Isaac's Blog

April 23, 2007

From the g33k/phone dept.  

Blackberry outages

Got cingular? call them up, say "i want the service credit for mt blackberry outtage." My rep had no idea what I was saying so I followed up with "It was on a company memo last week." After waiting on hold for 5 mins, she came back w/ a $30 credit. I wont complain, April 18th hasnt been my only outage. heres the link where I found the memo:

So while on the phone, I asked about the outage I had on sunday morning, 8am-12:30pm. She searched like 5 diff databases and nothing. She asked me if I was having a problem now, to which I answered "No, I'm fine now, and I know you want me to call in when the problems occur so you can diagnose, but this happens on the weekends or after hours, so i'd like a way to report it, so you know whats going on and to get it fixed. I dont need tech support, I know it was the network." So I'm on hold another 10 mins, and she comes back and says to call after hours and get ahold of the after hour support. what after hour support, is there some special keycode? WTF? Anyways, I told her i will be logging each outtage and calling in the next business day until this gets resolved. Then she tells me that there is an issue w/ BB and edge. all other pda's are fine, its something w/ BB. I dont buy it.

March 8, 2007

From the g33k/phone dept.  

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!

March 3, 2007

From the g33k/phone dept.  

Blackberry Pearl Scams

There comes a time when your Sony Ericcson T637 just goes out and you need a phone. I decided I wanted a Samsung Blackjack or a Blackberry Pearl. So I went to ebay to see what the going rate was for these without having to sell your soul to the mobile company. I stumbled upon something earey "$50 Blackberry pearl". So I sent the guy an email.... heres the thread.

From: "Isaac Kishk"
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 16:00:58
To:[email protected]
Subject: BB Peal for $50

so whats the catch. how can you offer the phone $200 cheaper?


On 3/2/07, Kevin Alt wrote:
No overhead online!


-----Original Message-----
From: "Isaac Kishk"
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 16:15:18
To:[email protected]
Subject: Re: BB Peal for $50

yea, however when I asked about this to a rep, they said you guys have
various strings attached. can you disclose the 3rd party contract i'd
be agreeing to if I did this?


On 3/2/07, Kevin Alt wrote:
You will be selecting your phone and rate plan on my dealer site. The only thing you cannot do is change your plan for 6 months.


-----Original Message-----
From: "Isaac Kishk"
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 16:29:31
To:[email protected]
Subject: Re: BB Peal for $50

do you have your contract anywhere I can review it? Sorry to come off
skeptical, but you cant expect some people not to be on middle men :)

On 3/2/07, Kevin Alt wrote:
Sure go right to my dealer site and you can read the terms and conditions.

And the final farewell:

-----Original Message-----
From: Isaac Kishk
Date: Mar 2, 2007 5:41 PM
Subject: Re: BB Peal for $50
To: [email protected]

whats your experience with your customers getting their rebates. I've
found various sites where inphonic doesnt honor rebates for various
things unrelated to the submission itself.!&q5=InPhonic&Search=Search

Also, reading further, it states people dont even get rebated for 6
months due to the high churn of customers otherwise (which makes sense
from a business standpoint):

These are the kinda things I was leary of.

Your partners, about us, and contact us pages are blank. There is no
terms/conditions link on your site.

Seems like a cool deal to be an affiliate, and its free why not, but
not disclosing the now obvious 6 month wait for a rebate is kinda
lame. I'll havwe to sleep on wheather paying $100 more now, or
waiting 6 months for $200, which may or may not even come, is worth
it. thanks for your help.

And the reply with no attempt to lure me in... loser:
I have had no complaints. I have had my dealer site for over a year now. Generally rebates are not honored because they were not properly filled out from online or in stores. I run a arper in upstate ny as well.

So the moral of the story is.... not all 3rd Party vendors are bad, InPhonic is.