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Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

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Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2005 8:42:57 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Before Cingular merged with AT&T wireless, subscribers to the
AT&T wireless "Free2Go" prepaid calling plan could keep a
prepaid account active by paying only $10 every 90 days.
This was perfect for my wife, who rarely uses her cell phone
but occasionally finds it useful to have one.

After the merger, I can't add $10 to the account at all, $15
expires in 30 days rather than 90 days, and I have to add at
least $25 to the account to keep it active for 90 days.

In short, after the merger the prepaid account costs 150% more
than it did before the merger.

I see other postings about this, but I don't see anything
which makes it perfectly clear just how badly they've screwed
over occasional users with this change. Outrageous!

Yes, sir, these mega-mergers sure do benefit the consumer! If
you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I'd like
to sell you.
May 6, 2005 8:42:58 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I'm in the same boat (my post below "Pre-Paid Cell In So. Cal). Of
course, Cingular isn't stupid and they know very well the impact of
this draconian price increase. It is calculated to force as many people
OUT of low-cost pre-paid as possible. So, if it seems like Cingular
doesn't want your business anymore, you're right. They don't.
May 6, 2005 8:42:58 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.

This certainly is an example of what happens to consumers after a
merger that no one seems to notice.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2005 8:42:59 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Ryan" <welziak@snet.net> wrote:

>
>
>I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.

And what would this complaint be about?? A private company raising its
prices? Wow! That's like totally unheard of in a capitalist system!
May 6, 2005 9:23:50 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Jonathan Kamens" <jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us> wrote in message
news:D 5g6qh$5b9$1@jik.kamens.brookline.ma.us...
> Before Cingular merged with AT&T wireless, subscribers to the
> AT&T wireless "Free2Go" prepaid calling plan could keep a
> prepaid account active by paying only $10 every 90 days.
> This was perfect for my wife, who rarely uses her cell phone
> but occasionally finds it useful to have one.
>
> After the merger, I can't add $10 to the account at all, $15
> expires in 30 days rather than 90 days, and I have to add at
> least $25 to the account to keep it active for 90 days.
>
> In short, after the merger the prepaid account costs 150% more
> than it did before the merger.
>
> I see other postings about this, but I don't see anything
> which makes it perfectly clear just how badly they've screwed
> over occasional users with this change. Outrageous!
>
> Yes, sir, these mega-mergers sure do benefit the consumer! If
> you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I'd like
> to sell you.

Cheapest prepaid cell service for infrequent or emergency calling is Beyond
Wireless at http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ . All you need is a TDMA phone
thats works on the old ATT network. Only have to use one minute every 60
days to keep phone alive. $10.00 get 80 minutes (0.125/min).

Downsides are local numbers in only seven states, on network coverage is
only old ATT TDMA network and roaming costs 4 times the on network rate. I
have had service since January, 2005 with no problems using the phone around
the country (only used 15 minutes airtime).
May 6, 2005 9:38:53 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In article <1115414028.40469a9b71446581c753e6ac01a7fc4d@bub
banews>, googled@blah.com says...

> Cheapest prepaid cell service for infrequent or
> emergency calling is Beyond Wireless at
> http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ . All you need is a
> TDMA phone thats works on the old ATT network. Only have
> to use one minute every 60 days to keep phone alive.
> $10.00 get 80 minutes (0.125/min).

> Downsides are local numbers in only seven states, on
> network coverage is only old ATT TDMA network and
> roaming costs 4 times the on network rate. I have had
> service since January, 2005 with no problems using the
> phone around the country (only used 15 minutes airtime).

Yes, and since the OP's service was AT&T Wireless in the
first place, he could even use the same phone without having
to get it unlocked. But he might have to get Cingular to
release the ESN so he could sign up with Beyond. I don't
quite know how that all works yet. Probably couldn't keep
the same number though. I don't know how that works either.

There is also CallPlus prepaid, also for the AT&T Wireless
network, so the old phone could be used there as well. It
costs more per minute, but there is a wide choice of local
numbers. The minimum buy right now for CallPlus, through
the Pharos International reseller, is $10 ($.25/minute) for
90 days. Have to make at least one call every 30 days.

