Do You Shun Friends With Other Cellphone Carriers?

The Times brings us the sad story of Brandy McDowell and Kezia Chandler, two longtime friends whose relationship was shattered when they signed up with rival cellphone companies. The prospect of free mobile-to-mobile minutes has baited many friends groups to sign up or stick with the same carrier, ruining some friendships in the process. The Times article is rife with accounts of people who lost contact with friends banished to wilderness of nights and weekends. Are you loyal to your friends or your wallet? Tell us in our poll, after the jump.

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What’s Good for a Business Can Be Hard on Friends [NYT]
(Photo: sirmikester)

Comments

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  1. Toof_75_75 says:

    Shunning them would mean I would have to ask what carrier they have and that in itself is too much work. I just try to keep my minutes down in general without paying attention to which carrier I’m calling.

  2. yg17 says:

    No, I don’t shun them. I need someone to laugh at when their Cingular phone won’t pick up a signal and my T-Mobile phone is making and receiving calls like a champ :D

  3. Youthier says:

    @Toof_75_75: I’ve never even considered asking my friends who their carrier is.

  4. Toof_75_75 says:

    @HeyHermano:

    It’s funny though, my fiance knows what carrier all of her friends are on. She doesn’t even have to keep track of minutes or keep them to a minimum, she, for some reason, must have talked to most of her friends at some point about what carrier they have. I don’t get it, but I just let her go about her way :-p

  5. Steel_Pelican says:

    If you stop talking to your friends because cell calls and text messages are too expensive, then they aren’t really your friends, are they?

  6. this is absolutely ridiculous

  7. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    This is one of the most retarded things I’ve ever read.

    Consumerist, you owe me 3 IQ points!

  8. Youthier says:

    Now that I’ve read the article, this actually is a big plus. All these morons are waiting until free nights to call their friends, meaning they won’t be yapping on their cell phones instead of paying attention to the cashier at the grocery store.

  9. jamar0303 says:

    Oh well, I live in China- (in USD)2cents/min for local calls and 10cents/min for calls to the States for me (prepaid, postpaid is too much hassle for me and quite a few people here). Who cares about what carrier there’s on when there’s no such things as free M2M here (we have discounted M2M at 0.7cent/min but that applies to all carriers except for the PHS carrier which is treated like a landline)?

  10. jamesdenver says:

    @Toof_75_75:

    Exactly. Nothing is more tedious and inane than listening to my mom and friends discuss which plan they have and what minutes give you this and that.

    Who care – I make calls, I assume the recipient is capable of handling their own cell phone arrangements.

  11. TPK says:

    There is definitely a certain freedom-giving allure to free minutes. But true friends are worth more than minutes any day.

  12. m.ravian says:

    i’m sorry…..

    is this for real?

    it sounds like the plot for a really bad episode of Friends or something.

  13. WolfDemon says:

    That’s stupid because there are things like msn and aim. then again, i don’t use AIM…

  14. ancientsociety says:

    If the only way you can be “friends” with someone is if you have the same cell carrier or can only maintain a friendship via texting, you have no idea what friendship means

  15. DjDynasty says:

    I have Cingular and Sprint, both provided by work. So I can make mobile to mobile calls to 90% of everyone that I need to speak to for personal phone calls. My friends on Verizon are in Cali, I’m in Chicago, So by the time they get off work, my 7PM nights are kicking in (6pm on Sprint) and I’m enjoying free calls!

  16. Buran says:

    @HeyHermano: Hey, it works out for people like me and my bf who are both the kind who, if work or other schedules don’t intrude, sleep late and stay up late. Plus, we can use instant messaging unless we really want to do a voice call, which is free any time.

    If you stop talking to someone over who they use for cell service, you’re not much of a friend anyway.

  17. ogremustcrush says:

    I have so many more minutes than I will ever use, I could really care less. The month I use half my minutes will shock and astound me. Oh, and I didn’t go crazy with my plan either, just a 39.99 one, but I don’t call often, and I have a promotional plan that is a great deal.

  18. wring says:

    i got a 1000/mo txt msging plan so i can txt my buddies all the time.

  19. maevro says:

    @yg17:

    Bwerk. Have fun with that slow T-Mobile. My AT&T gets UMTS or HSDPA almost everywhere I am in NYC. T-Mobile doesn’t even know what 3G is yet….

  20. marsneedsrabbits says:

    We don’t tend to yack on cell phones so much, so my friends never come into the equation. My friends & I call each other over VOIP or Skype and chat endlessly. The cell phone is for “Please pick up asparagus on the way home, honey”, or “the realignment on the car will be X. Is that about right?”
    My husband & I share a small plan, and never exceed our minutes between the phones. I came within one minute of the total the month we were married several years ago, talking to caterers, musicians, seamstresses, and soon-to-be-in-laws.
    That was the closest we ever got to the limit.
    When I’m out, I want to be with the person I’m with or alone with myself, not droning on the phone.

  21. yg17 says:

    @maevro: Don’t care about 3G. AT&T sucks down here in St. Louis, by far the worst carrier I have ever used. I don’t give a shit about fast speeds, I care about being able to make and receive calls.

