Lets Talk about saving you some money on that fancy cell phone
Nov 6, 2009
You want that new phone.
You crave that new phone.
You've seen the commercials and played with it in the store and dreamed of having that new phone in your pocket. The problem has been that in order to put that phone in your pocket, you had to empty that pocket of lots of cash.
I have owned cell phones since they came in bags that you put over your shoulder. Not impressed? OK, I have owned cell phones since they were called CAR phones and you mainly used them in the car. I know...times have changed. Times have also changed for how we might consider buying a cell phone and the requisite headset, should you dare drive and talk. I have always purchased my phones directly from the carrier and I was leery of all 3rd party resellers.
This time, I needed a phone as my old AT&T Tilt just couldn't make it through the day any longer and I didn't want to invest in a new battery. I had been watching the news of the Tilt 2, but it was a pricey treasure. AT&T wanted $299, with a new two year contract extension and that was too much for my situation. Thankfully, I came across Let's Talk and they had it for FREE with the same 2 year contract extension with AT&T. I was skeptical, so I checked them out and they are legit. Here's what I learned and loved and allowed me to "get over it" about 3rd parties and just get my phone:
They have just about every phone you can imagine. The only phone that I did not see was the iPhone. I wasn't looking to buy an iPhone so this didn't bother me. You can get my trusty Tilt 2 and you can even get the all-new, freshly hyped Droid. If you are set on the iPhone you'll have to deal with Apple and AT&T. If you want just about any other phone you can get it here.
This is the WOWZERS part of the deal. Again I will use my phone as an example. Here are the facts:
Retail/No Contract from ATT: $499
Retail/No Contract from Lets Talk: $599
Contract Price from ATT: $299 (**after** mail in rebate of $50)
Contract Price from Lets Talk: $0 (with minimum plan)
Contract Price from Lets Talk: $99 (any plan)
I was already on a $79.99 plan which was the minimum so boom...the phone became free. You think that's good? Well, I didn't even get the best deal. They have some phones that give you $$ BACK on the purchase. The HTC Pure gives $50 back in your pocket.
Gotcha #1 - since I'm in California, I had to pay sales tax. Gotcha #2 - I had an old data plan and the new one costs $5 more per month so my bill will increase by this much.
Neither "gotcha" benefits LetsTalk, but rather the Sad State of California and AT&T.
This was fairly simple too. They contacted the carrier and handled the contract extension and making sure that new phone would activate properly upon arrival. I got confirmation emails directly from AT&T so I know they only did what we agreed to.
I ordered on a weekend and they don't do any shipping on weekends. After it finally left the warehouse on Monday, I got a UPS Ground tracking number and had my phone 3 days later. I just swapped out the SIM card from my old phone and I was up and running.
BUYER ASSURANCE (Return Policy)
In the event that something isn't to your liking, you can return the phone outright within 14 days. You have 30 days to exchange it for a different phone.
How do they do it? Good question. I was curious about this myself. Apparently, the carriers pay them to get new contracts or to sign up new customers. They also get a cut of the monthly bill as commission. I am not sure, but this commission must last about 6 months b/c you have a 181 day contract with LetsTalk so if you were to cancel your service within 6 months, you would have to pay the carrier early termination fee PLUS $250 to LetsTalk. You will also get charged if you change your plan to below minimum level. They suggest that you call them vs. the carrier to make changes during that 181 days so they can advise you if you are causing yourself harm.
SAVE MORE MONEY AND THE PLANET
LetsTalk works with another company called Flip/Swap to take in your old phone as a trade. You will get some money back and you won't throw it away. The money you get back isn't something that you'll retire on, but it is worth the effort. I think I will get somewhere in the $60-70 range for my old Tilt.
The bottom line is your bottom line. You are getting the SAME phone with the SAME contract for a lot LESS money...maybe no money...maybe money in your pocket. The only bummer I had was knowing I had made a selection and I had to wait to get my hands on the new phone. Was it worth it? You betcha.