All of this is set forth in detail on Dave Markson's most
excellent website:

http://www.cellguru.net

I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
$3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
$11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
running.

I would strongly suggest the OP, or others in the same boat,
check into the Beyond and CallPlus prepaid plans with the
idea of using the same AT&T Wireless phone.

In fact, the Beyond Wireless deal is SO cheap (assuming you
don't have to buy a new phone), that you start thinking
about whether you really need a local number that's in your
town. If a phone is used strictly for outgoing calls, it
really doesn't matter what its area code is. There's no
roaming or long distance charge as along as you're on the
AT&T Wireless TDMA network anywhere in the country. I'm in
Oklahoma, but for outgoing calls a Dallas number would work
just fine. Hell, I could even have a Beverly Hills number. :-)
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2005 9:38:54 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

George wrote:
>
> I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
> $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
> $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
> to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
> running.

That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
annoying. Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.

--
Cheers, Bev
=============================================================
My house isn't a pigsty, it's an Immunity Enhancement Center.
May 6, 2005 9:38:55 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

The Real Bev <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>> I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
>> $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
>> $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
>> to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
>> running.
>
>That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
>plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
>annoying.

You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
these are large corporations. Never mind.

>Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
>CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
>think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
>unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
>Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
>to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.

First thing I did was cancel voicemail. I use the phone only for
emergencies, no reason to have people leaving messages.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2005 10:03:12 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Steve wrote:
>
> The Real Bev <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> >> I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
> >> $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
> >> $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
> >> to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
> >> running.
> >
> >That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
> >plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
> >annoying.
>
> You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
> least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
> these are large corporations. Never mind.

Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
cordless speakerphones...

> >Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
> >CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
> >think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
> >unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
> >Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
> >to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.
>
> First thing I did was cancel voicemail. I use the phone only for
> emergencies, no reason to have people leaving messages.

The first two calls I got were wrong numbers, so I figured the hell with it.
I can see a use for voicemail, but not if I have to pay 15 cents (outrageous
local LD charges) to hear it.

--
Cheers,
Bev
------------------------------------------------------------------
It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.
May 6, 2005 10:46:34 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

The Real Bev <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>> You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
>> least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
>> these are large corporations. Never mind.
>
>Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
>annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
>Seemed almost willfully antagonistic.

Hmmm, maybe it is willfully antagonistic, to stop people from calling.
Otherwise, it's hard to figure why companies go so far outta their way
to piss off their customers.

> I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
>have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
>cordless speakerphones...

Plenty of those, run a search at Amazon or wherever...
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 6, 2005 10:48:34 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I am SO glad about the merger. Before Cingular, I would rarely get any
signals near my home or any rural areas with AT&T. With the superior
Cingular network, signals are plenty strong everywhere.

The best pay-as-you-go service is Tracfone. You can get a free phone
and a year's worth of service and 250 min for around $100. Switch your
number and get additional 100 minutes free.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 12:19:45 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.cingular SteveT <stevejoin@earthlink.net> wrote:
> I'm in the same boat (my post below "Pre-Paid Cell In So. Cal). Of
> course, Cingular isn't stupid and they know very well the impact of
> this draconian price increase. It is calculated to force as many people
> OUT of low-cost pre-paid as possible. So, if it seems like Cingular
> doesn't want your business anymore, you're right. They don't.

Yeah, pre-paid seems to be the service none of the vendors want to supply
(or at least make it easy to supply), even though *lots* of people want
it. We're ditching Free2Go on 7/15 (when our minutes expire) and going
with Virgin Mobile (we only have a cellphone for very, very, very
occasional use and want to pay as little as possible since we probably use
30 minutes a year on it, if that).

brian
--
If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will
have to change the reply address to beuchaw@beuchaw.net
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 12:47:48 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On 6 May 2005 10:47:10 -0700, "Ryan" <welziak@snet.net> wrote:

>
>
>I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
>
>This certainly is an example of what happens to consumers after a
>merger that no one seems to notice.


