Blackberry Pearl for $139
How you might ask? There's this term I like to use "Customer Service Roulette." Basically, you call customer service, complain that there are no deals for existing customers, only new customers. new customers can get a Pearl for $149 at t-mobile, what's stopping me from going there? Not a contract anymore. And your loyalty is never appreciated. 90% of the time you'll basically get a "who cares." So hang up and call back. After about 3 hours of this (mind you, about half of that 3 hrs was holding), I went through about four representatives. the fifth was the answer. She played the same card as the previous four, but then she said "There's nothing I can do for you, however I could transfer you to the retention department If you'd like to cancel your account." At first I thought "How rude!" but then I realized... these phone calls are recorded and monitored. She just gave me the out I was looking for. before she transfered me I asked for the direct number just in case I lost connection... she said to just call back and have them refer to the notes. Sorry, no easy out for you readers.
So I thanked her for her help and regretted having to have cancel my account. Once I got to a rep in the retention department, i used the same script
"My phone is dying, I've tried all the recommended fixes, but I just want a new phone now. I've been with Cingular/att wiress since 1997 and I'd like to see if you can find me a decent rate."
I got the usual stuff the previous five reps told me, so I took it up a notch
"As a new Cingular customer, you offer people deals to join, yet you dont offer anything for existing loyal customers. What exactly is keeping me here?"
She looked at my account and noted the contract expired in December. I got an "I'm sorry sir, I cant help you". So I took it up another notch.
"T-Mobile is offering a Blackberry Pearl for $149 and a RAZR for free. I can cancel today and just go there. they have a cheaper blackberry plan and free "in 5". You're telling me you cant offer me anything?"
She asked to put me on hold. After 10 mins she came back with a counter offer of $219 for the BB and $79 for the RAZR.
"See, thats still not "free" for the RAZR and not $149 for the BB."
She asked to put me on hold again. After about 15 mins I got another offer. $189 plus a $50 rebate and $50 plus a $50 rebate.
"What about these $19 per line activation charges and shipping? They offer free activation and shipping"
Got the hold routine again, this time for only 5 minutes. She was able to waive the charges and offer me free overnight DHL.
"See, thats free. Lets me confer with my wife and make sure she wants the RAZR. Can you note my account so I can call back and start where we left off?"
So she noted the account and thanked me for my service. Four hours of being a jerk can really get to ya. So I took a walk, then talked to Susan about it. she did some research and said the RAZR was fine. However there was once catch. They said "V3" which is very vague. there are so many subversions.
So I called back to place the order, however I got them to clarify the RAZR. It was the std V3. I got them to let me upgrade to the V3xx for the price diff, which was onyl $20. not bad for a better phone w/ an SD card.
I placed the order on Friday night, 3/2. I got my DHL on Tuesday morning 3/6. Too bad overnight doesnt cover weekends!
So, the moral of THIS story is... play it nice at first, if you dont get what you want, become a jerk (not irate jerk) and threaten to cancel. Sure, I had to agree to a 2yr contract, but who cares, not like I'm going anywhere!