I was kind of late at getting a cell phone compared to those that I know but in 1995 I finally got a phone via work on the AT&T wireless network. At the time I thought I had a great deal. If I did not make any calls then there were no charges outside of the local emergency service charge which was only $0.25 a month. Since I rarely used my phone this plan worked great for me. Over the years I think this plan has been less expensive for me over a $xx.xx a month for YYY minutes. I do make more calls but my bills are still fairly low. When AT&T wireless merged with Cingular I knew things would get worse. First and foremost they have made it harder to pay my phone bill on line. Once you get on their site and after you have been redirected to the "blue" part of the site for previous AT&T customers they have a bug where if you use a credit card to pay your bill but then at some later point change your billing address aka you move there is no way to update this information with the card on file. Instead of using the card on file I have to enter the same credit card info every month and it sill not save the new info since the old card already exists!
Anyway to the story at hand. Recently I get a letter telling me because my cell phone is old and on the TDMA/analog network (I have a digital phone) they are going to start to charge me $4.99 a month to use the network. They also state the by February 2008 they will phase out TDMA/anolog completely in favor of the new GSM allover network. What a great deal for me!!! I guess I should say that they will give me a new phone that supports GSM but if you read the fine print you have to sign up with a new plan at a minimum of $39.99 a month (the length of the contract was declaired in the letter).
I guess it is time to really shop around for a new cell phone and plan. Rumor has it that my work is finallizing a corporate deal in the next month or so. Cingular there is a good chance you will have one less customer very soon. I always thought technology was supposed to make things better and cheeper. Somewhere along the line Cingular never learned this.