This is why cell phone companies irritate me

I finally got around to upgrading to new cell phone and plan. Sprint, Samsung M520, SERO plan — nothing fancy. The phone isn’t even quite as awful as I had been expecting.

But, as suspected, adding on a Phone-As-Modem (PAM) data plan (to enable internet access from my laptop and N810) was a nightmare. In fact, because — well, I’ll spare you 40 minutes of various excuses from customer service — it ends up being “impossible” to add. So even though my phone supports it, and I’m grudgingly willing to fork over an extra $40/month ($960 for the term of my contract), Sprint’s billing system won’t take my money. Wooooonderful.

I suppose I could look at other cellular providers… But I have little faith that I’ll find better results elsewhere, or be able to do so without a week-long migraine. Perhaps AT&T and the rumored second-coming of the Jesus Phone will provide salvation. I still have concerns about Ma Bell’s less-than-immaculate hands, but this feels more and more like a strategy game… Jump there, hope the rest of the industry moves, and then jump somewhere else.

Oh well. At least for all my troubles I’ll have a slightly better cell phone with a nifty ringer for the next two years.

6 thoughts on “This is why cell phone companies irritate me”

  1. That’s a cool ring tone. May I suggest you to get a phone with Windows Mobile? That’s a nice and stable platform, I’m telling you.

  2. I ran into similar frustrations when looking into tethering options for my phone, and ultimately decided to just split the two–so now I’ve got an EVDO Rev. A USB modem from Sprint, which costs $60/month for unlimited bandwidth, and a separate cell phone plan from Verizon.

    One of the advantages of the USB modem over tethering, I’ve found, is that since the USB modem is fully powered by your computer, it doesn’t need a separate power source, which often isn’t the case with tethering. Another advantage of it is that my data plan is now “decoupled” from my voice plan, so if some awesome new data technology comes out in the next few months, I can buy a new data modem without having to get a new cell phone… Anyways, it’s a trade-off, but one that I’m willing to deal with for now.

  3. I’ve got a Palm Treo on AT&T, and I can tether it to the laptop on the standard data plan, didn’t have to get anything special to allow the laptop connection. The lack of being able to do that with an iPhone is why I haven’t gotten one yet. EVDO modems are too expensive for my taste (more expensive than the unlimited data plan on the Treo).

  4. Try just using the phone as a modem and see if Sprint notices (depends on “NAI”). Google for the modem driver (it might be part of the serial driver, or separate); if you’re on Windows it might be in the enormous “Sprint Connection Manager” download. The smarter people on forums should be able to help you out.

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