How Joe Saved Hundreds Of Dollars Using Confessions Of A Cellphone Sales Rep

Here at the Consumerist we have the vague idea that we are helping people save money, but when a story comes along like Joe’s that really shows how someone can take the information from this site and use it to save hundreds of dollars, well, it makes us feel really good.

Joe read our “Confessions of a Cellphone Sales Rep” series and took the advice shopping with him. The result was an informed customer negotiating the best deal with a variety of providers. Joe says, “You’re not there to buy a cell phone, you’re there to sell a new two-line activation with a text plan. If you approach the sales conversation from that direction, it makes it easier to walk away from salespeople who aren’t willing to help you get the deal you want.”

What really stood out about Joe’s letter is that he sold the salespeople on his business. Sure, it takes more work than just buying whatever offer comes along, but as Joe found out, you can save a lot of money by making businesses compete for your cash. And that’s what we’re all about. Read Joe’s email inside.

Joe writes:

I’ve been a Consumerist reader from the inception of the site, and I wanted to share with you a story of how your advice saved me hundreds of dollars when shopping for a new cell phone provider. My wife and I have had cell phones with Verizon Wireless for almost two years now, and our contract ends in May. Cell phone contracts are a hot topic on The Consumerist, so I decided to put the advice of fellow readers and the confessions of cell phone salesmen to the test. Two months before my Verizon contract ended, I set out to find the best deal on a new cell phone contract.

My current calling plan with Verizon is 500 minutes a month for $59.99, plus $10 for the second line. We get free in-network calling, and most of our family members use Verizon, so we burn a lot of free minutes. My goal is to find a comparable calling plan and a way to get free or cheap phones thrown in. Based on the advice of other Consumerist readers, I’d like to stay away from Sprint and Cingular unless I can get an incredible deal, as their customer service seems to be pretty poor. I’ve had my own horrendous experiences with Verizon DSL, so I’d also prefer to send my money to another company if possible. So my first choice is T-Mobile, followed by Verizon, then Sprint and Cingular.

On March 12th, I took a trip to the local mall. Like every other mall in America, ours has both kiosks and storefronts for several major cell providers (we don’t have a Sprint store). My first stop was the Verizon Wireless store, to see what their salesman would tell me. I browsed for a few minutes, then approached a salesman with the following pitch:

“I have a two-line family plan with Verizon, and my contract is coming up at the end of next month. I’ve never had any trouble with Verizon, and I’m shopping around to see what kind of deals I can get on some new phones if I renew my contract. What kind of offers are you running today?”

I could see the switch in the sales rep’s head turn off the moment I said I was already with Verizon. That simple fact transitioned our encounter from a “potential new activation” to “existing customer buying hardware.” After I was finished asking my question, his eyes fell to his computer screen, he tapped a few keys on the keyboard, and without looking at me he said “You can get the discount price on the phones.” When I asked what that meant, he continued typing and said “You can get the price on the phones advertised on the stickers. And your primary line also gets a $100 credit toward your next phone.” So essentially, Verizon’s offer to renewing customers is the priviledge of buying new phones at the normal price, with a $100 credit toward one phone. I knew from reading the terms of my upgrade agreement that this would require another two-year contract as well. I thanked the salesman and left.

My next stop was the T-Mobile store. I browsed for a few minutes before approaching a salesperson named Jennifer. My pitch was similar, but I wanted to try to hook her with the idea that a new activation was literally walking up and saying hello. Here’s what I said:

“I have a two-line family plan with Verizon, and my contract is coming up at the end of next month. I’ve never had any trouble with Verizon, but I’m shopping around to see what kind of deals I can get from other providers. I’m interested in getting some new phones, a text package, and a two-line family plan with at least 500 minutes. What kind of offers are you running today?”

Jennifer picked up a sales pamphlet and proceeded to give me her standard sales pitch. Two lines at 700 minutes for $69.99 (with five free “My Faves” numbers), plus $10 for text, plus a $70 activation fee, plus sticker price for the two phones. The standard drill. When she was finished, I told her that my current plan with Verizon was not only cheaper, but that they were offering an upgrade bonus of $100. Without breaking eye contact, and without looking up any additional information, she simply said “I can’t match that. All of our promotions are in the pamphlet.” No dice. I thanked her and left with my pamphlet.

