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Monday, July 27, 2009

The Phone or the Service

I have an LG Dare phone. I like the phone, the touch screen, the camera, the size, just about everything but the service. Verizon claims to have the best network, get service anywhere, except where I live, oh and except where my buddy Gerry lives too, about 5 miles away. I have actually yelled at the TV when the ubiquitous Verizon commercials appear. I’m not in the wilds of the Dakotas, I’m in suburban Bucks County, PA. I had an external antenna for my phone, two phones ago that worked fairly well. At least with the external antenna I could use my phone at home. It was not portable.

I just finished reading two posts at ZDNet about someone returning an iPhone (gasp) because they loved the toy but hated the service. A contractor standing in my driveway last week pulled out his iPhone, bitched at it, about it and moaned over the service. He said his sister had returned hers within the 30 days and canceled the AT&T service. Obviously this isn’t a statistically sound study but it appears that many folks like the iPhone and hate the AT&T service.

I think I see a pattern. Amazon has started pushing phones. They are pushing the hardware with little or no mention of the service. When I had my computer business, I pushed the service not the hardware. I felt that what my staff did was far more important that the hardware it ran on. This doesn’t mean that I would sell hardware that was inferior, just that I felt the service was far more important.

My recommendation is that you explore cell service in the area in which you will use the phone most frequently. Pick out a phone when you find a service that works well in your geographic area. You’ll be happier than I am if you can use your phone where and when you want to use it.

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