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Old 06-05-2006, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello, this is my first post. My contract with Sprint will finally end later this month, and so I'm now doing some comparison shopping for a new carrier as well as a new phone. As I'm also starting a new job which will require some travel, I definitely want a PDA/phone combo, and I also want a QUERTY keyboard.

I have narrowed my carrier choices to either Cingular or T-Mobile. I have narrowed my OS choices to either Palm or Blackberry.

I've never owned a Blackberry but those I know who have swear by them. I've owned 3 of the Samsung Palm-phones with Sprint. Palm does some things well, and other things not so well (after 4-5 years I'm still not a big Grafitti fan, hence my decision to go with a Q-keyboard).

Things that are important to me in a phone: Excellent phone/voice quality; ability to easily dial numbers using one hand; Speakerphone; Excellent e-mail; Easy-to-use calendar/memo pad/task list; Easy, trouble-free syncing with Outlook. I might also use the web it it was reasonably quick, but gave up with Sprint as it was just painful.

Things that are NOT important to me in a phone: Ringers, games, playing music, watching videos, or having a crappy digital camera.

Based on this, the Blackberry 8700 seems like the perfect fit. However, I'm going back and forth between Cingular and T-Mobile.

Cingular has a bigger network, more phone choices, and I know more people on Cingular, however their data plans (especially for BB) are ridiculously expensive.

T-Mobile has great rates, their network is big enough, and they've received awards for customer service and reliability. On the downside they have a very ugly pink logo that I'll have to look at every time I look at my phone!

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Any opinions on Cingular vs. T-Mobile, specifically in terms of how your BB 8700 has performed?

2. Any opinions from former Treo users as to how that phone performed vs. your BB 8700? (specifically in terms of ease of making calls, navigation, frustruation level or lack thereof, etc.).

Thank you in advance!!

Chris
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h-town8
Things that are important to me in a phone: Excellent phone/voice quality; ability to easily dial numbers using one hand; Speakerphone; Excellent e-mail; Easy-to-use calendar/memo pad/task list; Easy, trouble-free syncing with Outlook. I might also use the web it it was reasonably quick, but gave up with Sprint as it was just painful.

Things that are NOT important to me in a phone: Ringers, games, playing music, watching videos, or having a crappy digital camera.

Based on this, the Blackberry 8700 seems like the perfect fit. However, I'm going back and forth between Cingular and T-Mobile.

Cingular has a bigger network, more phone choices, and I know more people on Cingular, however their data plans (especially for BB) are ridiculously expensive.

T-Mobile has great rates, their network is big enough, and they've received awards for customer service and reliability. On the downside they have a very ugly pink logo that I'll have to look at every time I look at my phone!

Anyway, here are my questions:

1. Any opinions on Cingular vs. T-Mobile, specifically in terms of how your BB 8700 has performed?

2. Any opinions from former Treo users as to how that phone performed vs. your BB 8700? (specifically in terms of ease of making calls, navigation, frustruation level or lack thereof, etc.).


Chris

Before you pick a carrier, you need to determine who has the best coverage where you live, work, play and travel. Cingular probably has better coverage than T-mo from what I have heard.

As for the device, I have used the Treo (600 and 650) and the BB 8700c. Both on the Cingular network. No one device doesn't do everything well.

I found the Treo's quality to be a bit of an issue as I have had 3 Treo 600s and one 650 before switching to the BB. Phone quality was good, but I had synch issues with Outlook with all of them.

The 8700c, on the otherhand, has been basically trouble free. Email is push so it is always there, whereas on the Treo, you will need to go get it. Easy enough to do, but just one more step. Email is probably the best BB feature.

The contacts and calendar functions on the BB are not quite as nice as the Treo, but it isn't a problem for me and I use them all the time. Once the synch is set up, it works great. Much better than my Treo since it stopped synching and we never could figure out why.

I use a BT headset so voice quality isn't an issue with me. All carriers and devices have their issues with quailty and customer service and IMHO , they are all about the same in that regard.

All in all, I love the BB and do not plan on switching to anything else. The service is a business expense and is reimbursed, so cost to me isn't an issue. I pay $44.95 for the unlimited BB data and $99 for 2000 rollover minutes every month. T-mo might be a bit cheaper, but their coverage isn't as good where I use the phone. Again, cheap service is no good if you don't have the coverage you need where you use the phone.

Just be aware that this is a BB forum so the answers to your questions will most likely be slanted toward the BB.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Dubdub,

Thanks for the reply, great info.

I live/play in Houston so coverage is pretty much a wash. It seems like everyone complains about their carrier though so it's difficult to sift through the facts sometimes. But here in Houston I've heard positive things both on Cingular and T-Mobile.

For what it's worth though, Consumer Reports did a study on all carriers in 14 major markets, and in Houston it was Verizon and T-Mobile at the top of the list. In fact, Verizon and T-Mobile topped this list in almost every market, save for a couple.