I doubt that the FTC would force the company to provide service at a
cost that exeeds the revenues from that service.
May 7, 2005 1:49:38 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In article <427C07E6.54F3E129@myrealbox.com>,
bashley@myrealbox.com says...

> Make sure that the number they assign you is a local
> number (NO CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use
> to check your voicemail. They think that everything in
> one area code is a local number make sure you check
> unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long
> distance" charges :-(

And how do you check on that? Do they have a way to look
that up, or do you have to research it on your own? I don't
think I know how to find out what cellphone numbers are
local to me.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 2:07:57 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

George wrote:
>
> bashley@myrealbox.com says...
>
> > Make sure that the number they assign you is a local
> > number (NO CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use
> > to check your voicemail. They think that everything in
> > one area code is a local number make sure you check
> > unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long
> > distance" charges :-(
>
> And how do you check on that? Do they have a way to look
> that up, or do you have to research it on your own? I don't
> think I know how to find out what cellphone numbers are
> local to me.

Around here you dial 0 and ask the nice lady if 626 328 is a free call from
626 289. SBC has a web page:
http://localcalling.sbc.com/LCA/DispatchServlet#listing

They used to have this information in the phone book, but I guess the CPR
instructions (yeah, the phone book is the first place I'd check in an
emergency, wouldn't you?) are more important than actual phone information.

--
Cheers,
Bev
=====================================================
It's 95% of the lawyers making the other 5% look bad.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 2:25:27 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Well, before the merger, I got *0* bars in my neighborhood. Couldn't
make a single call for a whole year. After the merger, I can even make
a call inside a freezer in a S&F.

You get 100 free minutes when you switch numbers from another carrier.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 2:31:20 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I had Tracfone couple years ago. Got a free phone and 1 year service
for $74. It's actually 14 months because the phone comes with free
minutes and bonus minutes for activating online, which I used first two
months, before activating the 1 year card.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 3:03:54 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

The reason is that no one wants to supply this service is because
Wall-Street analysts look at average revenue per line. There is not much
marginal cost to provide prepaid service but it pulls down that critical
ratio.

In other countries where people mostly use prepaid, the carriers are very
profitable selling prepaid mobile services. But the financial parameters
are different there.


>
> Yeah, pre-paid seems to be the service none of the vendors want to supply
> (or at least make it easy to supply), even though *lots* of people want
> it. We're ditching Free2Go on 7/15 (when our minutes expire) and going
> with Virgin Mobile (we only have a cellphone for very, very, very
> occasional use and want to pay as little as possible since we probably use
> 30 minutes a year on it, if that).
>
> brian
> --
> If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will
> have to change the reply address to beuchaw@beuchaw.net
>
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 3:19:26 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Fri, 06 May 2005 17:38:53 -0500, George <gh424NO824SPAM@cox.net>
wrote:

>Yes, and since the OP's service was AT&T Wireless in the
>first place, he could even use the same phone without having
>to get it unlocked. But he might have to get Cingular to
>release the ESN so he could sign up with Beyond. I don't
>quite know how that all works yet. Probably couldn't keep
>the same number though. I don't know how that works either.

Since such "emergency phones" are seldom turned on for incoming calls,
I can't see that as a dealbreaker.
May 7, 2005 3:46:33 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Bill <billrubin@prodigy.net> wrote:
>With the old Free2Go service and $10 refill cards, you could get
>a year of service and 160 minutes for $40. For many people that
>was more than enough.

Can still get that with CallPlus, been using them for years.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 5:19:33 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
<bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:

>Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
>annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
>Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
>have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
>cordless speakerphones...


They say the memory is the first thing to go...

http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90137152&Sear...

or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 5:19:34 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Bob Ward wrote:
>
> On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
> <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>
> >Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
> >annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
> >Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
> >have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
> >cordless speakerphones...
>
> They say the memory is the first thing to go...
>
> http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90137152&Sear...
>
> or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x

....at yard sales :-) That looks nice. Maybe I'll see something like that
tomorrow.

