Avoid penalty for switching cellphone carriers

Iphone_1
I want an iPhone, but I have Sprint as my cellular provider.  I’m happy with my service and all of my kids have Sprint phones.  But still it would be nice to be able to use the new Apple phone that will be out in June.  One problem with switching is that I’d have to pay a cancellation penalty if I switched to Cingular. 

But, then again, I might not.  Mike Arrington, a clever lawyer who runs the TechCrunch blog, alerted me to a new service called CellSwapper that solves the problem of paying penalties when switching cellphone carriers.  TechCrunch is an amazing blog for news about tech developments, and I highly recommend it.  Mike also addresses the question of whether the iPhone can be considered a serious business device.  He says that it will be for Mac users because of the tight synchronization with Apple applications.  What about for PC users?  His answer simple and makes perfect sense to me:

"My recommendation is to simply throw out the PC and switch to Mac. You’ll do it eventually anyway. Might as well do it now."

Obviously, not everyone is going to switch.  My friend Dennis Kennedy won’t switch and he’s unimpressed by the iPhone.  He told me in an email that he hates cellphones, and like Philip Greenspun, says "What I want is a phone that won’t make calls from inside my pocket." 

Me, I have slightly higher standards. [Big grin]

  • F P

    Thanks for the Tip. I just extended our service to get a new phone. These guys must be making a killing.

    “a phone that won’t make calls from inside my pocket.” Huge Feature! And the phones that normally don’t do this, end up doing it when people have those silly blue tooth headsets. I frequently have long bland voice mail with voices in the background. And how many times do you get a call and nobody seems to be on the other end? Some Autobot telemarketer? Perhaps, but it could be somebodies pocket calling too.

  • http://ashleymorris.typepad.com ashley

    Greenspun is also the guy that insisted everyone use aolserver when the world was switching to apache. I may trust his advice on helicopters, but not computer stuff.

    Oh, and I love the line about switching to Macs. I did 5 years ago, and haven’t regretted a second of it. This, from a CS professor.

  • BC

    I’ve heard, though never actually tried this out, that if you monitor your bill closely, you may see an instance where they’re changing terms in your agreement (i think this happens fairly regularly). When they do this, you would have a certain period of time (like 30 days) to call them and cancel the service with no penalties. It seems this idea would follow basic contract law…they alter a portion of the agreement, you object and get out of the contract…worth looking into, since they do change the terms fairly often…

  • http://icedcoffeeandabagel.blogspot.com Aaron

    You agree to no extensions of your contracts without explicitly signing an agreement doing so. Verizon tried that line on me when I got out from under their over-billing foot and I pointed out that no matter how many changes to service I made during the duration of my contract, I NEVER signed a new contract. When they told me I should consult a lawyer before I made those assumptions I almost died laughing. They tried a new argument within minutes of losing that one. The people at Verizon customer service apparently hand in their souls when they punch in to work.