Thursday, November 15, 2007

...and downgraded my phone

I changed my phone plan to only 450 minutes a month. I hardly use my phone at all anymore, or at least my minutes. Sue and I are on the same plan, and once I call my kids and a certain friend, then my time on the phone is tapped out. I text message more than I actually use voice.

At first I was worried. I thought I was losing friends. I used to carry 1,300 minutes and take advantage of Cingular's (now AT&T's) rollover minutes in case I went over my plan's minutes. But I found the number of my rollover minutes climbing; I simply wasn't using my minutes, so I reduced them to 950. Then 450. It certainly is a reflection of a shrinking social circle, which I'm actually fostering. It's also a reflection of more reliance on text messaging and Instant Messaging.

But a couple of beefs. If you reduce your minutes with AT&T, you can only keep the number of rollover minutes equal to your new plan. So, even though my rollover minutes numbered in the thousands, I could only keep 950, then 450. I think that's wrong. I paid for those minutes, I should be able to use them.

And because I text message more, I wanted a plan that allowed for a couple of hundred text messages. But guess what, ATandT charges more for that service with a cheaper plan than they do with a more expensive one. It should be the same price, no matter how many minutes you sign up for. It's gouging, pure and simple, but they can get away with it. Deregulation is a good thing, but you still to have some government watchdog because the private sector will rape and pillage for the almighty dollar.

Also, cell phones still aren't as reliable as they should be. There are dead zones everywhere around Boston. Times are changing, and cell phones are becoming the phone technology of choice. I don't have a land line at home. You'd think that a company with the clout of AT&T could persuade towns or the federal government to erect cell towers. After all, it's hard to imagine that towns can affect our communications grid because they don't want a cell tower in a church steeple. But they can.

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