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How to replace your Captivate before you're eligible to

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by chicknlil, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    As many of you are aware, I've been an ardent supporter of the Captivate from the getgo. I grumbled at people when they gave up on the phone after less than 30 days. I preached patience when we were promised updates (both to "fix" the GPS and to Froyo). And I continued to champion this phone even as I became increasingly frustrated with all of its issues. I've had the phone since day 1, rooted it within a week or two, and have progressed to the point where I'm now comfortably flashing ROMs to it. But it irritates me to no end to feel like I had to flash ROMs to get rid of lag, to improve the audio quality and to (sometimes) improve the GPS. As much as we paid for these phones, we shouldn't have to accept that. But I was willing to, until today when my phone decided to start doing the dreaded random shutdown/reboot.

    I'm a Premier customer with AT&T, have been with them just shy of 6 years, and have a Family Plan. I called up when I got off of work tonight, spoke to a nice gentleman in business class service. I explained to him that while I was willing to tolerate the GPS issues, the lack of updates, et al ...I was not willing to tolerate the shutdown/reboot issues. He offered to send a reboot signal to my phone, or to do a reset. I explained, politely, that those were not acceptable options to me and again, politely, asked to speak to the Retentions department.

    This, my friends, is where you need to get to if you have any hopes of replacing your phone early. I repeated my situation to this representative, and explained to her (in a non-threatening manner) that I could get the same number of minutes plus unlimited data with T-Mobile for about the same price. Then I asked her what she could do for me to make things right. Remember, I got my Captivate on launch day (July 19, 2010) ... I'm not supposed to be eligible for a new phone until July 19, 2011.

    After determining my phone preferences (Android, something not refurbished), she offered either the Inspire 4G at $79.99 or the Atrix 4G at $179.99 - basically, the 'upgrade' prices on either, plus an additional $20 discount. Since I was leaning towards the Atrix, she's going to call me back tomorrow (since it's not officially released yet) so we can talk more.

    You too can potentially upgrade early. The keys are to be polite, persistent, and to reach the retentions department. Know what your options are elsewhere (be it T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint), and make it a point to express that you're willing to pay your early termination fee if you don't feel like you're being valued as a customer. If you're a good customer, they will work with you.

    Hope this helps someone else get a new phone, and I wish the folks who are sticking with their Captivates well. It was my first smartphone and a great learning experience for me.


    SGS2, jetpuck73, goodm0urning and 3 others like this.
  2. ujmnz

    ujmnz Newbie

    Yeah, as long as your customer value with them is 2 or higher, they will do anything to keep you. I have 60 dollars off for the next 6 months for the gps issues with the captivate.
  3. drapacioli

    drapacioli Well-Known Member

    how do you know what your customer value is with them anyway?
  4. ujmnz

    ujmnz Newbie

    They are not allowed to tell you. But usually, if you pay on time, you are at least a 2. When I worked for ATT, when a customer with a value of 1 wanted to cancel, we didn't even have to transfer to retentions, we'd just do it ourselves. Brand new customers are a 0, but that's better than a 1 for ATT.
  5. DT

    DT Android Expert

    Yeah, I simply logged in, ordered my Atrix for $199, free delivery to my door, and migrated my unlimited plan right over. I assumed it was because we've been with AT&T for 10 years, never been late, cycled through a number of phones, etc.

    I was only ~7 months into my contract.
  6. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    I've been with them for 10 years, i wonder what my # is and would they work with me on an HTC ?
  7. George0211

    George0211 Android Enthusiast

    WOW, you're lucky, that this kind of pricing was available to you even without complaining. I've been with AT&T for 5 years and logged in to my account and Atrix is listed at $399
  8. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yeah, I checked on the website before I called (and checked a bit ago, just because I was curious how if at all she might have changed/flagged my account) ... still shows me as not eligible, and only is willing to offer me the Atrix at $399.

    Bearsyzf, if you pay your bills on time, I'm sure they would.
  9. drapacioli

    drapacioli Well-Known Member

    I don't know, we've been with them for 6 years now, but we also had to deal with the LG Vu fiasco and get 5 phones upgraded early last year when the phones all developed different problems ranging from reboots to not being able to make calls. One even managed to brick itself (That's the last time we buy the same phone for everyone :mad:). So I don't know if doing that again will be possible as we technically would have had a month left on our Vu's before being eligible to upgrade again, so that's kind of like asking for an early early upgrade or something :thinking:. And on top of that we had to return the Motorola Backflip and get that exchanged (I hear that Motorola got the Eclair update out just a little behind schedule, but not months after it was expected, how much do you want to bet we will hear of froyo on that before the Captivate? Motorola may not be the top brand of phones like it was a few years ago, but at least they know to keep their customers happy. I stuck with motorola for 6 years through the Razr, K1, some other non-featured phone before that, and I would have stayed with the backflip if I had known the Captivate wasn't getting 2.2 anytime soon). I was so glad when I got the captivate, I was thinking that buying a $200 phone would certainly solve the problems we were having with the free ones, but of course the advantages are certainly few and far between...
  10. sremick

    sremick Android Expert

    I've used this technique successfully with Dish Network too. ;)

    Don't ask for remedy. Ask to cancel. Let them offer a remedy. Not every company calls it "retentions"... sometimes they'll say they need to transfer to you a "senior manager" or something to handle the request... and interestingly, this person speaks impeccable English (unlike the original customer service rep).
  11. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    FWIW, both people I spoke to were in the States. The first spoke with a distinct southern accent, the second had what I'd call a midwestern "drawl". Then again, I'm Premier, so that may afford me the "privilege" of not being outsourced. Who knows.

