Nextel Service and My i85s Nextel Phone
Originally posted on June
If It Wasn't For The Free Incoming Unlimited
Just a little story first
phones... I've had about 15 different cell phones and as many
services since cell phones debuted. Cellular One, Sprint, Pacbell
Wireless, Cingular, you name it, I've had it.
One day Nextel caught my eye
while walking from one clients office in downtown San Francisco
to another. Actually, it was a little phone store that a couple
of Russian guys run. I was pretty happy with my present cell
phone provider (Sprint) at the time but I had a few minutes to
kill while I was waiting for my client to get back from lunch
and I popped in to this little 10x30 independent Nextel store.
The first thing that I saw was
a brochure about ALL INCOMING MINUTES FREE FOR LIFE message on
the counter. After talking to the salesman I decided to get a
i85s phone and sign up with the service. After all was said and
done the salesman told me that it would take 2 days to activate
the phone (I found out later that you should run when you hear
this). I sign some papers as to my phone charges but then something
funny happened. The Salesman wanted my Drivers License and a
Credit Card and he wanted to make a copy on a little copy machine...
I told him that he ain't getting the credit card. I thought this
was odd. He said he needed it, and I told him he didn't. A little
bugged by this, I left to wait to hear from him when my phone
was turned on.
The salesman calls me and since
I was downtown again that day I walked right over. As soon as
I get in the store, there's another guy there who starts ending
every sentence with "my friend...". You know where
this is going don't you. Well, my new friend hands me some documents
to sign. I read all my documents so it took me a while to see
some interesting text between the lines. Nextel says you can
return your phone and cancel the contract within 30 days if you
are not pleased. My new friend's documents say something a little
different. His documents say that I have to keep my service on
for 90 days and that there will be a hefty restocking charge
for any equipment... I told the guy to shove it. Literally. I
walked right out'a there and called Nextel to report this classic
bait and switch.
After my experience at the independent
Nextel provider, namely called All Wireless in downtown
San Francisco, I wanted to deal directly with Nextel. My web
fingers got on the Nextel site and found their authorized retailers.
I quickly found Office
Depot on their website. I drove down and found a cool looking
candybar style phone. I didn't want a standard flip clamshell
phone because of the problems of having to open it while driving
and the fact that you have a device that can wear out due in
part to the fact that you're always opening and closing it.
Office Depot was running a special
with $100 off the i85s so I picked one up and bunny hopped over
to the counter to pose a few questions to the store manager about
the above concerns I described above. He said if I didn't like
the phone or the service, I could bring it back and he'd refund
all my money. That's good enough for me, so like Clint Eastwood
whips out his 6 shooter, I whipped out my credit card.
Per the instructions on the box
(big yellow sticker on it) you call a 800 number and give your
personal info to the operator to activate the phone right there
in the comfort of your home. Nice. It's not two days like the
dudes at All Wireless. I wonder what they were doing with my
personal info and why did they tell me they needed two days to
activate my phone if the standard way, direct from Nextel says
all you have to do is call an 800 number to get it done. Hmmm...
Houston, we have a problem...
After 2 hours of attempting to activate the i85s, the lady in
the activation department could not get it to boot up. She had
me punch in all kinds of code (most of which I wrote down hehehe)
but nothing. After cell phone CPR fails, she tells me to take
it back to Office Depot. Now I'm in the car thinking twice about
the Nextel option. This reminds me of the old cell phone days
when your phone stopped working and you had to call the tech
support department and for hours if not days you would hope and
pray to get your phone working only to be very disappointed with
the whole process.
Well I get to the Office Depot
and exchange it for another i85s. It was an easy exchange. I
like buying/exchanging things at Office Depot. They're good to
people in my opinion. I drive home with my new phone and call
the activation department. After giving my personal information
again (what a pain), they had my phone up and running in less
than 20 minutes. Nice I thought.
The Eagle Has Landed
Generally, I like my little i85s.
The operation is very nice. And the features are even better.
The screen is very easy to read in the car at night and I really
like the VoiceRecorder for jotting down quick notes. The standard
battery lasts for about 2 hours of talk time and about 3 days
standby. I picked up the extended battery and now I get 3 hours
of talk and about a week of standby time. My favorite feature
is the Speaker Phone. You can take a call in the car, punch the
SPEAKER button on the menu LCD and set it on the passenger seat
of your car and carry on a normal conversation, really. Everyone
I talk to on the i85 has no idea that I'm on a cell phone speaker
phone. This feature comes in really handy when I'm under a clients
desk working on cables or the back of a computer in a really
tight place and then a call comes in. I can answer the phone,
hit SPEAKER and talk while still working on the pesky wire loom.
The i85 also comes with Java.
No not your PC Desktop Java, but a trimmed down version specially
made for portable devices like a cell phone. You can download
applications direct from the web and install them on your phone
with ease? What kind of applications you may ask? How about an
application that constantly displays your talk time right on
the main menu screen of your incoming minutes and your outgoing
minutes. This comes in really handy for me, because I can better
manage my usage and contract my own misuse of cell phone time.
I give my i85s
stars and the Nextel coverage and service a dismal
stars. I get kicked off about 2 or 3 times a day. It's bothersome.
I'll be on the phone helping a client with something and then...
dead silence. I will say that I was very surprised that my i85s
works just fine in the elevators of San Francisco just fine.
I don't know if that's the phone or the service signal or both,
but it's nice.
All in all the Nextel service
is pretty cool. The 2-way radio, the VoiceRecorder, the Speaker
Phone and Java are all very nice bet the service and coverage
and signal strength really isn't as good as a mainstream cell
phone provider like Version or Sprint.