Next up, Cingular. I found the Cingular kiosk and gave the salesman the same line I gave to T-Mobile. Joe the Cingular guy seemed a lot more interested in talking to me, and the first thing he did was was help me pick out two phones that would meet my needs (good move, by the way, getting me excited about the gadgets before talking about plans and pricing). We started going over plans, but his offer was pretty bad… $69.99 for 700 minutes, $10 for the second line, $10 for text, plus activation and full price for the phones. Cingular also didn’t offer a free-outgoing plan like T-Mobile’s “My Faves,” and I don’t know anyone else who has Cingular so free in-network calling does me no good. At face value, there is no way I would ever sign up under this plan. However, I wanted to see how low we could go, for the sake of the game. And so the sales pitch continued.

We “settled” on this plan, and I moved the conversation back to the phones. My wife wanted a basic RAZR model, and I was interested in something that could play mp3s. Joe told me that the RAZR would run me $50 and the cheapest mp3-capable phone he had was $120 (both after mail-in rebate, of course). I asked if I could get the rebates in-store, rather than mailing them in. I also asked if there were any additional offers or discounts available if I signed up on the spot. Joe went to talk to his manager, and came back with a firm “no.” We looked at each other in silence for a minute, and I sensed that our conversation was more or less at an end. I was looking at a fairly expensive calling plan, with no free destination numbers, and no discounts off the sticker price of the phones. Taking a tip I read on The Consumerist, I hemmed and hawed, and gave Joe my name and cell phone number. I told him to call me “if any additional discounts or promotions become available before the end of the month.”

So it seems that shopping for cell phone deals on the 12th of the month is a bad idea. My trip to the mall was entirely fruitless. After visiting three major providers, I failed to get even one penny off the basic printed promotions from any of them.

The next day, I called Verizon Wireless’s call center, to see if I could wrangle a better deal out of their customer support people. The call was actually fairly pleasant, with only two IVR options and a couple seconds of hold time. I expected to be transferred to a Retention Specialist when I fired off the trigger phrase “When does my contract end?” but the front-line rep kept me on the line himself. After I gave him the same pitch I gave the Verizon store, and he offered me the exact same deal, phones at standard price with one $100 credit. However, he also told me to visit the website, because I would also qualify for any “buy one get one free” offers available (of course, the “get one free” was only good for the cheapest $20 phone on the site). So, four sales contacts later, I was still banging at the gate trying to get past the printed promotions. I decided to try again at the end of the month, when salesmen would be more desperate to meet quotas.

On March 31st, I headed back to the mall. Joe never called me back, and Cingular’s promotion was so terrible that I just assumed they were a lost cause. The Verizon Wireless store gave me the exact same offer I’d heard twice already, so no help there. I found a different salesman at the T-Mobile store to talk to, and he gave me my first break, albeit a small one. After explaining my current plan and what I was looking for, he offered to do the mail-in rebates in-store, but wouldn’t go any further (for those who don’t know why this is a big deal, if you get the rebates redeemed in-store, you can usually mail them in anyway. In essence, a retailer who gives you the rebates in-store gives you the rebate twice). My last stop for the day was Simply Wireless.

I approached a salesman named Nick at Simply Wireless. I hit Nick with the same pitch I’d delivered to T-Mobile and Cingular. He asked which provider I preferred, and I gave him my list in order. We looked at some T-Mobile phones, and I picked out a RAZR v3 ($100) and an mp3-compatible Samsung t629 ($150), both with $50 mail-in rebates. He offered me the same plan I’d seen at the T-Mobile store… 700 minutes for $69.99, $10 for text, $70 activation. I explained Verizon’s offer, and their “buy one get one” promotion. That didn’t faze Nick.

“No problem, I’ll knock $50 off the price of the RAZR, so you’ll end up getting it for free after the rebate.”

Jackpot. Finally, after almost three weeks and seven sales contacts, I finally found someone willing to work with me for a sale. I told Nick that I would definitely be interested in activating with T-Mobile through him, but only if we could work out an activation deal that would be comparable in price to Verizon’s offer. And there was still the matter of the $100 upgrade credit. Nick didn’t waste any time addressing that, however.

“Well, how about I knock another $50 off the price of each phone, would you be interested then?”

Now we’re really getting somewhere. I asked for a copy of the contract to look over, so I could get the gears in motion and give the impression that I was ready to buy. We solidified the calling plan, and I asked Nick what my total out-of-pocket expense would be if I signed up on the spot. He told me I would be paying $100 for the Samsung phone plus a $70 activation fee, and I would walk out with $100 worth of mail-in rebates. I figured that was pretty good, but I had one more card I wanted to play. Because I was a returning customer, Verizon wouldn’t charge me an activation fee.

