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cell phone saga, epilogue

I got my credit card bill today.

I've been waiting for this one. I was expecting to see that Rogers gave me credit for the return of my phone and that it didn't charge me anything else. It did indeed credit me for the phone, but there was also a big, fat $103 debit.

Needless to say, I picked up the phone and called them. I was lucky this time, though. I only had to navigate a useless automated menu once, get put on hold three times and talk to two people.

I had less luck, though, if I was expecting any sort of redress. My account was only cancelled at the end of July. The $103 was me being billed for July even though I had no phone to use during that period. I have no idea where the $103 came from and I was too pissed off to ask. I thought my monthly bill came to about $60 after all the charges were laid on. But whatever.

My next credit card bill will show an extra $178 charge for early cancellation. It turns out that I used 750 kilobytes of data, which pushed me outside the 30day/30min/150kB trial period. That 750kB, by the way, constitutes visiting maybe three websites, a couple SSH sessions to see how that works and a bit of instant messaging. I had no way of finding out what my usage was in realtime. They only calculate it at billing (I know; I asked the rep to find out for me when I cancelled my account and he couldn't).

So, if you're keeping track, this means I will have spent $280 for absolutely nothing.

The obvious conclusion is that I will never be buying a cell phone again. Fucking ever. I will wait for cheap, ubiquitous WiFi or similar. I'll apologize in advance for the two or three times in a year where somebody might actually want to get ahold of me.


SideKick writes:

I could never understand the whole wurfing from your phone thing.
At best it's a novelty, at worst it's the most expensive way to read SlashDot ever!
I got it on a trial period, and in fact I might even be paying for it(if that's the case I might kill it) because I thought it would be useful.
Surfing the web on 14.4K is more enjoyable than surfing on my phone.
And forget about instant messaging. By the time I type in the message, I've given up careing about what I'm writing about.
I have no idea why these things are popular.

Cell phones still aren't a bad idea, just remember to get a phone for it's phone-like functionalty, nothing else.

I've had a cell for years and on occasion I find it the most useful thing in the world. Mostly because I have no idea where people are most of the time ^_^

Submitted 2004-08-19 17:32:50

flying squirrel writes:

I really don't like phones, though. It's the whole talking to people thing, made worse by the fact that I can't see their reaction. And I'm really apprehensive about phoning people... cell phones especially. It seems way too intrusive just to find out where somebody is.

I'd much rather have a mobile instant messenger. That's almost entirely what I wanted it for. But since that's still not enough to justify carrying it around all the time, I wanted phone and a bunch of other mostly useless gee-whizzery too. Then it might justify its usefulness.

The device in question wasn't really a "phone" per se. It was actually one of these:

Submitted 2004-08-19 17:52:35

SideKick writes:

I used to hate talking on the phone any longer than I had to, but working a support job, you kind of get used to it.
And when you can't see the person it's easier to make faces at them and flip them off. Very calming when talking to fools.

I was thinking of getting something like the Tungsten, mainly because I liked the idea of the PDA, but I didn't like the idea of carrying a PDA and phone all the time. But the price is just a little too much for me to justify, so I just have the phone and a small pad of paper. Seems to do the trick ^_^

Submitted 2004-08-20 10:26:48

flying squirrel writes:

$200 after rebate wasn't bad, which is why I got it. I thought I'd managed to find a decent subscription, but it turned out I was wrong. Several times. The price per month just kept going up. I'm glad I'm out of it.

Cell phones are a racket. If companies would be honest and up-front about charges, I might reconsider it. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Submitted 2004-08-20 10:37:22

SideKick writes:

I agree with the racket thingy, and that will vary from company to company as well.
But so far, I find Rogers the worst. I had a plan with Telus, and for a modest price, eveything was good.
But then I saw the new Rogers plan, which would save me some dough(via IBM of course) and went for it.
Wanted a new phone anyway, and this was free.
But, some of the things that I got for free with Telus just wasn't going to happen with Rogers, like erally basic call display. That's extra.
And I'm paying it....

In the end, it's still saving me money.
But to be honest, any "convience service" type of industry is a scam, and they know it, they just hope you don't notice.

Submitted 2004-08-21 16:20:40

1 writes:

Wow, cell phone companies must be radically different in Canada than in the U.S. I only had my cell phone for a year and had no problems at all with the company who were completely upfront and honest about their programs. Of course I only expected the phone to be a phone even though it did have instant messaging capabilities (I still don't use IM on my desktop so using it on a phone is beyond my interest). I think that the nicest thing about my cell was that I always got the best since I purchased the cheapest plan but still got weekends and long distance calls completely free. I don't think I ever even came close to using the minutes I had purchased and it was nice to have the couple of times I did have car emergencies. In the end I think it is less of a scam than the landline, especially when you take long distance into account.

Is this deja vu or just sounding like a broken record?

Blah, Blah, anyway, so you don't like phones because you can't see someone's reactions, but you do like instant messaging? Pretty interesting thought process there. I guess emoticons are much more telling than inflections, pauses, and other vocal tells to you.

If you call somebody and they truly think that you're intruding, than they really aren't your friend. These are the kind of people that need to be cut from your life.

Deja vu II, I'm not going to say that your thought process is not normal, or is abnormal, but I am going to say that it is not healthy. Professional counseling is highly valuable and I really do think that you'd greatly profit from some, be it your social phobia or procrastination or what have you (I suppose I could be a *real* friend and tell you to eat more chocolate and everything will turn out great but that's not me). I know you believe that you can work things out by yourself, which leaves the question: How's that been working out for you?

Submitted 2004-08-23 05:56:32

flying squirrel writes:

Chris, I don't actually trust (or like) you enough to take your advice. This is why assholes don't make very good counsellors.

Please go away.

Submitted 2004-08-23 10:07:34

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