of the 5 launch attendees from my company have heard a thing about their free "pre-release" Cingular Blackberry 8700s that they were promised for attending a product launch over one month ago. On a personal level, I finally got so fed up with Cingular and this 8700 launch fiasco and the total lack of communication that I ordered a Verizon Blackberry 7130e by phone this afternoon. It will be here within the week. Since I love Blackberries, I had to blame Cingular rather than RIM for how this past month has been handled. I could be unhappy enough and frustrated enough with how this launch was handled to stop considering a move back to Cingular/ATT, but not unhappy enough to stop buying RIM products.
I currently have T-Mobile service and am reasonably happy with the coverage in my area and I love the voice minute price compared to the competition. I never moved to Verizon despite my wife and 2 kids being on Verizon, and the vastly better Verizon coverage in my area, primarily because of the high voice minute costs. Turns out for me that the total package will actually be cheaper for me on Verizon than what Cingular would have cost and what I currently pay on T-Mobile, especially when I consider that all my family calls are now free since they are "IN Network".
Any customer who also is an employee of a company that does business with Verizon is eligible for a significant corporate discount. For me it was 18% on service plans and I believe 25% on hardware. Actually my Blackberry data/voice package price as an individual employee is a bit cheaper than what my company would have to pay for me to have identical service. Significantly, as a "private" purchase, I am not limited to Verizon's Blackberry 7250, which is the only model my company will go out and buy me.
My 7130e is costing me $159 with a 1-yr contract ($129 if I had chosen a 2-yr contract). 450 voice minutes, unlimited Blackberry data, unlimited web browsing, unlimited nights and weekends will cost me $65.59 for the “Core Choice”, the least expensive of Verizon’s 3 Blackberry Voice and Data Bundles. If I end up needing more voice minutes one month, it will cost $25 more to increase to the 1350 minute package for that month only.
In addition, there is no monthly or per use charge to tether my laptop to the 7130e and use the Blackberry as a wireless modem! Of course the data speed is EVDO and not EDGE, which is even better.
I will miss the option of switching GSM sim cards whenever I want to try a new Blackberry on our BES, and I'm REALLY hoping that I'll be able to adapt to the different text entry approach of the 7130e. I should know that easily within my 15 day trial period. At that point, if I decide to keep the 7130e I'll port my number over from T-Mobile and be a very happy camper. My bluetooth headphone was delivered today. ThinkOutside's new Shasta bluetooth keyboard should be delivered about Dec 20, just in time to be a nice Christmas present if someone in the family is short on ideas for me. If I decide to return the unit, the first quarter 2006 Blackberry products don't look to be too shabby.
This 7130e thread was a great source of information to me when I started formulating this plan earlier today, specifically the memos from individuals trying to choose between the 8700c and the 7130e. So please excuse my double posting this here - it was written originally to go in the 8700 launch event thread. I’ve spent the past month as a BlackberryForums 8700 newbie, pouring over each and every new post, anticipating my Cingular 8700s arrival “any day now”, and am finally throwing in the towel and becoming a happy Verizon customer instead. Even when the 8700 shows up on my doorstep tomorrow
, I think that this is the right choice for me. If not, I’ll open the sealed 8700 box in two weeks and reconsider my options.