--
Cheers,
Bev
=====================================================
It's 95% of the lawyers making the other 5% look bad.
May 7, 2005 8:08:29 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

The Real Bev <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote in
news:427C13D0.542915FA@myrealbox.com:

> Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
> annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer
> service. Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a
> speakerphone so I didn't have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but
> I don't remember seeing cordless speakerphones...

You're obviously kidding, or haven't left the house in a decade.

Vtech (to name just one) has several lines of phones with a 'base unit' and
up to X (depending on model) 'satellite units'. The base unit being a
speaker phone, the satellites being handhelds, though on most of their
product lines, these handhelds all individually have speakerphone
abilities. In looking at their webpage, I see 13 current models with
speakerphone in the handset(s). By 'satellite unit' I mean you plug the
base into power and phone line, but the 'satellites' you just plug into
power. So, basically...cordless speakerphone.

--
Minister of All Things Digital & Electronic, and Holder of Past Knowledge
stile99@email.com. Cabal# 24601-fnord | Sleep is irrelevant.
I speak for no one but myself, and |Caffeine will be assimilated.
no one else speaks for me. O- | Decaf is futile.
May 7, 2005 11:52:35 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In article <427C4D2D.39D6447@myrealbox.com>,
bashley@myrealbox.com says...

> Around here you dial 0 and ask the nice lady if 626 328
> is a free call from 626 289.

I've never been through the CallPlus activation process, and
don't know how it works. I assumed they would suggest a
number, and I would have to say yes or no. Well, maybe I
can put them on hold and call the operator.

I also assumed that the number would have one of the old
AT&T Wireless prefixes. If so, that might simplify things.

> SBC has a web page:

> http://localcalling.sbc.com/LCA/DispatchServlet#listing

Yeah, but it doesn't cover wireless, or my A/C 918:

> This site provides information only for calls
> originating from non-wireless prefixes serviced by SBC
> in California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and
> Wisconsin.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 1:34:03 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Bob Ward" <bobward@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:o q5o71tipq7r7n4h1dkfgmhm73k3kmhp0s@4ax.com...
> On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
> <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>
>>Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
>>annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
>>Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I
>>didn't
>>have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
>>cordless speakerphones...
>
>
> They say the memory is the first thing to go...
>
> http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90137152&Sear...
>
> or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x

Memory is the second thing to go!!!

bamp
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 7:00:23 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Jonathan Kamens" <jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us> wrote in message
news:D 5g6qh$5b9$1@jik.kamens.brookline.ma.us...

> In short, after the merger the prepaid account costs 150% more
> than it did before the merger.
>
> I see other postings about this, but I don't see anything
> which makes it perfectly clear just how badly they've screwed
> over occasional users with this change. Outrageous!

I am sure that they are trying to push the "Go Phone" which had it's prices
left alone and in a couple of instances, made better. Also, I think that the
Free 2 Go plan is TDMA and the Go Phone is GSM. I suspect that that might
also have something to do with it.

> Yes, sir, these mega-mergers sure do benefit the consumer! If
> you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I'd like
> to sell you.

You're just bitter because you bought that land from a large real estate
company.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 7:02:53 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Bob Ward" <bobward@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:5uln71pq15459s7crub4tguecsbpul63fk@4ax.com...
> On 6 May 2005 10:47:10 -0700, "Ryan" <welziak@snet.net> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
>>
>>This certainly is an example of what happens to consumers after a
>>merger that no one seems to notice.
>
>
> I doubt that the FTC would force the company to provide service at a
> cost that exeeds the revenues from that service.

I DOUBT that either the FTC or the FCC (previously mentioned) would care one
way or the other. Things like "Beat Feet" come to mind. Find something that
is better for you either financially or mentally.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 7:05:50 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Richie" <mbc@pcbell.net> wrote in message
news:uJSee.13920$J12.9406@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com...
> The reason is that no one wants to supply this service is because
> Wall-Street analysts look at average revenue per line. There is not much
> marginal cost to provide prepaid service but it pulls down that critical
> ratio.

