I Have No Bars But AT&T Won't Let Me Leave

I Have No Bars But AT&T Won't Let Me Leave

Ross and his neighbors have had to drive a few miles down the road to get any bars on their cellphone after a nearby AT&T tower went down and the other two nearby weren’t working well either. Despite the fact that he has no service and there is no fix in sight for several months, AT&T won’t let him leave his contract. [More]

Prisons Get Big Kickbacks For Phone Contracts, Prisoners' Families Pay The Price

Prisons Get Big Kickbacks For Phone Contracts, Prisoners' Families Pay The Price

A investigation by Prison Legal News exposes how prisons are getting fat kickbacks from telephone companies in order to land exclusive service contracts, which they then use to charge sky-high calling rates. There’s usually a connection charge of $3.00 or more and it can cost upwards of $.89 a minute. That means a 15-minute collect call can end up costing $10-$17. Compare that to the $.05 or $.10 most customers pay. Because the calls are often collect, it’s the prisoners’ families that end up paying the price. [More]

Telemarketer Won't Show "Do Not Call" Policy? You Can Sue For $500

Telemarketer Won't Show "Do Not Call" Policy? You Can Sue For $500

If you can’t get rid of annoying telemarketers, you can at least make a profit off them. Under Federal law, they have to give you a written copy of their “Do Not Call” policy for free if you ask them to. If they don’t, you can take them to court and sue them for a cool statutory $500. Here’s a sample script for doing this from a guy who has sued several telemarketers over this violation and won. [More]

Ways To Avoid Hitting AT&T's New Bandwidth Caps

Ways To Avoid Hitting AT&T's New Bandwidth Caps

Like suddenly cool again hypercolor shirts, AT&T has brought back another retro trend back from the dead – metered bandwidth with charges for overages. The ISP yesterday imposed a 150 GB a month cap on all DSL customers. If you go over it more than three times in your account lifetime, you will get a $10 charge for every 50 GB in excess. U-verse customers will have a 250 GB cap. Ah, nostalgia, it feels just like Compuserve all over again! So how do you go on a bandwidth diet? [More]

AT&T, Verizon Have To Let Smaller Rivals Use Network For Data, Just Like Voice

AT&T, Verizon Have To Let Smaller Rivals Use Network For Data, Just Like Voice

Just like with voice traffic, AT&T and Verizon have to let smaller competitors use their network for data roaming, the FCC today ruled. This would let wireless users clean their inboxes of spam and look up the capital of Greenland in less than 5 minutes of loading, just like they would at home. [More]

How Do You Convince The Cable Co To Lay Broadband To A Semirural Area?

How Do You Convince The Cable Co To Lay Broadband To A Semirural Area?

Like many Americans, Liv and her neighbors are cut off from high-speed broadband access because they live in an area that the cable company says is too far for them to run lines to. She says she’s spent a few years trying to convince them but hasn’t made any headway, even getting the neighbors to band together and say they would all agree to service. What can she do to change AT&T or Comcast’s mind, or can she even and would she be better off with a DIY solution? [More]

NJ Man Selling 212 Phone Number For $1 Million

NJ Man Selling 212 Phone Number For $1 Million

212 is a coveted area code for your phone number. It says that you are in Manhattan, established, and among the set that could pop its collar if it wanted to but chooses not to. Now a New Jersey man is trying to auction off his 212 number for $1 million on eBay, hoping the proceeds will cover care for his elderly mother, who has dementia, reports New York Daily News. For those that might question whether the number really has value, consider that 6 months after he got the number, Verizon called asking if they could have it back, saying they usually reserve it for “big companies.” Sorry, Charlie, prestige has its price. [More]

Free Calls To Japan From AT&T, Verizon, Comcast And TWC

Free Calls To Japan From AT&T, Verizon, Comcast And TWC

Several telecommunications providers are giving US customers free long-distance calls and texts to Japan. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and TWC are all waiving charges. AT&T is giving 60 minutes of free talk time between the US and Japan until the end of the month. Verizon is offering $0.00/minute rates between the two countries until April 15. Comcast is giving away free calls to voice customers through April 11. Time Warner Cable is giving digital phone customers free calls to Japan through April 15. A helping hand for those looking to connect with a friend, colleague or loved one over in Japan. [More]

