Thursday, September 26, 2013

[Rant] Got my iPhone 5S - the 16GB Space Grey model that is

Yesterday they asked me to bring the passport if I wanted to use the installment based subscription. Today I took my passport. As soon as the bell indicating the start of the lunch break rang, I was off to SoftBank store on the first floor. I didn't even have my lunch. 

I had to wait like 20 minutes before my turn. Then it was time. It took longer than I expected. The processing is very slow. They had a lot of explaining to do as well. There were few campaigns and some of it was not what I was expecting. 

For example, if they were to waive off the remaining installments, I had to give them my iPhone 4S. That's not going to happen. I am hoping to sell the phone. I wouldn't give them the phone for a mere ¥5,760. 

Then there was the "shitadori" campaign. This means, they take the phone and pay us money for it. I only qualify for ¥10,000 and out of that, I have to pay ¥5,760. The hell! We'll, it is better than the first option because I get something out of the phone. 

Then there was the option to put a new SIM in the phone and get charged for it only if you use it. It's called the Family Discount campaign. No fixed charges (for two years). If you don't use internet, and only call/SMS between SoftBank numbers - which are the majority of our friends - you won't have to pay a dime. At first I thought that would be another way of them to steal our hard earned money. So I said no. 

So she brought the new phone and put it on the table. I checked the time and it was 12:50PM already. And I have to be at the office by 1:00PM. Plus, I haven't had my lunch!! I asked them how long would it take. They said they sure cannot complete it by 1:00 M. I asked them if I could come back later. The girl went and asked some guy and she said OK. Since I had signed many papers already, it wouldn't take that long if we resume the whole procedure from that point. I told them I would come after 5:00PM.

I ran to the office. It was 2 minutes past 1PM. No big deal. There is a daily progress meeting at 1:05PM. I had to be there for that. I couldn't have my lunch during the lunch break. After the meeting, I ate while working. I eat with a spoon so it was no big deal. Everyone eats while working.  

So during work, I reviewed my options. I remembered that I could use my points.  I had like 1200 points which amounted to about ¥1,300. You can use it when you change the phones. Then I thought about the two options where I had to give back the phone and prevent any additional charges incurred as a result of the upgrade. Then I thought about the family discount.  

My wife's phone's contract ends in February or early March, and I'm going to not renew it. She is fine with using the iPhone 4S. She said she would only switch if that doesn't cost her anything additional. But it seems it would cost her some additional charges because of LTE. After thinking about my options, I figured that if I gave this free SIM to my wife, we would be able to cut out monthly mobile phone bill by like ¥3,000. That would amount to a big sum if you consider the 2 year period. But I will sell my black iPhone 4S and keep my wife's white one and put that SIM card in it. So basically we will only have to pay for my iPhone. I decided to take this route. 

I also wanted to know about the broad band service. That would mean that I could drop the Fibre to Home connection and get a cheaper internet connection. Slower as well. It's just ADSL. But unlimited and would cost only ¥3,880 per month. Plus, that's would lower the mobile phone charge by ¥1,480 because of the SmartPhone BB Discount campaign. Right now we pay like ¥14,000 per month for phones and internet. With both of these, we would be able to drop the total to about ¥9,000. That's a lot of money when you take it over a period of 2 years. But if I buy the internet connection via, I can get a huge cash-back, which makes it the better option. I should look into later, as my current internet connection is not going away till January. You can always enter this campaign later on. 

So I went back to them after work, and told them that I decided to take the Family discount. I repeated confirmed that it doesn't cost me any money if I called within the SoftBank network, during the offpeak hours (1am to 9pm) and if I don't use 3G internet. But there is a catch. Now I have to pay the remaining installments before I can sell my phone. I had 3 more months remaining (which amounts to ¥5,760) and I told them to finish it in one go so that I can sell the phone as soon as possible. I didn't tell them that I am hoping to sell the phone. All they know is that I would give the phone with the "free" SIM card to a friend. They even asked me if it is ok to be charged under my name. :P

One more thing. They charge an extra ¥3,000 for the hassle of changing the phone. These mobile companies are real robbers. They are same everywhere. We better ask them  ¥10,000 for making us wait there for hours!!!

I asked the girl whether they can unlock the phone once I've completely paid for it. She couldn't even understand what unlocking meant. What a dumb chick! I didn't want to argue it because it had already taken too long. I know SoftBank wouldn't unlock the phone. I just wanted to hear it from them. 

Just forgot to mention that they gave Free Tethering for 2 years. That also added the maximum LTE download limit before speeds are crippled to 7.5GB, up from 7GB. 

Since I'm going an upgrade, I qualify for a year of  ¥1,000 cheaper fixed internet charges. So for the first year, I have to pay like  ¥6,2xx and the next year onwards, I have to pay like  ¥7,2xx. Pretty steep compared to the iPhone 4S charges though. I hope I will be able to recover most of it by selling the phone. Besides, being able to use my wife's phone free of charge makes the overall upgrade a good one.

So after all that hassle and list of campaigns, I got my hands on the iPhone 5S. I downloaded all the apps that I had installed on the way home, except for the ones that are bigger than 100MB. For that you have to have Wi-Fi. The phone felt very snappy, and very light. I way holding onto it tightly afraid to lose the grip. There is no case on it yet, because they ones available at the SoftBank store weren't that great. You can usually get the same cases for much cheaper online. So I until I ordered a case, I had to use the phone very carefully. I don't want any scuffing. LTE seemed pretty fast, but it couldn't TeamView to my PC at home while the train was moving.

Anyways, I will write a proper review after I play with it for a week or so. Too soon to come to any conclusions.

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