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Me vs. Verizon, Round 1

(Wed Apr 28 17:01:36 2010)

So, I'm planning on getting a new phone.

After checking my choices on Verizon's website, I narrowed the choices down to "what I want" and "what I wouldn't mind owning if I had to." The list included three Android phones (Incredible, Droid, Devour), the Palm Pixi, and the HTC ToughPro2. There were relative pros and cons to each (the Incredible has FM radio and a 1Ghz processor, but is expensive and has no keyboard; the Pixi is cheap, but has a tiny screen, etc.). So, how is a good engineer supposed to decide? Easy! I made a decision matrix!
I started with the basic features for all the phones - price, screen size, processor speed, special features, OS, camera, and so on, and gave each a rating (0-10). I also got a rating for each from Lindsay. Then, I took each phone in turn and rated each feature - an 8 MP camera got an 8, while the 3 MP camera got a 3; no keyboard got a 0, flip or slide keyboard got a 10, and 'bar' style keyboard got an 8, and so on.

I'll stop at this point and mention that Lindsay and I talked through each phone and verbally judged which we wanted - "Incredible is nice, but way to expensive [$200, vs $100 for Droid, or $30 for Pixi]", "Pixi has a great price, but it's got a tiny screen and if Palm goes under, so will webOS.", and so on. After discussing each phone, we ended up deciding Droid would probably fit what we wanted.

Anyway, once I had the matrix filled in, I multiplied the rated importance for each feature with how it rated. Finally, I averaged Lindsay's and my columns, since we'd decided we'd get the same phone. The final scores put Droid in an easy first place - it ranked first for both Lindsay and I, which was pretty cool, especially since we decided to get it anyway.

I still like the Incredible, don't get me wrong; it's an awesome phone. The lack of keyboard... don't like that so much. And since the Droid is $200 with a buy-one-get-one-free deal, as opposed to the $200 buy-one-get-just-one deal for the Incredible... it was pretty much a shoe in.

And then there was the snag.

Originally, our phone plan was from Alltel; that meant that we got a voice plan, then added internet+texting to each plan. Now, under Verizon, I still have the voice-only plan, but if I want to upgrade my phone, I've got to get a new data plan - which splits data and texting into two different packages. Of course, if I were to change my voice plan to voice-and-texting, I'd come out even - better, actually, since I'd get a lot more minutes - but the trouble is, we can't change our voice plan until December, at least according to the website.

So, what to do? Well, I'm going to do what any red-blooded American would do - haggle, complain, and threaten, obviously! With the carrot of "I'll add extra phones and make you more money," and the stick of "If you want to charge me this much, I could always just leave," I shall smite them mightily by walloping them in the pocketbook. At this point, I'm pretty sure I can get away with canceling service with no fee, and getting a commission from up-selling my contract should be pretty tempting. We'll see; I'm hoping to be able to negotiate a deal this week, or at least by June (when I visit Kansas; it would be nice to have a new phone on vacation).

Time will tell, I suppose, but I hope I can have my hands on a Droid by my birthday!

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This blag is tagged: Phone, Verizon, All