Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learn to Let Go

I have been following the story on Usenet of an unfortunate wireless user in San Francisco who could no longer use his beloved AT&T phone at home since they ended analog service there. He recently took, what he considered, the drastic step of buying an AT&T "micro cell" and placed it in a window of his house, only to find he had traded one set of woes for another.

Over the last few years we have recommended a few third party repeaters and micro cells from the likes of Solid Signal and Tiger Direct, which not only give you a usable signal where you need it, they do it at a reasonable price and not tied to a single carrier. But that's not the story here.

The problem is how long can you hold on to a wireless carrier that just doesn't suit your needs...or your coverage? Why is it so hard for a cellular user in a large urban area to just switch carriers? Most likely, several carriers serve any one given dead spot for another carrier. Is it because of the iPhone? Think of some of our loyal readers who live in places like Montana who can't get the iPhone (yet). Are they trying aluminum foil hats or comfy window seats...in their garage? No, they're choosing the best carrier in their area and the best phone they offer, and getting on with their lives.

Spending hundreds on a microcell, and then a monthly fee, just doesn't make sense when there are much cheaper options, including just switching carriers. Yes, even perfectly rational adults are subscribing to, say, Cricket, and not looking back to their "old" carrier, who never covered then with anything other than a nice warm monthly statement.

Let it go...just let it go.


Jason said...

You don't have To pay the monthly fee on the Microcell unless you want unlimited Microcell calling. Please portray the issue accurately.

William said...

In response to Jason; with some carriers you do have to pay a monthly fee to use the microcell. When I had service with Sprint, I purchased a microcell online, thinking that I would bypass the $5/month charge. Boy was I wrong. The next month, Sprint kindly added a $5 per month charge to my bill because they detected that I was making calls on a microcell. I know it's not like this on all carriers, but some do charge for microcell usage, as I found out the hard way.