Cell Phone Plans in San Diego – Survival Guide Style

First I’d just like to say my I can feel my blood cells crying inside of me. There is a lot of poison in there. I hadn’t been doing my usual thing Wednesday nights and boy did I just jump right back into old habits last night. I have confusing text messages in my phone from “Poppa Sara.” Everything is still in my wallet that was in my wallet, but it has been thoroughly re-arranged. This morning my mouth tasted like chocolate cake and eyeliner.

Anyway. I need to talk to you about smartphones.

My phone is not very smart. It is a feature phone I bought in 2011 for $99. It has a slide out keyboard. It *can* connect to the internet, but I like to avoid that. Instagram is not even an option, haha, no, why would you even think that?

samsung-gravity-touch-T669I got bad olives or a bad roofie in my martini one Goth Night @ the Flame and a phone just like this one went way down into a toilet. I tried to fish it out but there was nothing I could feel except my lost dignity. So I re-ordered it off Amazon. Besides a brief stint with CHINAFONE, which was cool because it had A FREAKING RADIO ANTENNA but not cool because it didn’t send picture messages even though it had a camera wtf… I have been loyal to this phone for the past two years.

Samsung T669 Gravity Touch, your time is coming to an end. I need 4g. I need more than 2 megapixels. I need Facebook in my pocket.

Katelyn needs a new phone as well, because it never seems to work when I need her immediate attention and dammit why doesn’t she ever text me back? Anyway, she went in for the HTC1. The sales rep, who for now I’ll call Mr. Sprint Guy, saw me send a text message on my piece of junk and slyly said, “Actually, we have a Buy One Get One sale on this phone next week.”

I tried very hard to replicate the face I made then but I think I’m a little too hungover.  Just imagine this with me making a creepy “heeeeeeeeee?” noise:


I guess I could have just put a picture of Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black.

Mr. Sprint assured us that he’d be able to get me in to their plan, “Oh yeah, I can work you in there,” even though Katelyn and her family are maxed out at 5 lines. With the Katelyn family discount, that would mean $30 a month or less for unlimited high speed data. And a free HTC1 (well at least half off). Sign me up.

Plus like, shiny matching lesbian phones. Adorable!!!

See, I’ve been with T-mobile for years and have never gotten a subsidized upgrade. My parents always stole my device upgrades. Now I’d have to pay full price to change my phone. Or $200 to leave T-mobile. It was $200 I was willing to pay…. or at least try hard to get out of paying. I mean, my reception really, really is terrible.

We went back the next week and the same Mr. Sprint was there again! He grabbed our two HTC1s, a couple of Otterbox cases he said he could price match to Amazon, and started ringing us up.  Then things got weird.

Katelyn: “So you can grandfather in Sami to the plan, right?”

Mr. Sprint: “Well, I actually have to change the plan, but it’s really just a change in the name.  It’s basically the same thing. It’s hard to explain. I wish I had something to show you.”

Katelyn: “Wait, you’re changing the contract? Can I get a printout to compare?”

Mr. Sprint: “They’re just changing the way things are named and the way the numbers are organized, but it’s basically the same thing. I can’t know the actual numbers until after it’s rung up and the taxes are added.”

Me: “What do you mean by ‘basically’ the same?”

He got a little uneasy because I called him out all cold-blooded like I do. Katelyn repeated her request to see a printout of both her current plan and the new one. He grabbed a pamphlet and showed how her current plan works. He had to clock out to avoid overtime, so he handed us off to a supervisor. She walked us over to a tablet, and showed us a magical webpage that I can’t locate now. Seriously where is that webpage? It was kind of like T-mobile’s pretty webpage, in that you could easily mess around with the plan and see what kind of price it made.

I got on chat today and got the details for you. I lied a little bit. Also I wasn’t as nice as I usually am to customer support because Cathy (not her real fake name) was inept and went on a completely inexplicable tangent and also my liver is made of sadness right now:

Cathy: Thank you for visiting Sprint. What questions can I answer for you today?

You: I’m trying to get to this webpage they showed me in the sprint store that showed us how to have 6 phones on a plan

Cathy: I would be happy to help you with the Sprint services.

You: Thanks, so how do I get to that webpage? I started trying to look at a plan but it only let me add 5 phones

Cathy: Once you submit your personal information during checkout, you will receive a credit evaluation to determine your eligibility for service. There is a page in the order process that will indicate if a deposit is required at this time.

Cathy: If additional information or a deposit is required after you have submitted your order, one of our Order Support Agents will contact you.

You: That is totally not what I want

You: I just want to know what the plan looks like to have 6 phones. Currently I am with T-mobile and I was thinking of switching to sprint if I can have 6 phones

Cathy: Alright.

Cathy: I am going to ask you a few questions to better assist you today.

You: ok

You: See tmoible has a nice and easy to use page here: http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans/family.html…

You: I thought you have something like that

Cathy: How many of those lines will be smartphones and basic phones?

You: 6 smart phones

Cathy: How much data would you need for each line? Do you prefer 1GB or unlimited?

You: unlimited

Cathy: Thank you for the information.

Cathy: Based on the information you have provided, the Unlimited, My Way plan will cost just $360 per month, before taxes and fees.

Cathy: On the Unlimited, My Way plans, the first line is $50 a month, the second line is $40 a month, the third line is $30 a month and each additional line (up a total of 10 lines), is $20 a month.

Cathy: Each smartphone will require either a $30 unlimited data package or a 1GB data package for $20 a month.

Cathy: Each line on our Unlimited, My Way plans receives unlimited talk and messaging.

You: Ok, thank you for that information, that is exactly what I needed!

Cathy: My pleasure.

Cathy: Are there any other questions I can help with?

You: That’s it

Cathy: Thank you for visiting http://www.sprint.com.

Ok, have I lost you yet? That was really boring. I apologize. Wait, no I don’t. NEVER SAY SORRY. Never.

The important thing to realize is that $360 is NOT ‘basically’ the same as her current plan. Katelyn left the pamphlet* at work, so I can’t give you exact numbers, but her current plan + $30 a month is more like $180-200 dollars. Um, no. Mr. Sprint your new name is Mr. Scumbag.

mr-scumbag-from-sprint-telephone-business-card-college-storeYou should have seen the look on Ms. Sprint’s face when Katelyn did the math for her, and it sunk in that she had been living in Mr. Scumbag’s fantasy world where a $100+ difference is basically the same. Except the name is different. Right.

We walked out immediately.

Moral of the story, kids, always insist they show you a print-out before they take your credit card. And if anyone has an old smartphone they don’t want I’m in the market….  Not that I couldn’t drop 600 dollars right now for a brand new shiny one but I don’t feel like carrying around 600 dollars in my purse at all times. Ya ya ya I know there is insurance but Anxiety is not a cooperative member of the United States of Sami and insurance doesn’t make the panic go away when it’s two days before Christmas and there’s a hole in my car and… that’s a tale for another day…

All told, it’s not that Sprint is worse than any of the other cell phone companies out there — they’re all about the same when you average out the pros/cons — it’s just important to remember that some salespeople are scummy scummy loserfaces and they don’t care about your feelings. And also if you really want 6 phones on a Sprint plan, stick with the old plan and just add an additional phone on a separate line for $80 cuz you’re still better off that way.  So, put on your consumer armor and don’t let the Mr. Scumbags of the universe trick you into giving them lots of your moneys.

*I can add this pamphlet to the interwebs later if anyone would like that. Probably should, as a public service.