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(Gizmodo)   List of new "fees" snuck on to your cellphone bill to help cover the "costs" of number portability   (gizmodo.com) divider line 126
    More: Asinine  
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17068 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Nov 2003 at 4:04 PM (11 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-11-06 04:35:37 PM  
Um, could someone explain to me what this means? What exactly is "Wireless Number Pooling And Portability"?


The results came back from the focus groups that the original name "we're farking you in the ass, right now, ha ha ha we're farking you in the ass" isn't as compelling with 25-40 year old consumers.
 
2003-11-06 04:36:11 PM  
Portability was brought to increase fair competition.

DO NOT CHANGE YOU SERVICES YET!!!

See what happens when people keep leaving from Sprint. Prices may very well drop. I do not see why these A-holes add a fee now that the numbers are portable. Gives me another excuse to go and try T-Mobile. Sprint has aweful service and phones.
 
2003-11-06 04:37:30 PM  
Man, I have to pay $13 in taxes on my $45/month Sprint plan! As soon as my contract runs up in Decemeber I am switching to T-Mobile, or maybe Verizon if they get some better phones (doubt it).
 
2003-11-06 04:39:09 PM  
haplo53: yes, it starts Nov 24th, but providers have already been charging for it!
 
2003-11-06 04:39:43 PM  
Basically. They have to allow you to take your number with you if you change service providers. Landline providers must also allow you to take your number with you as well. The belief is that competition will be increased because you are no longer held to one carrier because you dont want to lose the number you had for the last 5 years or so.

It wont stop the providers from screwing you over.. the only way to do that is to take advantage of the trial period and test coverage and stuff. And to keep up to date on current plans and offers, especially if you work for a big company... they almost always have sweet plans you can get hooked onto.
 
2003-11-06 04:40:37 PM  
Oh, and I still can't believe that people are complaining about cell phone users. That's so 2001! Find something else to whine about.
 
CB
2003-11-06 04:40:54 PM  
DoorFrame
Got the same T-Mobile plan. Free evenings and weekends, 600 minutes per month, NO long distance or roaming. Frigging rocks! Ever scoped out their website? Got a map so if you are going to be traveling or moving you can check for service. You can type in your names and numbers and send them to your phone too. No way I would have farked around setting up a phone book on cell phone buttons. shiat, want to use more than one phone? Swap out the chip. Yup, T-Mobile is pretty frigging cool.
 
2003-11-06 04:42:07 PM  
absolutben Um, could someone explain to me what this means? What exactly is "Wireless Number Pooling And Portability"?

Sprint can explain it:
http://www2.sprintpcs.com/billinserts/WLNP.html
 
2003-11-06 04:47:15 PM  
Why why WHY doesn't T-Mobile offer service in my area? I see their damn commercials all the time, but I can't get their service here. I would pay the 150$ early termination fee with sprint (who is pissing me off more and more lately) if T-Mobile were available.

I HATE Cell phone companies.
 
2003-11-06 04:49:33 PM  
"Oh, and I still can't believe that people are complaining about cell phone users. That's so 2001! Find something else to whine about."

Not cell phone users in general. Moron cell phone users. Slack jawed idiots who haven't yet begun to comprehend that cell phone use has its own etiquette. Asshats who think that simply because they have a cell phone, everyone around them should be subjected to their pithy, mindless, inconsequential chatter. There are plenty of thoughtful, intelligent cell phone users out there. The problem is, there are hordes of total boors.
 
2003-11-06 04:52:12 PM  
Pocket Ninja: Oh, and if you have one of those farking designer rings or stupid songs instead of a ringer, the audible ring fine doubles to $40 per ring. And anybody near you gets to punch you in the eye.

What if I have different ringers for different types of calls. You must really hate me.

Of course, I waited as long as possible before getting a cell phone (until business made it a necessity), and don't use it while driving.
 
2003-11-06 04:53:10 PM  
"What if I have different ringers for different types of calls. You must really hate me."

Yes. Yes I do.
 
2003-11-06 04:53:42 PM  
Not that anyone will care, but this whole thing is very costly for the wireless providers. It's pretty typical: government forces private business to do something, and the expense is passed on to the consumer. Just another example of the fact that corporations do not pay taxes (so just keep voting for more taxes for corps, you're only screwing yourself). The upgrades to billing and provisioning systems in order to be able to handle WLNP are atrocious. Then you have all the extra efforts aimed at customer retention. That's where those fees are going.
 
