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Strong Personal Finance Articles from this Week (Palm Pre Edition)

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I was lucky enough to be able to buy a Palm Pre this Saturday. Well, it turns out I didn't have to be that lucky. There were 54 people in line at 8AM when Sprint opened. They had 55 phones. Someone came by at 8:05 and grabbed the last reservation ticket. After that another 10 people came out and had to be put on the waiting list.

Sprint had managed the release really well. Everything was extremely well organized. However, they were activating so many phones nationwide at the same time that their computers went down. It took them over an hour to provision my phone.

The Sprint people (who were really, really nice) decided that I waited much to long and offered me 50% off of one accessory. I quickly asked for them to set me up their Touchstone charger - a very cool induction charger. They quickly realized they couldn't do that. Not only that, but they said to provision the phone they had to have me on one of their newer plans... the cheapest of which were $25 more than I pay a month now.

What do I get for that $25? The network is still the same. I'd still get the same unlimited Internet that I had before. I'd still get the same text messages. What I get is to lose the grandfathered plan that I've been in for 8 years, because Sprint decided to rebundle, rename, and reprice the feature set that I had before. Fantastic!

I'm planning a call to Sprint retentions tomorrow. Obviously, it's hard to get too far with them when you are waiting in line to buy the hot new phone - and the guy there didn't have the power to help me - especially in the chaos of their computers going down. We'll see how that works. I've had luck with that in the past.

Here are some articles to keep you busy. I might not get an article out as my wife undergoes some minor foot surgery.

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7 Responses to “Strong Personal Finance Articles from this Week (Palm Pre Edition)”

  1. Ben says:

    I found out the same thing when I tried to upgrade to the Instinct a while back. I would have to a switch to a different, much more expensive plan, if I wanted the Instinct. I also have a pretty old plan with low rates and lots of minutes so I didn’t go with the Instinct. I was thinking of getting the Palm Pre but should have realized I’d run into the same issue. Guess I’ll have to delay getting a touch screen phone :(

  2. Some PF author you are…not even researching before you bought the hot new toy! (Kidding!)

    I did the research and I was looking at ~$30 more a month. That puts the cost of the Pre over $800 for me. Totally not worth it over my Centro. My contract is up January ’10, so I will do some more research then.

    Sad, too; if Sprint would have allowed those of us on cheaper plans to upgrade to the Pre, I would have been right there in line with you!

    -Erica

  3. @Ben: Check out a Palm Centro; they work on the old Sprint plans and allow tethering through a program called PDAnet. That’s what I use right now, and it’s a great solution. There’s a facebook app, Google Maps, everything you’d want, really.

    -Erica

  4. Toogie says:

    This is why I use the cheapest Nokia on a Tracfone account. (Yeah, they “upgrade” periodically too – forcing you to buy more minutes to keep the account going, etc.)

    I currently have a Palm TX for the spiffy internet and PDA side of things. I will probably replace it with an iPod Touch eventually.

  5. Lazy Man says:

    I went through the same upgrade thing with the upgrade to Evdo with Treo 700P. I was able to retain my same rate with Sprint retentions.

    This time I haven’t been so fortunate. Even retentions couldn’t do much for me as Sprint is getting away from complex plans.

    As someone said recently, they are making it like cable – you get 500,000 things and you might only want two of them.

  6. Adrian says:

    Thanks for your posts. I wanted a smartphone and my work will be giving me a monthly credit toward one. I have a great sprint package ($40.00 two phones 750 anytime mins 200 texts) currently but if I can’t benefit from it I think I’d rather have the iPhone. Palm Centro would be the frugal choice but these phones look so cool.

  7. The new iPhones were announced yesterday. The “teleportation” functionality sounds cool. Cheaper than flying. Time travel not expected until next year, as they’re still working out some kinks.

    Guess you can toss your Pre into the Bay now, huh? :)

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