Cellphone Chris’s Letter to T-Mobile/Danger

Chris posted the following in a comment, but I thought it was worth highlighting in a dedicated post. His letter touches on some of the feelings a lot of us long-time Sidekick lovers are feeling I think:

Dear T-Mobile/Danger:

My sentiments as a long-time subscriber:


I’ve had your services since your spokesperson was a parrot and your name was Omnipoint. I even sold them as an Authorized Dealer when the pager business died. It was 1998, and you only offered a handful of brick-sized phones (remember the Ericsson 388?), and your flagship handset had a 3-color screen and was made by Siemens. I remember using prepaid coupons to pay my postpaid bill – Genius! Your network was small, your plans were so-so, but digital was superior, and you were my first choice.

You became Voicestream, and had a fancy, stylized logo and Jamie-Lee Curtis was your spokesperson. She gave James Earl Jones a run for his money and you began to look like a major player. There were plenty of companies to choose from, but I stayed faithful. I used all the newest handsets and loved the ease of switching my SIM, allowing me to try all the newest phones. My Nokia 3300 fell 100 times but never failed me. I would just put the shell back together, and I had all the colors. I composed my own ringers painstakingly from the composer before it became a billion-dollar business. AT&T was still TDMA back then, and you were the only GSM player for a while (It still amazes me how you let Cingular/Big Blue leapfrog you with your own technology, but I digress).

You gobbled up smaller carriers left and right, and soon you got your new name. T-Mobile. Your coverage maps still looked like daddy-long-legs, but with each revision, the pink spiders gained weight. You were determined to provide call quality over tower quantity, knowing the latter would come soon enough. I always had enjoyable experiences as a customer and got my whole family under your wing.

Flash forward to 2002. I had a two-way pager from Skytel, and life was good. I could actually check email without a COMPUTER! My last regular handset was a Motorola V70, a slick-looking phone that rotated instead of flipping open. But I lusted for something that could do it all. I bought an unlocked Motorola Accompli 009 online to combine my 2-way pager with a phone, and also had a color screen. Mandatory headset required though, and Bluetooth didn’t exist yet. That didn’t last long. I looked at my sheet of upcoming phones and saw some chunky, grey, calculator-looking thing with a full keyboard. And the screen did some funky, flip move that snapped open like I always wished the V70 had done. Was this the device I had been looking for?


Ahhh, what say I say to my dear old friend. I picked up your ugly duckling of a device and never looked back. I had never been brand-loyal with handset manufacturers, but boy, did that change. In my entire history as a wireless customer, no device has matched the ingenuity of something so useful as the Jump button. I’ve multi-tasked with ease, and frequented the hiptop.com (later, poweredbydanger.com) forums daily anticipating each OTA update. I remember when AIM smileys and copy/paste were added. I posted so often under the name JustifydHomicide that I was a “Power User”. Appletech, The Gryphon, mwsmith, JHC – These people were the gurus of my Sidekick experience. I got a developer’s key and loved testing applications, learning the Menu+Shift shortcuts like the back of my hand.

You were always so ahead of the curve, single-handedly creating the catalog model for which Apple smugly gets credit, and for which all the other OS companies are still clamoring. I felt that I was using the latest and greatest technology, for a while that is. I anticipated each new hardware launch and recall ordering the Sidekick 2 at midnight of the launch. I’ve done the same for each new device, and even sprung for the Mr. Cartoon and LRG LE’s. I remained positive after your acquisition by Microsoft, even after they unceremoniously fired half of your staff, anxiously hoping that someday I’d see the convergence of the Sidekick with another favorite, the Zune.

When the G1 came out, I resisted temptation and waited to upgrade to the LX09 even though 3G hadn’t launched in my area yet. I was grandfathered into your $20 data, and was willing to forgo the latest handset and stay loyal to you. For the first time, however, I was thoroughly unimpressed by your new outfit. Sure, your new dress was sexy and sleek, but the new integration of social networking apps lacked functionality and slowed my typically reliable OS to a crawl. I became plagued with frequent resets and freezing and now stay logged out of apps unless I need them, opting to use the browser for Twitter rather than the especially-limited catalog version. It soon became clear why this app and others were provided to the end user for free.

I began to fall out of love with you after gazing at superior products. I even flirted with a few, impressed by better features and ease of use. I developed an infatuation for Android like a middle middle-aged man staring at a young home-wrecker. The company whose ingenuity I had loved and been loyal to had changed like an estranged wife of 6 years. It felt like you lost your touch, and looking at your renders of the Project Pink phones had me drawing up my divorce papers.