2003-11-06 04:55:26 PM  
dpcdomino: See what happens when people keep leaving from Sprint. Prices may very well drop.

My other reason for switching was that I bought a condo, and I got no sprint signal there. However, my friends on verizon, cingular and pegaso phones had four bars. I had not even a single bar with sprint.

Calling them up about it resulted in. "Well, there is no gaurantee of the quality of service.".

The area I live in is very close to a college, and is not out in the middle of nowhere. And all their competitors seemed to be able to cover that area just fine.

Nuff Said
 
M-G
2003-11-06 04:57:38 PM  
I still don't understand the people who have Sprint but hate it. Have you tried any other providers and discovered them to suck less, or are you just griping because they all suck to some extent?

Having been screwed in the past by Southwestern Bell (now Cingular), I went to Sprint, and have been with them for four years. If you're considering Sprint, don't just walk into the store and sign up for a plan. See if your employer, an organization you belong to, etc. has any deals with them. If you get on their corporate rate plan, you save a bundle.

The wife and I have our phones on the same account, and with all the taxes (and portability fees, etc.) our total charge is in the ~$75 a month range. That's the nationwide Free & Clear plan, unlimited Vision, 2000 shared minutes, unlimited PCS-to-PCS calls, plus the usual call waiting, voice mail, etc.

Now, the fact that anybody, be it cell phone carrier, landline carrier, etc., gets to screw us over by tacking on these fees chaps me....that should be built into the service cost, so that people can compare apples to apples.
 
2003-11-06 04:58:04 PM  
i'm so sick of sprint I can't wait to switch to nextel. If i hadn't have had the same number for about 5 years i would have switched awhile ago.

so long sprint.
 
2003-11-06 04:58:07 PM  
Pocket Ninja: Yes. Yes I do.

Then shall we meet in a bamboo thicket to do battle, ninja vs ninja?
 
2003-11-06 04:58:09 PM  
Glad to hear Im not the only one who hates sprint. Damn do I farking hate sprint. Deals, deals, deals, all over the place, and not a single. farking. one of them for an existing customer. A $200 phone, with ringers and cool crap for $75?! Thats great! Oh...you mean being a good customer for three years means I cant get that deal? Existing customers can politely (or impolitely, its all the same to them) go fark themselves.
 
2003-11-06 04:59:07 PM  
i'm so sick of sprint I can't wait to switch to nextel. If i hadn't have had the same number for about 5 years i would have switched awhile ago.

so long sprint.
 
2003-11-06 05:00:21 PM  
I don't know why everyone is complaining about Sprint. I have had Sprint PCS for close to 8 months now, and have had fine service. I only get dropped calls when going through parts of this region that would remind one of "Deliverance".

Then again, there wasn't much room for comparison shopping since Sprint is the only mobile carrier to actually cover this area at all. But I don't really care about that, since, as I said before, they have done me no wrong.

So honestly, why is everyone so upset with Sprint? I don't see why it would be for this "number mobility" charge, since it seems about 66% of all mobile providers are adding a charge for this one way or another.

Not that anyone is gonna convice me to change providers (even if I could), but I'd just like to see why everyone hates them so much.
 
2003-11-06 05:01:03 PM  
They ain't the greatest if you want all the fancy web stuff, but the German's at T-Mobile are OK by me. I'm one of those people with the $19.99 plan (and I use maybe 10 minutes during the week a month, 100 on weekends). That coupled with support of my small and does-all-I-need Motorola V70 makes me happy.

That said, once the price wars start happening in December, I'll be looking around.
 
2003-11-06 05:01:12 PM  


At least she's happy about number portability, her daddy must own Sprint. I hope she dies.
 
2003-11-06 05:02:21 PM  
Pocket Ninja: Yes. Yes I do.

Or what if I mention that I only use my cell phone about 50 minutes a month.

My cell phones mostly consist of.

"Hey, I'm heading to the movies, if you want to go, meet me at 6:00"

"Mr xxxxx, we're perparing to deliver your furniture", "Thanks, I'll be home in 15 minutes".

Poof, all that needs to be said, done in under a minute, I'm not very chatty.
 
2003-11-06 05:07:55 PM  
I read yesterday that number portability does not mean phone portability -- you'll have to get a new phone when you switch because each provider has different encryption. Why that can't be changed, I don't know.

