*UPDATE: Thanks to panthar, it’s now a Digg link. Digg it!*
Having been a previous Sidekick customer, I can tell you that I loved the functionality of their data plan. I dropped my phone and ended up switching to a different kind, but I still never forgot about how awesome it was. I’ve been eyeing the Sidekick 3 for a while now, but I didn’t want to be locked into a contract when I barely make phone calls. That’s why when the SK3 became available in the Prepaid section, I was thrilled. I could pay about the same every month for data only, but have the freedom to make phone calls if I needed to.
On their website, it states:
Get unlimited e-mail, Web browsing, domestic instant messaging, and domestic text messaging for $1 per day, and spend only $0.15 per minute for nationwide calls.
Wow! That’s so cool! So I dropped *450* USD to buy the phone outright and stuck it on the prepaid plan. SLCC was coming up the following week, so I was eager to set everything up and stay connected. I don’t have a laptop, so it was my only means of communication.
I first encountered a problem when I tried to sign up for Twitter alerts (40404). I got a text back saying that the text was denied because it’s not in my service plan. I called in and was told that they block it because of spam, like joke a day websites. I didn’t buy this excuse, but I had a trip to go on, so I left it at that for a while. Now I’ve discovered these awesome t-shirts called Reactees that allow people to get messages when they text 41411 and your keyword. Again, I got the service denied text. Not about to stop there, I also tried Google SMS. Yep. I was denied.
This had me fuming. I have unlimited data. Why can’t I text to short code? I called up T-Mobile and explained my problem. They sent me over to the Sidekick department. I talked to this guy for a good 20 minutes where he told me that it was indeed a covered service on the Prepaid plan. He also told me that on his backend website, it was showing that my sim card wasn’t connected for texting. He seemed really sincere about wanting to help me, but when nothing worked, he elevated me higher in the ticketing system.
As soon as I got on the phone with this girl, I was told that no, this was not a covered service. She said that she only recently found out about this and that the other guy was misinformed. She didn’t seem that sympathetic that I just wasted 450 USD on a phone that does not do what I want it to do. She said that Prepaid plans do not cover it because there are third party charges associated with those short code numbers. I pointed out that there is nowhere on the website that it says they don’t allow those services. She claimed that it was not their fault and I could take no recourse. She also said that the sim card connection thing was a glitch on their side and I should disregard what he said. Wonderful!
Not wanting to be on a contract, I asked if the Flexpay option allowed text messaging with short code. She was able to give me no definite answer. So basically, I can’t even guarantee that I’ll be allowed that service unless I go under contract with them for 1-2 years of my life. It took them 35 minutes to tell me all of this. Thank you, T-Mobile. You suck.
In other news, does anyone want to buy my expensive paperweight?