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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2010
Its a great time to buy a cell phone right now, there seems to be a new phone every week with amazing features, but eventually it comes down to a few major functions that render a phone great.

The Epic 4G is the best of the Galaxy S lineup because of its keyboard that actually is worth typing on, front facing camera, led indicator, and...4G!

Since everyone who is looking at spring is slightly torn between this and the EVO 4G, I'll begin with the comparison of theses two devices. No question the EVO is the more hip, sexy phone with its "look at me" 4.3 inch screen and kick stand. The cons of the EVO are poor battery life, and the fact that though the screen is large, its still 800 X 480 and thus just stretches the picture out. Also, even though these devices seem to barely be used as a phone, the actual phone functioning is middle of the road at best.

So then why would someone get the Epic over the EVO? Well it depends on a couple things. Obviously if you enjoy typing on a legit almost as good as a blackberry keyboard, then get the epic, easy enough. I enjoy typing on the physical keyboard, but with the various keyboards and swype out there, I'm as fast or even faster without the keyboard. The difference lies in comfort, writing long emails on swype is a bit tiring and the physical keyboard definitely comes in hand. Also, when browsing the internet, I tend to open the keyboard and use the arrows to navigate more comfortably. I always read the news on my phone before going to bed and it is much more enjoyable using the arrow keys.

Lets talk touchwiz. People are OBSESSED with HTC senses UI. Yes, it is pretty, but, if you download the weather clock widget that is identical to the HTC one, MOST people won't be able to tell the difference! The only thing touchwiz lags is the ability to see all 7 screens open at once, but if you use the UI correctly, you dont need this. Having numerous widgets open that are continuously using data kills your battery life. Seriously, do you need to be update on which one of your friends are running to the store to get peanut butter every 10 minutes? Check your facebook a few times a day and you'll be fine, geez! I therefore only have music and non data using widgets on my home screens to conserve battery life, and let me tell you it makes a big difference. I like the side to side scrolling between apps a la iphone better than the standard up and down of android but this can be changed to vertical if thats your thang. As for managing things properly to avoid having to use all 7 screens and keep a bunch of widgets open, use folders! I have 6 folders that essentially have every thing i'd ever need to access on my phone all less than half a second away.

Things I LOVE about the epic. The notification bar on top accessible from everywhere allows you to manage your connections in a heartbeat while also seamlessly checking messages and emails arriving. Its a thing of wonder. Second is the screen, duh! You have to look at the screen more than anything and this is where the epic shines. They took a page from iphone on this one and said quality is better than quantity. If the iphone ever went to 4 inches it would be impossible to compete with but right now i'll take the size and brightness of the super AMOLED over the retina display. Third, its ridiculously easy to use. People love the iphone b/c its idiot proof and while this is IMO as easy, its more fun of an experience. Phones are about integrating the phone function, messaging, and applications with as much fluidity as possible, touchwiz + android does that. Fourth, the phone. The epic is the best sounding cell phone i've ever used. Loud, clear, even on speaker! Enough said. Fifth is the media player. Dragging and dropping ROCKS, i HATE itunes syncing. The interface is easy to use, you can create custom playlists right on the phone, delete songs from the phone, and in my opinion is capable enough to compete with ipod. With amazonmp3 you get better prices, daily deals, and daily free songs to boot. Sixth is the camera, at 5 MP it can create picture large enough to be posters but few of us do that. All the 3 extra MPs the evo has is create LARGER, not BETTER pictures. The picture the epic take are on par with regular 5mp cameras you can get at a store. If you want really nice pics, u'll need an SLR camera, but the epic creates crisp, rich photos with a dedicated camera button as well.