Whether or not that is true, this switching thing is gonna be a complete cluster-fark.

You know how hard it is to work with one cellular company -- can you imagine working with two of them to coordinate switching one off and the other on?
 
2003-11-06 05:08:48 PM  
2003-11-06 04:58:09 PM cokemonkey


Glad to hear Im not the only one who hates sprint. Damn do I farking hate sprint. Deals, deals, deals, all over the place, and not a single. farking. one of them for an existing customer. A $200 phone, with ringers and cool crap for $75?! Thats great! Oh...you mean being a good customer for three years means I cant get that deal? Existing customers can politely (or impolitely, its all the same to them) go fark themselves.

Are you sure you can't get the deal? Last year around Christmas I bought a new phone and the deal they had for new customer was $150 phone for $50. They said that as long as I was at least nine months into my current plan I could cancel with no early termination fee and sign up for new service and get the deal on the phone.
 
2003-11-06 05:13:40 PM  
MartinDiBergi- I don't hate Sprint, i'm actually very happy with their service, I just hate all the damn fees. I also don't like the fact that when I bought a new phone I had to manually type in all the numbers on the new phone because they don't have the chip you can switch. Other than those two things i've got no problem with them and will probably be buying a new phone once all the deals hit this Christmas.
 
2003-11-06 05:13:40 PM  
Can you hear me now? Hello? Hello?
 
CB
2003-11-06 05:14:14 PM  
T-Mobile let's you change your plan if you want, but you still have to go through the time on your contract. Most cell companies, if you even mention cancel, will suddenly come up with all sorts of incentives to get you to stay.
 
2003-11-06 05:15:36 PM  
2003-11-06 05:08:48 PM absolutben
Are you sure you can't get the deal? Last year around Christmas I bought a new phone and the deal they had for new customer was $150 phone for $50. They said that as long as I was at least nine months into my current plan I could cancel with no early termination fee and sign up for new service and get the deal on the phone.


Ive actually had sprint employees tell me theyll never offer deals to existing customers. If they go down its gonna be teh same way aol is in the shiatter; paying too much attention to getting new cheapass customers in the door, not paying enough attention to people who actually give them noney. There may be a few, small, deals every once in a while, but for the most part any deal you get with sprint involves you signing a new contract (which always meant changing your # in the past). Theyll actually tell you on the phone: "ok sir, to get that deal what weve first got to do is cancel your old contract and start up a new one. To get the rebate you want requires a 2-year contract, and of course your old phone number will no longer work". Gah!
 
2003-11-06 05:17:45 PM  
lordargent
I'm with you on phone use...can't imagine what the 1000-minute a month people talk about for that long.
 
2003-11-06 05:18:02 PM  
Another disgruntled Sprint customer here. I've been counting down to November 24 for months. Last time Sprint screwed me over (when their network went down because it couldn't handle the call volume from a college football game) I sent them a nasty letter telling them how much they sucked, how I would be GONE on Nov. 24th, and telling them to witness the massive customer attrition that was about to happen with number portability. Hmmmm, wonder why the customer service department never bothered to respond. It's time to reap the whirlwind Sprint. You're circling the bowl....
 
M-G
2003-11-06 05:18:06 PM  
cokemonkey

As long as your existing contract was finished, you shouldn't have had any problem. I got the exact same offer they were advertising even though I was an existing customer (but with the business discount applied after that). I of course had to agree to a new contract period, but that's a requirement of all the offers.

Anyone who would prefer to not switch, but wants a better deal should ask to talk to a retention agent. These are the people who have the power to give you extra features and such to keep you as a customer. Sprint even has a special number to directly connect with them, which I recently read about (but don't have it with me).

The start of people changing carriers will be chaos, but the carriers should be rolling out the red carpet for existing customers, as throwing bones to them is much cheaper than getting a new customer.
 
2003-11-06 05:27:17 PM  
T-Mobile SUCKS in NYC. Half of the outgoing calls initiated on my T68i end up timing out or get a "Network Busy" error. I usually have to try twice. I also get consistent complaints from friends calling me that they get the "All circuits are busy...please try again." message. T-Mobile just doesn't have the capacity.

I also find that even though my phone shows full signal strength in our office in the 45th floor in Midtown, I can hardly use it (even near a window) due to digital garbling and dropped calls. But that may be a problem with the phone. Don't buy a T68i, unless you want awful reception and a slow-as-molasses interface. It takes well over two minutes for my phone to turn on, find the network, and present me with my address book or recently called list.