“No problem. We’ll strike the activation fee too, if you’ll sign the papers tonight.”

I took a minute to take stock of Nick’s offer. The calling plan was the same price as my plan with Verizon (because T-Mobile doesn’t charge a fee for the second line), but with 200 more minutes and no activation fee. The five free “My Faves” numbers would cover most of our minutes, meaning we’d probably never go over our plan. We were getting paid $50 to take a RAZR v3, and paying $50 for a Samsung t629 (after rebate), and the activation fee was waived. This offer seemed to meet my original goal – find a calling plan comparable to the one I had, and get some free phones.

The only hitch was my contract expiration date of May 11th. I told Nick I didn’t want to pay for overlapping service, and he said he could post-activate my account to come online on May 12th. I honestly wasn’t expecting to sign any papers that night, but I felt like this was a deal I couldn’t pass up. I started reading my copy of the contract, and Nick got on the phone with T-Mobile to push the paperwork.

The story isn’t quite over, though. It seems T-Mobile can only post-activate a maximum of 30 days in advance. That would put my activation date at April 28th, and I’d essentially be paying for two cell phone packages from 4/28-5/11. I told Nick this, and he put T-Mobile on hold to talk to his manager. He came back with more good news.

“How about if we knock another $20 off each phone, to compensate you for having to overlap services?”

Well ok, at that point I was willing to commit. I signed the contracts, paid a total of $78 for the two phones after tax, and left with two $50 mail-in rebate forms. What a difference from Cingular’s offer, which would have had me paying $10 more a month and at least $250 more up front for the phones!

As an epilogue, I recently called Verizon Wireless to cancel my service with them. To be honest, I wanted this call to happen before I signed a contract with another provider, because I wanted to see what Verizon would offer me when I put them up against the wall. But I’m happy with the contract I signed with T-Mobile, and I didn’t think Verizon would be able to beat it. The Verizon Wireless IVR was very painless, and I had Jessica on the phone within 60 seconds of connecting the call. She took my account information, but again I was not transferred to the Retention department (maybe they don’t have one?). I told Jessica I wanted to cancel. When she asked why, I told her it was because I got a better offer from another provider, and she asked me what the terms of my new agreement were. Normally, I wouldn’t disclose the details of T-Mobile’s offer, I would just ask her to give me Verizon’s best package so I could make my decision. But, since I already signed a contract, I went ahead and explained the deal. As I expected, we chatted for a few minutes (she was very friendly), and she came out and offered me the exact same deal I got with T-Mobile. I thanked her for the offer, and asked to proceed with the cancellation.

What has this taught me, and what advice can I give customers looking for a good deal on cell phones? From where you’re sitting right now, there are probably a dozen places to buy a cell phone within five or ten miles. That level of competition puts a tremendous amount of power in your hands. In fact, you are the real salesman here, not the person representing the cell phone retailer. You have a high-value commodity to sell (a new cell phone activation), and it should be your goal to sell your activation to the retailer who’s willing to give you the best deal for it. That’s why I refer to my opening line as my “pitch.” You’re not there to buy a cell phone, you’re there to sell a new two-line activation with a text plan. If you approach the sales conversation from that direction, it makes it easier to walk away from salespeople who aren’t willing to help you get the deal you want.

– Joe

One thing we find interesting about Joe’s story is that he ended up with one of those “other” wireless dealers. The relationship between the phone companies and the “other” dealers is a strange and rocky one. The cellphone company reps write us, practically foaming at the mouth, saying that they’re all a bunch of shysters.

The shysters tell us the cellphone company reps are lazy fratboys (or fratpersons, whatever) who don’t care about you and won’t give you a good deal. He said, she said. We say: Talk to whomever will give you the best deal and use your best judgment. Yes, there are shady cellphone dealers out there. But there are good ones, too. You need to be savvy enough to tell the difference.

Learn what Joe learned by reading “Confessions of a Cellphone Sales Rep”! —MEGHANN MARCO


8 Confessions Of A Former Verizon Sales Rep

7 Confessions of a Cingular Sales Rep

6 Confessions Of A Former Sprint Sales Rep

11 Confessions of a T-Mobile Sales Rep

8 Confessions of an Alltel Sales Rep


Edit Your Comment

  1. monkeyboy says:

    I’ve been a Tmobile customer for the past 3-4 years, and I have been very happy. Anyone have any suggestions on how to get the best deal on upgrading a phone?

