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  1.    #1  
    The new Treo looks great, right? Looking at it, you'd assume that it would use Cingular's wireless internet features, which lets you browse, etc. for a flat fee per month plus airtime. (That is, if you have free nights and weekends on your plan, you could have free use of the Treo's internet features during the night and on the weekend, and pay just airtime during other periods).

    You could assume that, but you'd be wrong. I just tried two different, popular zip codes on handspring.com, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cingular provides service for the Treo in both these areas. In both cases, internet access on this phone is going to cost you $4.95 a month, and $0.15 a minute for data access. You can't use your bucket of included minutes, it's $0.15 a minute, no matter what.

    On top of this, you need a dialup ISP (another $19.95 a month!)

    This is incredibly short sighted and stupid on either Handspring or Cingular's part. They already have plenty of phones that come ready for wireless internet, where you can surf for 'free'. Is there ANY reason the Treo can't be this way? Aaaargh!
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by jchristopher
    The new Treo looks great, right? Looking at it, you'd assume that it would use Cingular's wireless internet features, which lets you browse, etc. for a flat fee per month plus airtime. (That is, if you have free nights and weekends on your plan, you could have free use of the Treo's internet features during the night and on the weekend, and pay just airtime during other periods).

    You could assume that, but you'd be wrong. I just tried two different, popular zip codes on handspring.com, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Cingular provides service for the Treo in both these areas. In both cases, internet access on this phone is going to cost you $4.95 a month, and $0.15 a minute for data access. You can't use your bucket of included minutes, it's $0.15 a minute, no matter what.

    On top of this, you need a dialup ISP (another $19.95 a month!)

    This is incredibly short sighted and stupid on either Handspring or Cingular's part. They already have plenty of phones that come ready for wireless internet, where you can surf for 'free'. Is there ANY reason the Treo can't be this way? Aaaargh!
    I would assume you'd pay the airtime you are online and an ISP just like it would be with a modem...

    The datapart is basically a modem over the GSM network, it's not like DSL or cablemodem...
    <IMG WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="50" SRC=http://www.visorcentral.com/images/visorcentral.gif> (ex)VisorCentral Discussion Moderator
    Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?
  3.    #3  
    What you are describing it is the way Handspring describes it. But for other zip codes, South Carolina, for example, the describe it as accessing Cingular's own wireless internet network, for which there is no per minute charge. It should be the same in CA but it's not.

    Cingular even has other phones on which you can access the wireless internet - they are selling them right now, and there is no fifteen cents a minute charge. But the Treo does not appear to work/be setup this way.
  4. #4  
    JChristopher,

    I am with you all the way on this. I also live in California. It's outrageous to me that they are charging .15 a minute on top of the 4.95 a month no less. Who would ever use this plan? It makes no sense. That would add up to a startling amount of money each month if you really used it all the time.
    I really want the Treo. But that's such a self defeating plan. It makes that part of the service virtually unusable and unrealistic.And it just adds salt to the wound when we hear that it's not across the board everywhere in the US.
    I really want the Treo for the cell phone basically. The other stuff would be great, but I wouldn't use it for email and web. I'll use my laptop for that.
    Maybe if enough people complain they'll change their thinking on this plan.
    I hope a lot of other Californians feel the same way about this Cingular internet aspect of their plan here.
    BTW, do you think it's best to get the Home plan or the Nation plan? I am leaning towards the Nation plan because I make a lot of calls out of state. Would appreciate your thoughts on that.
    Thanks a lot.
  5. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #5  
    I posted this on another thread a few days ago. Hope this helps:



    I'm on Cingular, in CA, and I've been using my Visor Phone for months without having to pay the $ 0.15 a minute. Just tell them you have a WAP phone (get a model number from their web site, just in case they ask), let them enable their OTHER data service (the one that costs $5 or something a month and uses your regular minutes) and surf away. I use Blazer after 9 pm on weekdays and all weekend long for free.

    Apparently, Cingular's network has no way of knowing that you're using a VisorPhone instead of the other WAP-type phones.

    A Data call is just a data call, as far as the network is concerned. Which leads me to wonder why they feel justified in charging Visor Phone customers so much more.

    I don't know what they would do if they found out I was doing this, but as far as I'm concerned, it's perfectly ethical. Why should I have to let myself be ripped off by a gouging company that wants to charge me tons more money for an identical service because I want to use a different kind of phone?

    Handspring really needs to get these Wireless companies in control, or the Treo will hit some major roadblocks in the next year or so. I don't know anyone who would be willing to pay for a Treo, a monthly ISP, a wireless phone plan, AND an extra "per-minute" charge for data use.

    Paying "per-minute" for the internet brings me back to the old AOL days. It's so Stone Age.

    The sad part is, that if they had one bundled charge of $50 a month or so that would include a good supply of minutes for phone use, and unlimited email and web access, they'd have ten times as many customers, and make a heck of a lot more money than they do on the minute portion of the population that can afford to blow a couple hundred bucks a month on his or her cell phone.

    Competition is definitely needed around here.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com
  6. #6  
    mrjoec wrote:
    I'm on Cingular, in CA, and I've been using my Visor Phone for months without having to pay the $ 0.15 a minute. Just tell them you have a WAP phone (get a model number from their web site, just in case they ask), let them enable their OTHER data service (the one that costs $5 or something a month and uses your regular minutes) and surf away.


    Then all you have to contend with is the extra $200 for purchasing the Treo without service activation. No thanks. Psychologically, I could probably convince myself that those extra Benjamins are amortized by surfing without metered access, but I'd really prefer not to be ripped off in the first place. Let's face it: what we Californians (and Americans) need is a CDMA Treo.
  7. mrjoec's Avatar
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    #7  
    Why would CDMA solve any of these price issues? You'd still have to pay extra if you didn't want activation of a new account (assuming you already have a CDMA account right now). And you'd probably be dealing with Verizon at that point, who (from personal experience) wouldn't be any less likely to charge you whatever they felt like.

    I jumped ship from Verizon a year ago, when I discovered that they were charging me $20 more a month than they were for new customers with equal service options. (And this was long after my initial year service contract was up.) They had changed their offerings, but didn't bother to inform their current customer base. Sure, that's not a necessity, since I had originally agreed to pay what I was paying. But it's not a good way to keep customers.

    By the way, I wouldn't have to pay that extra $200 for a Treo without activation, because I already have a Visor Phone. I could get the discount without starting up a new account, and Cingular would be none the wiser.

    Even if you didn't have a VP, all you would need to do is buy the Treo with activation, pay the first month, call up customer service a few weeks later and tell them you want to switch to the other data service. Chances are, as long as you're not trying to end your account, the clueless customer service rep wouldn't think twice about changing you over to the WAP data service. Unless they mark Treo accounts in some special way, which I seriously doubt.
    mrjoec
    www.joecieplinski.com

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