Staying with Sprint?

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 8 Jun 1999 10:30:04 -0700

It's crunch time to decide on what calling plan to keep, since I want
to print business cards today. I'm currently paying $50 a month for
500 minutes, anytime, anywhere *on their network*, no long distance,
and (finally!) text messaging.

But I'm dealing with a chickenshit carrier who can't even answer
their phones. I spent an hour on hold yesterday before getting cut
off; I've now called over two dozen times to pay my bill and keep
getting a busy tone. Grumble.

BUT --

Plans seem to have gotten a lot more expensive: AT&T is $90 for 600
minutes. Without first-minute-free, that's effectively the same as my
$50 plan, but I gain analog roaming for 80% more. Really worth it? I
don't know -- the only places I've been out of range in the last year
have been Chicago (now fixed, I believe), and rural I-5.

Airtouch and PacBell both have attractive volume plans -- including
very useful night/wknd plans for me -- but they're $75 for 600
minutes of real use.

They're all about 25 cents for additional minutes. All the others
require minimum committments, unlike Sprint. There, I could drop down
to a voicemailbox and use it just as a pager for $15/month. There's
not much to differentiate them...

... except handset envy. The main lure of the rival plans is the
Nokia 6000 series: small, 200hr standby, the usual. That looks to be
a $150 investment (tiny). Exposed keypad, though -- don't know how
long it'll survive in my pocket.

If I stay with Sprint, I desperately have to replace my old clunker.
The successor model is a Samsung 2010, a Li-ion version with voice
dialing and voice memo (and headset support).

But, the one around the corner... yes, I know it's a waiting game
trap, like getting strung along for a year on paging!... is really
cool. The Qualcomm 1960 thinphone has a built in 4-day battery and
comes in at 4.23 ounces.
64&manufactid=14 (click QCP-1960, get .pdf).

So, I'm tending to stay. The final question, though, is should I
still keep my 626 area code? I got it there only because it would be
local to Adam, but that was long ago. He went with Sprint himself a
while ago, so I'm not worried about him reaching me. But all my OC
(949) buddies have to call LD.

But changing my number within Sprint could be just as painful a
relabeling process: there's no number portability between wireless

Worse, I just called and 1) got the "systems crashed" excuse for
customer care's non pick-up, 2) there's no number portability within
the sprint net, either, 3) dual-NAM -- two numbers fwded to the same
handset -- is "illegal", only under FCC test so far, so 4) I'd need
to have two handsets during a transition to keep the old number with
a voicemail greeting with my new number but 5) the new thin phone
won't be out for another month, but it ought to be $99 (so not as
chic as you'd think, of course :-) 6) but when it does, I *could*
implement the handoff strategy, because within 60 days of buying a
new phone, you can bring in any old, operable phone+charger to get
$50 service credits. So 7) I'm forced to print my business cards with
the old 626 number.

Sorry, OC folks. I'm stayin' in Pasadena...


PS. It doesn't seem to make sense to produce a small initial run and
reprint cards in 3 months -- I don't want any collateral at out there
floating around with a bum number, right?