Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2287 Crammed

Recently, when I signed up for a phone plan with Verizon for the first time, there were a number of options I had to consider after selecting the basic data plan. One was fairly straightforward. It was whether or not I wanted to have insurance and if so which of the three levels of plans would fit comfortably into my pocketbook and my paranoia.

The other selection I had to make was whether I would like a detailed bill. And if so, would I be willing to pay $1.95 a month for that privilege. What? Why wouldn't a detailed bill be part of the bargain? That's like paying for your bag on an airplane trip.  

Exactly. It's the a-la-cartism of modern society. Wherever possible things are broken out into separate (and apparently non-detailed) bills. Interestingly, the plan I chose had unlimited texting, something they charged individually for before. 

I rejected the detailed bill offer, at least until I see how detailed my actual bill is in a month. It is a little worrisome though. Because recently Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile have all been in the FTC's sights for illegal "cramming" of bills. 

Cramming is charging for in-app services they allow from third party suppliers. From which they take a cut. Today's equivalent of the old 900 number long distance scams. So if I don't pay for a detailed bill, how will I know of or complain about being crammed?  

It's hard not to feel like a victim in today's techno-culture. Especially with its new words. We can get spammed and we can get crammed. I feel damned.

And we can pay extra on our bill just so we know what bill we're paying for that bill for paying the bill. What we can't get is good service.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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