When we put our eldest on our cell phone plan last summer, we extended our contract with T*Mobile another two years from that day. Then we discovered that we hate T*Mobile!
In Manhattan and Brooklyn, it really doesn't matter what carrier you use because they all have brilliant reception. My cell phone even works in the elevator of my mom's building. But around New Paltz, my wife and I noticed that our cell phones cut out in various spots. This is especially true in the outlying areas like Gardiner and Rosendale, where there aren't any local cell phone towers, but more annoying is that my phone loses contact when I'm driving to and from Manhattan on my way to The City. This is especially troublesome because I often lose contact with my students' parents I'm speaking with, so I tend to have difficulty conducting my work. When I took the bus to Manhattan, this issue wasn't quite as irksome because people aren't really allowed to use their cell phones en route. But lately I've been driving, and the problem has become much more apparent.
I wouldn't mind this so much if it weren't for the fact that many other major carriers have better coverage. When I was up in the relatively obscure north western part of the state where the fire academy is located, all of the other would-be fire fighters had fine reception, but I was totally blacked out. In fact, I couldn't use my cell phone until I was miles away from Montour Falls. And the same is true for the highways to NYC. T*Mobile works fine for most of Interstate 87 (not all of it, mind you), but it fares poorly when I break from 87 and take some of the other roads that speed up my trip.
Verizon doesn't have this problem, and one of my friends showed me his cool new Verizon phone. It does everything my Sidekick III does -- AND it works where my stupid phone doesn't.
I called T*Mobile to see if I could get out of my contract, but I don't think it's going to work because they insist that if you have good reception at work and at home (but not necessarily in between), then you're stuck with them. Time ticks (almost) inexorably towards two summers from now -- just 18 months to go....