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Treo 600 - Verizon vs. Sprint: Read and Weep

There has been a lot of anticipation and hooplah around Verizon (finally) joining the Treo 600 party.  I think the Verizon users are going to get stuck with the bill.
 
I had a series of fortunate events (with apologies to Lemony Snicket) that brought me to SprintPCS a couple of years ago.  My service, reception and support have all been a huge improvement over my years with AT&T Wireless.  But, to be honest, if Verizon had offered the Treo 300 at that time, I would have probably gone with them.  They had the good rep, and I use their DSL, local and long-distance services.
 
Boy, was I lucky that they didn't offer it!  I've been on the phone a good part of this morning, listening to the moans and groans of Verizon Wireless friends of mine.  They've been looking at me with Treo-envy since last September; all the while saying how much better it'll be when Verizon get them THEIR Treos.  Well, that day has come, and they aren't crowing.
 
It seems that Verizon is rewarding it's loyal clients by giving them 0% incentives to upgrade to the Treo 600. Existing Verizon Wireless clients have to pay a whopping $599 for the device.  On the other hand, Sprint offered a variety of incentive plans, which varied on the type of phone you currently had (Treo 300 users got the best deal for early adoption).  To add insult to injury, Verizon's monthly, unlimited data plan is $49. Compare that to Sprint's $15.  In fact, I did a year 1 and year 2 comparison for Treo wanna-be's who are torn between staying with Verizon or moving their number to SprintPCS.  Read it, and weep:
 
 
SprintPCS and Verizon have their own networks, and no longer have to provide free 'piggyback' access to network-less competitors.  So, how does Verizon justify such gross overcharging, and how does the FCC let it get by? Guess the're trying to recoup the Treo business they lost by waiting 10 months longer then Sprint to offer it, eh?
 
The only fly in the ointment is that SprintPCS sales has no Treos for sale until September. However, call your local Sprint stores. Most of them actually have the devices in-stock. Hah! and my Mom said I'd never learn the finer points of comparison shopping.
 
 
NOTE: Verizon customers 'may' be able to purchase the Treo 600 for $499 while those extending/renewing for two years may get it for $449.  Further credits could bring the cost down to $349.  However, if you've already reached the end of your contract with Verizon you might as well benefit from the Amazon/Sprint offer which will provide you with a Treo 600 for $369.99 after a $200 mail-in rebate... [Please see 'Comments' below for additional info.]
 
This post kindly contributed by PJ Arts.  If you have an interesting or amusing story about your Treo 600 and would like to share it with others via this bloguide please email us here.

Posted by Andrew on July 26, 2004 at 11:29 AM

Treo News , Wireless Carriers

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Comments

1
by Mike | Jul 26, 2004 2:40:17 PM

Sorry, but this is completely not the case. Existing Verizon customers who wish to renew/extend their contract for one year can get the Treo 600 for $499, while those extending/renewing for two years get it for $449. In addition, if you qualify for the $100 "New Every Two" credit (your eligibility begins at 22 months since your last equipment upgrade), your final cost can be as little as $349. I understand the frustration with Verizon's data plans, but let's not throw other distortions around.

2
by Peter J Arts | Jul 26, 2004 2:47:36 PM

Andrew,

I guess you saw this on TreoBits. Surprisingly, I got a lot of heat for it from Verizon users are sensitive to seeing the Big V criticized. So, let me clarify 3 points that were most vehemently challanged:

1) Verizon HAS offered a discount to existing clients...provided that user raises the question in the 1st-place, and puts some leverage (i.e. threat) behind it. However, the 'official' Verizon offer is 0% discount on the Treo 600 for existing residential users. You can look it up!

2) Verizon remarked to me, and some clients (who I personally know) that Sprint is not currently offering any discounts on the Treo 600 to existing clients. That may be true, but is beside the point: last September, when Sprint began offering the same version of the Treo that Verizon is only now offering to their clients, Sprint offered a variety of incentives to existing clients to get them to move to the Treo 600. On an apples-to-apples basis my statement is true.

3) Verizon stated to me (and to a number of their clients who questioned this point of mine) that Sprint doesn't actually provide unlimited data with the PCS Professional option. That, if you go beyond a certain amount, they will hit you with ridiculous surcharges. Also, if you use the Treo 600 as a wireless connection for a laptop, you will be charged the laptop rate. Shame on them...Sprint's unlimited data is exactly that: unlimited. Also, there is no way to differentiate if you are downloading data to a laptop or to the Treo directly.

