David Pogue has blown the whistle on unethical billing practices at wireless carriers before, and he does it again today, this time calling them out for making it difficult for customers to avoid getting tagged with excess data charges every month. Here’s a quote from an unnamed Verizon employee:
The phone is designed in such a way that you can almost never avoid getting $1.99 charge on the bill. Around the OK button on a typical flip phone are the up, down, left, right arrows. If you open the flip and accidentally press the up arrow key, you see that the phone starts to connect to the web. So you hit END right away. Well, too late. You will be charged $1.99 for that 0.02 kilobytes of data. NOT COOL. I’ve had phones for years, and I sometimes do that mistake to this day, as I’m sure you have. Legal, yes; ethical, NO.
AT&T pulls exactly the same stunt. (Via Daring Fireball.)