Sorry to biatch...
 
2003-11-06 05:31:44 PM  
[sprint sucks bandwagon]I have been s pissed off Sprint customer for 2 years...November 24 is the day I shall consider myself released from indenture [sprint sucks bandwagon]
 
2003-11-06 05:33:58 PM  
Bricktop - I've got no issue with the government mandating cell number portability (and I'm a libertarian) because it's ultimately hugely beneficial to customers, hugely increases competition and most importantly: the phone numbers don't belong to the phone company anyway. Phone numbers are not like a piece of property, they're more like airwaves where the only sensible way to dole them out is through the government. If I've had control of a phone number for five years, why is it Sprint's position to tell me that I cannot take it with me when I leave their company for failing to live up to their service claims. Why do we assume that Sprint owns the number and not me?

I would also, side note, be in favor of the earlier suggestion of not allowing companies to add silly fees as part of their basic service. Everything that goes into the basic cost, including taxes, should be part of the advertised rate. You can split it up to show where it's going, but you shouldn't be able to advertise 39.99/month and then charge 50.

All that being said, how hard could it really be to implement portability? Just remove the phone number from your database and enter it into the other company's database? The phone companies have banked on people not switching carriers because their numbers were being held hostage for years, it's all coming to an end and it's going to be good.
 
CB
2003-11-06 05:35:28 PM  
crackhead
Motorola (junk) has known issues on T-Mobile. Get them to give you a Samsung or Nokia.
 
2003-11-06 05:39:02 PM  
2003-11-06 05:18:06 PM M-G
cokemonkey
As long as your existing contract was finished, you shouldn't have had any problem. I got the exact same offer they were advertising even though I was an existing customer (but with the business discount applied after that). I of course had to agree to a new contract period, but that's a requirement of all the offers.


Heres what pisses me off: you didnt get that discount because you were an existing customer. You got that discount because they effectively threw away any history they had with you and started fresh. Before, when I tried to do this, it meant starting over to the point of having to get a new number. I want them to say 'because youve been a good customer we'll give you this discount', NOT 'well, if youll start over with us as if we've never met you before, we'll give you a discount'. I dont want the bullshiat or the technicalities; Ive given them lots of money, now give me a good reason to be loyal. Arrrrr...nevermind, Ive written them a letter saying all this and more = )
 
2003-11-06 05:43:16 PM  
BrockWillowCrest spewed this shameless tripe:
I read yesterday that number portability does not mean phone portability -- you'll have to get a new phone when you switch because each provider has different encryption. Why that can't be changed, I don't know.

Brockwillowcrest, you must be the stupidest thing on two legs. Most cellphone companies use completely different technologies to run their networks. Trying to use a Sprint phone on an At&t network is like speaking Thai to a Zulu, while underwater, on drugs. If you care at all for the future of mankind, you will kill yourself and any progeny you have spawned, just to make sure your genes are removed once and for all from a pool you were never meant to be in.
 
2003-11-06 05:47:18 PM  
Dingelnuts - Ok, the guy was wrong and uninformed, ha ha, but you're being awfully harsh.
 
M-G
2003-11-06 05:50:32 PM  
cokemonkey

Odd. Perhaps you had an asshat rep working with you. IIRC, the first thing ours did was to pull up our existing account, and ask if we wanted to keep our phone numbers. As our old numbers were from a different state, we wanted new ones, but it didn't sound like it would be an issue to have kept the old ones and still gotten the 'new customer' deal.
 
2003-11-06 05:52:33 PM  
Doorknob, the realization that one knows nothing is the first step to enlightenment. By crushing BrockWillowCrest's spirit with my scathing retort, I am merely helping him to reach a higher plane of consciousness. You, too, obviously need some training, or else you would have already realized what I'm doing.
 
2003-11-06 05:54:11 PM  
I use verizon, really good nationwide coverage which is important as I travel alot for work.
If you are thinking about Verizon, be sure to get a TriMode Phone or you will be stuck with only digital coverage. The LG 4400 is really nice.
One downside, be sure to FULLY examine your bill each month, I have had alot of billing issues with them. Once you find a billing issue, they are pretty good about correcting it. Heck you can even get THEM so confused they over credit your account.....not that I've done that before. heh
And the word now is Verizon is eyeing a take over of Sprint PCS. They are closely watching how this portability issue affects Sprint and are thinking aquisition.
 