Then, there was the straw that broke the camel’s back,

October 2nd, 2009:

You know the particulars, so I won’t cover old news. You know what you did. You cheated on me. I had a trust in you that I was sure you wouldn’t break. My secrets were safe with you throughout our relationship, and then you walked out on me in the form of a data outage. It had happened before, but never like this. I couldn’t reach you for over a week, and when I heard from you, I realized that it was worse than I thought. You didn’t just fail me, but you also destroyed everything we built together. Taking over 1000 contacts with you when you left was like emptying the joint account and taking the kids. You didn’t even leave the pictures as a memento. How cruel could you be?

Apparently you had a change of heart, restoring some of my contacts, although you haven’t yet made me whole. I’m still waiting for you to drop off the rest of my stuff – Do you think you can get the calendar, bookmarks, and photos back to me soon? I’m starting to think it’ll all work out in the end; I’m getting comfortable with the idea that we won’t be together much longer. I noticed you took yourself off the market on t-mobile.com, too. Decided not to play the field?

Android looks better every day, but I like my ladies with keyboards, and G1’s getting wrinkles every day. I check in on my new love interests N900 and Bold 2 daily, and can’t wait to choose my new wife. T-Mobile at least had enough Loyalty (Plan) to allow me to forgive them, but you I cannot. The credits and new handset they offered me make me feel a little better.


With your bold launch of Project Dark, this could not have come at a more inopportune time. I applaud your willingness to adopt a new model and buck the tradition that has plagued the wireless climate in the U.S. I will not be converting to one of these new plans, as my current plan suits me better. I do wonder two things about your no-contract Even More Plus plans:

Will handsets purchased at full retail come unlocked?

Will customer be allowed to provide their own unlocked handset and sign up for Even More Plus?

In closing, thank you T-Mobile for always having a “Think Customer First” attitude, a credo of another large and successful company. Your customer service is unparalleled, and your philosophy as a company influenced me to work for your corporation during my 9-year wireless career, before moving on to a different industry. In this situation, you didn’t hesitate to concede your faults for Microsoft/Danger’s shortcomings. Although you were only indirectly responsible, you realized that ultimately YOU collect my bill, and I respect that. I won’t disclose what concessions you’ve offered me to retain my business, but I do beleive that I will continue to a be satisfied customer some time in November. I hope Microsoft makes you whole for your loss of revenue due to this debacle.

Cellphone Chris

22 Responses to “Cellphone Chris’s Letter to T-Mobile/Danger”

  1. Wicked1 Says:

    Oooh, i remember 2-ways, I had the blue, small motorola 1 in 8th grade, me n and my best friend were the 1st to have them in our school, you know we thought were the sh*t, hahaha. I bought a Skytel Silver 2-way too, on ebay and never got it activated. I just stumbled across it a few weeks ago, cleaning out an old closet. Man, it’s crazy how electronics advance and change. I have already left my sidekick, my data service was cut off today, and my Cliq is on it’s way to me. I’m really sad to leave, been loyal since 2004, but like you said, the last straw that broke the camel’s back did it. I’m through

  2. antonio Says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself

  3. DisKO Says:

    Excellent! Thank you for conveying my emotions into words. People who don’t have sidekicks can never understand the loyal, trusting relationship that Microsoft destroyed for all of us. Itz been a sad month… Only a few more days until I take the plunge and rebound with that sexy Cliq.

  4. Koloheboy Says:

    I like your story Chris, and thank you for sharing. I too is one of those customer when Voicestream was a company still.

  5. Koloheboy Says:

    DisKO, I did a pre order on that Cliq, it is not what you expect it to be. I had returned it, now I am waiting for the BB9700. I still don’t have my calendar, notes and all, even the new contacts I added is not there. *sigh*

  6. DisKO Says:

    Koloheboy, Oh no! Really? What’s wrong with it? I was hoping it would be a cross between the SK & an iphone. Anywhere close? I felt one up in store & played with the demo on tmobile.com…

  7. Canon Jon Says:

    I am in almost the exact same scenario as you. I have used Sidekick devices since 2002 and never quit. I have been with T-Mobile since the Voicestream days. I still love my LX ’09, but the lag is annoying on a rather stable OS. Do you mind if I make some changes to your letter and send it to T-Mobile also?

  8. L Says:

    Thank you Chris. That letter touched me, as i do feel exactly the same, and the same goes for DisKO. There’s no turning back any more. On December my contract ends, Goodbye T-mobile, Goodbye SK.

  9. Dominique Says:

    Story of my life. Went with the G1 though. We’re very happy together.

