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How to get a carrier-subsidized BlackBerry Bold before you’re eligible for upgrade

Gimme the Bold! Gimme the Bold!

I am a definition gadget whore. I will sell out king and country for the latest in gizmos; I guess that makes me more of a gadget traitor.

Last summer around the iPhone craze I upgraded my high-end Sony Ericsson camera phone to the glorious Nokia N95 8GB. I wanted a device that was a real powerhouse feature-wise without making me look like an obvious iPhone turbo-nerd. Things have been going well for the device but I was starting to long for something with better text entry than the hardly-predictive T9. Who has ever used “shiv” in a text message, I don’t think I’ll ever know.

Enter the BlackBerry Bold. 9000 Megatons of flash photos, video, real GPS, eye-caressing screen clarity, and the slickest mobile keyboard your thumbs have ever had the pleasure of fondling.

When this was released on my carrier, the 3-year contract subsidized price was a whopping $499.00. Rogers has a neat system of delivering new phones to it’s customers. Every year, they determine how much money off the price of a new phone they’re willing to send your way. Last summer my bill-paying good deeds netted me that top Nokia for less than $200. Since then I’ve been shelling out $100 to $150 per month largely due to expensive Canadian data rates.

Haggling for a new device is a bit tricky; insiders tell me you have to be careful with your lies. If you say you’ve trashed your phone and need a replacement, they’ll be able to tell if you’ve been using the “trashed” device in the days leading up to the call. Best way to overcome this is to switch devices to one that doesn’t have data. For me the call was very quick; I told the first agent that my phone was broken and I wanted a new one to keep using my data plan. They transferred me to retention: an elite crew of CSRs that will do what it takes to keep your business. They asked me what happened to my old phone and I told them it fell in the toilet but I had rescued my SIM card, an otherwise $25+ charge. Then I said that given all the data I like using I figured it shouldn’t be wasted on a lesser device. I wanted the top cheese: Bold cheese. I told them I’d be thrilled if they let me have it for what new contracts get it for: now $199. They said okay but I’d have to swallow $35 admin fee to which I said the data I buy is a luxury that could be lived without. They counter-offered a $30 credit on my account which was too little for me to complain about anymore and now I have a Bold.

[Editor's Note: It should be noted that this trick can only be done once. Carriers take a hit on devices and they use contracts to get their investment back. In this case, W4lnut has gotten his Bold discounted, but if he were to call again 6 months down the road and haggle for a Storm, they would likely hang up and black list him.]

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4 Responses to “How to get a carrier-subsidized BlackBerry Bold before you’re eligible for upgrade”


  1. 1 Ned Plimpton

    Be a man and cough up the cash.

  2. 2 Kyle

    @Ned Plimpton - Really? Being a man is spending money you don’t have to? I like the man who saves his money and spends it on things like family and beer. In that order.

  3. 3 MA

    Hey Kyle, I also have the N95 8gb, not too fond of t9. I have the basic unlimited data plan but I still have just over 2 more years left on my contract. Do you think if I called them, i could get hooked up with a similar deal, and get them to switch the unlimited web browsing plan to bis?

  4. 4 Kyle

    @MA Yes. Call them but remember the important points:

    -Tell them you’re considering switching carriers.
    -Put the fear in them.
    -Point out that you’re a long standing customer

    Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

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