I, too, feel your pain, Seth.
I have two cell phones. One, an older-model Nokia doorstop, I use for voice using AT&T. The other, a sweet little Sidekick Hiptop, I use so I can carry the Internet around with me in my pocket. The calling plan through T-Mobile isn’t all that, but as long as they let me get unlimited data in my pocket, I’m fine not using it as a phone. POP email, Web, and IM any time, anywhere keeps me on my toes.
I have not lost either phone. Yet I’d like to upgrade. There’s now a color Sidekick, and as you say, the Nokia 3650 is a pretty hot commodity.
That’s the rub. If the phones are such commodities that they can be given away to attract new customers, why can’t the companies at least offer breaks to existing customers as a retention tactic? They’re already fighting local number portability, so I assume they want to keep customers — even if it’s as captives. So I shouldn’t have to pay list for a color Sidekick as an existing customer of T-Mobile with a Sidekick. You shouldn’t have to pay list for a Nokia 3650 as an existing customer who lost his phone.
The money is made in the service charges. If we don’t have phones, we can’t use the services. If we get enough people asking this question, maybe we’ll be able to do more than ask, “Can they hear us now?” And if someone who works for T-Mobile reads this in FC Now, maybe they’ll be so kind as to leave a comment below. ‘Cause it’s a good question.