I cancelled my cell phone today. I racked up a huge phone bill while traveling. I was dialing a toll-free AT&T number to use my calling card but it still counted as roaming. Obviously I should have known better because phone companies will charge you for any deviation from the small set of environmental variables that you normally use to make a call. There was a super-perky girl on the line who kept trying to offer me reduced rate service…fuck off. Then she’s like “well would you like to put it on seasonal hold?” Fuck you, no! “Well I’ll keep it going till the end of the month!” No, fucking stop it now so I don’t have to pay any more than I already am! Jesus, what’s wrong with you people?
I’m just tired of it… Tired of paying extra to call to Canada just because it’s another country (I guess there’s just a big fence at the border where no lines or pipes may cross?). Tired of paying extra for text messages sent internationally. Tired of roaming, not getting service, shitty phone apps. Tired of having a useless phone that doesn’t even let me use a gmail app through the Internet, or even use the Internet at all at a decent speed.
The whole cellphone business is just horrible in the US… The selection of phones is worthless and really a free phone is about as good as one of the best phones right now unless you have a special data plan and a Blackberry or something.
This is remarkably similar to the early days of the Internet, when the cable companies would nickel and dime you for EVERYTHING. They would barely give you any bandwidth and expect you to pay for hours used instead of unlimited flat fees. Then they’d charge for extra IPs, extra services, self-installation fees (actually those still exist!), and so on. Then they’d make all the little conditions completely opaque so that you never really knew how you were being charged.
Now cell phones are the same way. Somehow my $39.99 plan turned into costing at least $65/mo, when I didn’t incur any other stupid costs. It’s just a fucking headache.
I realize that I will probably need a cellphone once I get to DC, and that I’m also almost certain to order the Apple iPhone through AT&T as soon as it comes out. The phone itself will actually do what I expect a modern cellphone to do and will be the first phone I actually pay money for (previously I just took the free phones T-Mobile would give me). I know $500 is a lot but it looks to be worth it. However I’m sure AT&T will try to rape people with their service plan. My goal with that is to block all variable usage fees so that they can’t rack up charges against me.
I also realize that this may significantly reduce the ease of contacting me. Primarily this affects Julie and, baby, I’m sorry about that. =( I will be moving my Vonage phone (which, awesomely, is a fixed $35/mo) into my room even if I have to go buy a cordless for it!