Things I don't like. The battery life is an issue with all smart phones, the trick to make them last longer is to essentially make the smart phone less smart. That means, limiting mindless app use, turning down brightness (although, even at 10% the epic looks nice), turning off 4g/btooth/wifi when not in use, and something that I do is when i'm in a building with poor reception, turn on airplane mode but leave wifi on so i can still be contacted but my phone wont drain from signal searching. As I mentioned earlier, turning off programs that constantly use data is a good idea. If you want to read the news, open a news app, if you want to see what your friends are up to, open facebook...do we really need widgets to constantly tell us whats going on? Still though, you would think with this technological juggernaut they could figure out a way to install a battery that is as amazing as the phone. The buttons at the bottom sometime give me frustration b/c they are not as sensitive as I like. I've memorized where each button is so the whole light issue doesnt bother me, but you can set the keys to "Stay on while screen is on" which limits confusion. Sometimes when manipulating the status bar, the brightness will automatically upgrade to 60%, not sure why, but I have to go back and change it. The phone is thin enough without a case to feel nice in the pocket. The addition of a case, however, would render the phone a bit too thick for my pleasure. I have a skin on the front and thats it for now, if someone comes out with a very thin case to protect the back from bruises i'll be happy.

Overall, if you use this phone properly, theres really nothing any other phone offers that this doesnt already have. Whenever froyo comes out I'm sure it will be even better. Highly recommended.

Pros:
- Screen
- Battery if used properly
- keyboard thats almost as good as bb
- music player that can replace an ipod
- easy to use
- phone call quality

Cons:
- Battery with heavier use
- Buttons can be a bit annoying
- Random brightness adjustment (Even if auto bright turned off)
- Too thick to use with case
- even though sprint is significantly cheaper and i'll get my money back, 200 or 250 for the epic vs free for the fascinate and 50 for the captivate sting..
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2010
I recently upgraded to the Epic after a long debate of picking either this or the EVO. So far, I'm extremely satisfied. I wont go into the long list of features and benefits talked about to death by other re-viewers.

From my personal usage of the device there are a few things I can note that maybe others have not touched on.

First off, the battery DOES seem to go down rather quickly. But once you take into account the amount of things you are actually doing on the phone simultaneously, its actually not that bad. I also found that if you download the APP KILLER app (its free on the Android marketplace), and shut down unneeded programs runningin the background, you actuallly boost the battery life quite a bit.

Secondly, one of the key points that made me pick this phone over the EVO is the slide out keyboard. Its one of the most comfortable and efficient ones i've ever used. What impressed me the most is that even with the option of having the slide out keyboard, the touchscreen phone has a vibrant and easy to use virtual keyboard. I'm using the actual slideout keyboad much less frequently as I'm able to easily use the onscreen board, as well as the awesome swype feature.

It is my first Android device, so it took me a few minutes to update and sync my contacts and calender. Once i got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. Some of the other reviewers complain that the screen seems dimmer or "grayish" when placed next to the iphone or other android phone. Thats because there is an auto brightness adjustment feature which automatically dims the screen when you are indoors to conserve battery. You can easily change the screen settings if its not to your liking.

Graphics are awesome and screen is crystal clear. I put it side by side to my wifes iphone, and there was not much of a noticeable difference.

The only reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5, is because for over $200, it would be nice if it came with some more accessories than just a charger and headphone. (maybe a case or screen protector / extra battery ?)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2011
The phone is fine. It's fully functional and the screen is amazing. Major problem I have is with the software. No Froyo 2.2!!! Cmon how long is it going to take to upgrade. Anyway with out 2.2 you are stuck without flash support and saving apps to your SD card. We were promised an upgrade and never got one. Last time I buy a samsung phone. Blah!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2010
The Epic 4g is simply unbelievable. I've had this phone for over a week now, and I still can't put it down. I'm coming from the Touch Pro 2, which I could no longer stand, so here is my breakdown of why this phone is simply the best:
Pros
-Gorgeous, extremely responsve screen that is the perfect size
-Very lightweight and thin for a slider
-Intuitive UI- unlike windows mobile, no matter how deep you go into the phone settings and menus everything is still smooth and bold and bright.
-Fast! I'm not in a 4g area, but even with 3g or wifi web browsing is actually fun on this phone. It's easy to navigate and interact with webpages which are rendered quickly and beautifully. I've actually been making use of my data plan.
-Gmail works great. Again it has a bold, attractive layout and gives easy access to almost all the features you'd use on your computer
-text input is soo much fun! There are so many options (virtual/physical/swype keyboard) that I constantly switch around because I can't choose just one. Swype is great once you take the time to learn it.

