Cell Phone rant…
August 1, 2008

I can’t believe my ears. I am watching the news and one of the lead stories reports Bell and Telus are going to start charging their customers not only for sending text messages but for receiving them as well. If I understand this story (http://www.teleclick.ca/2008/07/bell-telus-text-messaging-cash-grab-makes-no-economic-sense/) correctly, should you send me a text message you are charged $.15 for that message and I am going to be charged $.15 for receiving the message. I didn’t ask you to text message me. It is a phone. Phone me!

Cell phone users, for goodness sake send your cell phones back to the companies and stop this madness. As consumers you have the power to force the companies to change. It is not the responsibility of government to protect you from this kind of gouging. You have a responsibility to control your own destiny. Please, wake up and quit allowing the phone companies to do this.  If we all sent our cell phones back to the companies they would have to change  or go out of business.  This is utter maddness!                            GRB

The Cellular world is warped…
July 30, 2008

My cell phone bill arrived today.  I examined each of the three pages carefully, as I do each month, to see what exactly the charges cover. And here is what I have concluded. Cellular companies are strictly in the business of making money. There is precious little of what I consider value for service.

My bill breaks down something like this:

  • Monthly contract fee: $19.95
  • System access charge:$ 7.50
  • 2 calls:                        $   .50
  • Fed/Prov Sales taxes   $ 4.90
  • Total                           $32.85

By my calculations, that works out to $16.475 per call. Am I wrong or does that seem a trifle excessive for 2 phone calls? I called Customer Service to see if there was a better option than my current service. I don’t mind paying for something I use but…

It seems that the cell service provider offers a Prepaid Mobility service–only it is not in my area. The company is planning to introduce that service in the future although no timeline is forthcoming. Anyway, I wouldn’t be eligible for that service until my current contract runs out in another year and a half. It appears I am stuck with a service that I use rarely and pay greatly for. Hmmmm! I’m thinking that I didn’t really think this through before I got involved. It strikes me as extravigant for emergency use only.

I did ask about the Prepaid Mobility service though in anticipation that I might switch to it when and if the service comes to my area and my current contract is done. It works like this. I buy XX minutes of call time. There are no other fees. Now that sounds more like it! Right? Not! I have to use up the time in 30 days. I have to be certain to call someone I don’t want to talk to just so I can get the value of the money I spent on the minutes.

“Can I carry the unused portion of my calling time to the next month?” I asked. The response may as well have been something like, “Are you daft?” Apparently one cannot on pain of … well, suffice to say, I cannot carry forward unused minutes. My understanding is this: I buy X minutes of call time. If I don’t use that time in 30 days the company gets to keep my money and I get… What exactly is it that I get? Hmmmmmmm?

Am I the only one who finds this somewhat strange?                    GRB