It’s bad enough when friends and acquaintances bombard you with text messages, but at least most humans can be reasoned with. Monica, on the other hand, says she’s being hassled by a robot who sends here 20 texts a day, and that Verizon has been slow to jump to her aid.
Back in July, Consumer Reports revealed that the FCC would be taking a long, close look at cell phone companies, and this week it’s finally time for that probe.
Bad news, smartphone-owning AT&T customers. Starting September 6, customers will not be permitted to use a smartphone on the network without purchasing a smartphone data plan. Exceptions: unlocked phones and customers who currently have a smartphone (think Blackberry or Palm) but use a non-smartphone data plan.
Hey, AT&T customers: be very, very careful when dialing three-digit numbers. If you’re trying to dial, say, 211 or 311 (local government information), 611 (AT&T Wireless customer service) or 711 (TTY relay), and you dial 411 for directory assistance by mistake, you’ll be charged for it even if you realize the mistake and hang up immediately. And you’ll need to live with the consequences of your error, since, according to reader Stephen, AT&T will not refund these charges.
If you’re a T-Mobile USA customer who likes to kick it old-school with a paper bill, checks, stamps and whatnot, bad news. Starting September 12, you’ll be charged $1.50 per account for the privilege of receiving your bill by mail.
Scammers on Craigslist are ordering tough-to-identify pay-per-call phone numbers, then list them on ads, baiting people to call and pay exorbitant fees. Common area codes for pay lines are 976, 940, 915, 556, 554, and 550.
We had a robust debate on Monday on the use of cell phones and wireless devices while driving. Since then, Consumer Reports Cars has taken a look at the actual statistics for accidents caused by driver distraction, and also the cell-while-driving laws actually on the books in the United States in different localities. Spoiler alert: Texting while driving isn’t a good idea.
Annoyed by cell phone exclusivity deals? The federal government may agree with you. The FCC and Department of Justice are both looking into the issue, concerned about limitations on consumer choice and good old-fashioned competition.
Fashioning itself a jolly green giant, T-Mobile USA is getting in on money-saving and environmentalist fads by offering a Green Mobile Coupon application that lets its customers access coupons they can scan at cash registers to save on environmentally friendly items.
David wrote in to tell us how he bought a cell phone, accidentally ruined the screen protector, then sought out the phone-condom manufacturer Zagg to try to buy a new one. What happened next was the stuff of a Frank Capra movie. Check out his story to see why David has gone Zagg-nuts:
An exciting new policy change took effect last week at AT&T Wireless. Have you recently started a new job, or joined a group that provides discounts on your cell phone service? Guess what? You get to pay a $36 fee per line in order to get your discount!
What’s going on with DealTree? They handle Nokia’s “Trade-up” program, which reimburses you cash for your old phones. It says clearly on the “how it works” page as well as in their terms and conditions that they’ll mail a paper check to you after confirming your phone’s value. In Paul’s case, they say dumped his money into a PayPal account—and Paul says there’s nothing in his account and PayPal has no record of a transaction.
How are Apple Stores doing with the much-anticipated iPhone 3G S launch? Apple fan on the ground Joseph reserved his phone online, queued up outside of his nearest Apple Store this morning at 6:30, and… hit a snag, since his reservation apparently isn’t a reservation.