Cons
-somewhat plastic feel (but Iactually like that the phone doesn't feel heavy and expensive)
- at first the screen feels a bit too responsive, it takes some getting used to
-power button is at the top right, which is a very odd and inconvenient place
-camera button is at bottom right and sicks out so it's easy to press by accident
-physical keyboard has very flat keys
-no froyo yet
-haven't tried video or gps, so no comment
-included widgets aren't very useful, but you can find plenty free ones in the market

In conclusion, I love my new phone.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2010
Close To Perfection as Android Can Get!

I don't understand the big hoopla over the Android OS, but I understand many people want features that are iPhone exclusives without either switching carriers or buying a product made by Apple. Anyways, the Android OS is probably the closest that anyone will get if they want a top notch performing OS, an app store, a web browser that's as good as a PC browser, beautiful threaded text messaging, etc. The Palm Web OS achieved this feat, but unfortunately nobody cared because their phones came in such ugly form factors that were neither attractive nor logical.

The Samsung Epic is a stellar phone that comes with a 1GHZ Hummingbird processor that keeps the Android OS running fluid and smooth. I always felt the earlier Android devices were so sluggish and probably needed a 1GHZ processor to keep things from underperforming. The phone is quick and responsive while prior Android OS's had lag time before entering and exiting out of certain features, apps, etc. This is also the only Galaxy device from the Galaxy series that features a full qwerty keyboard.

I am torn between this phone because I think it truly has some great attributes, but it also has some minor drawbacks that I can overlook. I appreciate that the phone is lightweight, but it's made with a plastic case that can feel very cheap and that's the tradeoff for anyone who is in the market for a smartphone that is lightweight. However, the battery and keyboard do add some much needed weight. The device doesn't have that HEFT to it like the iPhone. I never owned a phone with an AMOLED display and I have to say that the screen is truly gorgeous and the colors really POP, but at the same time I didn't notice anything AMAZING or drastic that wasn't found on the same screen for the EVO 4G or the Droid X, but I guess the whole purpose of the AMOLED is to save battery power. Despite the VIBRANT screen I still noticed a few pixilation issues when I was watching Avatar and this is probably not the phones fault and more of the way the movie was formatted. When a DVD is copied, movies usually tend to be over 4GB, so reformatting the movie to fit on a phone usually means condensing the movie below 1GB. I'm sure if the movie was around 2 or 3GB that there wouldn't be noticeable pixilations when there was too much action on screen. However, the screen has the ability to almost create a small illusion that the footage is in 3D which i liked. I also tried to play a few YouTube videos in HD and the phone ended freezing several times without the video even loading and so I had to exit out of the YouTube app, but it was unresponsive and took a few seconds before heading back to the home screen. These are just some minor gripes that I had, but the phone is still a winner.

I am not going into a long review about this phone that hasn't already been said, so I am just going straight into the pros and cons below:

Pros:

Huge 4 inch colorful display that is truly VIBRANT
Super AMOLED screen
Responsive Touch Screen
Excellent Web Browser
Pinch and zoom
7 home screen panels
Live Animated Wall Papers
Threaded Text messaging
16GB of built in internal memory
Micro SD card slot (Up to 32GB for a total of 48GB)
3.5MM headphone jack
Many preloaded Apps
Keyboard
Samsung TouchWiz UI added in
Wi-Fi B/G/N
3G Speeds
4G Speeds (But not in NYC area just yet)
5.0 MP Camera/Camcorder
Can record videos in HD format
Micro USB charger
Front Facing Camera
Battery life seemed ok (I haven't encountered any issues yet)
USB Charger
Wall Charger adaptor included
Google Voice Search
Gmail sync
Media Player
Swype Keyboard (LOVE IT)
Front Facing Camera
Camera/Cmcorder has flash

Cons:

Plastic build can feel a bit cheap
Camera really should be 10.0 MP at this point
A 32GB micro SD card should have been included for the price of the phone
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2010
I'm going to keep this review short and simple. I switched over to the HTC EVO but returned it because it felt just a bit too big in my hand. The other fact was it did not have SWYPE nor did it have a real keyboard. I thought I would get used to having a virtual keyboard but I could not get used to it.

