Keith Combs' Blahg

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My phone is obsolete

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Smt5600_yFor the past six weeks, my phone has been displaying the roaming indicator.  It started to get a bit disconcerting because I would even see it here at my house.  It annoyed me a bit because like most of you, I had my ActiveSync settings tweaked so that it would only sync manually if roam was indicated.  No sense in jacking up the charges for a bunch of pesky email, right?

Well, I finally decided to call Cingular and ask them if my phone has an issues they can easily resolve.  I figured since I started the plan just before the AT&T Cingular merger, it was a SIM issue, back-end provisioning, or something simple. 

The lady I got on the phone looked at my account and said my phone was obsolete and would need to be replaced.

Does my phone look obsolete to you?

It works perfectly fine.  It has a nice 512meg MiniSD card.  It rings and I can answer phone calls.  Phones should definitely do that.  The keypad lock works better than most phones I’ve tried.  The form factor is very nice.  The screen is big enough to be kewl and by golly, you can almost read email.  The email delete button works perfectly.

So why in the world would my phone be obsolete?

It’s obsolete because my contract was for one year, and I’ve been month-to-month for a few months now.  Get it? 

Like many of you, I want the most value out of my hardware and software.  I pinch pennies, too.  I squirm thinking about spending $200 for a new phone.  Call me cheap.  Call me frugal. 

[UPDATE] I guess I wasn't the only person unhappy with my treatment.  Sounds like class action litigation may be coming. 

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  • Do you have free roaming?  If so, then ignore the roaming icon.  You'll sleep easy in the knowledge that AT&T is paying thru the nose for your airtime and unable to pass the buck to you.  Then, after a few months of this they will drop you like a bad habit.  Then you can get a new phone on a new contract with the massive Microsoft discount.
    I had a phone with AT&T awhile back.  I bought a new house and called in to change my address.  They told me that I couln't change without moving over to Cingular.  Guess what?  Plan went up by about $10/month and my old phone (3 months out of the shrinkwrap) was TDMA and Cingular was strictly GSM.  They sent me a new phone free but it has about 1/10 the features my old phone did.  Then they switched back to AT&T.  Sigh...

  • Yes, roaming is free as long as I don't cross the US border. So roaming is sticking it to the man? Loving that. I can't wait for the phone call that says they are cancelling my account.  

    I'm headed to EVDO land soon anyway.  I'll either move to Sprint or Verizon. I haven't decided yet.  Watching the Treo and Q wars on the sidelines right now.

  • Nice of Cingular/AT&T though.. They force roaming on your phone to either make you upgrade or cancel your plan due to excessive roaming fees.  That's not playing very nice.  When did they resort to those tactics?  I remember the old AT&T carrying me month to month for over a year on my old phone after my contract ended.

  • I'm so sick of sell phone companies. They cell you cheaply made phones at dirt rich prices and then they want to jack you around like this when your plan expires.

    I'll be so happy when the Vonage mentality goes wireless... how soon could this happen?

  • Well, they haven't called me yet.  It doesn't matter much at this point.  Unless Cingular cranks up the HSDPA/UMTS rollout into high gear over the next 60 days, I'm history. 12-18 cities is not going to cut it when Verizon and Sprint have EVDO everywhere I need it.

    If Sprint could just get more Mobile 5 SmartPhones in their collection, then we'd have a real race.

  • I wasn’t kidding when I said my Cingular Audiovox SMT 5600 was obsolete. Verizon made it easy for...

  • I had the same phone as you.  If you want to stay with Cingular, just software unlock it and get a new Cingular SIM chip.  You can unlock it for free (or a nominal tax deductable donation) at

    http://www.selberg.org/2005/07/22/unlock-an-audiovox-5600-for-free/

    I finally sold my unlocked 5600 on eBay for more money than I paid for it and bought a Cingular 8125 which I love.  I have been an AT&T customer since 1998 and really have had little to no issues with either.  The only complaint I have about Cingular is the charge for both incoming and outgoing SMS, and the fact that checking my voicemail from my cell phone costs airtime.  Love the rollover minutes though...

  • Manish, that was the problem.  I asked for a new SIM and they (Cingular) refused.  Maybe there's a technical issue with putting an Orange SIM in the 5600 but I have my doubts.  Cingular lost a customer over it and I was planning on being a HSDPA fanboy in 2006.  Now they get to wait until 2008.  Maybe it'll be fully implemented by then.

    More interesting news at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003109994_wirelesssuit07.html