What I have done is list facts that are posted by Verizon and Sprint. I have also included personal experience, not anecdotal or heresay. If anyone is offended, you also obviously believe that every scene in a Michael Moore film is the unvarnished truth. In that case, I'd like to talk to you about a bridge I have for sale (nudge, nudge...wink, wink!).

3
by andrewc | Jul 26, 2004 2:58:34 PM

Mike, thank you for your contribution and for your clarification on this issue.

With this adjustment, in the worst case scenario the difference in cost between Verizon and Sprint would be $1,076 over two years while in the best it would be _only_ $926.

Still not pocket change...

4
by adi | Jul 26, 2004 5:35:58 PM

I've used both Verizon and Sprint.

And I'd pay $400 extra per year for better coverage and data access. Which I've certainly found Verizon to have (main two usage areas are NYC Metro and SF Bay Area).

Let's also not forget Sprint's abysmal customer service.

You *do* get what you pay for in some respects.

Also, Verizon has been offering an additional $100 discount for buying a smartphone for those unable to use a NE2 discount. They cannot be combined, unfortunately.

That said, I'd love for Verizon to drop their prices a bit. ;)

5
by PJA | Jul 26, 2004 6:00:22 PM

I am delighted to hear that Verizon has changed their initial, published, offerings for their existing clients, and will happily concede that point. I will respond to the Sprint-bashers, however. I have only been with Sprint for 2 years, and am I fan of Verizon: I use their local and LD, and their DSL service. My wife is on their wireless service. The only reason I went with Sprint, was because I wanted a smartphone, and at the time they had an excellent promotion for the Treo 300. If Verizon had offered the Treo, I would have gone with them.

Sprint deserved their long standing bad rep for coverage and support. A former employer in NYC had all the employees (except me) using Sprint because it had great reception in the city-proper. Once you got out of Manhattan, it was godawful. Two years ago, however, Sprint improved to the point of being named #2 for best coverage in the USA, just behind Verizon. Having traveled all over the continental USA during the past 2 years, I can testify that their reception is really great. On top of that, they have faster data transfer then Cingular, T-Mobile and AT&T. TreoCentral has a study going on, where you can do speed test on your Treo 600. All of the results are posted at http://www.treocentral.com/content/Stories/337-1.htm . You can see for yourself that Sprint is a much faster network then the others. Since Verizon didn't offer the Treo at the time of the speed tests, I can't say how they stack up, but I am sure they are as fast as Sprint.

I will not argue that Sprint's customer service can be a pain...if you allow yourself to deal with the clerks at the bottom of the foodchain. There is an excellent site for SprintPCS customers that has all of the Escalation tel#'s, and eMails (http://www.sprintpcsinfo.com/index.php). This allows one to get to a human with some juice. Via this channel, I have been able to get fast response to some network issues that plagued me last year, and now have an assigned advocate at the Executive level. Still, they are a work in progress.

Summation: I did not diss Verizon as a carrier. They are simply the best out there. I did criticize them taking 9 months to bring the Treo to their clients, and for not being competitive in their initial offerings, as compared to the initial offerings of the other 4 Treo 600 carriers. That is it! I'm getting off this bloody soapbox, and grabbing a pint.

PJA

6
by carol | Aug 27, 2004 4:40:00 PM

I love graffiti, but my Sprint Treo doesn't have it. How can I get software for optional graffiti when I wan to use it?

7
by PJ Arts | Aug 27, 2004 7:04:25 PM

Carol,

Try going to https://secure.cic.com/product_details/recoecho_details.asp

Free Graffiti for Treo
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wed Nov 6, 2002 - 9:49 PM EST - By Michael Ducker

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a move which should of been done with the release of the Treo, Handspring is now offering a free Graffiti entry program - letting Treo users quickly enter data with the stylus.

RecoEdit Plus is a basic version of Jot - both are from CIC.

"RecoEcho Plus enhances Graffiti® by allowing you to input text on the full-screen and see your characters in ink as you write! RecoEcho Plus will allow you to write bigger, faster and more comfortably - plus, RecoEcho Plus will help you get better recognition accuracy by allowing you to see characters in ink as they are written."