  2. mantari says:

    Perhaps a good measure of your success is due to the fact that you went to a place that sells multiple cellular services (and aren’t the carrier themselves). So they’ve got more wiggle room than carrier reps?

  3. valkin says:

    Very impressive write-up.

  4. unsunder says:

    I signed up with Cingular about 8 months ago. I got them to match the Amazon price without any rebates. It took some haggling and me walking out once. But I got a SLVR for $10. I didn’t realize I might still be able to use the rebate, which was $180. That would have been sweet.

  5. JDAC says:

    It’s weird, buying a cellphone in the States is getting a lot like buying a car.

    There’s not many things to be happy about in england, but cellphones are generally easy to buy.

    For example, I signed up with Orange for 18 months on a plan that offers unlimited anytime landline calls, several hundred inclusive minutes and texts, and all incoming calls are free for £35 a month.

    Plus the phone, a Sony Ericsson W810i was free (w850i was out of stock, but would have been free too).

    I think the idea of actually buying a cellphone is anethema to brits since we get ripped off everywhere else.

  6. TexasScout says:

    Great work!

    I wish it was that way here in South Texas. Here, if you want to really communicate, you go to the provider that has the best network and the price be damned. Chingular (STX inside joke) has the best network as they were the old Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems. NOBODY has as good of coverage. What good is a cheap phone and plan if you can’t connect?

  7. Canadian Impostor says:

    I stick with T-Mobile even though I don’t get service at my office. That’s how good their rates and service are.

  8. mantari says:

    BTW, for those who suffer from price shock on their cellular service, I can recommend Cricket. Yeah, yeah. They’ve got the “prepaid wireless” stigma to them. But just put that awful label to the side for a minute and look at what you actually get.

    All plans have unlimited calling (sending and receiving) inside of your coverage area. Unlimited long distance is on any plan $40/mo and up. Flat rate monthly bill.

    Plans from $35-$60. The one major drawback is that they don’t subsidize the phones. The other is that their stores seem to be VERY VERY busy. Other than that, if you’re looking for unmetered cell phone service with flat rate billing and a cheap rate, they’re a great way to go.

    Cricket Plans are available on their website.
    (Disclaimer: I have no connection to Cricket other than being a delighted customer who is not raped by overages.)

  9. mantari says:

    Followup: Prepaid wireless, at least in terms of Cricket, means that you’ve got a flat rate monthly bill you have to pay with them. You can’t “go over” and get surprised. But your monthly bill pays for the next month’s service, so you’re paying in advance instead of in arrears like a regular service.

    I think they do auto-debit. I pay $.50 for a paper bill and then use my online bill pay to fork over the monthly rate.

    Oh… almost forgot… NO CONTRACT!!

  10. patchmonkey says:

    This is fairly interesting, especially since it concerns the big guys.

    Does anyone know if these “tricks” will work on smaller MVNOs? I’m currently with VZW but I’m fairly impressed with the new Helio Ocean. (And yes, I know Helio runs on Sprint.)

    Any ideas?

  11. Sasquatch says:


    As a former T-Mobile sales rep, I can tell you this honestly: don’t upgrade in a store. When you upgrade your T-Mobile phone in store, you have absolutely no bargaining power whatsoever, and the reps hate doing upgrades because they get paid next to nothing for doing them. The only people who can cut you a deal on upgrade pricing are the people in customer care and retention.

    As far as the “indirect” sales channel goes for T-Mobile, they do have a tendency towards shadiness. One horror story I remember in my store (a T-Mobile owned direct retail store) was a woman who came in and asked what was wrong with her account (she had recently upgraded at an indirect dealer that sold both T-Mobile and AT&T, before they were Cingular). I looked up her phone number and it was coming up as “cancelled.” When I opened up her phone, I found that she now had an AT&T SIM card. The store had ported her number and switched her service, and she never even realized it.

    You can definitely get a good deal from the indirect dealers, but you have to have en eagle eye to make sure you’re getting exactly what you agreed upon and nothing else. Also, ask about their “vesting agreements.” From what I was told, these agreements don’t just lock you into a two-year agreement with the wireless provider. It also locks you to the specific plan and feature bundle you signed up for. If you change any of the details of your plan, that store may be able to charge you a weird variation on the ETF.

