Keep it local…
That’s Roger the Plumber’s philosophy on buying local whenever he possible. Starting with the fading fast, push-to-talk Nextel phones he got from Kansas City-based Sprint.
That said, Sprint’s announcement that Nextel’s walkie-talkie like phone system will go away next year isn’t exactly helping Roger to keep the faith.
“They’re on the countdown, they’re starting to limit the service," he says. "Until now it’s always been impeccable.”
Making the transition to no Nextel very difficult.
“On May the 30th they eliminated five Nextel towers within five miles of my office in Overland Park,” Roger says. “So now I have to get up from my desk and walk over to my window to talk on the phone.”
Fortunately for Sprint, Roger’s looked over the competition and decided to hang with the hometown phone firm’s new “Direct Connect” push to talk system.
“We’ve ordered their new phones with GPS in them,” Roger says. “Sprint’s new push to talk will work the same way as Nextel’s. We’ll be able to talk, text, use pagers or direct connect to whoever we want to talk to without dialing them.”
Why that matters:
“It’s a great way to talk to workers out in the field without waiting for the phone to dial them and for them to answer. So with the new phones it won’t be a loss for me, except for going through what we’re going through now with the limited coverage until we get our new Sprint phones.
“It’s kind of a nuisance because for years I’ve heard about people having dropped calls and it never happened to me until now. But there’s been a big improvement in the Nextel technology, so all they had to do is upgrade the Sprint system technology and we’ll get far superior coverage.”
What about Verizon’s push to talk phones?
“Yeah, they’ve got it and I’ve tested it but it was very slow,” Roger says. “I mean, sometimes it took three or four or five seconds to connect where the Nextel was so quick. So it was annoying that you had this delay…I mean, you’d say something and you’d let off the button and then you had to wait for the response back.
“And the point of Nextel was always that it makes a sound and you know they got the message. Now with the new Sprint, there’s a slight delay, but it’s not that bad. But we’ve got to use it because it’s all we’ve got.
“Plus I’m a big believer in doing things with the hometown business. I don’t eat at chain restaurants and I think it’s a shame what’s happened on the Plaza. I can remember when practically every shop down there was local. And now it’s practically all chains.”
Another benefit to Roger’s switch from Nextel: he gets to ditch his crappy Blackberry and hop on the smart phone bandwagon. But unfortunately, not via an iPhone.
“They only have it on an Android, so I’ll be connecting on that, whatever it is,” Roger quips.