A class-action lawsuit has been filed in California against Verizon and several third-party companies, alleging that they promoted illegal gambling by enticing customers to pay to enter contests in which there was an “infinitesimally” small chance of winning, reports RCRWireless. “The suit centers on 99-cent charges levied on wireless consumers who played contests associated with popular TV shows like ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Sole Survivor.’” The plaintiffs claim that the contests were less promotional sweepstakes than “illegal lotteries designed to generate revenues far in excess of the value of the cash awarded.”
If you’ve got a baby and you’re concerned about buying unlabeled products that contain Bisphenol A or BPA—which some studies have indicated may lead to adverse health effects in humans—the website Z Recommends has just launched a free text messaging service that lets you query their database of companies while you’re standing in the store. They’ve also got a printable wallet-card you can carry with you, which serves as both a cheat-sheet for the text service and a quick reference source for major companies.
Ric L. is having problems with T-Mobile’s CSRs—specifically, they don’t seem capable of actually making any changes to his account or recording anything about his calls, and when that leads to $75 in extra fees, they say they can’t fix it and offer him “free” text messages. Ric says he suspects the CSR he talked to “takes the responsibilities of his job about as seriously as a cat with a ball of yarn,” but we all know that’s incredibly disrespectful to cats everywhere, who take their various activities quite seriously. Read Ric’s email to T-Mobile after the jump.
What’s up, AT&T? Your MMS messages have been acting wonky since the beginning of the year, according to posters on HowardForums. When they do come through, they’ve been reduced to a tiny postage-stamp size, whereas in the past they were delivered unaltered. We’ve been testing the service all morning with our N95 and not a single photo MMS gets in or out.
A reader tells us that on March 4, 2008, Rogers Wireless will increase the price of international text messaging to 25 cents per message, which he thinks might be another “get-out-of-contract-free” opportunity similar to what Verizon opened itself up to when it hiked its fees this month. However, according to the portion of the contract Andrew sent us, and based on what a commenter wrote on a previous post, we think what might happen instead is Rogers Wireless will simply let you continue under the terms of your old contract if you call up and insist. It’s worth a shot—post how it turns out if you try it.
Last weekend, T-Mobile users who sent SMS updates to their Twitter feeds found that their messages were being blocked. Naturally, tempers flared. Many customers contacted T-Mobile to complain about the problem, but T-Mobile had no answer for the sudden blockage. (It turns out it was a technical glitch on Twitter’s end.) What’s interesting is that T-Mobile’s Executive Customer Relations rep responded to one user’s complaints with a hardcore reminder that when it comes to customer rights, his pretty much begin and end with being required to pay his bill on time. Nice PR work there, T-Mobile.
My name is Marianne Maestas and I am with the Executive Customer Relations department of T-Mobile. I am contacting you on behalf of Mr. Robert Dotson in regards to the email that you sent him yesterday evening.
Net neutrality advocates are gathering momentum to take Comcast to the woodshed for an old fashioned populist beating. Comcast believes that deliberately destroying connections to the popular communications protocol BitTorrent amounts to “reasonable network management,” which the FCC permits. Advocates figure if they can’t ride the net neutrality pony to Congressional passage now, it will forever lie dormant in the stable munching on BitTorrent packet hay.
In the message, Judy advises customers to call Sprint’s main line at 877-812-1223 and wait their turn for incompetent service just like anybody else.
Blackston said the defendants haven’t been served, and she couldn’t predict how much money the state might collect.
Uh oh. Another obstacle to hurtle over in trying to cancel your Sprint Account for hiking text message rates before their October 31st deadline. Reader Drew wrote us in, informing us that his cancellation was shot down:
An important caveat for those trying to cancel their Sprint service over the recent rate hike: If you’re on a text message plan, where you get say 1000 message for $10 or 300 messages for $5, this trick may not work for you, at least not at first blush.
Here’s two extra phone numbers that may help you if you’re trying to cancel Sprint.
Sprint’s retention department is trying its darnedest to prevent customers from jumping out a window of opportunity that would let them cancel service without penalty.
The do-not-call list added hurdles to telemarketers trying to cold call to sell you vinyl siding. Then Tivo slowed down television advertising. Spam-filters, as much as they still kinda suck, are constantly being tweaked to limit the influx of marketing to your inbox. That leaves texting, the last great frontier in intrusive advertising.
As cellphone use explodes, the number of times a number is recycled increases. This used to just mean a few “sorry, wrong numbers” but now it might mean a big billing headache.
Back in February, we ran Sam C’s complaint about a T-Mobile price increase for text messages, raising it from five cents to ten cents per message. On the page detailing the change a footnote remarked how long the “discounted” price would remain in effect. Our complainant compared it to the novel 1984, wherein, “Winston notes that people had demonstrated to thank Big Brother because their chocolate ration had been increased to 20 grams. (when it had actually be reduced to 20 from 30).”