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OK, this story is sorta long but very important to folks who are stuck with the sucky StarTac that came with the 2000 model cars. I bought my 2000 E55 StarMark car in Plano,TX from Autohaus Mercedes. I traded a 2000 M5 due to not wanting to jack with shifting gears in the Dallas traffic anymore. The car came with the StarTac phone and so I stopped by AT&T (they are my carrier for business) on the way home to get it activated. Not so fast there buddy. First I was informed that the phone I had would only work on the Cingular network. I thought this was fishy since AT&T and Cingular are both TDMA networks, but I have since found out that was the least of the issues. So, off to Ebay I go to find a StarTac that was AT&T compatible. It took a few days but one showed up and I bought it. Then I sold mine for about an even swap minus shipping. At this point I am out 25 Bucks. No big deal because I have the phone I need, right? WRONG! This is where it gets interesting. Saturday morning my 3 year old daughter and I load up and go down to the AT&T store to get this phone activated. 'Sorry sir we don't activate Mercedes StarTacs unless they have an AT&T Wireless part <br>
number'. Well, this started an argument that lasted most of the morning and consisted of a trip back to the Mercedes dealership and then back to AT&T. Come to find out they did at one time activate these phones but beginning in Dec. 2001 AT&T will no longer activate these phones on the good rate plans because they are not tri-mode phones. I guess it costs them too much in their roaming arangements with other carriers. If you can convince them to activate it (which I did) it will only be eligible for a 75 cents per minute plan. NO THANKS. So I shut it off after the exceptions department would not budge on the issue. So, If you loose or break your StarTac you are gonna face the same situation.<br>
So, now my options are to use the Timeport and buy the car kit or the V60 which is pretty cool I must admit. Very, very expensive though. Anyway, Mercedes claims the V60 will now work with the 2001 cars but not the 2000s due to an antennae issue. However, I have found a certified Mercedes phone installer who thinks this is crap and claims it will work with my car. So I am going bite the bullet and give it a try soon. Mercedes claims they are testing the 2000s to see if it is possible to make them work witht the V60s but they are not promising anything and my guy (who has been doing this for 8 years) says it will work. Stay tuned.
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