Greedy Blog

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Samsung Sucks
 
Today my phone finally competely broke, which is really the result of poor design. The VGA-1000 is a flip phone with two internal pivots. One of the pivots is lightly held, which is compensated for by the other pivot's enclosure in hard plastic. The "flip" functionality is the result of four wafer-thin electrical connectors that reside in the lightly held pivot. Because that hard plastic over the encased pivot is all that stands between the phone working and not, you would think that it would be heavy-duty, or might even have a thin peice of metal or wire to help (think rebar). Nope, and due to that gross oversight (Samsung must know that the flip functionality on a flip phone must be flawless), my phone broke under normal, or even light, use.

I am still under contract with Sprint until 2/2/06. The liquidated damages for breach are $150 (I'll ignore the fact that it seems like an unenforceable penalty). I actually like my plan, which is 450 anytime with 8:00 nights for $30+tax. After 18 months (8/2/05), Sprint offers a $100 phone upgrade credit for extending the contract. There is currently no better offer for extending the contract once it is up. I was left with these options:

1) Replace phone after the 8/2 and go without until then.
Advantages: Save $100. No breach. Retain good contract.
Disadvantages: Lose numbers and pictures. No phone for critical financial period, which may cost much more than $100. Still need to buy new phone. Would extend contract. Lose contact with financially important people (realtors and loan consolidators) and during bar travel.

2) Get a landline until 8/2.
Advantages: Still save $100. No breach. Retain good contract. Somewhat solves no-contact problems.
Disadvantages: Lose numbers and pictures. Still need to buy new phone. New phone number makes contact more difficult. Would still extend contract. Landline service itself, and the phone I would need to buy for it, is actaully pretty expensive. Hassle with dealing with phone company.
Same with internet phone.

3) Get a prepaid phone until 8/2.
Advantages: Still save $100. No breach. Retain good contract. Somewhat solves no-contact problems.
Disadvantages: Lose numbers and pictures. Still need to buy new phone. New phone number makes contact more difficult. Would still extend contract.

4) Buy new Sprint phone. The cheapest on the market are $189 and BestBuy offers a 10% discount, bringing it to $160.
Advantages: No breach. Retain good contract without extending it. Solves contact problems.
Disadvangates: Lose numbers and pictures. Effectively extends contract by locking me into PCS technology. $160 cost for a shitty phone or $200+ cost for anything even comparable to what I have now. Somehow no new Sprint phones are smaller than mine.

5)Buy old Sprint phone. As far as I know, only sold at AusTex PCS on Lamar and eBay (not Pinky's as the BestBuy guy said). The cheapest at Austex are $90. My phone goes for $100+ on eBay.
Advantages: No breach. Retain good contract without extending it. Solves contact problems. Effective disposability doesn't lock me into Sprint or PCS.
Disadvantages: Lose numbers and pictures. Still need to buy new phone because even the cheap ones were huge and way old, and basically I can't put up with that for too long.

7) Breach and go with new carrier. This is especially attractive as Sprint screwed me on my last rebate.
Advantages: Screw Sprint. Fancy new phone for about $50 with contract. Cute sales girl at Circuit City.
Disadvantages: Lose numbers and pictures. Breach costs $150. No plans under $40, which would cost me at least $240 over two years. Price of breach plus phone plus contract extra cost less cost of similar new Sprint phone saved nearing $250.

8) Fix old phone. I wasn't even aware this was an option until I had thoroughly thouhht through the other options.
Advantages: Save numbers and pictures. Lowest cost option, even at $120. Only inconvenience for one day. No breach. Retain old contract.
Disadvantages: Same design defect and used parts to fix it means this could happen again. Cost to repair includes replacement of two expensive LEDs, which were fine. Used parts may have scratches and stuff, making it not so great.

As you can probably guess, I've gone with #8, which cost me $120 and about 3.5 hours of running around when I've got MPQ-IQ K 1-37 and EWB K 1-2 to do (BarBri peeps know what I'm talking about). I am pissed enough to have broken my no-bar-blog moratorium (which I don't think is excessive) though.

Posted by Gel 12:27 PM Post a Comment

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