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Cellular Phones: Technology We Love To Hate . . .

         First, The Good News:  World-wide, nearly a half-billion people use wireless cellular phones. Cell phones are easy to use, convenient and powerful. With a cell phone, you can talk to almost anyone on the planet from almost anywhere on the planet! Modern cellular phones offer an astonishing array of features, and new cell phone features are being introduced constantly.
           Now, The Bad News:  This year, the cellular telephone industry was rated the second worst in customer service in the United States - just barely ahead of Cable TV companies - according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan.
           AND THAT IS AN IMPROVEMENT ! Last year, cell phone service topped the list for the most complaints of any industry in the country.
           Again this year, customers complained about being cut off, poor sound quality, unconcerned customer service and sky-high service charges for ordinary calls. Other cell phone customers said cellular sales people lied about the service area; they were sold wireless service plan where the company didn't have wireless service in the area. Still other cell phone customers said their cell phones fees and charges ended up being different than what the cellular sales agent said they would be. And, the latest trend is for cell phone companies to change the terms of the wireless service contract after the customer signs it!
           Practices like these are supposed to be against the law. 'Misleading Customers' is a violation of the Consumer Protection Act. The Attorney General in every state has the authority to investigate complaints and prosecute violators. But, so far, little is being done to protect customers from cell phone service abuses.
           By law, wireless providers are supposed to allow customers to switch to a different access provider. But, some cell phone companies 'lock' the SIM cards on their phones so that a customer must deal with them to 'unlock' the SIM before the account can be transferred to a different provider. Always ask whether your cell phone SIM will be locked before you sign any wireless service agreement.
           Spam and annoying telemarketing calls are now making their way onto the cell phone networks. Up until just recently, cell phones with Internet access or email capability were pretty much immune to spam and telemarketers were not able to get access to cell phone numbers. But, new technology has allowed spammers and telemarketers to boldly go where no junk mail has gone before - your cell phone. It is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. . . .So, get ready for SPAM on your cell phone!
           Advertisements everywhere proclaim: "Free Cell Phone!", " The Best Free Cell Phone!", "Free Cellular Phone Providers", Free Cell Phone Accessories!", Free Cell Phone Plan With Free Accessories!", "Free Activation!", "Free Delivery!", "Free Long Distance!", "Free Ring tones!" , "Free Games!", "Free E-Mail to Friends!", "Download Free Games and Ring tones into your Free Mobile Cell Phone!"   Really, "Free Cell Phone" means that they can afford to throw a cell phone into the deal because they are making so much money off of the wireless service plan. That is why customers must sign up for a year or more - to pay for all the "Free" stuff!
          That doesn't mean the 'free cell phone' deals are bad - why not get a phone for free? Just take your time and compare phones and plans. To qualify for that "Free Cell Phone", you have to sign up for a wireless service plan. Before you even look at a cell phone, you should decide on the wireless service plan that best works for you. Before you chose a model of cellular phone, be sure to learn about all about the wireless service plans available. Otherwise, you might discover that the cellular phone you have chosen will not work on the wireless plan that best suits your needs.

          And then, with your new wireless phone, you can finally join the millions of cellular customers worldwide who hate their beloved cell phone.

For more information, consult  www.OwnPhone.com

Doc

2004.07.30


Update: The Latest Scam . . .
Beware of Cell Phones in the Check-Out Aisle

           The sight of someone standing in a store talking on a cell phone is so common that most people don't pay any attention anymore. But, that person might be snapping pictures of your credit card. Those new cell phones with miniature cameras make it easy for a crook to surreptitiously photograph your credit card as you pay for a transaction. With one photograph, they can get your account number, your name as it appears on the card, and the expiration date.  And that is enough to cost you a lot of money, your credit card or your credit rating.

           Be careful when using your credit card in busy store check-out aisles. Make a note of your surroundings before you use your credit card. Avoid check-outs where someone is loitering while talking on a cell phone. Don't flash your card. If you hand your card to the cashier, "palm" it. Pass it to the cashier upside down or else cover the face of the card with your fingers.

Thanks to  OwnPhone:The Cell Phone News

Doc

2004.07.31







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