October 2008


New Handy!

I decided to stay in Weimar today instead of heading to the office.

Instead I headed to the Weimar Office where I got in a solid 90 minutes of work before WeimarColleague showed up—he’d graciously (and wonderfully) agreed to help me select and purchase a new Handy—my mobile phone is over 3 years old and is showing its age. Its battery life has been steadily dropping—down to the point where I was taking the charger with me on overnight trips because train rides tended to drain the battery.

He had a plan of action for the day: visit an O₂ dealer and then the T-Mobile store, gather information, proceed to a café, write down the pros and cons, making a decision and then finally making the purchase.

The first O₂ shop we visited featured a surely clerk who, even after being told I was willing to take a contract, was unwilling to discuss the various tariffs for ausland calls. Had I been alone, I would have immediately given up on O₂ for life, but WeimarColleague pressed on, finding the other O₂ shop, where we found a more pliable agent who offered us a seat and discussed all the tariff options for somebody who travels the way I do. It was complicated and involved a number of print outs and a bunch of gimmicks.

What surprised me most about the O₂ program was that they have “home” zones where you pay substantially less per minute than when you are out of your home zone. Now these things exist in the States, but they are actually reasonable—traveling 4 kilometers out of town will not automatically take you out of the home zone. I still remember my first mobile phone, based in Laramie, which included in its home zone most of south-eastern Wyoming plus Fort Collins, Colorado.

I quickly threw the gimmicks out of the equation: they seemed designed for people who want a mobile phone for an otherwise stationary lifestyle.

From there we headed to T-Mobile where a saleswoman helped lay out the options for the toy that I’d been craving.

Now WeimarColleague had done his job before—he’d talked me out of the toy because it was expensive and the contract was expensive—and I’d agreed with him. Unfortunately for him, whilst in Bremen at the Whiney Expatriate Blogger Meet-Up, PapaScott had pulled his toy out—an earlier generation toy, and showed it to me. I was rapidly thrust back into lust. Honestly this is the first specific technology toy I’ve craved in a long time.

We gathered the information, made sure that the toy was in stock, and then headed over to a nearby café where we discussed the various options. Honestly it would have taken a lot for O₂ to win this competition—but the fact is that I suspect that my toy-usage will be less expensive with T-Mobile than with O₂. I believe WeimarColleague quickly realized it was an uphill battle to convince me that the toy was not as good an option as something from O₂—even the gimmick of being able to call other O₂ customers for free.

After finishing our drinks, I paid and we headed back to the T-Mobile store where I got my 16GB black iPhone.

I have my geeky moments.

5 comments to New Handy!

  • That’s so funny; we had a totally opposite experience in HD. The T-Mobile is definitely the most evil, unhelpful, gimmicky place here. Of course, they ALL are in reality, but that store was a nightmare. We ended up getting Vodafone, which we hated. (We have a homezone, and it’s so tiny we can’t even cross the river we live on and stay in it. They tried to rip us off in a hundred ways over the last two years.) So, we were thinking that at the end of this contract (3 weeks from now!) we’d switch to O2! But it’s not much better, eh? We heard mostly good reviews of it until now.

  • disenchanted

    I’ve been wanting an iPhone, but I can’t justify paying that much more in my contract. Hell, most of the time my cell phone sits in the bottom of my purse, dead because I forget to charge the batteries.

  • @CN: I think my WeimarColleague likes o2–he refused to consider Vodafone. He uses o2, and he pointed out that if I had o2, i could then call him for free. If I called him a lot that would be a plus, but I was more concerned about what would happen to me if I used the phone outside of Germany…

    @disenchanted: that would be a good argument against it… I love mine already.

  • koko

    iPhones are awesome. i’ve tried out a bunch of the free apps and some of them suck but some are amazing. i’ve heard people here in the us having problems staying connected to the 3G network. last time i read up on it they weren’t sure if it was an ATT problem or an iphone problem. i wouldn’t know though since i’ve got the first gen iphone. apparently i qualify for a free upgrade since i got mine within a certain time period but i cannot justify spending another 10 bucks a month on the plan (old iphones the data and 200 sms is 20 dollars and the new iphones it is 30 for data and 5 for 200 sms). it might be worth it…but for the little net surfing i do i can tolerate the miserably slow edge network.

    my tip of the day: make sure you have it set to pick up wireless where you are often (home & office). it is much faster and saves battery life.

  • I am so jealous – we can’t even get contract phones as non Hungarian citizen, even if you are an EU citizen, of which I am not. Sigh.