My Helio Ocean breaks and I just ordered a Sprint Mogul... thus endeth the Helio experiment

Recently, I've been pretty frustrated because the Helio Ocean Exchange wouldn't sync my calendar and that the contacts wouldn't actually sync the phone's firmware contacts.  Therefore, I could look you up in my Exchange contact list, click to call you, but then if you call back, the phone would have no idea who you are.   The calendar issue was a bug on their part that caused the phone to just completely crash when I tried to sync my calendar.  The guess from Helio was that it was due to old calendar entries...  seems like that's a hell of a bug just to be caused my some old entries.

Well, today, we had a new bug:

IMG_1775

Did you spot it?  Look closely.  Yeah, um, the magic triangle spring is supposed to prevent the keyboard and the numeric keypad from opening at the same time.  I opened the keyboard today and something went ping on the inside.  The top slider came loose and not only was I able to open both sides of it, but this is as closed as I can get it now.  So, I basically have an open Swiss Army Knife for a phone.

I went over to the Helio store expecting to get a replacement, because I'm paying the insurance.  Nope.  First, the guy tells me that he doesn't know if this is a warranty item or a claim because, he'd "never seen that happen on any of the phones before", implying that I broke it.  I told him I didn't much care if he had seen this before or not... fact of the matter is that it broke and I was insured.  All he could do was to direct me to a phone and gave me the customer service number.  They implied it was a claim (not a defect) and so they gave me the insurance company's number.  They were going to take 24 hours to process the claim and then get me a phone in 3 business says standard shipping...  i.e. 4 days without a useable phone (It doesn't dial out anymore and the menu buttons are all screwed up b/c it doesn't know which way it's oriented).  Of course, I could pay another $15 in addition to my $50 deductible to get it next day.   Knowing that there was a good chance I was bailing on Helio anyway because of the Exchange issues, I passed on the $65.

Here's the interesting financial outcome of this whole thing, though.  Dave Evans pointed me out to the Sprint SERO plan (Google it), which was a hidden discount program for employee referrals.   The problem was, I couldn't take advantage of it when my prior Sprint phone got stolen because it was only for new customers.  Now, since I left, I'm a new customer again.

So, in the end, even if I eat my way out of my Helio contract, here's the final financial impact assessment:

PPC-6700 stolen...   No immediate financial impact because that phone was purchased as part of USV due diligence on a mobile app company... moved back to old Palm Treo... hated it.

6/13 - Bought new Treo and accessories...       ($274)
3 months of Helio service (@$85) vs. 3 months of old Sprint service (@$116) =    +$93
Early termination fee....   ($175)
Cost of Sprint Mogal...   ($300)

So, basically, the new phone overall cost me $656...

...BUT...

Monthly savings on Sprint SERO plan vs comparable full cost Sprint service  +$40/month.

So, before the end of my 2 year contract is up, the phone will have paid for itself.

Not too shabby...  Can't wait for my Mogul!

I also can't wait for Ken Berger to tell me he told me so.... however, leaving Sprint and coming back did allow me to take advantage of this lower cost plan, so, in the end, it was totally worth it.