The end of March Madness also marks the time that my cell phone contract is up. My cell phone -- which is more often used as a PDA and for its Internet browsing capabilities -- is a pretty nice HTC 6700 that has worked well. I've experienced none of the horror stories others have with Sprint's customer service or billing systems. In total, I've been pretty satisfied.
A couple of weeks ago I became amused. I got a "retention" letter offering me 10 percent off my current bill if I sign up for a new, 2-year contract with Sprint. As a bonus, if I replied before May 16, I'd get a one-time $15 credit on my account. My current bill runs right about $70 a month, so that would make it $63 a month -- not bad, but not great.
Then I read the fine print.
This deal required a new, 2-year contract (even though I wouldn't be buying a new phone) which comes with an Early Termination Fee of $200. So, $7 a month savings for 24 months is $168. Add in the $15 bonus and we're up to $183. And if I get angry at Sprint anytime before the 2 year contract is up, I'd owe them more than I saved through their little retention plan -- and not have a new phone to boot.
So, I poked around on the Internet and came across Sprint's little-advertised SERO plan. A quick perusal of some Internet consumer sites turns up an e-mail address: [email protected] Those two facts together get you some cell phone plans better than the one I've got now for $40 less a month.
The only downside is it appears that it may be difficult for telephone numbers currently assigned to a Sprint phone to get transferred to this new plan.
All of the sudden a new phone -- with the cost recouped in just a few months through substantial savings on the phone plan -- is starting to look pretty attractive.
Now I've got to pick a phone out.