f*** you with cell phones!" says Joel Kodner, one of the
most outspoken members of our South Florida Twitterverse. He's quoting Joe Pesci's
character in Lethal Weapon 4, who was ranting about poor reception, dropped calls, and the rapidly decreasing size of the
gadgets themselves. That was 12 years ago -- imagine what he'd have to
say today in regard to data plans, rollover minutes, hardware/network
exclusivity, and so on.
The entire industry seems focused on profiting
not by offering unparalleled service and functionality but by
confusing, frustrating, and contractually imprisoning the customer.
The iPhone is currently the world's top-selling portable. It's been limited to just one carrier, AT&T, but if the iPhone makes itself able to be available to other carriers, and that's going to bring new complexities.
Given the number of problems that
AT&T has had with the 3G network and so forth, it's not surprising
that the iPhone would expand its network compatibility.
people like me, though, this may be a whole new era of overages. Once
it's no longer clear that your iPhone buddy is using AT&T, it may
become harder to control those minutes. People have talked about how
horrible Sprint is with its overage charges, and friends have
speculated how AT&T would be with this. None of us has directly
dealt with this, so it's up in the air.
I'm perplexed about how the network providers can
charge for minutes but have unlimited plans for data while the small,
pre-paid companies often have unlimited everything packages so you have
no minute worries.
So the people who sign no
contract, make no promises, and get basically the same service are
being treated better than those of us who signed up for a contract and
are binding ourselves to an agreement with the phone carrier? It's
amazing there hasn't been a consumer uprising over this.
And while we're talking about phone-based rebellion, why do we put up with the ridiculously mixed-up area codes? For instance, from my phone, I can call many 561 numbers by
just dialing ###-#### without entering the area code. Others require
that I put in 561 or even 1-561, despite using the same phone and same
carrier to make all these calls.
How does that make sense? If a phone is in the 561 area code and someone dials another number in this same area code, shouldn't the prefix and number be all that's needed? Why all the shuffling with needing area codes or not needing them? It's annoying and unnecessary.
There need to be major changes to our communication technology, though it seems that no one is in a hurry to do so. With all of the attention spent on smart grids for power here in Florida, you'd think someone would be mentioning smart grids for wireless phones too.