Or to put it another way, my "divorce" from SprintNextel becomes final today.
I got into this relationship more than two years ago, when I signed up for two years with Nextel for my once-hip BlackBerry 7520.
The device served me just OK. The cell service from my cliffside condo overlooking downtown Portland faded in and out.
Customer service and invoicing rhymed-with-ducks. When I added Sprint EV-DO to my laptop, Sprint never seemed to be able to figure out how to get all my services on one bill. Online, there was never any clear demarcation about whether the services I needed to perform (such as pay my bill) would be available on Sprint.com, Nextel.com, SprintNextel.com, or wherever.
Go to a SprintNextel-labeled retail store, and if the location started as a Sprint store before the merger more than two years ago, I found that all too often, legacy Sprint inventory, services and in-store expertise was plentiful but Nextel's was not. Maybe there was one store employee who "knew about" Nextel products, but h/she was out to lunch (literally and/or figuratively), on a cigarette break in the parking lot, etc.
Then, there was the issue earlier this year with SprintNextel booting customers who asked too many questions too often or roamed "too much." After backtracking and thankfully reversing this policy when it impacted our men and women in uniform, SprintNextel ignored the public outcry against this policy and went about booting more than 1,000 loyal subscribers.
As my two-year SprintNextel BlackBerry contract's September 12 conclusion approached, I assessed what I wanted in my next BlackBerry. I wanted a camera, and sorry BlackBerry Pearl lovers, but I wanted a BlackBerry with a QWERTY keyboard.
There is a camera-enabled Sprint BlackBerry Pearl coming real soon, and of course there are plenty of QWERTYs. But the more I tried out the sleek, ATT-branded BlackBerry Curve, I realized that was what I wanted.
Corporately, I have no love for ATT. They are a monopolist. But they came to my wallet with an offer for a new BlackBerry Curve for $179.99 (after rebates). Worked for me.
I may or may not be glad to see you, but that is an ATT BlackBerry Curve in my pocket. Heh.