Strong opinions, weakly held

The sleaziness of wireless carriers

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.)

1 Comment

  1. T-Mobile in the UK charges you for using your own wifi. I was bitten when I travelled abroad last year. I was very careful to only use the Net via wifi points. When I returned and got my bill, I was whacked with data transfer charges, which of course were at the maximum rate since I didn’t have a package that covers roaming data.

    It turns out this is specified in the T&C’s for T-Mobile contracts (in the UK at least). You are charged for all data transfers, regardless of whether you use the mobile network, or a wifi point at home connected to your own DSL line. I hadn’t noticed this before because my contract includes plenty of bandwidth – when I use it in the UK – but doesn’t include data transfers when roaming internationally.

    The phone counts all your data transfers, regardless of whether you use your own wifi, and you get billed for it. Until you wipe the OS and replace it with a stock build, of course 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


© 2023 rc3.org

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