Carriers make a log of money on Pre-Paid. They always get all their money up
front and a lot of customers NEVER use all the alotted minutes in the period
of time that they are for. It's like getting something for nothing for the
carriers.

> In other countries where people mostly use prepaid, the carriers are very
> profitable selling prepaid mobile services. But the financial parameters
> are different there.

A lot of the other countries don't have the built in banking/credit system
that we have and thus they use the PAYGO system.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 8:17:23 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

The Real Bev wrote:
>
> Bob Ward wrote:
> >
> > On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
> > <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
> >
> > >Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
> > >annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
> > >Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
> > >have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
> > >cordless speakerphones...
> >
> > They say the memory is the first thing to go...
> > http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90137152&Sear...
> >
> > or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x
>
> ...at yard sales :-) That looks nice. Maybe I'll see something like that
> tomorrow.

Got a $2 Panasonic cordless speakerphone today with two lines and callerID
(both useless). Works, but the volume on the handset is too low to be
useful. I can hook it up in parallel with the other phone and only use the
speaker when I need to. Maybe the handset will improve as it charges...

--
Cheers,
Bev
=====================================================
It's 95% of the lawyers making the other 5% look bad.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 9:52:49 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Sat, 7 May 2005 09:34:03 -0500, "bamp" <bampatcenturyteldotnet>
wrote:

>
>"Bob Ward" <bobward@verizon.net> wrote in message
>news:o q5o71tipq7r7n4h1dkfgmhm73k3kmhp0s@4ax.com...
>> On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
>> <bashley@myrealbox.com> wrote:
>>
>>>Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
>>>annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
>>>Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I
>>>didn't
>>>have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
>>>cordless speakerphones...
>>
>>
>> They say the memory is the first thing to go...
>>
>> http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90137152&Sear...
>>
>> or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x
>
>Memory is the second thing to go!!!
>
>bamp
>


I'd forgotten that.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 7, 2005 10:41:40 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I have an old Panasonic cordless with speakerphone on the base and the
handset. It's about 5 years old.
May 8, 2005 3:24:26 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

bamp wrote:

> Memory is the second thing to go!!!
>
> bamp

Yes, but I forget what the the first was.

Bill
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2005 2:36:07 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>"Ryan" <welziak@snet.net> wrote:
>>I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
>And what would this complaint be about?? A private company raising its
>prices? Wow! That's like totally unheard of in a capitalist system!

Before the FTC and SEC approve large mergers, one of the questions they
look at is not the legality of the merger, but rather whether the
merger will benefit consumers. Another question they look at is
whether the merger will create a monopoly or near-monopoly situation
which would allow the merged corporation to inappropriately take
advantage of its monopoly status to take advantage of consumers. It is
therefore reasonable to let the FTC know after the merger of a result,
of the merger, legal or not, which is detrimental to consumers.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2005 2:36:08 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us (Jonathan Kamens) wrote:

>Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>>"Ryan" <welziak@snet.net> wrote:
>>>I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
>>And what would this complaint be about?? A private company raising its
>>prices? Wow! That's like totally unheard of in a capitalist system!
>
>Before the FTC and SEC approve large mergers, one of the questions they
>look at is not the legality of the merger, but rather whether the
>merger will benefit consumers. Another question they look at is
>whether the merger will create a monopoly or near-monopoly situation
>which would allow the merged corporation to inappropriately take
>advantage of its monopoly status to take advantage of consumers. It is
>therefore reasonable to let the FTC know after the merger of a result,
>of the merger, legal or not, which is detrimental to consumers.

(a) The merger has been approved a long time ago. There's no way to
undo it. What's the point of locking the barn after the horses have
been stolen?

