Tag Archives: Cell Phones

AT&T Suckage

AT&T’s network has improved dramatically in the last year or so.  I’ve been really happy with them lately.  So it pissed me off a little extra today when I called to get a number blocked and got this nonsense for a response: a non-English speaking person with a phone number one digit off from me continues to call and leave me long rambling voice mails, over and over and over.  So I called and asked to have the number blocked, and you know what they told me? They can’t do it.  They can’t block a number.

Except, they can. They can block the number, but only for $4.99 a month.

So I’m forced to have the phone ring endlessly or take their “recommended resolution.”  You know what that is? I can change my number.

Hey, AT&T? Unacceptable.

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Suckered by a Spam Text Scam

I got scammed.

I got a text message yesterday that said “Free Msg from Verizon Wireless: We have new calling plans for UNLIMITED text to anyone in the US. Requires new customer agreement. Call 877-256-XXXX. To opt out reply X.”

This type of message is not completely unseen on my phone network. I’ve gotten a few “notice”-type emails in the few years I’ve been with Verizon, so before I even really knew what I was doing, I quickly replied “X” and hit send. And then I saw it: “Sending message to 9000XXX03671”

I realized what had happened. I had just texted 900-XXX-0036. And unfortunately, 900 numbers can charge, according to Verizon up to $25 or more for this type of thing. I IMMEDIATELY dialed 611 to talk to Verizon. Much the same way that if I complain with American Express, they can withhold payment from a merchant, I wondered, can Verizon refuse to square up on what was obviously a spam text scam?

Yes and no, apparently. The helpful rep I spoke with, “Sarah,” told me she could “flag” my account for a follow up when the billing cycle ends, but the agents cannot see live data and couldn’t see a text message within the last few days, let alone minutes. She promised to credit me whatever the message cost.

So I asked her the same question I’m broadcasting now: “Why do cell phone companies allow incoming text messages from 1-900 numbers?” Even if they were limited to just replies it would be an improvement. What possible reason could I have for a 1-900 number to send me an unsolicited message?

Is this the future of cell phone? SMS spam from 1-900 numbers? This is very dangerous ground, and I see where it’s heading: advertising spam (which has already started), “verified” senders, block lists, and finally an option to accept SMS only from your contacts. A new age is upon us. May the people who perpetrate these scams rot in the blackest pits of hell.

But Verizon is going to take care of me this time, and I won’t get suckered again. The moral of the story is: don’t reply to text messages from people who aren’t your contacts, period.

Within seconds of hanging up with Verizon, I got another message from 900XXX003671: “Thank you. If you want to eliminate all future SMS informational and marketing messages from Verizon Wireless, reply Q.”

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gmail, phones, and moe., and blogging

1. gmail is incredible. since my firsttube.com account gets nothing but Russian spam now, I’ve directed it to my gmail account instead of my main account. I love the label system and the threaded conversations.

2. I’m so over my cell phone saga with AT&T TDMA, AT&T GSM, and Nextel. I’ve got the i830 which is cool but a ripoff, and f it, I’m keeping the son of a bitch. Plus, Nextel works, even in Deltona.

3. moe. was a good time. It was a money show, and I met this chick H, who was a blast, and we’re going to hang out sometime. I’m psyched, because she was actually a lot of fun. More on that, I hope.

4. Blogging is tough. You have to actually have something to say, and I’m pretty proud to say I don’t. I code a bunch of shit, but rarely have astute observations.

I coded this whole moderation thing, and then never actually used it for anything. After all, nobody really wants to test it, I think. I just had a good time doing it. moderate() will be in Flip 4, and that will be that.

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