Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cell Phone Catch 22

I had decided to switch to Verizon, getting the HTC Incredible for me, two other phones for other family members. Buying the phones from Amazon is considerably less expensive than buying them directly from Verizon, so that was my plan.

Until I discovered two related problems. The first is that the Incredible is on back order—whether from Amazon or Verizon it is expected to take at least a month. The second was that each phone's account starts when the phone gets to me. Turning it on is necessary to transfer the number, but billing starts immediately.

So if I order three phones and two are sent immediately while mine is delayed a month or two, I will be a customer of both Verizon and T-Mobile and paying both. According to the Verizon representative I talked with over the phone, there is no way of instructing them that I don't want the service plan to start until I have all three phones. It's possible that I could solve the problem by instructing Amazon to send the three phones together, but without confirming that with Amazon it seems a bit risky—and Amazon, so far as I can tell, provides neither telephone nor email access for people who have questions.

So it looks as though we are remaining with T-Mobile until the Incredible is actually available. The silver lining to the cloud is that I get to continue online window shopping of new Android phones. If the rumored Motorola Shadow comes out before the Incredible actually becomes available ... .


Robbie said...

Amazon customer support is actually very good. You can email them, request a phone call or call them yourself by clicking 'Help' (top right corner) and then 'Contact Us'. :)

cmditch said...

I'm pretty sure Amazon also has a "Send all items as one package" shipping option which will automatically delay the shipping of the in stock ones.

That phone you want is out of stock everywhere else as well? Even somewhere like eBay?

Anonymous said...

Coury, you can select that "one package option," but they often upgrade you an send the items that are currently available as a courtesy. Almost guarantee they will if the delay on one is a month

David Friedman said...

Following up on Robbie's information,I emailed Amazon and got a reply, saying that if I ordered the phones none would be sent until all were available. I haven't yet done it, however—since I'll have to wait anyway to get the phone, I thought I would wait a little longer to make a final decision, and see what becomes available in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

I have found that Verizon phones, while cheaper on Amazon, come with more expensive plans negating any savings.