  22. Cowboys_fan says:

    I’m surprised people even know the difference. I can’t count how many times as a csr a customer would say “What do you mean mobile-mobile doesn’t include all mobile phones?”.
    All kidding aside, companies are on to this anyway with altels circle, tmobiles myfaves(scam), etc. Get a plan like that and it won’t matter. Also, most cell phone plans aren’t exactly designed for hours of talk time daily. You wouldn’t believe how many 1000’s of minutes some people will go over on a 1000 min plan, and at $0.40/min where I worked, could cost over $1000, and some even gladly pay it.
    I don’t expect my friends to call me on their cells. They can IM, e-mail, drop-by, etc. I know how expensive it can be. Also, there’s this great, much cheaper invention for local calls, its called a pay-phone.

  23. dasunst3r says:

    With all those minutes to blow and the advent of VoIP, I could care less what provider my friend uses. If you shun your friends on the basis of what carrier they use, you need to start evaluating other communications mediums if you want to be worthy of having friends.

  24. justelise says:

    I think this is about the third article I’ve read about not communicating with friends on other cellular carriers in the past month. It makes me think that some blog authors are running out of things to say.

  25. EtherealStrife says:

    LOL @ picture

    wtf @ article

    PREPAID @ contract monkeys

  26. TechnoDestructo says:

    I never shunned anyone over it, but I definitely tried to be as brief and loud as possible every time I tried talking to friends in Japan who had NTT Docomo cell phones. God damn the sound quality was awful.

  27. Rusted says:

    Think this is a nonexistent issue. My minutes have never run out.

  28. DeeJayQueue says:

    the only person I talk to on a regular basis is my SO, who is on the same carrier as I am.

    Otherwise my average phone call is about 2-3 minutes anyway, just because I hate talking on the phone.

  29. Buran says:

    @yg17: My AT&T Razr works fine here in STL. All networks have good spots and dead spots and some phones are in general better than others. Variation’s normal.

  30. FishingCrue says:

    I haven’t shunned anyone but I have become better friends with some because they know they can call me anytime for free.

  31. acambras says:

    My boyfriend and I both have Cingular. When we signed on, we were under the impression that we would have free member-to-member (M2M) minutes. However, we later found out that our specific plans don’t include M2M, so we don’t get to call each other for free.

    Fortunately, we have enough minutes to where we don’t have a problem going over. Still, I felt misled when I found out the truth.

  32. shoegazer says:

    I get 500 minutes for any network, so uh, no. I only shun friends I don’t like.

  33. Cap'n Jack says:

    Hahahahah!! Only losers do this. Really, if you’re that cheap, get a pager instead.

  34. strathmeyer says:

    Ah, so this is why retards have no friends.

  35. cmac says:

    First, it’s not important exactly what carrier your friends are on; it’s only important to know if they’re on your carrier. Your itemized phone bill will tell you this, so it’s not like a ridiculous conversation has to ensue to find out.

    I would never damage a friendship over something trivial like this. Period. However, I will call people in a different order to put M2M calls first (ie before 6PM) and others later. No need to waste minutes unnecessarily, even though I have plenty.

  36. kaikhor says:

    First, I admit that I do know at least some of my friends companies, but it’s not a huge issue. My phone plan has 5 lines and rollover minutes (yeah cingular, I mean AT&T…). We honestly rarely use all our minutes and every month we lose a handful of rollover ones (which doesn’t matter, cause we just add more). According to my mother (the official name on the bill, I pay it straight to her) the last time we used all of our minutes was just over 2 years ago when I got married.

    Now, text messages we’ve gone over more than I like to think about, but we usually find a plan that better works and change (example: for awhile, my husband would go over mostly because we were texting each other and both our accounts would get dinged for both messages. We then changed his account so that he had unlimited messaging to cingular customers and 1000 to everyone else, which is many of his friends).

    I have never even thought about losing a friendship over something as dumb as cell phone carriers…

  37. royal72 says:

    i shun all of you that have cell phones and it is not a necessity of you making a living. specifically you, the on the phone driver, who can’t drive anyway, but for good measure is completely preoccupied chatting about your latest ring tone to your friend, whom you are currently on the road to see in five minutes.

  38. synergy says:

    Talk about superficial. I have no idea what most of my friends use and I don’t care. I don’t even care if *gasp* they don’t own a cellphone!

  39. floofy says:

    This is dumb. Who really cares what 18-24 yr old’s calling habit are?

  40. Marce says:

    Good lord. The only time I EVER cared was when it came up as a discussion for work and the coworker-friend was looking for a new carrier. They didn’t like the one I had. I left the discussion.

    Jeez. With text messaging, email, instant messaging, and social networking sites, how wouldn’t you stay in contact with them?

  41. keyaki04 says:

    First of all, I am one of them and we still contact. The article states, and I repeat, “they don’t talk on the phone as much.” We have to communicate by other means. It’s not about being cheap. It’s about being smart. You can always use your home phone, IM, or visit, etc. I shouldn’t have to pay $250 a month b/c I don’t want to communicate in other ways! So who will be the loser when you check your cell phone bill and it’s more than your car payment? Thanks, I have my answer.