Gifts of iPhones Come With a Catch

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Conductor on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Silver Plume Colorado.
Conductor on the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Silver Plume Colorado.

Last Friday I joined a group of travel writers on a sort of scavenger hunt, photography/video contest, we made our way from Denver to Keystone Colorado and created a trail of evidence to show what we did. It was a fun day–a tour of the zoo, of Red Rocks concert amphitheater outside Denver, of a silver mine, even a ride on a narrow gauge steam train.

We tried to be as creative as we could….shooting photos of ourselves doing push-ups in the Red Rocks seats, a short video of us singing and dancing in front of the train–in short we brung it and we had fun.

We were thrilled at the conference end to be told we were the winners…and our prize was among the world’s most cherished gadgets: we each got a new iPhone 4s.

Now, I am among the legions who already carry such a phone, and mine was just one step down, an AT&T 4. But these days, a gift can be less than a gift, despite its glamorous little white Apple box. The gift that I got of a Sprint wired iPhone meant that after three free months I’d have to sign up with them, and pay a break contract fee to AT&T or else keep paying for my contract for another year.

I’m thinking though–how much did Sprint lose last year? Dozens of millions. I bet if I told them I’d switch from AT&T they might even pay my break-up fee. It’s gotta be worth asking anyway–or else I’ve got a very high class music player/camera/videocamera/recorder/compass/altimeter with a phone that doesn’t work.