Verizon Gives Out Refunds For Deceptive Premium Text Messages

Verizon Gives Out Refunds For Deceptive Premium Text Messages

Verizon has set up a site to give out refunds to customers who signed up for premium text messages with an advertiser who “did not meet Verizon Wireless’ standards for the disclosure of pricing and subscription information.” Here is a list of the 120 affected short codes. If you were a Verizon customer who signed up for one of them, you can file a claim here. [More]

AT&T Rolls Back Free Rollover Minutes For Some

AT&T Rolls Back Free Rollover Minutes For Some

Looks like AT&T is rescinding the 1000 free rollover minute offer for some of the people people who tried to jump on it. [More]

Who Sucks The Most, AT&T Or Verizon? Vote With Your Gum

Who Sucks The Most, AT&T Or Verizon? Vote With Your Gum

Instead of spitting their gum on the sidewalk like usual, people are using it to vote whether AT&T or Verizon sucks more. “Gum Election” is a project where people download a free poster off this site, post it out on the street, and people stick their gum on the entity that “sucks the most.” Early results based off a poster hung up on Lafayette Street in New York favor AT&T. [More]

Rich DC Burbs Pay $9.58, Rurals Pay $31.17/Mbps

Rich DC Burbs Pay $9.58, Rurals Pay $31.17/Mbps

The rich get richer while the poor get…slower? A new report by investigative journalist John Dunbar cracks open the numbers that are tightly held by the industry and found vast disparities in the quality and price of service based on how close to town. By comparing customer speed tests and surveys, he found that while folks in the low-income areas outside of the Washington Metropolitan Area pay slightly less for their broadband, those in the wealthier DC burbs are getting far more bandwidth for their buck. The poor are paying on average $31.17/Mbps while the rich are paying only $9.58. [More]

AT&T Bribes Users With 1000 Free Rollover Minutes

AT&T Bribes Users With 1000 Free Rollover Minutes

The latest salvo in the AT&T and Verizon Cola Wars was for Big Blue to bribe all its users into staying with a surprise gift of 1000 bonus rollover minutes. Some users thought the text message announcing the free minutes was some kind of spam or scam – and who could blame them? – but it was definitely sent out by AT&T, as confirmed to Consumerist by AT&T PR. They said, “It’s real – we’ve done this before…it’s a way of thanking our customers.” If you didn’t get the text, some users, even those who weren’t targeted by the initial blast, have reported the free minutes showing up on their account after texting “yes” to 11113020. [More]

Ahead Of iPhone, Verizon Says It May Start Throttling Top 5%
Of Data Users

Ahead Of iPhone, Verizon Says It May Start Throttling Top 5% Of Data Users

The same day Verizon Wireless started taking pre-orders for iPhone, they posted a new notice on their site saying they reserve the right to throttle the top 5% of data users, WSJ reports. Here’s what it said: [More]

Family Wakes Up To Cell Tower In Front Yard

Family Wakes Up To Cell Tower In Front Yard

A family in Long Island says workers have been putting up a giant pole, pictured at left, in their yard the whole week. Workers told them it was an extra light that the town was putting in. But when it was done, it wasn’t a light. It was a cellphone tower put up by “NextG Networks,” and local officials are calling it “construction by ambush.” [More]

Sprint Also Making Upgrade Program Suck More

Sprint Also Making Upgrade Program Suck More

Not wanting to be left out of the party, Sprint became the latest carrier to announce it’s going to make it more expensive for customers to upgrade. [More]

Virgin Killing Off Unlimited Mobile Broadband Plan

Virgin Killing Off Unlimited Mobile Broadband Plan

Say “sayonara” to another unlimited mobile plan, Virgin is adding a 5GB cap and throttle to its $40 “Unlimited Broadband2Go” MiFi plan. After you surpass the threshold in a month, your transfer speeds will get reduced to 256 kbps or lower for the rest of the month. The changes go into effect Feb 15. Happy Valentines Day. [More]

AT&T To Change Text Message Packages And Chuck Some Upgrade Discounts

AT&T To Change Text Message Packages And Chuck Some Upgrade Discounts

Is it cellphone plan adverse tweak season? Now AT&T is changing up its text message plans and doubling the per message rate for going over them, and getting rid of some upgrade discounts, reports Engadget, going off a leaked internal document. [More]