I “bought” my Aria from AT&T over the phone a month ago. I put bought in quotes because AT&T actually paid me $150 to upgrade. First, they credited me for the full cost of the Aria including phone, taxes, shipping, and activation. Then they credited me $50 for downgrading from the $30/month unlimited data plan to the $15/month 200MB data plan (I have never exceeded 60MB of data usage in a month). In doing so, I save another $180/year in data-plan fees. Finally, AT&T offered a $100 debit card rebate for the Aria.

How did I get this deal, you ask (salivating at the prospect)? After the first-level sales person couldn’t “make me happy,” he transferred me to the second-level customer-care department that has the power and discretion to cut deals. I started with the price of the phone—free—that I wanted. I then moved on to the data plan deal I wanted (AT&T is highly incentivized to move people off of the unlimited plan). After several long holds to “speak to his supervisor,” he came back with the deal I wanted.

Though it seems like I won this contest hands down, it was actually a win-win because AT&T kept my business and I hung up a happy customer with the phone I wanted at the price I wanted to pay.

I love free-market capitalism!!

2 COMMENTS

  1. not so sure there “highly incentivized” if your talking to a commision based rep… im pretty sure a 30 dollar plan pays a better commision than a 15 dollar plan… congrats on playing the system though, if only more people knew how to speak to customer service…

  2. I upgraded with AT&T last week, going from a Fuze to a Captivate. I did not get “paid” to upgrade, but I am happy with the deal. I got the advertised $199 upgrade price for the Captivate. However, when I agreed to purchase $50 retail worth of accessories (case, screen protectors, car charger), the rep reduced the phone cost by $50, for a total of $199 for the package. The rep did not push me to give up my unlimited data plan. She just noted that I can keep it as long as I want, but when I change to a capped plan, I can never get unlimited again. I did not have time to evaluate my data usage and will probably move to a capped plan in the future.

    The Captivate is terrific in all areas but one. The screen is beautiful and responsive. Installing apps from the Market is much faster than WM. I was able to find complements of all of my WM apps very quickly. I have installed 47 apps so far and still have tons of storage, even though I have not yet installed an external card. My contacts and calendar were populated via Google before I knew it. Battery life is much improved over the Fuze, even with the larger screen. Wifi operation is smoother and less of a battery drain. Signal strength is maybe a half bar stronger. I have not bothered to root, because the base function plus Market apps give me all I need. I will make the root decision after the Froyo update occurs. The only problem area is GPS. It did not work out of the box, but new settings from XDA and other forums got things going. Google maps works ok, but still takes too long to lock and the lock drops too easily. Appears that Samsung has a software problem, and most Captivate owners are waiting to see if a fix is delivered before the 30 day return date.

    I have no regrets about leaving WM. I was running EnergyRom WM6.5.x on my Fuze and loved it. I would have been very happy if Microsoft had just “fixed” WM, and I was hoping for an HD2 type of phone with WM6.5.x+++. WP7 is too radical for me to be an early adopter. UI looks like a throwback to Windows 3.1. The WP7 “experience” would force me to alter my usage behavior, similar to what an iPhone would do. I may evaluate WP7 when my Captivate is upgradeable, if WP7 is still around by then.

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