Alltel's Phone Deception Dreamed 4912 days ago | | 648 words

Is it just me of does Alltel really want to piss off its customers.

I am looking for a new plan, as I don’t really use any minutes on my current plan. Less than half of what I have to use. As I really dislike talking on phones, it’s no wonder.

So I go to look for a new plan and am presented with two (2) T-W-O! TWO PLANS!

That’s it.

The one I am still apparently on is long gone, as is the other one I thought looked like what I was after a few months ago.

Neither plan really gives me any “out of area” minutes unless I spend $10 per month on 100 minutes. All I want is a few minutes like that for when I visit friends in NC or MD. But it’s not worth an extra $10 per month as I’d only really need it 2-3 times per year.

So needless to say, I’m not really thrilled with the plans offered to me.

So we move on to phones. I have a nice little phone. The Kyocera SoHo which has treated me pretty well. (If we forget the fact that is spazzed out, and none of the keys would respond after I was able to turn it on). Oh, and also forgive Kyocera for “fixing” my phone by putting the WRONG phone software on it. Leading to me getting a brand new phone from Alltel (after waiting 4-6 weeks for mine to be replaced).

I figure if I’m going to have a worthless telecommunications device, I at least want it to do SOMETHING well. Like take photos that I can upload to Flickr or some other nicety.

But no. My phone has no bells or whistles other than its stark white, a funky shape and flips. It was purchased as a backlash to the Nokia 3585i (and 3587i) which were both horrid pieces of junk, lasted about 3-4 months each (I went through about 5 phones total in my first year on the plan) and has known software bugs.

The worst of which being when you got a voicemail, the phone would send you a text message reminding you to call your voicemail. Only problem is when you tried to read the message, the phone would lock up. Causing you to remove the backing, then the battery, replace the battery then restart the phone before it would work again.

Great little feature eh? I had three 3585i models that did this to me before I called Alltel’s tech support and asked specifically about it, at which point I was told, yeah, that’s a known bug with the phone.

Now the backstory is complete. I am looking at a new phone.

Alltel's SOHO

There is the phone I currently have and its purported price. That’s a fantastic price you say. I’ll go buy 12! Nice try. When you get to Alltel you’ll find the price will be the full amount. That spectacular sales price is ONLY for a phone PLUS a 2-year service plan. If you have an Alltel plan and phone and would like to purchase this model. You will find yourself paying $139.99. If you are 1 year into your contract the price drops to (I believe) $89.99 but good luck actually finding that price on the site.

Why can’t Alltel just put the real prices on their site for the current customers? Why must we make time to go to the store, wait in line a half hour (my shortest wait ever) and look at the phones to get their real prices? If I want to buy something and have already committed to Alltel for 2 full years, I should be able to see my options as they really are. Not as if I were a new customer.

Less to be learned: Be up front with your customers and they’ll enjoy dealing with you more. And tell their friends too.

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