Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Smartphones again

I read on my twitter feed that WM7 may roll out sooner than later. The way MS is loosing mobile base they really should be out in time for the new school year – late August to early September if they want to recoup any market share. But what do I know, I'm just a user that is happy with the versatility of WM 6.5 and the variety of places to get apps. 

But this is not the “Why MS Why are you abandoning geeks for WM7” rant. I know why, the masses are geeks.

This is the - is it ethical to let people have sorta smart phones like iPhones without including a fairly extensive chat about costs and features – rant  prompted by this article .

I don't have a lot of sympathy for this guy with his $8K cell phone bill. How can you take your phone out of country without checking out how much it will cost? Marketplace (CBC) aired a show, in December of 2009, called Canada's Worse Cellphone Bill where they polled a bunch of people who racked up huge charges and how they have little recourse. And it's not as if Virgin Mobile is hiding information. Look it's part of the main header when you check out plans.

and they did him the favour of cutting him off when they noticed so he only incurred 3 days of charges instead of 7 he wanted to.

Do I think this is a hard lesson, absolutely I think the consequences are out of line with the actions and yet ... I cannot believe I am defending a corporation. If cell phone providers are expected to  excuse all these overages by people who can't read contracts and stay within their plan, how can costs drop for the rest of us?  One occurance I can see negotiating but people aren't going to complain about a single accidental overage.

So what can you do? I got Luigi because I wanted to take him places. So far he's been to the South Pacific and the US.

When I went to the South Pacific I got a local SIM card so I could make calls and text. I could also use the GPS, connect up to WiFi networks for internet use and use my regular e-book and audible software. Did I mention I'm running WM 6.5 and can do all this?

When I went to the US I did the simple thing, I just turned off the phone element and used it as a PDA. Had I been somewhere with free WiFi I would have connected up but I was busy so I was happy to just take a few notes, add stuff to my calendar and start some rough spreadsheets and outlines for docs when I got home.

Should providers tell you about roaming charges, long distance and the penalties of going over your plan? Yes they should and I think they do a reasonably good job. I've gotten the talk every time I've changed plans, what's included, what's not, don't tether as it's very expensive. It's just that people aren't listening. They're all excited about their new toy and all the stuff it can do. Perhaps they should re-iterate the information on each bill or include cost saving tips or something. Or just not sell someone a phone without give a course and quiz first :)