The loading, driving and unloading parts to our move out west were relatively uneventful, however the first week in our new location has been a little more exciting. It included two lost Sprint phones, strep throat, the flu, and (gasp!) scarlet fever! I didn’t even know that disease existed any more. . .
Anyway, back to the phones. When Mrs. Rocket and I re-upped with Sprint for another two years, they gave us several incentives that convinced us that we were making a pretty good deal. We picked up two free phones and we were enjoying our Katana II and S-1. However, on our trip through the Heartland, Mrs. Rocket’s phone was stolen at the infamous “flea-hotel” and during the course of doing all the laundry that our recent bouts with sickness required, I managed to launder my wireless phone -rinse, suds and spin. Needless to say, it is now very, very clean and has become a favorite in my one-year olds toy box. He fancies himself a sports agent, I think.
We were down two really nice phones and since we have no landline, we needed to replace them fast. I decided to check for specials at several Sprint/Nextel dealers in our area. I called around and without a major discount or rebate, all of the phones cost significantly more than we can afford at the moment. Without a rebate, even spending $100 will result in a pretty low-end phone. I had also heard that some stores offer refurbished phones for reduced prices. These are phones that have been returned after a short period of time, usually when their owners want to upgrade to the latest phone technology or decide to switch to a different model before their contract is up. I looked through all kinds of refurbished phones – including a tempting Palm Treo. However, most refurbished phones do not come with any accessories – the customer must also purchase a battery and charger before being able to use the phone.
In the pile of refurbished phones, I saw a familiar shape: the Samsung A620, the identical model that came with my contract in 2003 and that I still had laying around the house. They wanted $75 for the phone, $50 for a battery and $20 for a charger! Sprint wanted us, loyal customers since 2001, to plunk down $145 for a five year old model! Turns out that I still had my 2006-07 phone, the A840, as well. Mrs. Rocket and I decided to just reactivate the same phones that we were using at the end of 2007 and hope they last to the end of this contract. (By the way, cellphone activation used to have to be done in the store and used to take 24 or even 48 hours. Now, it is possible to instantly activate a phone on the internet.)
So, will we purchase phone insurance the next time that we sign up for a new plan? Nope. Not as long as we have old, usable phones still laying around the house. In a couple of months, I will try Hustler’s method for getting a new phone from Sprint. I doubt if it will work as well for me as it did for him, but I’ll let you know how it goes.
We have written a lot of checks to Sprint over the years and I hope they appreciate our loyalty.