  10. Chris Says:

    Really? You published this crap on your site? You do realize this “Chris” is probably the same person that type’s his “novel” in front of everyone at a hipster coffee shop just to masturbate his ego. Good job, you just promoted a serial-retard.

  11. Ann Says:

    I think parts of this would be a great spiel to tell T-Mo reps when trying to plead our case for discounted phones/services. When this first happened I remained relatively silent, not wanting to be greedy for a “short outage.” But over a month later, I’m pretty mad.

  12. ncmacasl Says:

    I so agree with this letter. the OP says it so well. I feel so disillusioned this past month. I finally have my data back on the DI. It never actually left my phone – an LX07. There was, however, no guarantee it would *stay* on my phone — one auto-hard-reset and *POOF* all the data would be lost in the cloud. Also, not having access to uninstalled apps (that I PAID for) for almost a month is inexcusable!

    I feel I have lost my best friend. I am moving on to Android – probably the MotoCliq.

  13. mark Says:

    love the letter chris ….i feel the same way am going to stay with my sk tho see how eveyrthing goes oct is for ever dead in my book lol

  14. Andy, Inc. Says:

    Couldn’t agree more! I haven’t had T-Mobile as long as chris but we’ve been loyal customers since december 2004. We switched from AT&T so that I could get a Sidekick II and I’ve been in love ever since, having bought every major handset upgrade (never got the ID or the 08) and even opted for the D-Wade 3 and Tony Hawk LX because the devices were so great that it didn’t matter that it was a little more expensive. Its still funny to me how people go crazy over the iPhone yet everything it does (except touch screen and accelerometer), the Sidekicks have done since 2007. MMS and Video all came on the LX and got better with the LX 3G. I love my 3G, the design is great and the OS does what I need it so at this point who knows what im gonna do but the Blackberry Bold 2 does look really nice…

  15. Anonymous Says:

    cool story bro!

  16. BluntKick Says:

    G1 Smokes the Slopkick. Never lookin Back

  17. Mrs.!@#$%^&* Says:

    I too have a sidekick and have been a customer for almost 5 years. I was only able to recover less than 50% of my contacts. I still have no calendar, notes, tasks, to-do list, apps, pics and more. Today I was informed by a T-mo rep that only customers with “significant” loss will receive a $100 T-mo credit. As of today only 1500 customers had been selected and I was not one of them. I’m PISSED!!!!! Being compensated for 1 month of data services does not even begin to rectify or comfort me, but the gift card would’ve been a nice start (as I would’ve used it to purchase a new phone). With “compensation” still up in the air and the end of my billing cycle drawing near, T-mo needs to do something QUICK if they want to keep loyal customers LOYAL!

  18. its me fool! Says:

    Im so looking foward to the g1 ever since the sidekick plan has failed.and I don’t even have everything back on my phone,and everytime I call they wanna transfer me to the sk dep.all I want is to make calls,and surf the web and every thing back to normal but no they fucked everything up. I understabd its been a rough time for them but its been a month for them, and they can’t fux it by now.why try just give it up…..g1 here I come baby!!

  19. Cellphone Chris Says:

    Thanks for all your comments and to hiptop3 for making a post of my letter. I actually sent this to T-Mobile in an email and they were more than gracious with their retention offers, replying by phone within a day or two. I posted it around a few places on the net too, because I know most companies have some ‘net ninjas’ looking for blog posts/tweets from customers.

    I will say that I am staying with T-Mobile but have not yet decided on my new handset. I’m going to try a few different ones out and see which way I’d like to go. The N900 is really pulling my heartstrings, but without any subsidy it won’t be an option. I’m definitely going to try the Bold 9700 although I know I’ll sacrifice some browsing capabilities, I’ll gain reliability and tons of available apps…

  20. darwincollins Says:

    Love the posting. While I joined during the VoiceStream era, and started with the Sidekick black&white (still got on a shelf),
    Since my tmobile bill is from $300 to $800 monthly, its not hard feel bad and be severly tempted by other smartphones since last month. Most of my coworkers have a iPhone.

  21. Mark Says:

    I’ve had so many little outages over the past few months it’s not funny, and I almost have to get rude with customer support to get them to do anything. I got a $50 credit for Oct. And Nov. By complaining furiously for almost an hour each time. I live in an area where I can choose ANY carrier I’d like and I chose T-Mo…I love my phone, I just want the damn thing to work!

  22. matt Says:

    Fuck microsoft. I love my sidekick but u faggs ruined it. This is why im an mac user im now with the verizon droid =)

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