In any case it's great to hear a testimonial from a former Treo user. I understand that up here I'm going to get a positive BB slant, but I figure if there are former Treo users here then there's a reason why they are now BB loyalists!

Thanks again,
Chris
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Chris, I live in Houston and as a Cingular Customer I'lll say that if you never leave houston, or travel north on 59 or 45, you'll be fine with Tmo Coverage. It comes down to personal prefrence. I have some friends with Tmo who complain about dropped calls and crappy service, and i have some who can't say anything but positive things about tmo and stick there nose up to my 8700c, because its cingular, gratned they always think there poop don't stink. what side of town you on?
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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stripesace,

I live/work in the Galleria area. However my new job will require more work in the field, both around the Houston area as well as around the country. With this in mind I'm leaning towards Cingular. I've heard their customer service is awful, but I figure if I get the right (reliable) phone then I won't have to deal with them!

What part of town are you in? And how do you like your 8700c here in Houston?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h-town8
stripesace,

With this in mind I'm leaning towards Cingular. I've heard their customer service is awful, but I figure if I get the right (reliable) phone then I won't have to deal with them!
This is purely a personal opinion, so keep that in mind...

This statement is a mixed bag, 'awful customer service'. It depends who you get. As the BB admin for a large company and userbase, I deal with them daily. I have about a 60-70% success rate in finding a good, competant person. If I get a bad one, I simply hang up, and call back (the sometimes 5-10 minute wait time is worth my sanity).

Sometimes you get someone great and helpful, but they don't follow an internal rule, and does something they should not (account changes without verification is at the top of this list).
Sometimes you get a bonehead that doesn't know much at all.
Sometimes you get someone that doesn't speak english, and reads scripts only.
Sometimes you get a very helpful, very knowledgable person.
Sometimes you get extremely good service.

So, as I said - mixed bag. I'd give them a C-C+ grade for customer service. It definitely needs work, but it's tolerable if you have the time to spend.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you get a FAN discount through an employer, school, etc. then you're CS gets better. I've not had a bad run-in with CS since the AT&T merger.

I'm house sitting for the summer in Cypress, goto UH main campus during the year, and work in Northwest Houston. 8700c is great, even IN the galleria. If you're going to be traveling I reccomend Cing over Tmo just based on personal experince. Nothing better than driving across BFE Oklahoma in the middle of the night talking on your phone while your tmo user friend is just looking for a signal.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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We have 4 or 5 FANs... The problem comes in when I need to do a warranty exchange or the like, and I get transferred outside Enterprise care. Ugh.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ah, Warrant xchange on your BB, or other phones?
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h-town8
I've heard their customer service is awful, but I figure if I get the right (reliable) phone then I won't have to deal with them!
Good idea in theory but they can screw up your provisioning...
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripesace
Ah, Warrant xchange on your BB, or other phones?
Blackberries. Luckily, I only support those, and not cell phones also.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi
Good idea in theory but they can screw up your provisioning...
My company has 2 CEOs.

With one CEO, they removed his international service, while he was in Germany, TWICE.

With the other, they shut his phone off when someone gave Cingular the wrong wireless number in a fax, and Cingular didn't doublecheck (they assumed that since the paper said 'office of the president', it was ok... It wasn't). Luckily, I caught it right away, and he had no more than an hour of downtime, but still...

EDIT: Wrong wireless number, not telephone number. Oops.

Last edited by Starkad : 06-05-2006 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h-town8
I've heard their customer service is awful, but I figure if I get the right (reliable) phone then I won't have to deal with them!
Actually, Cingular BB support has a direct line.. and is very helpful with any issue you may have with your BB. I've had nothing but good exeriences.
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Old 06-05-2006, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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tonydrone,

That's the first I've ever heard about a special, direct line for BB support. Good to know. Thanks.

Chris
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am also a new convert to BB from the Treo (650)- and I can tell you I have no regrets! Not only is e-mail seamless and trouble free, the OS is solid as a rock. I had a love hate thing with my Treo, when it worked it was a thing of beauty- when it didn't- well- that's why I finally dumped it.

the calendar and contacts functionality with the BB is great, particularly when you add a third party to enhance it- i use pocket day.

as far as carriers go- i went with t-mobile- i travel all over the country, and so far it's been fine. but go with advice already posted- go with the carrier that has the best coverage for your needs!

cheers!
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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jvr, and others, thanks again.

BTW, in case you didn't see it, on another thread someone posted that Cingular is lowering their BB unlimited data plans to $29. Still more than T-Mobile, but at least at a more reasonable level.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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About price, you get what you pay for.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry 8700g: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0) BlackBerry8700/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

I owned a 600 and a 650 before. The 8700 blows them both away! The 8700 will do everything you want and will so with a stable OS!

T-Mo -vs- Cingular is all a matter of preferance. I have T-Mo and have had no problems with signal, phone quality and no problems with their BIS service.
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