...and why I hate them.
So, my phone was stolen as all of you are probably now aware, and I have found myself in a predicament. Right now, my service is suspended so the thugs who stole my phone can't use it. T-Mobile will only suspend my service for a maximum of 30 days. If I don't buy a new phone and call T-Mobile and ask them to reactivate my account within 30 days, they will automatically (without contacting me) terminate my account and charge me the astronomical early termination fee. I don't want to sign another 2 year agreement with T-Mobile because I plan on switching to Verizon and getting on Jared's (and his family's) plan as soon as my contract is over in a few months. Waaay cheaper.
So basically, my only option is to buy a phone at full price. But have you ever looked at the full prices of cell phones (i.e. - the price without a 2-yr service plan)? They are ridiculous. We're talking anywhere from $150 - $2000. I called T-Mobile and asked them what the absolute cheapest phone they have is and it was $80 for a piece of crap brick phone. I might not mind spending a $100 or so - or even more - on a phone if I would be able to use it for a long time. But Verizon uses a different network than T-Mobile, so their phones are not compatible. That means I will need to get another new phone in a few months when I switch over. (By the way, if you want to know more about cell phone providers and which ones have compatible networks, this is a great resource.
BUT, I am lucky enough to have a brother that used to work for T-Mobile and has all sorts of insider knowledge that the salespeople will never tell you. Maybe this is old news to some of you, but I had never hear this/thought of it before. My brother told me that I can just go to Wal-Mart or any other store that sells prepaid phones, buy one of those cheap phones (we're talking under $20), and ask T-Mobile to send me a new sim card (or go get one at a T-Mobile store...unfortunately I live in the country and the closest T-Mobile store is over an hour away). Just pop the new sim card in the admittedly-piece-of-crap-but-way-cheaper-than-full-price phone and you're good to go. My brother told me to make sure I get a T-Mobile prepaid phone, but you could try getting a phone from another provider as long as it uses a compatible network. Sometimes, providers "lock" their phones so they cannot be used with other service providers, though. In that case, you would have to get someone who works for your provider to unlock the phone for you. Again, reference this website for more info on that.
Is this news to anyone else?