After months of debating the pros and cons, I finally took the plunge and upgraded my cell phone to a Smartphone. Since I'm on the road a lot, I figured I could use better weather info as well as e-mail access and GPS navigation (though that takes the fun out of making a wrong turn and finding a forgotten bridge ;))
I've had wireless service with AT&T (formerly Cingular) for nearly six years and while my phone still works, it was a basic model when I bought it and is practically a "dinosaur" by today's cell phone standards. I went to AT&T's website and they offered me a free upgrade to a better phone. I looked around at several phones and also looked at a few in their retail store. I almost bought one in the store, but wanted to explore more options.
So I finally settle on a phone and place my order for my free upgrade. I ordered my phone ("free" with a 2 year contract vs $30 with a contract at the retail shop), selected a data plan ($20 a month vs $30 bought through the retailer) and proceeded to check out. Lo, and behold I was charged $36 for upgrading my phone. The "free" upgrade? That was the "free" phone I got when I signed a new 2 year contract.That's not exactly a "free" upgrade. That almost sounds like "Bait and Switch". It's no wonder AT&T is rated lowest of all wireless companies in terms of customer satisfaction (per Consumer Reports).
Update: my phone ringer quit after 5 days and one of the control buttons has quit working. Thankfully, it's still under warranty.