Jan 10, 2010

Mrs. Sneed and I were at Costco today and we saw this bumper sticker. It strikes me as kind of sad. Maybe you've had this experience. You call your phone company or your cable provider to ask a question and they ask you if they can access your account? Seems strange, doesn't it? Well, it is just your government at work, making a mockery of common sense, or so it seems to me. Why should they have to ask you if they can access your information in order to answer your concern about your account? More on that in a moment. Our contract with the folks at Verizon Wireless expires in about 2 weeks, so we are weighing our options. We got hooked up with the Verizon guys more or less against our will. Our carrier used to be Qwest Communications, which operated on the Sprint Network as a reseller. Last year, Qwest announced that they were getting out of the resale biz and throwing in with Verizon as their agent. We were coerced into switching to Verizon, since our contract with Qwest hadn't expired and a switch to another carrier would have cost us money. Our sweet deal with Verizon costs us almost $100 per month and all we get is 550 minutes to share, each month. No texting, no web access, no nothing. In reality, we only use 100 minutes of talk time each month, so we are paying something like a buck a minute. I have made several calls to Verizon to ask about our options in the past week or so. Can we get new phones for signing a new contract? We want to get a plan that allows, modern conveniences such as texting, email, web access, that sort of stuff. Verizon has offered us nothing. In fact, they said that if we want new phones we can pay full retail for them. They will give us a new deal in September and not one minute earlier. We can go to another carrier now and get swell new internet phones and cheaper plans. Why I wondered, didn't Verizon get this. Two words, the government. Verizon gets it, but the government on't allow them to act. Evidently, the FCC has ruled that cellphone carriers can't offer special incentives to their current customers to entice them to stay, because they have inside information on you. They have inside knowledge that you are their customer. I'm not kidding. That is why they ask permission to access your account. The FCC makes them so it so that they aren't using their records to their advantage. The FCC is convinced that this makes the market more competitive. And maybe they are right, who knows? After all, governmental regulation has made so many other things cheaper. Things like... Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

8 comments:

Barbara said...

It's really scary what these people know about you. Like the fact that Google knows every search string you have ever used. That's why when you type just a letter or two, it displays similar entries you have previously made. I keep telling myself there's nothing to hide, but it is sort of creepy that there are so few secrets any more.

Reya Mellicker said...

It really doesn't make any sense, does it?

Kurt said...

Google doesn't know what "you" do, because they don't know who "you" are, unless you use your real name in gmail (as if!) or use Google checkout (double as if!). Ditto for Yahoo.

Megan said...

Verizon sounds like a pain in the ass.

The Bug said...

We just added Dr. M to my T-Mobile account (he had a Trac phone previously, but now that he's a full fledged professor we thought he might need something better). To get the phone added we had to re-up our contract for 2 more years. Now Dr. M has discovered that T-Mobile doesn't have coverage on his campus. It works in the TOWN where the school is, but not on the actual campus.

Catskill Snap said...

I agree with anonymous.

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Steve said...

What a nightmare! For what it's worth, I'm pretty happy with my switch to AT&T and my iPhone. I think Dave and I pay about $80 apiece on a family plan for that, though.