Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Up-sell on your cell phone
"Would you like fries with that?" "Can I interest you in the extended service plan?" How about $5/month more for text messaging, or $15/month for internet access on your spiffy new cell phone? Don't like that? How about 15¢ per text message and 3¢ per kilobyte for data transfer - which means it costs about $1 to get a frigging picture off my camera phone? That's the price of FILM! Oh, right the plan only covers the minutes I use for talking. Does it also cover the button-presses for dialing the numbers? Does it cover the time I listen, too, or is that 50¢/min? John C. Dvorak rants about the phones themselves - gadgetry, fashion, and rudeness in one bundle. Remember the olden days when you had to lease a phone from AT&T? How cool was that? It took a court case to allow someone to make an answering machine. Then the FCC ruled that as long as you don't harm the network, you can plug in anything you want. Thus the inventions of all sorts of cool telephonic devices including modems that first brought the internet into homes. Now Skype, purveyor of internet calls, has petitioned the FCC (docket# RM-11361) to apply that previous ruling to the cellular networks. You can e-mail your own comment in support of the petition.
(Any volunteers to set up a web form for comment submission?) Consumers' Union has a web form for comments.