8
by ideawizard | Sep 15, 2004 2:34:33 PM

The chart you did is a great idea. would you mind doing one for the other carriers
then we could update it and everyone would know about the latest deals...and what the realife prices are over time
kinda like the dealcam that dealmac does....

Great blog, lotsa bottom line info...

iZ

9
by Richard Gawlowski | Nov 26, 2004 9:16:48 PM

Can someone please summarize the advantages of the Treo 650 over the 600?

Thanks.

10
by TJL | Dec 21, 2004 12:53:53 PM

The 650 has:

1. MUCH better screen resolution
2. Bluetooth
3. Ability to record Video's
4. Built in MP3
5. Edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint With Documents-to-Go
6. Supports HTML
7. Removable Battery

That's all that comes to mind - you can go to www.palmone.com and read about it

11
by Dave Heymann | Feb 14, 2005 9:32:46 PM

Is there any way of knowing (or even guessing) as to when Verizon will have the Treo 650? Neither verizon nor Palm One will even acknowledge that Verizon has heard of the Treo 650. I have Sprint and have been desperate to switch to verizon, but I don't want to buy the 600 now that the 650 is out.

12
by carolyn | Mar 20, 2005 8:25:58 PM

I bought the 650 after successful using the 600 with my Mac and synching Entourage with it. The 650 is so buggy right now that I am going to return it. I also don't like some of the changes in how it works, particularly two things: you can no longer double-click on the center button when in the phone mode to see your call log, and decide to call someone back on this. It's a mess, actually. The second thing is that in the phone mode you can no longer just push the up part of the "command center" and go right to favorites...in my case, phone numbers. The software has now corrupted some of my Mac, and has twice totally corrupted the 650. I had to return the first one because it didn't like loading Entourage, after I loaded all the other software. So it went into a continuous loop, and it would not reset. The Sprint tech people also could not get it to reset.

I am having trouble with the second device too, which also won't all any kind of reset, including a hard reset.

And finally, if it doesn't work with Entourage, like my 600 did, it's useless to me.

I hope someone will do something about all of this. I have spent a total of four hours on the phone with Sprint, PalmOne, Microsoft, and Apple trying to troubleshoot this. Why aren't they talking to each other? Why do I get shuffled from one tech desk to another because all these resources aren't figuring out these issues? I'm going back to my 600.

13
by Scott | Mar 22, 2005 1:37:53 AM

Why is Verizon wireless taking so long to add the treo 650? If their customers would rather have the 650 vs. the 600, why can't they add it? This is rediculous. I'm on the verge of switching to another provider but verizon wireless has the best coverage for my local area(north central Pennsylvania). Any predictions when the 650 may be available for verizon wireless customers???

14
by Andrew | Mar 22, 2005 6:15:23 AM

Scott,

The rumour is that a Verizon Treo 650 may become available as early as next month.

I will naturally post something as soon as we have more information.

Cheers, A.

15
by daniels | Jun 3, 2005 7:27:33 PM

I got my Treo 600 for $150 through Verizon. It was $299, they took off $100 when I signed up for the data pack(which I can cancel at any time), and a $50 mail-in rebate. The Treo 600 can be upgraded to function just as well as the 650, the only exceptions are the BLUETOOTH, and the camera isn't quite as clear. I have been waiting a while to get a Treo, and our family plan is locked into a contract until armageddon, and I realized the main factor is that the Treo is the phone that I want... so please don't throw these great deals in my face.
I am a true Treonaut, constantly installing programs to make life easier, and hacking OS X so the Treo runs better, just gimme the ups, I can figure out the downs on my own.
Sorry if I offended you(not my intent,and I realize people have the right to know), I just want you to give the flat rates, don't tell me I got screwed because our family plan is under contract until the second Tuesday of next week.
A current chart of sevice providers and rates would be cool... that is if service providers give the same rate in every city... I'm in New Orleans, and there are no 650's in the stores yet.

16
by Larry | Jun 27, 2005 12:49:12 AM

My Treo 600 was provided as a replacement phone for my Kyocera 7135 that went bad. I have been reading lately about the advantages of "unlocked" GSM service provided by other carriers. I take this is in comparision to the CDMA service that is provided by my carrier, Verizon. Is there a way to take advantage of this "unlocked" status with Verizon or am I hosed? It would be nice to be able to use this phone overseas, but as I understand it, I wouldn't be able to. Is this correct? Do I have any options?

Thanks,
Larry

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