Switching to the G1

There’s something inherently wrong with cell phone companies these days. Case in point: my switching from a Sidekick to a G1 today, or, more specifically, my attempt to. Since I had a Sidekick I already had an account with T-Mobile, so switching to a different phone should be a non-issue. Just pay the money, update the account, and voilla. Or… not. It seems that killing my Sidekick’s service was almost instantaneous. Of course, in the process I lost all the data that was in it, but I knew that was going to happen, even if it is stupid. I’d already paid the $10 to get the Intellisync app to sync it with Outlook (first time i booted into windows in probably 2 years), and then exported that and imported it into GMail so that it would be ready for me when the new phone got activated, and that brings me to what’s wrong with cell phone companies. Switching my account to G1 data services from Sidekick wasn’t an issue. But then the real problem arose. Even though I took the sim card out of the Sidekick and put it in the G1 I couldn’t do anything with it. It just says:

There is a problem communicating with the Google servers. This could be a temporary problem or your SIM card may not be provisioned for data services. If it continues, call Customer Care.

Now, I’ve talked to T-mobile customer support, and, as always, they were excellent. But the problem is that it can take “up to 24 hours” for it to actually take effect. My old phone does work for calls if I stick my sim card in it, but it’s lost all of the numbers stored in it. The G1’s setup screens were written with the assumption that when you got the phone, the phone company would be ready for you to use it. As a result, I’m sitting here hitting “try again” every 10 minutes hoping that it may have actually gotten activated. This is freaking crazy. Electrons move at nearly the speed of light. Computer configurations don’t get stuck in someone’s in box waiting for them to get back from break. Once you save your changes they’re saved. That should be the end of it. They turn on G1 data plan and I should be ready to go, but no…. “up to 24 hours”. I’m sure there’s some issue of data propagating through caches but seriously, it shouldn’t be that hard to configure the caches so that they can get updates of new users almost immediately. Because they haven’t been, you end up with customers all psyched to use their new phone sitting around getting pissed off that they can’t actually do anything with their $400 lump of metal and plastic. And don’t even get me started on the BS situation where you can only get an iPhone with AT & T, or G1 or Sidekick with T-Mobile. Yes, I realize special servers are required to enable the data syncing and such but I’m sure each of the companies would happily install them if that was the only thing preventing them from selling the other phone too. Or, the fact that it takes up to 24 hours to switch your phone number from one provider to another. We have moved into a world were people’s cell phones are their only phone, and that means not having it for 24 hours can be a real bitch.