(b) AT&T/Cingular have NO monopolistic powers whatsoever. Cell phone
service market remains a highly competitive one, the prepaid market
even more. The example given by the poster by no means indicates any
possibility of a monopolistic power exercise.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2005 6:11:19 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

> Seems strange that the merger would help TDMA signals, since
> Cingular was all GSM, which is what AT&T was switching to. Now,
> if you were an AT&T GSM customer, I could see how the addition
> of Cingular's towers would help.
>
Guess it depends where you are but both AT&TW and Cingular provide TDMA
coverage here (centeral Alabama) before and after the merger. GSM coverage
still lags behind TDMA here. I guess you can assume that AMPS and TDMA
coverage would suffer as GSM is added but I've seen little evidence of it,
would expect the problems would be in large markets where spectrum is
limited and use is high. Note a dual band handset is needed in many
locations where Cingular and AT&TW use different bands. Note my best
coverage at home and most used phone is Cingular 800Mhz TDMA, I also have
other phones I use :

Sprint 1900 CDMA
Nextel 800 iden
Southern Link 800 iden
Verizon 800 CDMA
Cingular 1900/800 GSM
Cingular 1900/800 GSM, TDMA, AMPS
T-mobile 1900 GSM
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2005 6:34:24 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>(a) The merger has been approved a long time ago. There's no way to
>undo it. What's the point of locking the barn after the horses have
>been stolen?

First of all, part of the process improvement methodology is analysis
of the results of completed processes to evaluate whether they were as
expected and, if not, whether anything might be done differently in the
future to make actual results more closely resemble expected results.

Second, the change to the Free2Go rates was made only in the last few
months, so if the FTC really felt that a serious violation of the
letter or the spirit of the merger restrictions had taken place, they
could order Cingular to restore the previous rates and "make whole"
consumers who have suffered so far from the change.

Complaining to the FTC is simply giving them data. They are in a
position to amalgamate data from many consumers and decide what
action, if any, should be taken based on that data. Individual
consumers are not, so it's perfectly reasonable for individual
consumers to complain to the FTC and let them decide whether any
action should be taken.

>(b) AT&T/Cingular have NO monopolistic powers whatsoever. Cell phone
>service market remains a highly competitive one, the prepaid market
>even more. The example given by the poster by no means indicates any
>possibility of a monopolistic power exercise.

Perhaps you're right, but I was answering the general question, "Why
would it be appropriate to complain to the FTC about a company raising
rates after a merger?" rather than limiting my answer to the case of
Cingular / AT&T.

Also, whether or not a particular corporation enjoys a monopoly or a
semi-monopoly is not always obvious; the criteria that the government
uses to decide such things are not transparent, to say the least.
Again, the FTC is in a better position to judge what to do with the
data than an individual consumer is.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 8, 2005 7:40:17 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us (Jonathan Kamens) wrote:

>Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>>(a) The merger has been approved a long time ago. There's no way to
>>undo it. What's the point of locking the barn after the horses have
>>been stolen?
>
>First of all, part of the process improvement methodology is analysis
>of the results of completed processes to evaluate whether they were as
>expected and, if not, whether anything might be done differently in the
>future to make actual results more closely resemble expected results.
>
>Second, the change to the Free2Go rates was made only in the last few
>months, so if the FTC really felt that a serious violation of the
>letter or the spirit of the merger restrictions had taken place, they
>could order Cingular to restore the previous rates and "make whole"
>consumers who have suffered so far from the change.
>
>Complaining to the FTC is simply giving them data. They are in a
>position to amalgamate data from many consumers and decide what
>action, if any, should be taken based on that data. Individual
>consumers are not, so it's perfectly reasonable for individual
>consumers to complain to the FTC and let them decide whether any
>action should be taken.
>
>>(b) AT&T/Cingular have NO monopolistic powers whatsoever. Cell phone
>>service market remains a highly competitive one, the prepaid market
>>even more. The example given by the poster by no means indicates any
>>possibility of a monopolistic power exercise.
>
>Perhaps you're right, but I was answering the general question, "Why
>would it be appropriate to complain to the FTC about a company raising
>rates after a merger?" rather than limiting my answer to the case of
>Cingular / AT&T.
>
>Also, whether or not a particular corporation enjoys a monopoly or a
>semi-monopoly is not always obvious; the criteria that the government
>uses to decide such things are not transparent, to say the least.
>Again, the FTC is in a better position to judge what to do with the
>data than an individual consumer is.