However the Samsung Epic 4G is a great phone since it has SWYPE which works surprisingly well as well as a slide out keyboard. There have been some complaints about how the keys are not offset and I do find it a bit harder to type on it having been used to the Blackberry 9700 which was my previous phone.

The phone is very responsive, battery life is not that great, you have to definitely charge it after 8-10 hours of moderate use. I usually have 4G and GPS turned off (I don't have 4G in Sacramento) or that would use up the battery faster.

I was able to connect to my Outlook email at work without any problems and it pushes the email to your Android just like the Blackberry does and it also syncs your Outlook Calender.

Pinch to zoom works within Email and on Web pages and its very responsive.

The killer feature is the support of DLNA, so I can view my video, audio and picture files on my PC over WI-FI on my Samsung Epic and it works seamlessly. I can also stream video, audio and pictures from the Epic to my PC or my LG DLNA enabled Blue Ray player so that I can view it on my TV.

Google Voice integration seems to be better than on the Blackberry. Overall this phone is very intuitive to use, I had a bit more trouble with the HTC EVO.

I also was able to install YouMail from the Android app store and set up conditional call forwarding (see the Youmail website on instructions since Sprint is slightly different). While Visual Voicemail is available with Sprint, I prefer YouMail.

Overall I have to say I am very pleased with this phone and would definitely recommend it.

Having used Swype on this phone and finding it so easy to use, I wonder if I needed the keyboard after all. I still wanted it as a crutch until I can let go. This phone runs Android 2.1

If you are a Blackberry user and are hesitant to switch, then I can honestly say that coming to this phone from a Blackberry 9700 it took a couple of days to get used to it, but I was able to do everything on this phone and much more. Also due to RIM not releasing Blackberry OS 6 to existing Blackberry 9700 customers until next year even though its available for their new phone, I felt it was time to make the switch.

The only app that I miss that is only available on the Blackberry is VIIGO, but I use Newsrob instead which seems adequate though not as nice as VIIGO.

Update: 9/13/2010
I got to use the Navigation feature and it works great. I was able to say the name of the place I wanted to go and it began navigation right away. The default voice sounds a bit funny and sometimes difficult to understand since the street names don't often get pronounced correctly. I especially like the Satellite view mode since I can actually see the buildings, and I like how it switches to Street view when you are close to your destination.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2010
Like many of you, I hesitated in paying the extra 50 dollars but like I read on another review, the earbuds, the physical keyboard, 16 gb samsung card and the AMOLED screen more than justify the 50 dollars extra of the EVO.

Let me start off by saying that Im an avid phone collector sort of speak. My family and friends always criticize my for having different phones once a month. I have been on all carriers. ATT for one day, the worst. T Mobile is ok and great prices, Verizon great customer service, great service and too expensive. Sprint to me is the best. Great service, best value. Customer service can be a lil better.

That being said I have used all OS's and all phone brands. LG,Samsung, Blackberry, Apple, Palm, HTC, etc. I've used the WinMobile devices (does winmo still exist?) Palm,Blackberry, Apple and Android.

Android is the best hands down. I had the first Android phone in the G1 and liked it instantly. But the HTC G1 was like a brick and battery was the worst of any mobile device I have ever had.

Ill stop going all over the place and get on with the Epic.

The screen is the best or one of the best ever on a mobile device. Love the physical keyboard. Super blazing fast. It has 5 megapixels 3 less than the EVO but trust me, the quality of the pictures and the settings available are much better than the EVO.

I've just had it for 8 hours and I'm super excited. I will update more after a week with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2011
I purchased this phone as part of a 2 year service agreement with Sprint, which both myself and sprint were expected to uphold. This was my first Droid phone, and I was very excited about my purchase. This was also a early Christmas present, my wife and I purchased for each other (I bought 2 phones). The phone itself was excellent, the display is beautiful, it was easy to use and fit nicely in my pocket. I purchased $100 in accessories for each phone in addition. The case I purchased was a nice rubber non slip case which helped to give my phone some stability while it was in my hand.