    True on the "Retentions" bit. They may call it "Customer Loyalty" or something similar.
  12. Tennis

    Tennis Well-Known Member

    I've been with them for 15 years. I got offered an Atrix for 150 in May, because you have to be on contract for 6 months. I also get 20 dollars for the three months before I get the Atrix.

    I also get to keep my captivate. What should I do with it? I don't really want to give it to my mom, because it has all these problems. Do you think it will be worth a substantial amount of Craig's list in May?

    Oh and also, how does the Atrix compare to the Captivate?
  13. DT

    DT Android Expert

    When I went into the order system the day before (Tue I believe), I went through the same process resulting in the same net price, but it showed $299 = $100, like the phone was being offered at a interim contract price of $299 plus I was getting a discount for $100 for maybe a pre-order[?]

    At any rate, when I ordered on Wed it was $199 outright. I have no idea, but I figure if it's only the loss of 7 months of contract time, what the heck. The Wifey just got her iPhone 4 in Nov/Dec anyway.
  14. Zonker1

    Zonker1 Well-Known Member

    Every time I have spoken with AT&T I have had the pleasure of speaking with friendly reps who seemed to be in the states. I know AT&T gets slammed a lot online, but they have been nothing but polite, respectful and helpful to me. I have been with them since they were cingular, and I have a family plan, so maybe that helps, but I have no complaints.

    I got a Captivate the first week they were out. Now have an Inspire (I never tried to speak with retentions, just added it to an empty line on my family plan). I am looking at the Atrix now.

    The only point I am trying to make is that I have found AT&T to be very responsive so long as I treat them respectfully.

    P.S. Chick, if you get the Atrix, could you post your impressions? I'd love to hear from a former Captivate user. I am really torn between keeping my Inspire v. going with the Atrix. I am going to check out the Atrix tonight after work.
  15. ujmnz

    ujmnz Newbie

    ATT is pretty good to their loyal customers. I just got off the phone with att, to request a refund and return the otterbox case I received for the atrix. The att rep told me to keep it and processed the refund anyways. :)
  16. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I did end up picking up an Atrix today at a local AT&T store after the Retentions department put the appropriate notes on my account to enable me to do so. I did pay $199 at the store, but at the same time a credit of $20 was applied to my account - so it all equals out to the $179 I was quoted.

    First impressions are that's it's really smooth with absolutely no lag. When I was setting up launcher pro shortcuts, it brought up the widget list immediately, and likewise for the app list when I was doing shortcuts. That's not something I could say with my Captivate.

    I did root (and enable sideloading), mainly so I could install Titanium Backup. I had no issues importing apps, contacts, or SMS messages. The only thing I'm having any "issue" with at the moment is getting contacts to sync with their facebook accounts. I suspect though that's more of me not being completely sure of what I'm doing than anything else. I've already manually linked several people.

    Fingerprint reader seems like it could be a nice feature but I can't seem to consistently get a good read on my fingers so I've already disabled it. I love that the backlights are a bright white rather than the yellowish white they are on the Captivate.

    I haven't had a chance to test the GPS yet but I'll flip on mytracks tomorrow morning when I head to work and upload it from there. Every indication I have though is that its spot on accurate.

    So far, no regrets.
  17. Zonker1

    Zonker1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update.

    What do you think about the Atrix screen compared to the Captivate?
  18. jpovis

    jpovis Well-Known Member

    I made a 5 minute phone call, got a replacement Captivate (refurbished). No shut downs. Rooted, flashed a rom. GPS is like my shadow.
    Wouldn't wipe with a Motorola.
  19. Tennis

    Tennis Well-Known Member

    You said you were able to switch over apps, contacts, etc. Did you just copy your apps to your computer or did you use something like appbrain? I know to use the sim card for others. Did you transfer any gameloft games?
  20. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    It's different. That's probably the best way I can put it. I don't view it as better or worse at least at this point, but looking at them side by side on the same website shows noticeable differences.
  21. chicknlil

    chicknlil Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I used Titanium Backup to backup the apps. Then I copied the contents of the phones SD cards to my computer. Once I had the Atrix up and running (and rooted), I copied the non-Samsung specific stuff onto the Atrix, then ran Titanium Backup to restore the apps.

    For contacts, I exported that to my SD card, then imported the .vcf into gmail's contacts...merged and edited from there. I've actually got a brand new 4G sim in my phone..I know I could have used my old sim (a relic from the Cingular days!) but I decided to just go with the new one. Clean start.

    Haven't ever used gameloft, so I can't help you there. Sorry!
  22. mttfrog13

    mttfrog13 Android Enthusiast

    I did this same strategy to get an early upgrade when got my first android phone. If I hadn't rooted and flashed serendipity on my phone, I would consider doing this again. While I'm overall satisfied with the power of the phone and the screen and other features...the GPS issue can still be annoying. I don't have the money for the atrix's peripherals, the need for the power of a dual core phone, it would be nice to simply have a working gps. I exchanged my first captivate because of shutdown issues and didn't want to keep exchanging the phone for the gps issue when in many cases people aren't getting different results with exchanges. Oh well...only a year and a half of my life I have to go without gps until I get my upgrade(sarcasm). Thanks Samsung!

Samsung Captivate Forum

The Samsung Captivate release date was July 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 5MP camera, 512GB RAM, Hummingbird processor, and 1500mAh battery.

July 2010
Release Date

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