You sure give FTC a lot of credit. It almost sounds like you believe
their goal is to protect consumers! You can't be that naive, can you?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 3:47:32 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>You sure give FTC a lot of credit. It almost sounds like you believe
>their goal is to protect consumers! You can't be that naive, can you?

Andrew, it took a while and several threads, but this is the last
straw. you've finally convinced me that I'm never going to derive any
benefit from anything you post.

*plonk*
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 3:47:33 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

jik@kamens.brookline.ma.us (Jonathan Kamens) wrote:

>Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>>You sure give FTC a lot of credit. It almost sounds like you believe
>>their goal is to protect consumers! You can't be that naive, can you?
>
>Andrew, it took a while and several threads, but this is the last
>straw. you've finally convinced me that I'm never going to derive any
>benefit from anything you post.

Why? Because you're too stupid or stubborn to recognize the truth?
May 9, 2005 3:47:33 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Sun, 08 May 2005 23:47:32 +0000, Jonathan Kamens wrote:

> Andrew White <nospamers@allowed.at.all.net> writes:
>>You sure give FTC a lot of credit. It almost sounds like you believe
>>their goal is to protect consumers! You can't be that naive, can you?
>
> Andrew, it took a while and several threads, but this is the last
> straw. you've finally convinced me that I'm never going to derive any
> benefit from anything you post.

You must derive some sort of "benefit" from other's posts? COuld it be
that you're wrong? Does your ego need stroking that badly?
>
> *plonk*

Amazing.

--
Keith
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 3:47:34 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Andrew White wrote:

> Why? Because you're too stupid or stubborn to recognize the truth?

The FTC is glacially slow to act, but they do actually act in the consumer's
interest more often than most other government agencies.

--
JustThe.net - Apple Valley, CA - http://JustThe.net/ - 888.480.4NET (4638)
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / sjsobol@JustThe.net / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

"The wisdom of a fool won't set you free"
--New Order, "Bizarre Love Triangle"
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 2:28:40 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

keith <krw@att.bizzzz> writes:
>You must derive some sort of "benefit" from other's posts?

Yes. Sometimes I learn things. Sometimes what other people have to
say convinces me that I'm wrong about something, and I change my mind.
That's what this neat thing called "intelligent discourse" is all
about. I've been on the Usenet for 18 years, and I still haven't lost
hope that there are a few souls here who, like me, are actually
interested in intelligent discourse.

>COuld it be
>that you're wrong? Does your ego need stroking that badly?

And then there are the people, many more of them unfortunately, who are
only here to bait and insult others.

*plonk*
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 5:54:43 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Jonathan Kamens wrote:

> Before Cingular merged with AT&T wireless, subscribers to the
> AT&T wireless "Free2Go" prepaid calling plan could keep a
> prepaid account active by paying only $10 every 90 days.

The best option for prepaid is now CallPlus. You only have to buy $10
every 90 days ($3.33/month).

See "http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" (they have a
terrible web site, and it is very difficult to figure out how to
activate; you have to call them, and it takes just a few minutes). The
per-minute charge is rather high (25 cents), but I wanted this for
urgent use only, so it is okay for my needs.

I activated an old TDMA phone on CallPlus for my daughter. Too bad if
her friends have fancy camera phones; when I was a kid we had to use
these phones where you put coins in. Actually, I would have added her
to my Verizon plan for $10/month, except if I change my plan to a
family plan, I will lose my 8:01 p.m. off peak start time, which is
grandfathered into my current plan.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 5:57:09 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Brian Beuchaw wrote:

> Yeah, pre-paid seems to be the service none of the vendors want to
supply
> (or at least make it easy to supply), even though *lots* of people
want
> it. We're ditching Free2Go on 7/15 (when our minutes expire) and
going
> with Virgin Mobile (we only have a cellphone for very, very, very
> occasional use and want to pay as little as possible since we
probably use
> 30 minutes a year on it, if that).

CallPlus is cheaper, and has better coverage.
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 9, 2005 6:10:21 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

googled wrote:

> Cheapest prepaid cell service for infrequent or emergency calling is
> Beyond Wireless at http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ .

That's a very good deal, especially since you don't have to add time to
keep the phone number active. Too bad it's only available in those few
states.

I activated an old TDMA phone on CallPlus, but it's $3.33 month
minumum, and 25 cents per minute at that rate.

The CDMA and GSM prepaid is much more. Also, I can't use GSM where I
live (Silicon Valley), as the coverage is extremely poor. CDMA and TDMA
are fine.
May 9, 2005 7:50:31 PM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

scharf.steven@gmail.com wrote:
>The best option for prepaid is now CallPlus. You only have to buy $10
>every 90 days ($3.33/month).
>See "http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" (they have a
>terrible web site, and it is very difficult to figure out how to
>activate; you have to call them, and it takes just a few minutes).

Or try http://www.pharosint.com/CallPlus_pins_buy.html
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 10, 2005 7:39:07 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Steve wrote:

> scharf.steven@gmail.com wrote:
>
>>The best option for prepaid is now CallPlus. You only have to buy $10
>>every 90 days ($3.33/month).
>>See "http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" (they have a
>>terrible web site, and it is very difficult to figure out how to
>>activate; you have to call them, and it takes just a few minutes).
>
>
> Or try http://www.pharosint.com/CallPlus_pins_buy.html

You're better off calling directly to the phone number on
"http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" because
there is no fee for activating a phone, and they do it right
away, versus Pharos's requirement to do things by snail-mail.

In fact you get 50 minutes for 90 days, for free, when you
activate directly.

Pharos used to be the only place to buy a $10 card, but you can
buy these directly now as well.

I get a very good TDMA signal in my city, much better than Sprint PCS or
Cingular or T-Mobile GSM, so I'm happy with CallPlus for now (until
Cingular starts deactivating the AT&T TDMA network!).
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 10, 2005 7:39:08 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Steven M. Scharf" wrote:
>
> Steve wrote:
>
> > scharf.steven@gmail.com wrote:
> >
> >>The best option for prepaid is now CallPlus. You only have to buy $10
> >>every 90 days ($3.33/month).
> >>See "http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" (they have a
> >>terrible web site, and it is very difficult to figure out how to
> >>activate; you have to call them, and it takes just a few minutes).
> >
> > Or try http://www.pharosint.com/CallPlus_pins_buy.html
>
> You're better off calling directly to the phone number on
> "http://callpluswireless.com/html/cpw_faqs.html" because
> there is no fee for activating a phone, and they do it right
> away, versus Pharos's requirement to do things by snail-mail.

Only the first time, and it only took a few days. The guy clearly sent the
package the same or the next day.

--
Cheers,
Bev
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I don't need instructions, I have a hammer."
-- T.W. Wier
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 10, 2005 11:39:25 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

> Complaining to the FTC is simply giving them data. They are in a
> position to amalgamate data from many consumers and decide what
> action, if any, should be taken based on that data. Individual
> consumers are not, so it's perfectly reasonable for individual
> consumers to complain to the FTC and let them decide whether any
> action should be taken.

I filed a complaint at ftc.gov. This is how they responded:

" Thank you for recent correspondence. The Federal Trade Commission
acts in the public interest to stop business practices that violate the
laws it enforces. Letters from consumers and businesses are very
important to the work of the Commission. They are often the first
indication of a problem in the marketplace and may provide the initial
evidence to begin an investigation. The Commission does not resolve
individual complaints. The Commission can, however, act when it sees a
pattern of possible violations developing.

The information you have provided will be recorded in our complaint
retention system. This computerized system enables us to identify
questionable business practices that are generating numerous complaints
and may be in violation of the law.

Thank you for providing information that may be used to develop or
support Commission enforcement initiatives.



Sincerely yours,



Consumer Response Center"
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
May 10, 2005 11:40:06 AM

Archived from groups: misc.consumers,alt.cellular,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Hey, whatever works for you. I just had good experience buying tracfone
with 14 months of service and free phone for $74. It worked great and
never dropped a single call. Never had to call customer service because
never had a problem.
!