Cellular service recommendations?

I need cellular service recommendations.

I found out a couple weeks ago that my department at work is being issued new mobile phones, and that we're moving from Nextel service to Verizon. Today I found out that there is a very good chance that our new phone numbers will have 404 area codes. 404 is Atlanta, GA, where corporate HQ is located. Now granted, these phones are supposed to be work phones, but having a free mobile phone for personal calls was always considered a perk of the job. In my 2 1/2 years in this department this has never been a problem. That is, until a dumbshit co-worker of mine ran up 700 minutes last month on his 300 minute plan. The original reason we were given for changing service was that the Nextel service we currently have is too expensive, but I can't imagine how every call we make being long distance will save the company any money. But hey, it will keep us from getting personal calls on them, right? As much as I try, I can never understand how the management mind works. My boss is going to try to talk some sense into to her boss, who was the one who came up with this brilliant idea.

So needless to say, if I can't use my work phone for personal calls, I'm going to be forced to buy my own. Avoiding Sprint is a no-brainer. I've only heard complaints about Cingular's service too. I was looking at T-Mobile, but I heard they use the same cellular network as Cingular, which may rule them out as well. I don't want to spend more than about $30/mo, but that's reasonable because my requirements are pretty basic: Nation-wide coverage. Probably 300 minutes/month, preferably with additional (or free) time on evenings and weekends. Voice mail. Text messaging might be cool, but I don't think I know anyone else who uses it so it's not important. I also don't know what kind of phone to buy. I've never had to deal with this stuff before and I'm not looking forward to doing it now, but I'm so used to the convenience of having a cell phone that I don't want to go without.


kartoffel says:

AVOID VERIZON. They've fucked me and several of our friends over and they have lots of class action suits against them for overcharging.

kchrist says:

Yeah, I haven't heard many good things about Verizon either. To be honest, I've heard horror stories about just every cell company I can think of, with the possible exception of Nextel (but I'm sure they exist). I haven't had any problems with their service at all, but it costs a bit more than I'm willing to pay.

Billing issues aside, how is Verizon's service? I won't see the billing for the new Verizon work phone, but I will have to deal with their service.

kartoffel says:

Service as far as being able to hear/connect "spotty" especially in North Hollywood where I live!

Their customer service sucks big ass, but who's doesn't?

mommadona says:

i have cingular, and while they pissed me off for a long time, i am at this point pretty satisfied with their service. they have good deals (free nights & weekends, nationwide plans, roll-over minutes) and my dad, who just may be the most frugal man alive, has been satisfied with paying their bills for a year. you might want to check them out.

p.s. i think they have the most attractive phones out of every service.

anonymous says:

Sorry to butt in, but having worked for Verizon Wirelss, I'd have to say they have the best service. This coming from a former disgruntled employee - I would still get their service. Keep in mind certain areas are going too bad. That's the case with every provider. Verizon does however have the largest footprint in the US and puts millions into the network. Is it perfect - not even close. Cingular is currently in deep water with the P.U.C., who generally don't even bother with cell phone providers since its not a public utility. However, having over 5000 complaints, they decided to act. I see a major lawsuit in the works there. You are correct about T-mobile; they are currently using Cingulars network. Nextel isn't bad locally, however if you plan on using it outside LA-OC you're not gong be happy. A little more expensive also.

So that said, personally I'm going to stick with Verizon. Keep in mind you have a 14 return policy - return it for any reason and get out of the contract (double check to make sure they haven't changed it) and whatever company you go with, never ever buy it from one of the kiosks in the mall. Never. Always go to a store.

kchrist says:

That's to be expected. I'm at the point now where I'm actually shocked and surprised when anyone's customer service is even the slightest bit helpful.

kchrist says:

I think I've pretty much ruled out Cingular. The closest I'd get to them is T-Mobile, but since most of the Cingular complaints I've heard are about their network, I don't want to go with another company who uses the same crappy overloaded network.

I'm not really concerned about the phones anyone offers. I plan to pick up my own phone somewhere and just buy service for it. That was I can shop around for a phone I like. Most of the popular phones I see are kind of ugly to me, so I'm going to want as big a selection as possible.

kchrist says:

Thanks for the tips. I'll be able to try out Verizon's service when I get the new work phone. I probably won't actually get my own until after the holidays, so that'll give me a couple weeks to see how it is before I decide on anything.

I hate those mall kiosks! Those guys remind me of carnies the way they always try to get the attention on anyone who walks past. I wouldn't buy from one of them just on general principle. But out of curiosity, what's your reason for saying that?

anonymous says:

I worked in customer service - or customer care. And a good 40% of the calls that came in that were from pissed off customers where because of the kiosks. If you don't already know, the kiosks aren't actual owned by Verizon(in this case). They buy and sell Verizon airtime, and use the network. They also have their own contracts. For instance, Verizon has a $150 early termination fee if you break the contract. If you signed up through the kiosks(mobile systems) they have I believe a $300 ETF in the 1st 6 months. Plus if you buy the equipment through them, you cant or wont get any help at a Verizon store, since we didn't give you the equipment. The kiosks work of commission, so they just wanna sell.

On another note, I know Verizon customer service gets slammed allot, but when I worked there, the people on my team bent over backwards to help people. One of the reasons I quit was because they monitored our calls so much and had huge performance expectations. If you call customer service and have a legit problem, they'll help you out. If you call screaming and yelling and asking for unreasonable credits, you're not gonna get what you want. I gave out a little over $5,000 in credits in one month. And finally, if you really aren't getting the help you think you should, escalate the call and ask for a supervisor - they will almost always give you what you want within reason.

You probably think I still work for Verizon - ask Mester Hexed, he'll back up my hatred for the company.