Saturday, July 25, 2009

The "New" AT&T

Two years ago, when I bought an origianal iPhone, and then returned it, the customer service experience with AT&T was pretty horrid (see iPhone Lansing).

This time, I had received an initial bill in the mail for $122.07, covering the $36 activation fee, initial few days of service plus a month in advance at the $40 voice + $30 data rate (no text messages), and the usual ridiculous array of surcharges, add-ons, and taxes. When I returned the iPhone 3GS on July 6th, they told me to call AT&T service in a day or two to get a final figure reflecting the cancellation of service.

When I got around to calling on July 13, I expected to pay for activation, 18 days of service, etc, or about $80. The agent looked up my record and asked why I had cancelled (bad network service, inadequate coverage area) and then "took care of" the bill. He apologized that it took so long, but when I asked what my balance was, he said zero! I'm expecting to receive a paper bill confirming that in a few days. But what a nice surprise. My trial with the iPhone only cost $19.90 -- the Apple 10% restocking fee.

The "new" AT&T comes out looking pretty good, even though they have an overloaded, and limited area, network. And Apple looks like a douche-bag with their 10% restocking fee, even though they have a pretty nice device.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keyboard Madness

I had some time to kill at Best Buy while waiting for my Mother-in-law's Jitterbug phone to be updated. So naturally, I spent my time at the cell phone area testing keyboards.

The rap on the Pre is that the keyboard is too small, or not easy to use. But compared to what? I asked the staff person what the most popular Blackberries were, since that would be the competition. She said the Curve, the Bold, and the new Tour. I tested these plus the Palm 800w, Centro, Pre, and also the Nokia E71.

I typed my favorite test sentence: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party" on all 7 keyboards.

 Here is my ranking:
1. Tour
2. Pre
3. Bold
4. E71
5. 800w
6. Curve
7. Centro

I'd place my old Treo 700p at 1.5, between the Tour and the Pre, and the iPhone 3GS at 5.5 ahead of the Curve ;)

So, for me, the Pre compares well. What keyboards are the ones that are so much better?!? Certainly not most Blackberries!

By the way, this post was typed entirely on my Pre. And there were only a couple typos.