  12. gopher646 says:

    I’ve been with T-Mobile for 4 years now. Couldn’t be happier with their service. The only problem is that I end up paying the sticker price every time I upgrade. Any advice on how to get a cheaper upgrade on a new phone?

  13. Antediluvian says:

    Cricket seems nifty if their coverage area wasn’t so limited. It’s $0.39 per minute for roaming, and there’s a lot of roaming on their maps.

  14. RumorsDaily says:

    T-Mobile has great customer service.

    As to the write-up, I’d recommend going to authorized resellers. They can lie through their teeth and the company that you end up signing the contract will shrug off their lies and claim that since you didn’t get the contract straight from them, they’re not going to honor any promises the third party sellers have made. A friend got screwed on the “free” text message deal that was most definitely not free.

    Go directly to the providers, don’t go through the weird mall people.

  15. SirKeats says:

    question: why is it that the retention offers suck so bad? i don’t get how an existing account committing to a new two year contract is any different from a new account doing the exact same thing. either way they’ve got you for two-years. considering the crazy deals you can get on new accounts they have to know they’ll lose a lot of customers by not offering decent retention deals.

    what gives? anyone have the scoop on this?

  16. kerry says:

    @mantari: The independent dealers have a *lot* more wiggle room than the corporate-owned retail stores. I’m not sure how it compares to that of a retention person, though. The dealers buy the phones at cost and make most of their money on activations. They really, really, really want you to sign that contract, even if they end up making no money on your hardware.

  17. raybury says:

    I’m a little leary of the double dipping, but an in-store rebate means I won;t be out the $50 I am from my last phone’s promised, but only half-delivered, rebates.

  18. mac-phisto says:

    awesome story – & awesome deal!

    “mom & pop” wireless shacks are a great place to get a deal (sometimes). a new activation brings revenue into the store in two ways: an activation bonus (sometimes in excess of $500/line depending on carrier) & residuals (earned by the originating store as long as you remain a customer of the carrier). salespeople obviously work on commission, but are less constrained by company policies, & floor traffic is not usually as high as at company stores. couple all this together, & you end up with some great bargaining power.

    keep in mind that activation bonuses for renewals are less than half what they are for new activations & depending on carrier, residuals may only be paid to the store that started the contract, NOT the one that processes an upgrade.

    way to go joe! thx for the feedback.

  19. MarcAnthony says:

    Well, I’ve been on the Sprint Sero plan ever since the day I walked in a Sprint store and nabbed a business card from one of the CSR’s! I get a pretty good deal, except for the fact that the phone i purchased was a lemon, but thanks to the executive customer service number on consumerist, i called yesterday, and after friendly negotiations, im getting an even better phone, and no out of pocket! I insisted on next day air, and my mom just called me and told me my package arrived.

  20. MavsFan says:

    Nice post, but a couple clarifications…

    Verizon Wireless has a 700-min Family Share plan for $69.99 that includes 2 lines. It’s not accurate to say you got 200 more minutes with T-Mobile. In fact, Cingular also has a 700-min Family plan for $69.99 that includes 2 lines.

    T-Mobile may have “My Faves”, but it’s priced the same as regular family plans at Verizon and Cingular.

    I’ve been with Verizon for 7 years, but am looking at Cingular. Their plans are priced the same, but Cingular has a “limited” form of rollover… and more importantly, the iPhone (in June).

  21. dantsea says:

    I’ve always had better luck with independent dealers than with the carrier-O&O stores. I’m currently with T-Mobile, moving there from Sprint when the Sidekick 2 came out a couple of years back. The TMO retail folks looked at me as if I’d sprouted two heads when I told them precisely what I wanted, tried to sell me on a different phone and plan before suddenly proclaiming the SK2 was “out of stock” and that I should “call back every day” to see when they got more.

    I took the escalator to the second floor of the mall, walked through the entrance of a camera shop that also happened to be a TMO reseller. The guy behind the counter listened to my choices, offered a voice plan with a better price than the one I had originally chosen and knocked $100 off the phone. I had my shiny new phone within 20 minutes.

    Although my TMO store experiences have never been pleasant, I have experienced excellent and helpful customer service every time I’ve had to call that company.

  22. Nick says:

    Another place to check is at your local Sam’s Club or Costco.