2003-11-06 05:55:16 PM  
Does anyone actually know when this law is supposed to go into effect? I remember vaguely something about it going into action around the 11th of this month.

The reason I ask is that I'm really fed up with Sprint's crappy service and have been waiting for a good reason to switch to Verizon (which is by and large the best carrier in the San Diego area). I paroused Verizon's site today and couldn't find any mention of the wireless portability thing anywhere. Maybe I'm just too early or they don't quite support it yet -- either way I'm really antsy to switch. Sprint is hitting me with a $50-a-month bill for providing virtually nothing (no extra services, a handful of minutes that they charge me an exorbitant amount for).

One of the things that really pisses me off about Sprint is that that they no longer offer any plans that have less minutes than what I have now (either that or they don't show it on their website, meaning I'd have to call them up and talk to an operator about it -- something I really don't want to have to do as they have the balls to charge you like $3 or $4 bucks each time you call). As it is now, I use less than half of the minutes that I'm signed up for, which basically translates into money down the toilet and into Sprint's greedy clutches. I know in the past they had a plan that would suit my current situation quite well, but I'll be damned if they're still offering it now.

Anyway, anyone have any clue when Verizon is gonna start letting you transfer your number?
 
2003-11-06 06:00:51 PM  
something from a little back...

AT&T: $1.75 per month from "less than a third" of their 21.5 million subscribers. If they charged a third, it would come to $12.4 million a month or roughly $150 million a year

Cingular: Between 32 cents and $1.25 per month depending on your state. They had ~20 million subscribers last year so it's roughly $6.4-$25 million a month or $77-$300 million a year.

Nextel: $1.55 per month since October 2002 so that's $20 million a month or $240 million a year.

Sprint PCS: 63 cents per month from all 17.9 million customers, bringing in over $11 million per month and $135 million extra per year.

Verizon: Have not yet decided whether to gouge err ... charge customers

T-Mobile: Not even mentioned but according to this USA Today article, they are not charging and wouldn't say if they plan to in the future.

 
2003-11-06 06:03:15 PM  
You can call Nextel now at 1 888 NEXTEL9 to set yourself up to port in (for new accounts) or 1888NEXTEL6 (ahhh! you might get me!) if you have a Nextel account and want to bring your girlfriend or family member or whatever in. The reason why some charge a small montly fee is because of Federal mandates, such as the work that had to be done to their networks, to be able to do the portability. So don't blame the carriers but this law that says a company has to release your number. The cost is from making their networks able for you to bring your number in from somewhere else. Plus the Federal Recovery of $1.55 also covers the 911 thing. No customers complain about the 1.55 when I add numbers to their account. Nextel customers don't seem to be cheap asses. Thank God.
 
2003-11-06 06:04:22 PM  
more clear explaination on this mandated customer rapage....
 
2003-11-06 06:05:04 PM  
cokemonkey- Wierd. The CSR I talked to said "you wanna keep the same number right?". I had no problems, I did have to sign a new contract(which I expected). I agree with you that it would seem to make sense for the company to offer the same deals(if not better ones) to existing customers. Hell, even my bank throws some good stuff (free checks, 1% of my Debit card transactions back to me)my way ever once in a while just to say thanks for being a good customer and helping to keep us in business.
 
2003-11-06 06:05:04 PM  
Reminds me of banks and their farking ATM "convenience charges".
Farking asshats, these big corporations.
 
2003-11-06 06:05:57 PM  
Here's more to make your fee-eatin' ass pissed off...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_39/b3851001_mz001.htm
 
2003-11-06 06:12:54 PM  
Detail of Taxes, and Surcharges & Fees Charges

Taxes
Federal Tax 1.62
Renton City Sales Tax - Services & Usage 1.19 Washington State Sales Tax - Services & Usage 3.34
Washington Taxes On Roaming Charges - Non Federal 0.02
Renton Taxes On Roaming Charges - Non Federal 0.02 Washington State Wireless 911 Surcharge 0.20
King County Wireless 911 Surcharge 0.50
Surcharges & Fees
Renton City Utility Users Tax 3.05
Washington State Business And Occupation Tax 0.24
Federal Universal Service Fund 0.73
Federal E911 0.40
Federal Wireless Number Pooling And Portability 1.10

Total $12.41


This is from my bill this month. That's a shiatload of taxes and fees i'm paying. :(
 
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