Upon receiving the phones I initially had trouble activating them both so I called tech support and was told to go to my local sprint store to have them activated. I went to the sprint store and although they were able to activate them without an issue the guy at the store was irritated by the fact that I purchased them online and not from a local store. He had a very poor attitude, and was not interested in answering any of my questions. I showed interest in purchasing a screen protector, but he was too busy watching a movie off his flash drive on the store computer to do anything more than a three minute activation, and physically point in the direction of the screen protectors. Because I was being received so poorly, I decided to leave and went to Radio Shack where they were enthusiastic about helping me, helped me to pick the screen protector I was looking for, and even installed it for free!

I brought the phones home and began using them. Locally the service was OK. I live in upstate, New York which is not really upstate at all unless you are from New York City. I am 35 minutes from NYC, not much of a stretch. The service was spotty compared to Verizon which I have had for years; Verizon worked flawlessly locally and pretty good at my house. I decided to go to Sprint because of the free data plan, as I was impressed by my friends Driod, and was interested in incorporating all the laptop like qualities of the phone into my personal life. Verizon's plans are more expensive but this is a typical case of "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!" As I had mentioned service was OK locally, spotty at times, and absolutely no 4G up here at all. My friends Verizon phone gets 4G no problem in this area. The real problems began at home. Initially, I had gone to a different Sprint store and was told I would get "good-fair" service at my house, which I felt was acceptable considering the Verizon service AT MY HOUSE was not much better. They took a look at this stupid little service map that suggested service would work in my location. I did not purchase a phone from them at that time because they wanted me to pay full price for both phone and amazon was selling them for far less. At the initial recommendation of "SPRINT" I purchased two phones expecting service at home. Well there was ABSOLUTELY NO SERVICE WHAT SO EVER AT MY HOUSE. Happy with my new phone itself and mesmerized by the display I spent Three (3) days walking around my home trying to find somewhere to set the phone so I could get at least one bar to receive phone calls, and then I could drive a couple miles up the road to call the person back if it was of any importance. In hind sight that would have been ridiculous, however I was so happy to have this new phone, I did not want to give it up. UNFORTUNATELY SPRINT WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE ME THE CHOICE. WHEN A FRIEND SUGGESTED I GIVE THEM A CALL FOR A PHONE BOOSTER FOR MY HOUSE, I MADE THE CALL TO SPRINT TECH SUPPORT AND THIS IS WHAT I WAS TOLD: THEY TOOK A LOOK AT MY ACCOUNT AND TOLD ME THAT WITHIN THE FIRST SEVEN (7) DAYS OF OWNERSHIP MY PHONE HAD ALREADY USED WAY TOO MUCH ROAMING TIME, I WAS COSTING THEM TOO MUCH MONEY, AND THEY WERE GOING TO TERMINATE MY SERVICE AT THE END OF THE MONTH. THEY GAVE ME THE OPTION OF EARLY TERMINATION AND I TOOK IT SO I DID NOT HAVE TO PAY THE FIRST MONTHS BILL, HOWEVER THEY TOLD ME I HAVE TO RETURN MY PHONES AND EAT THE COST OF THE ACCESSORIES I PURCHASED. I tried to argue that we have a contract to no avail. They told me I should move if I want to keep my phone. I argued once more that their own store told me I would have service at my house, and their response was that this is incorrect,... it is clearly shown on "the map" that this is a dead zone, and I should have never been told I would have service at my location... this was clearly no more than a sales tactic. OVERALL I FOUND BOTH THE LOCAL STORES AT MY LOCATION AND TECH SUPPORT TO BE UNFRIENDLY, UNHELPFUL, AND DOWNRIGHT CONDESCENDING! I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY AGAIN AND URGE OTHERS TO LOOK ELSEWHERE. Worst part of this whole ordeal is that I was out of contact on my Verizon phone which I was paying only $40 per month for and had unlimited texting on. Now in order for me to go back to Verizon I have to start a new two year contact at god knows what cost and purchase new phones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2011
My wife and I recently purchased new phones from Sprint and are quite happy with them. I purchased the HTC Evo 3D and my wife nabbed the Epic (primarily for its keyboard). While the Samsung Epic is getting a bit old, it still competes well with newer phones. My wife's impressions (and mine) are below:

Pros
+ It's a lightweight, attractive phone that gives you plenty of features and access to Sprint's 4G network.
+ The phone is well-crafted and extremely easy to use. Samsung is doing a great job of chasing Apple (too good if you keep up with legal news) and its products certainly threaten Apple's seeming stranglehold on appealing hardware.
+ The screen is simply beautiful to look at... set with active wallpaper, it comes alive.
+ The real QWERTY keyboard is an excellent feature which barely adds to the weight of the phone. If a real keyboard is a must, this phone presents a decent sized keyboard that rarely causes you to mis-type.
+ While the hardware doesn't stack up to the Evo 4G 3D, its plenty powerful. Videos do not stutter, it capably handles video calls, games work well, and downloads are smooth.
+ Call quality is crystal clear
+ For the individual who wants a smart phone that is easy to customize, easy to use, and gorgeous to look at, you could do much worse than the Samsung Epic.

Cons
- Others have mentioned this, but it appears Samsung may not be pushing to enable downloading the latest Android O/S update. If you simply need a good phone (with a keyboard) and are not a heavy app user or gamer, this probably won't affect you. If you need the latest and greatest, this could become a real issue down-the-road. I'm all for Samsung taking on Apple, but this is one page from the Jobs playbook that they shouldn't plagiarize.
- This phone is getting a bit long in the (blue)tooth. Its still a great phone but newer phones have better hardware stats. If that stuff matters to you, the Epic may not be for you.
- Battery life is a bit of a challenge. Fully charged will take you through the work day assuming you don't push it with constant web surfing/downloads and manage your connections (turn off 4G when not in use, turn off your wireless, etc).

Summary
The Epic is still a good phone for those consumers who don't need the latest/greatest hardware. It's a great phone if you need a real keyboard. I can't give it 5 stars due to the inability to upgrade to the latest OS (a real concern) but it should certainly last--and serve well--until Sprint offers an upgrade in two years time. Further, as its older you can probably get a nice deal on one.

We purchased our phones through Amazon Wireless which stacked up well against the provider sites and 3rd parties. Phones came on-time and ready to go...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2010
The phone itself is great. It's a bit bulky, and the battery won't last you more than a few hours if you're constantly using it for music, the web, etc., but it's otherwise wonderful.

However, Amazon Wireless (and to some extent UPS and Sprint) really has a ways to go. First, I couldn't get a definitive statement about when the item was going to arrive. I was told three different things (one from Amazon customer service, another from a UPS customer service rep and a third from the UPS website). Amazon turned out to be right (how could UPS not know its own shipping date better than Amazon?), but they told me they wouldn't do anything to investigate the shipping date confusion until after the estimated shipment date was missed.

Second, I ported my number from AT&T, but Amazon set the number transfer date to about two weeks after the estimated shipment date. I guess they wanted to build in a cushion in case of shipping issues and that I could just call Sprint to switch the dates, but it would have been nice if Amazon had told me beforehand I'd have to do this.

Lastly, and this is entirely on Sprint, when I first called the rep after the phone arrived (about 6 pm EST), they said the number was in the process of porting at that moment, and that I should call back in three hours once that finished so I can complete activation. Three hours later, I called back and was told that the activation date was actually in two weeks, and that I'd have to call another department (this was my fourth of fifth department) to change the date to be that same day. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the rep came back on to inform me that said department was closed (but was opened when I originally called). Because of the Thanksgiving break, I wouldn't be able to get the phones working as phones for a couple days. I pointed out that I paid $36 per phone for activation and that my activation clearly got screwed up. I asked for a refund of the activation fees, but he said he couldn't do that until after activation occurred. He promised he'd put a note in my account.

After activation a couple days later, the next rep told me there was no note regarding the refund. She also said the refund couldn't happen until after I was billed, not after activation.

All in all, the experience was awful, and it could have been solved with a just a little warning from Amazon about when they said the number porting to happen.
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