Thursday, May 23, 2013

U.S. Cellular has sold its Chicago customers to Sprint, forcing me to get a new phone (though my Samsung SIII is only about a year old) and change providers. Sprint promised “exclusive” offers for switching, but what they just sent via postcard isn't much better than anyone can get online.  And who knows what the * followed by fine print will do to said offers, such as "subject to availablility." And a two-year contract is required, with an early termination fee of up to $350! 

I'm not sure I'll find another provider that can replace all of USC's benefits.  I have free incoming calls and texts. Unlimited data. Better reception and service even on subways than friends with iPhones and AT&T who I’ve traveled with to several states, including New York, Michigan, California.  I've heard others say that even in their own homes AT&T service is inconsistent.  The only downside : slightly slower phone recently lost a race with a friend's AT&T/iPhone to view directions.  
USC also offered a reasonable rate with sufficient minutes and free battery swaps.  And excellent and knowledgeable customer service reps, to me is an important feature. 

Now what? I’ve been doing some research and asking for recommendations. Some suggested pay as you go plans. A few nods each for the major carriers. But no concensus.
I can't go by ads.  First, many now focus on phones' video features, not my main concern.  Second, they all make promises that sound too good to believe.  And I wonder if the providers are spending too much money on marketing instead of upgrading their service and products.
Decision coming soon.

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