11 July 2006

News for Nick: 11 Jul 06

NY Times: Dr Bartha pulled from his burning house

Dr Bartha being pulled from his townhouse (How a Townhouse in N.Y. Went From Dream to Nightmare)

ah, i feel it in my bung.

For most of my cell phone using career I've been a loyal MetroPCS customer (there was a brief stint of Nextel at the precipice of their "walkie-talkie" age but not long enough to really matter). Sure, I couldn't really leave the Atlanta area lest I render my phone useless but unlimited minutes, unlimited long-distance and a flat-rate per month is a great deal. Besides, where am I going? I don't even have a car.

But my parents bought be an unlocked RAZR phone for my birthday, a phone I asked for since it was the most advanced phone Metro services. I walk into the service center Monday afternoon and ask them to switch over my service. They say no. "This isn't one of ours," he says. MetroPCS doesn't operate on SIM cards so my Unlocked Phone of Awesomeness is completely useless with my current carrier. Son of a ...

My options are few: (a) find some way to return my phone (which was purchased online) and buy a MetroPCS RAZR phone or (b) find a new carrier. The problem with (a) is that getting a MetroPCS phone sort of locks me into their service until I get a new phone. So, I think to myself, maybe it's time to become a big boy and get in on one of the larger carriers. Who knows? Maybe I'll go traveling about if I know I won't be stranded without a phone somewhere.

I'm checking out the major carriers now and, seriously, I don't know how you kids do it. I've been looking at T-Mobile, Cingular, Verizon and even All-Tel. Phone carriers in the United States are all about raping the customer. You lose minutes even when people call you? That's ridiculous. I mean, ISPs gave up the "per minute" ghost way early on. How can mobile phone companies still be doing this? Is it just that people don't know a better way, haven't been able to apply the theory of flat-rates to mobile phones, therefore allowing carriers to essentially hit them with bats until prizes fall out every month?

I might be making a little much of it since I'm really not used to having a limit on my phone service. Maybe 1000 "whenever" minutes/month for $49.99 is a good deal and I wouldn't know because I really have no idea how much I talk on the phone. Do I talk for 16 hours a month? Hard to say.

So I implore you, all ye hurt-bottoms of carrier abuse, what do I do? Where do I go? Should I just try option (a) and get over it, continue in my primarily Atlanta-only existence? Or should I just bite the pillow and branch out?