    I’ve had T-Mobile for a year now (previously with Cricket, but their coverage was sucky and their phones were crap) and I’m very pleased with them. From what I’ve read of the other major providers, their customer service is certainly a step above. T-Mobile is always friendly and I’ve never had to wait on hold. I’m completely satisfied and pleasantly surprised, in fact. Going with T-Mobile because they were the cheapest — I get 1500 minutes, 400 text messages, 400 picture messages for $52/month including taxes and fees — I really didn’t expect such a great level of service!

    Lastly, when I converted my family over to T-Mobile, a new plan with more minutes costing $10 less was offered about a month after they signed their contract. I called customer service and they gladly changed on the plan, even backdating it a month (at the CSR’s request, no less — wow!). I don’t know how it works at other providers, but T-Mobile’s rate plan change requires you to have 11 months of service from the date you are making the change, resulting in a few months being added instead of an additional year or two years being added regardless of how far you are in your contract.

  23. How much time did you spend trying to get that ‘deal’ and what do you value you time at? As a freelancer, my time has a high upside, even on weekends that I am on call (and who wants to waste time going to a mall on Saturday?).

    No offense, but I sense the whole idea of this exercise is to game the companies out of a few bucks.

    I think my grandfather referred to it as ‘stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.’ But if you like playing that out, then knock yourself out.

  24. raincoaster says:

    It sounds to me like the guy is taking care of dollars for a couple of years, and showing off his mad shopping skillz in the process, so I say it’s a highly productive use of time, besides fascinating reading.

    Seriously, phone services are to today what the Church was to the Dark Ages. Could it be more secretive and Byzantine?

    I’ve bought some accessories at Simply Wireless, and the pricing was great and the help was very good; the only problem is, at the one I went to you sometimes have to wait in a lineup.

    I asked about getting a new charger and the service rep instantly offered me a cash discount of 25%. As well, she opened new packs of chargers until she found one that fit my strange phone. I wasn’t going to buy that day, so I asked if the discount would apply if I came back on Friday; she put the charger behind the counter and taped a note about the discount to it, and gave me her card with the discount written on the back. As it happens, I didn’t get back there for a month and they still had the charger and the discount set aside for me. Also, the standard retail price was the best I’d seen for a charger that fit; the discount was icing on the cake.

  25. nuton2wheels says:

    I haggled with Verizon and after about 1 hour, the loss retention specialist transferred me to a manager. The manager and I haggled for a little while longer, but the maximum she was willing (or able) to offer me was a $25 loyalty credit for a 1 year contract renewal. The KRZR was on sale, and had a $50 rebate on it. With tax, I paid about $175. The representative emailed the manager who had promised me the loyalty credit, and I received my $50 rebate last week. I then flashed the VZW KRZR with Alltel firmware and can have full length mp3s as ringtones in addition to a perfectly functioning Bluetooth OBEX implementation (normally crippled by VZW). I also internally disabled the VZW Web and Get It Now features with some hex editing. I don’t like Verizon’s policy of hindering inherent phone capabilities in the name of profit, but I get service where friends with T-Mobile, Sprint, and Cingular do not.

    I would never trust one of those “authorized resellers” regardless of the deal they offered me. I know they’re notorious for inserting unpleasant clauses into their contracts that would not be found in the (already convoluted) corp store version.

    I learned one thing: There are no “special deals.” Nobody’s going to cut you much slack if you’re smart enough to renew for only one year, and there might be additional freebies if you’re doing two and don’t mind the commitment involved. You might be in luck if you encounter a representative who’s trying to beat the system and improve their metrics at the same time, or have a friend that works at a store, otherwise, good luck.

  26. justin.ryan says:

    Joe has inspired me. I’m heading to the mall today to check out the deals and I will keep this all in mind.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’ve never understood the way cell phone companies treat new customers so much better than their returning customers who are out of contract. You’d hope that being a customer of theirs for 10 years would mean something but apparently not.

  28. Anonymous says:

    That seemed like a whole lot of time and effort for not a lot of satisfaction. I’ve been with T-Mobile for 6+ years and have enjoyed my service, for the most part. Early on, they used to call, periodically, just to thank me for being a customer. While I don’t get those calls anymore, when I recently needed a new phone (dropped the old one into the toilet), they gave me one, plus $20, in effect paying me to take the phone. They also now offer unlimited service to customers who have been with them for at least 23 consecutive months for $49/mo.