How not to go over your minutes and how to know the balance you owe
There may finally be a way around those nasty early termination fees levied by the major cell phone providers. Cellswapper.com gives users the ability to literaly swap cell phone contracts with other users. Think of it as the cellular contract equivalent to Ebay. Users can "sell" their phone contract without incurring a cancellation fee and "buy" contracts from others without paying an activation fee. This is a great solution if you are looking for a short term cell phone plan (contracts are availbe for as short as one month) or if you're stuck in a plan that isn't meeting your needs. Two other similar sites include: CellTradeUSA and Resellular.com.
Has your Cingular Wireless contract been extended without your knowledge/consent? Have you been charged with an unfair early termination fee? Let us know.
A new federal lawsuit1 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California details how Cingular's advertising claims of being the carrier with the "fewest dropped calls" lured consumers to Cingular's service. The complaint explains how these advertising claims were made while Cingular was in fact one of the worst wireless providers in many major markets. At UCAN, Cingular(now AT&T) is one of the companies consumers complain of most. You can see UCAN's various actions against Cingular here and here. If you have a complaint about Cingular, let our fraud squad help you out by clicking here!
"According to Kaltwasser's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Cingular misrepresented the findings made by Telephia, a data provider for the telecommunications industry.
Cingular conducted a widespread ad campaign based on what it claimed was a study by Telephia that rated Cingular as having the fewest dropped calls of any wireless carrier in the country.
In fact, Kaltwasser alleges, Telephia actually concluded that Cingular did not have the fewest dropped calls in several major markets, including New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
Moreover, independent studies by two other companies, J.D. Powers & Associates and Consumer Reports, found Cingular to be the worst or one of the worst carriers in dropped-call performance, Kaltwasser says."
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is holding public hearings on the 760 area code change alternatives on Feb. 21(Carlsbad) and 22(El Centro). The CPUC provides the following Q&A concerning the area code change. You can find more information on the CPUC website.
1. Why is another area code needed?
- Whole prefixes are running out in the existing 760 area code. Once an area code no longer has any whole prefixes, it is considered to be at exhaust. The available telephone numbers in the 760 area code are limited and cannot support the needed demand for telephone numbers in the long-term.
2. What will the new area code be?
- The new area code will be the 442 area code.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, never pay for directory assistance again...well, as long as these companies stay in business, so take advantage of it while you can. 1-800-Free411 and 1-800-411Save both offer entirely free directory assistance services. How? Advertising, of course. But don't worry, the ads are only around 10 seconds long and both services operate fast and efficiently. Sitting through 10 seconds of ads will feel like steal when you consider that directory assistance can cost $1.50-$3.50 through wireless and long distance providers.
Google SMS allows users to access the Google search engine via text message. There is no additional fee for using Google SMS, and you don't need an Internet subscription package. However, standard text messaging fees apply (usually $0.10-$0.15 depending on your plan). Google SMS gives you the capabilities of directory assistance ...on steroids. You can also get up-to-date info on weather, sports scores, driving directions, price comparisons (Froogle), stock quotes, and a lot more. Read this post to learn how it works.
In recent years the cost of directory assistance has skyrocketed (thanks, deregulators!) . Telephone companies are charging their customers unreasonable fees. Thankfully, there are some real alternatives available that should ensure consumers never pay for directory assistance again.
Finally, under orders from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), AT&T is offering stand-alone broadband service ($20 a mo.) to people who don't want to pay AT&T's ridiculous bundled rates. But as this article from the San Francisco Chronicle shows, consumer advocates, including UCAN's Michael Shames, are underwhelmed by AT&T's latest effort.
In a letter to the California State Senate, the Consumer Federation of California's Executive Director wrote: "Ms. Chong has demonstrated a decision making pattern that is hostile to consumer interests. Ms. Chong's anti-regulatory ideology is fundamentally at odds with the CPUC's duty to assure that consumers have safe, reliable utility service at reasonable rates, with protection against fraud." Read the entire letter here.