I was tired of being ripped off by my cell phone company so I fired them. You should too. I paid the stupid termination fee, and got SmartTalk, an inexpensive, prepaid service. By cancelling AT&T ($245), buying a new Android smartphone (approx $139), I got unlimited everything without a contract ($45/month) and will STILL pay less over the 17 months that were left on my contract than I would if I kept AT&T for those 17 months ($81/month, and I had discounts, imagine if I didn’t). I thought about making the switch to Metro PCS, a big prepaid service here in south Florida, but decided against it because I cant keep my North Carolina number.
I spent a lot of time considering getting rid of AT&T. Financially, it makes sense, and reviewers from GigaOM seem to think so too, especially if you can afford a fancy new unlocked Galaxy Nexus. But affording a fancy phone isn’t the point. It’s about not getting ripped off, spending less money, all so I can work less.
Quite frankly, I worried the most about the spotty reviews these prepaid companies get. Giving up my Blackberry is giving up the materialistic lifestyle that I preach so much about giving up. Here in America it is always about upgrading and getting new and better. Switching to prepaid service is more like downgrading. I can talk the talk, but it is another thing entirely to just do it.
I guess my concern was with making a mistake. I’ve had an attachment to my blackberry, to AT&T, and my cell number (that I’ve had since I was 17). Lord knows why. They certainly don’t have any attachment to me. It’s time to let go of some of those things today.
Now that it’s done, there is no going back. I like the new phone’s interface. I believe it runs older Android 2.3 but since I never had Android before, it looks good to me. Only time will tell how I like this phone and wireless service. I’ll post a review of my experience “downgrading” in a month or so.
I wonder if I should have stepped back even further and got rid of the smart phone all together. If I had, I’d be paying even less money. Possibly even 20 dollars month. But that, my friends, is a huge step for another day (maybe).