The town of Tracy, California has come up with a new plan to make money: you’ll have to pay between $48-400 to call 911. I wonder if Tracy is planning on giving the caller the bill over the phone–they might be able to chain 911 calls together by giving the first caller a heart attack, thereby prompting someone else to call, and so on. Money! [More]
Update: Verizon won’t charge the soldiers for the calls in question.
In the weeks immediately following the Haiti earthquake, Verizon and AT&T offered free calls to Haiti as a goodwill gesture to people in the U.S. with family and friends over there. The offers weren’t identical, though, and Verizon was only offering free calls made to Haiti, not the reverse. Spc. James Crawford kept calling his pregnant wife each day from his station in Port-au-Prince, and now they have a phone bill for $1,919.44.
Lesley lives alone, and says that despite what any Mediacom CSRs may think, she hasn’t been consistently ordering adult movies for the past three months. [More]
Jennifer wrote to us about the trouble a family in South Carolina is having over a huge T-Mobile bill: “Zeb, a special needs adult living with his parents, had his cell phone stolen just prior to Christmas. By the time the theft was discovered, $6000 in calls and text messages had been made to Honduras.” The good news is that T-Mobile hasn’t asked the family to pay the full $6,000. The bad news is that they do want them to pay a fourth of that. Update: T-Mobile has let the family off the hook. [More]
Ryan’s life is an Alanis Morissette song: “It’s like being told your AT&T account is paid off, and then meeting his beautiful collections agent coming after you for the money you were told you didn’t owe.” [More]
At least one official with the FCC is not impressed by Verizon’s latest explanations of its Early Termination Fees (ETFs) and Mobile Web billing practices. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn released a statement (pdf) last night where she called Verizon’s explanation “unsatisfying” and “troubling,” and she closed with the fighting words, “I look forward to exploring this issue in greater depth with my colleagues in the New Year.” [More]
Last month, David Pogue at the New York Times published a tip from a self-described Verizon employee. The employee accused Verizon of deliberately rigging its system to trap customers whenever they accidentally press the “Get It Now” or “Mobile Web” buttons on their phones–even if they cancel the operation immediately, they’re charged a fee of $1.99 each time. Both Pogue and the FCC asked Verizon to explain why this happens. Verizon’s response: it doesn’t, and Pogue and the hundreds of people who wrote in to confirm this practice are all crazy. [More]
After a man added his 13-year old son to his Verizon plan, his cellphone bill rocketed to nearly $22,000. [More]
We’ve posted before about how to break your cable habit without giving up on TV altogether–it’s possible, but can’t happen without some work on your end. This week, the New York Times’ Nick Bilton explained how he and his wife have combined their existing devices with a few new ones to create a content stream that enables them to watch what they want without cable. [More]
In Michigan, utilities can increase rates without first getting approval, but that means the Michigan Public Service Commission can later reduce them. That’s what happened on Monday, when the Commission ordered Consumers Energy to refund about $39.6 million to customers it overcharged since last May.
Bonnie’s elderly parents switched from Verizon dial-up to Verizon DSL, but Verizon didn’t turn off their dial-up account when switching them to DSL. They somehow failed to notice when they continued to be charged for dialup. For two years.
Your new washer, dryer, fridge, monitor, or TV set may have an Energy Star label on it, but it turns out that nobody is making sure that means anything, reports the New York Times. Our parent organization Consumer Reports pointed out that this was a problem a year ago.
If you signed up for Frontier Communications’ Price Protection Plan—a combo phone and broadband package—between January 2007 and September 2008, and you canceled the agreement and were charged an early termination fee (ETF), you may be getting some cash back.
Comcast is going to start rolling out a $2 fee hike across the country this fall, which means your cable modem rental fee will go from $3 to $5 by the end of the year. Comcast says they absolutely have to do this or they’ll never be able to pay for service and equipment upgrades, which makes us wonder how the poor underfunded company manages to stay afloat at all.