[NYT column] [a]
Verizon: How Much Do You Charge Now?
Starting next week, Verizon will double the early-termination fee
for smartphones. That is, if you get a BlackBerry, Android or
similar phone from Verizon, and you decide to switch phones before
your two-year contract is up, you'll be socked with a $350 penalty
(it used to be $175)
What bothers me more, though, is another bit of greedy nastiness that
readers both inside and outside Verizon have noticed.
[quoting a customer]
"Virtually every bill I get has a couple of erroneous data charges
at $1.99 each - yet we download no data.
"Here's how it works. They configure the phones to have multiple
easily hit keystrokes to launch 'Get it Now' or 'Mobile Web' - usually
a single key like an arrow key. Often we have no idea what key we hit,
but up pops one of these screens. The instant you call the function,
they charge you the data fee. We cancel these unintended requests
as fast as we can hit the End key, but it doesn't matter; they've
told me that ANY data - even one kilobyte - is billed as 1MB. The
damage is done.
rest (and make sure to check out the comments):
[a] Mr. Pogue is an independent writer, usually tech stuff, who
also gets paid for periodic columns in the NYTimes.
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]