Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Texting

I've always had a dislike for text messaging.

Well, I may be changing my tune a bit. For the last couple of months I've been paying several dollars a month in casual text charges. I think it's time to accept that people are going to text me...and I will read them and reply, but there is no way I am going to keep paying Sprint's 20 cent fee per message to send/receive.

Now, I know I could simply add text messaging to my current plan and be done with it. But, if you know me you know why I hated texting in the first place...I type slow to begin with so pounding out messages on a regular phone keypad where you need to push a button 3-5 times to get your desired character...not so fun.

Solution: Get a smart phone or a phone with an included QWERTY keypad.

Problem with that? Even though I am eligible for a phone upgrade in April, that would require me signing a new contract AGAIN, which I already had to do in October, leaving me locked in to my current carrier until April 2010. While I have no overwhelming complaints about them, they are not faring well with customers lately and others are beginning to look more attractive.

My Options:

1) Renew in April for another two years and get a break on the phone I want then.
2) Spend $300-plus on the type of phone I want in order to avoid contract renewal.
3) Pay the $200 to exit my contract and port the number to another carrier (T-Mobile gets good reviews from some friends, and ATT is the home of iPhone, although I would not pop for one of those initially.)
4) Keep my current phone for the duration of the contract

Anyone out there want to comment on the cell phone racket, or endorse their carrier, phone or plan?

11 comments:

Mike said...

I was in the same boat as you in a way. Text messaging seems so impersonal, however I had to accept Gonzo and The Guy would text me. I am a slow texter. I also don't like doing it because the price adds up.

I finally gave in last June or so, added texting to my plan (200 messages).

You can always look on ebay/craigslist for people selling smartphones.

I used that to get a new Blackberry Pearl for $100. Beware that you have to download a special program for it to be Mac compatible and then you can't access the memory card on Blackberry phones.

If you aren't planning on being locked in for a while then I wouldn't spend the money on the phone or renew your contract. Termination fees are expensive.

Adding texts may be the cheapest solution.

It is totally up to you though.

JoeJoe said...

Curious..
Have you tried t9?
I use it on my phone and do fine. Some people like it and some don't. It can also depend on the phone, some will learn words and let you add 'em to a user dictionary - others are completely user un-friendly.

Jake said...

T-Mobile is who I go through and I've never had any issues. All of the big carrier's within the last day or two have also recently announced unlimited talk/text for $80-99 too. I have a Blackberry Curve and I love it! There's also Windows Mobile, the new (and inexpensive) Palm Centro that just came out on AT&T, and tons of others.

Check out http://www.boygeniusreport.com/ and http://www.engadgetmobile.com/ and cnet.com for reviews of stuff.

David said...

If you're going to learn txt, you're just gonna have to jump in the water. Honestly, it's not so bad after a while. I had to learn how to do it when I did my study abroad in the Philippines (the texting capital of the world, btw). My cousin's phone there--you can't see the writing on her buttons because she has worn them off! And it doesn't bother her because she can txt with her eyes closed. It's insane. Anyways, my advice is to do it cheap. Get intimate with the phone you've got now and add a text messaging plan if your monthly charges are exceeding the offered text messaging bundle plan.

A Day In The Life said...

Dude...with Sprint I only pay $49.99 for 450 minutes (rarely use it during the day since I am at work). This price includes 7pm unlimited talk, AND unlimited texting, which I added for only $10. I too was a very slow texter and hated it whenever someone sent me one, but I had to give in and after a few short weeks of using it....you get good…trust me. Oh and on your regular phone, you can use the T9 word option while texting as it recognizes your words and in a way auto-fills.

My suggestion is that you stay with Sprint...hang onto your current phone, ride out your contract, if you are not good at texting by then, consider a change at that point. We’ll talk about it the next time we get together!

dit said...

I adore texting as it allows me to keep in contact with my niece and others I would not normally be able to communicate with because of time differences.

I also adore my Iphone (through ATT) . I was never a "phone" person until i got the Iphone. Now friends swear they are going to hold an intervention. I use it all the time, taking pics of weird things and emailing things to regular phone calls. lol

So, there is my advice. Hope it helped on some level? However, alternately, I agree with mike, "Adding texts may be the cheapest solution."

Matt in Argyle said...

I was with tmobile when I lived in the states last year. Never had any problems with them. Granted price wise you can probably find better deals elsewhere.

Josh said...

I have at&t and love them! If your friends have at&t, your calls to them are free, without having to pay for my faves or mobile to mobile. My whole family is on at&t, so I can call any of them and never be charged. Plus, they have great technology...with tmobile I have heard if you change your plan, you automatically renew your contract...(upping your downing your minute usage plan etc). Not so with at&t and other carriers!

I love cell phones...good luck

Anonymous said...

i think the best carrier really depends on where you live. verizon is the best in metro dc but may not be where you are.

i have a blackberry and text quite a bit. with the full qwerty keyboard, i have never texted using a regular cell phone and do not know how.

David said...

I hate texting and think its stupid and impersonal to boot. It's really designed for 12 year-old girls who think The Jonas Brothers are hot shit.

What ever happened to justr talking to friends and family?

Anyways, I have verizon here in SolCal, and I'm pleased with it. No drop calls, no techincal problems and its fairly priced -though I never even get close to using my 450 minutes a month.

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