Wednesday, June 16, 2004

No, I Can't Hear You Now

In all fairness, I must note that "Can You Hear Me Now? Good." is a slogan for Verizon Wireless, and my cell phone service is through Sprint.

I've been spending a fair amount of thought lately on my cell phone service. I'm not all that happy with it. I get dropped calls all the time, and sometimes I have trouble getting a signal at all. Sometimes my phone tells me I have a strong signal, yet my calls won't connect. On top of that, lately my battery won't hold a charge for more than a couple of hours at a time.

The battery problem is easily fixed, but the other issues are more troublesome. I've had the same phone since I signed up for the service over two years ago, and it's entirely possible that the trouble I'm having is due to the advanced age of the phone itself. It's even possible that just replacing the battery would solve all of these problems.

Replacing the battery on this phone is not an option I'm considering, for several different reasons. For one, I love electronic devices, and any excuse to upgrade to a new and better product is a good one for me. If that were the only reason, I would be able to discount it, but it's not. Upgrading to a new phone will allow me to take advantages of new features and services that weren't available when I bought my current phone. Also, if I replace the battery and it doesn't fix the problems, then I've wasted money on a battery for a phone I'll have to replace anyway. Besides, after rebates, the cost of a new phone isn't all that much higher than the cost of a new battery for this phone.

That's one thing I do have to give Sprint credit for. I think most providers offer discounts and rebates on phones to new customers when they activate a new account, but I don't know if any others offer rebates to existing customers once they've had the same phone for a certain length of time. Sprint does, and that's the only reason I can even consider a new phone. If I had to pay full price, I wouldn't even be thinking about it.

Of course, it's possible that the issues I'm having aren't related to the age of my phone, and instead are just problems with the Sprint service itself. If that's the case, then buying a new phone would be silly, and that's why I haven't just gone ahead and done it. There's really no way to know, though, without getting a new phone and seeing what happens.

Another option--now, this may sound kind of radical, but bear with me--is to wait until my current contract expires, and then just do away with my cell phone service entirely. At that point it's possible I would become the only schmuck in the world without a cell phone, but I think I could live with that. Having one is convenient at times, but by no means necessary. Most of the time I don't answer it anyway if I'm not at home. I do use the Internet feature quite a bit when I'm out, so I can check the weather, movie times, or sports scores. I think that's probably what I would miss the most, and I could certainly get over it.

As appealing as that sounds, I don't really think I'll do it, just because I like electronic devices and because always having a phone and basic internet access really does come in handy sometimes. I just need it to get back to being more reliable than it has been lately.

No comments: