Overpriced mobile phone plans
When it comes to subscriptions, I’m not like most Americans. In general, I’d much rather pay a higher up-front fee in return for lower monthly fees. But most people seem to prefer the opposite in order to get a ‘free’ mobile phone, cable modem, TiVo, etc.
A few days ago, I was looking whether I should change my mobile phone subscription. I should be a perfect customer: I rarely contact customer service, I use much fewer minutes than my monthly plan, and I have not taken a ‘free’ phone in over four years. All I want is about 400 minutes per month, no domestic roaming fees, reasonable international roaming charges, and an unlimited data plan. When I looked at the competition, I found I would be paying close to $100 including taxes and fees. That’s about double what I pay for home phone, long distance, and 3 MBps DSL.
My home phone and DSL service are better in every single category. Wired sound quality is excellent. Wired phone and DSL are extremely reliable. Data speeds are 25x faster than wireless. The few times I have had to call 911 emergency from a home phone, an operator answered in seconds, but the one time I had to call from my mobile phone, it took nearly 15 minutes to reach an operator, let alone see the police.
Of course, my mobile phone is portable. But it is so unreliable, so poor quality, that it is just a toy. And it seems like we’re getting fleeced for the convenience of mobility.