Earlier this week I wrote about Verizon charging a fee to Remind 101 for sending SMS messages to Verizon customers. It seems a bit odd to do considering SMS as of 2011 cost about $0.0000016/message. I doubt that the price of an SMS message has gone up since 2011.
Cell phone carriers are notoriously bad especially when it comes to customer ratings. So why would they do anything to jeopardize their relationship with their customers? But the relationship has an investment. And sometimes it’s just hard to leave something you’ve invested in.
A few years ago my phone company was forcing me to invest in a cell phone upgrade that I didn’t get. I was due for my scheduled upgrade but was in Afghanistan so there was no way to pick out a new phone. That wasn’t a problem for them. They collected the money as if I had and they were happy.
When we moved and ended up in an area that didn’t have enough signal to make a call from the house (their solution was for me to pay them $300 for a device that would route the call over my internet) I was done.
So we switched to T-Mobile and the shenanigans took a different turn. T-Mobile kept changing my cell phone plan on me. Sure it was pretty much a simple, one-size-fits-all plan, but it kept changing. At first it was unlimited up to something like 10 GB. Then it went to 28. Now I’m not sure what it’s at. I’ve never been able to get close to 28!
The other thing was the fees. I’d get quoted one price and then after adding on all the taxes and other fees I’d end up paying a few dollars more than what I bargained for. Now T-Mobile pays those so my bill ends in a nice round number.
Then they told me I could call Mexico and Canada for free. My in-laws are in Canada so this was a huge boom!
Then they started paying for my Netflix–that was a good day. This week though Netflix announced a price hike… Just a few dollars, but I wanted to know how it would impact my T-mobile bill. Turns out. Not at all. My bill will stay the same. T-Mobile will negotiate or cover the difference. I just talked to the guys in Meridian, Idaho who told me that my cell phone company has my back.
Now, not to totally dis on Verizon, but it sounds considerably disingenuous to advertise being pro-education while charging an education app for something that is essentially free. The gulf between their attitude towards the situation and the attitude of their customers is becoming easier to notice.
Thankfully we have the choice to decide and vote with our dollars. I’m glad I made the switch, but if someone’s happy where they are I don’t blame them. Maybe they haven’t had a reason to notice yet. I know until I had a reason to notice I didn’t care.