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