Buying a New Cell Phone Plan

May 23, 2006 at 11:15 am 8 comments

My cell phone contract with T-mobile ended earlier this month and I wanted to switch  before the next billing cycle. I am considering Cingular because I had them for 6-7 years (before I switched to T-mobile to keep the same phone #) and was happy with them. But Cingular's current family plan is not that great and it's a TWO years contract.

The asian cell phone dealers are known for providing great deal by giving really good phone for free and/or cash rebates. In the past years, whenever I switched plan, I always able to get a few hundreds back in cash rebate plus brand new phones. I called a few places in the past week but all the deals are not that great. The phones are better than what I can get online and there are also cash back incentive, but the overall saving for two years is less than what I can get if I sign up through work. 

Through work, I get 15% off the monthly fee (but the free phones are the crappiest ever and no cash rebate). I notice the expiration date on all the rebate form are at the end of this month. Does that mean Cingular will have new promotional deal in June? If so, what's the chance that the deals in June will be better than now?

I researched for trends on cell phone plans but couldn't find anything. Do you have any insider information?


Entry filed under: Expenses.

Finance in Your 20s Cingular Contract and New Phones

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Danny  |  May 23, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    lol you’ve been out of the phone industry for a while, haven’t you? 😛

    ever since mid 2005, after the cingular-attw merger started getting somewhere, cingular’s been cracking down on the “creative” ways of getting rebates. in fact, they won’t even offer them to none-cingular phones anymore. that led to closure of literally dozens if not hundreds of cell phone stores in the valley. back then (haven’t checked recently), tmobile still gave rebates to all phones, which is largely why i went with them, and even then, i paid almost $200 for my phone, as it’s a HK import that went up in price due to popularity.

    there’s no “trend” on cell phones… if you are going cingular, you are stuck either way. personally, when i’m ready to switch phones again, i’ll be like rest of asia (most likely) – ie pay for my phone at full cost, and stay with tmobile. (or use someone else’s name to get tmobile discount…) I’ve had more bad experiences with Cingular than Tmobile.

    personally, i think motorola is a piece-of-shit, nokia’s overpriced, samsung was excellent but became complacent in recent years, and sony-ericsson’s been a market leader if you can live with the “sony” part of it. then again, that’s just me.

  • 2. Danny  |  May 23, 2006 at 12:44 pm

    oh, and if you want a “cute phone” that may not be the most reliable, go with panasonic 🙂

  • 3. Cindy  |  May 24, 2006 at 9:13 am

    if you want a cool phone, it may just be easier to order online from asia or find a friend traveling there to pick one up for you. a 2 year contact seems kinda long to consider for new phones. personally cingular and tmobile’s all the same for me. i can probably refer you to my cell phone person and see if she can get you any good deals right now. will have to find her contact at home.

  • 4. Danny  |  May 24, 2006 at 1:01 pm

    the V3 is ancient and you don’t like tmobile, BUT there’s a $100 rebate (after you get your free phone) via amazon (ending today)…

    and if you use FREEBTQ2, there’s a free bluetooth headset too…

  • 5. Sally  |  May 25, 2006 at 2:16 pm

    Have you considered ampd mobile?

    I think my friend was telling me they have a deal.

  • 6. Franky  |  May 26, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    I know a store in Alhambra. Let me know if you are interested.

  • 7. sung  |  May 27, 2006 at 3:09 am

    getting cell phones in hk is a little better i guess, b/c the phone companies are still doing the “asian” way.. i.e. huge rebates for new fancy cell phones… 3G is getting more attention lately also..

    brand… sony erriscon has a really cool platform, but it’s sony… and quality (durability) not very stable.. depends on luck just like getting a german car. i’m using a samsung… it can be either really good or sucky, like my sister’s samsung is so nice, but mine, the speaker doesn’t work too well.. most of the time ppl can’t hear me.. hehe :p

    motorola.. nah.. forget about it.. i’ve never heard any positive comments, except.. they’re really thin (size)..


  • 8. Cash  |  August 22, 2006 at 12:11 pm


    nice blog.. i ll come back again :] greets


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