[Vision2020] Cell Phones

Art Deco aka W. Fox deco at moscow.com
Wed Aug 4 09:52:48 PDT 2004

Saundra, et al

Although my wife has a cell-phone provided by her employer for business
purposes, we do not have a personal one; nor is it likely that will happen soon.


1.    When receiving calls from cell phones on our regular telephone, we
frequently experience drop-outs even when the caller is in an urban environment.
It is alleged that certain higher paying customers have bump-off priority when a
particular cell tower is at or near capacity.  I do not know if this is true,
but the number of drop-outs is high.

2.    A few weeks ago when we were contemplating getting a personal cell phone,
I visited the Cingular booth at the Palouse Empire Mall.  I examined what seemed
to be a package that would meet our needs and save us money on our long-distance
bills.  There appeared to be a discrepancy between what the rep was saying as
opposed to what the promotional flyers were saying.  I asked if I could take a
copy of the contract home to read it.  It was not allowed.  Personally, I never
do business with firms requiring a written contract but who will not allow you
sufficient time to read and to understand it. (The package I looked at was for
about $2500 over two years.)

I know from friends experience with several cell phone providers that their cell
phone bills contain some large surprises for services that were alleged by a rep
to be in the original signed agreements but really were not.

3.    Almost all organizations and agencies that handle consumer complaints list
cell phone companies as the biggest targets of those complaints.  Coverage, poor
transmission quality, initial misrepresentation, hidden charges, and billing
errors seem to abound.

I think Saundra is taking the correct approach.  Ask associates about their
experiences with individual cell service providers.  Beware of any that will not
let you take the contract (often for a total amount in excess of $2,000) home to
study it.


Art Deco  (Wayne Fox)
deco at moscow.com

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Saundra Lund" <sslund at adelphia.net>
To: <Vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 04, 2004 7:48 AM
Subject: [Vision2020] Cell Phones

| Visionaries:
| In some ways, I'm a techno-geek, but not in other ways.  Perhaps I'm the last
| person in America (at least, according to my daughter), but I have resisted
| cell phone revolution to the core of my being.  While I could understand how
| might come in handy a few times a year, and I've always seen the benefit of
| having one for emergency use, I was unwilling to pay a monthly charge for
| something I'd use so little.  Too, I've known people who had cell phones going
| way back to the early days when having one didn't necessarily mean being able
| make a connection due to geographical challenges.
| However, I've been told that reception is better and now there are pre-paid
| calling cards so someone like me willing to purchase the cell phone isn't
| shelling out a good chunk of change monthly for something that will be used
| *very little*.
| Can anyone shed more light on this for me?
| TIA,
| Saundra Lund
| Moscow, ID
| The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do
| nothing.
| -Edmund Burke
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