(Alan Rappa)

Denying Travelers Compensation For Damaged Bags Won’t Fly With The DOT Starting Jan. 9

Some airlines aren’t living up to their obligation to compensate passengers for damage to their luggage, recent inspections by the Department of Transportation found. Now, the agency is warning carriers that if their policies and trainings don’t fall in line with federal regulations by Jan. 9, they could face fines and other enforcement action.  [More]

(Frankieleon)

Study: Airlines Padded Flight Schedules To Improve On-Time Performance Stats

So many things can delay a flight — weather, traffic, minor technical glitches to name just a few — and yet nearly three-quarters of all flights arrived at their destination on schedule last year. A new study suggests that this achievement might not just be the result of increased efficiency, but of padded schedules. [More]

Alaska Airlines Suffers Technical Glitch, Delays Nearly Two Dozen Flights

Alaska Airlines Suffers Technical Glitch, Delays Nearly Two Dozen Flights

UPDATE: Alaska Airlines says the computer issue that delayed about 20 flights late Wednesday and early Thursday has been resolved. All of the carrier’s flights are back to normal and no residual delays are expected.  [More]

Another Computer Glitch Grounds American Airlines Flights

Another Computer Glitch Grounds American Airlines Flights

For the second time this year, American Airlines is blaming a computer glitch for grounding dozens of flights in several airports across the U.S. [More]

Amazon Prime Customers Don't Like Ensenda, Either

Amazon Prime Customers Don't Like Ensenda, Either

We’ve previously shared letters from readers who aren’t thrilled with OnTrac, a regional shipping company that Amazon uses for some shipments for Amazon Prime, their all-you-can-buy unlimited free delivery option. Now we’re hearing rumblings of problems with another smaller delivery company, Ensenda. [More]

AT&T Comes In Last In Latest Network Quality Survey Among Consumers

AT&T Comes In Last In Latest Network Quality Survey Among Consumers

J.D.Power and Associates released a new survey last week that measured customer complaints among national cellular networks, and although different companies excel in different regions, AT&T is still consistently the laggard when it comes to call connections and overall quality. Of the six regions covered in the survey, AT&T places last in four of them. The only part of the country where it does okay is the North Central Region, where it places third, and where the otherwise highly-ranked Verizon comes in last. [More]

AT&T Customer Service Rep Says Store Employees Are Commission-Chasing Liars

AT&T Customer Service Rep Says Store Employees Are Commission-Chasing Liars

One of our readers just switched over from T-Mobile to AT&T, but he discovered that pretty much everything the salesperson promised him at the retail store turned out to be a lie. At least, that’s what the angry AT&T customer service rep told his wife when she called in to dispute her first bill. [More]

Wireless Industry Lobbyists Explain Why The FCC Should Back Off

Wireless Industry Lobbyists Explain Why The FCC Should Back Off

The president and a vice-president for CTIA, a lobbying organization for the wireless industry, spoke recently with CNET about why they think the FCC should leave their members alone. The vice-president, Chris Guttman-McCabe, is a lawyer and as such his answers are useless. President Steve Largent, however, actually has a couple of candid moments during the interview. [More]

If An Airline Loses Your Luggage, Get Compensation

If An Airline Loses Your Luggage, Get Compensation

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that despite what the airline tells you, there are certain regulations it must follow when it loses a passenger’s luggage. Here are the things to remember if you’re in this unfortunate situation. [More]

Google Not Done Yet With Direct-To-Consumer Phones, According To Motorola

Google Not Done Yet With Direct-To-Consumer Phones, According To Motorola

Motorola told its investors today that it’s working on building an Android phone for Google to sell directly to consumers alongside the HTC-built Nexus One. There are no other details yet, other than that it should be released in 2010, according to Motorola’s co-CEO Sanjay Jha. [More]

Verizon Shrinks The List Of Phones Subject To $350 ETF

Verizon Shrinks The List Of Phones Subject To $350 ETF

Verizon has dropped 10 phones from its list of models that will trigger the high $350 early termination fee. Cnet wonders whether this is Verizon’s way of trying to make its “advanced devices are expensive to service” argument more palatable to the FCC, as the remaining models are all smartphones. [More]

Zagat Releases First Cellphone Carrier Survey Results

Zagat Releases First Cellphone Carrier Survey Results

Zagat, the popular consumer feedback-based restaurant review guide, now reviews wireless carriers as well, and they’ve released rankings on the four national carriers. The company surveyed 2,319 wireless consumers and then created Zagat-style scores in a variety of categories. Here are some of the highlights. [More]

AT&T Network Blame Game Takes Weird "It's Apple's Fault" Twist

AT&T Network Blame Game Takes Weird "It's Apple's Fault" Twist

Last week AT&T, in yet another of a string of PR failures about the health of its network, made things even worse by publicly blaming its customers for, you know, being customers. Over the weekend, though, a new thread was introduced into the narrative: it’s the iPhone’s fault. Not because it’s too popular, which has been the old complaint, but because the hardware doesn’t work right, and AT&T can’t say anything about it for fear that Steve Jobs will reach down through the clouds and smite them.

That sounds pretty tragic and sad for AT&T, but the problem is nobody knows if it’s true, or if this is yet another strategy to shift the responsibility from AT&T.

Wireless Industry Needs Better Oversight From FCC, Says Government Audit

Wireless Industry Needs Better Oversight From FCC, Says Government Audit

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just completed a survey of wireless customers and a review of the “tens of thousands” of complaints made to the FCC every year, and they’ve reached a verdict: the FCC needs to step up and provide a better way for consumers to get help. [More]

It's Official, Everybody Hates AT&T

It's Official, Everybody Hates AT&T

There’s a new Consumer Reports survey out that ranks cellphone companies by customer satisfaction, and to pretty much no one’s surprise, AT&T comes in last in all 19 cities surveyed. (Verizon came in first.) As AllThingsD notes, the survey “suggests that AT&T’s shortcomings are more widespread than the carrier would have us believe and not simply the product of a high concentration of iPhones in the country’s larger cities.” [More]

Here's What The New FCC Net Neutrality Rules Mean

Here's What The New FCC Net Neutrality Rules Mean

Yesterday the FCC announced new, expanded rules enforcing net neutrality, and they’ve set aside the next 60 days for public debate. Get ready to hear all sorts of creative end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it arguments from opponents like AT&T. We’ve checked out the official document (pdf) and below we summarize the changes that are open to public discussion for the next two months.

Walmart Gets Into Cellular Business, Offers Unlimited Plan For $45

Walmart Gets Into Cellular Business, Offers Unlimited Plan For $45

Today Walmart announced that it’s launching its own wireless service, Straight Talk, on October 18th. The network will piggyback on use TracFone’s wireless network. At launch, two pre-paid plans will be offered: a $30 package that includes 1000 minutes, 1000 text messages, and 30MB of data; or a $45 plan that includes unlimited voice, text, and data. 411 calls are free.

No Palm Pre For Verizon Wireless?

No Palm Pre For Verizon Wireless?

If you’ve been holding out on a phone upgrade or carrier switch until the Palm Pre comes to Verizon, you may need to give up the dream. The carrier has “reportedly ditched plans to offer the Palm Pre early next year,” says PC World. Apparently poor sales of the device at Sprint, combined with Verizon’s interest in upcoming Blackberry devices, killed any enthusiasm the carrier once had. Update: The no-Pre rumor may be false, according to these two analysts.