Do you have an analog phone? No, not you. That guy over there with the Betamax. You do? Well, you should just accept that time and technology marches forward and upgrade your phone. The old analog system is going bye-bye next year, and Cingular is charging you $5 a month for no reason other than you still have an old crappy phone. Should they do this? Probably not. But they are.
ABC7 found some outraged analog phone owners to interview about the topic:
John Borg: “I have like eight bills here that show the charge and that times a lot of customers is a lot of money.”
Ed Wolf found out upgrading also means a new contract that costs more and gives fewer minutes.
Ed Wolf: “There’s probably a lot of other customers in the same situation as me and they don’t even realize it.
Sadly for Ed, the inexorable march of time includes him.
Those lower monthly rates are no longer offered, but Cingular will give perks like free roaming, national coverage, and they promise fewer dropped calls.
Cingular also offered Ed Wolf a free razor phone if he upgrades. They offered John Borg 200 extra minutes, but Wolf says he’d rather hang on to his simple phone.
Ed Wolfe: “to me a phone is a phone. i don’t need all these bells and whistles.
John Borg: “I switched to a new provider.”
One of the big impacts is a lot of customers who were grandfathered in with low monthly rates are going to lose them when analog system ends next year. You may recall that was allowed by an FCC ruling four years ago and this is one of those ripple effects.
We sort of feel bad for these people, but upgrading your phone is not the end of the world. Also, you can tell Cingular to go piss up a rope and get T-Mobile, Alltel, Sprint or Verizon.
Cellphones aren’t like rent controlled apartments, guys. If you have an old analog phone, don’t wait until they shut it off next year to upgrade! Read our Confessions series on cellphones and get out there and negotiate! —MEGHANN MARCO