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NYT's David Pogue Takes on VZW

I always find David's writing on new technology both informative and humorous.

But he has taken an interesting position in the telecom policy area by locking horns with Verizon Wireless.

As he says in today's NY Times,
A few weeks ago, I wrote about two particularly nasty Verizon Wireless practices. First, Verizon doubled the early-cancellation fee for smartphones, the price you pay for canceling before your two-year contract is up (it’s now $350).

Second, I passed along a note from a Verizon whistleblower who identified a really outrageous Verizon profit center: if you accidentally hit one of the arrow keys on your Verizon cellphone (which come premapped to various Verizon Internet functions), you’re charged $2 instantaneously, even if you cancel instantly. (Verizon confirms that on many models, you can’t remap those buttons to other functions even if you’re tech-savvy enough to try.)
VZW has finally responded, after requesting a delay, and he calls their response "outrageous".  So read for yourself and see what you think of the VZW response to this matter.

Pogue ends with this line,

"In short, the headline for this entire episode might as well be:
'Verizon to FCC and Customers: Go Soak Your Heads.' "
An odd PR move from a cellular company that is pressing FCC to reallocate 800 MHz! 
A Pogue Video with links to others:

A reader pointed out the original link above was actually to an unrelated VZ FCC filing.  I pointed this out to David and he quickly corrected the link, which has been changed above.

Comm. Clyburn's 12/23/09 Statement on VZW Letter
An excerpt:
 "I am concerned about what appears to be a shifting and tenuous rationale for ETFs. No longer is the claim that ETFs are tied solely to the true cost of the wireless device; rather, they are now also used to foot the bill for ‘advertising costs, commissions for sales personnel, and store costs.’ Consumers already pay high monthly fees for voice and data designed to cover the costs of doing business. So when they are assessed excessive penalties, especially when they are near the end of their contract term, it is hard for me to believe that the public interest is being well served.
I am also alarmed by the fact that many consumers have been charged phantom fees for inadvertently pressing a key on their phones thereby launching Verizon Wireless’s mobile Internet service. The company asserted in its response to the Bureau that it ‘does not charge users when the browser is launched,’ but recent press reports and consumer complaints strongly suggest otherwise."
  Business Week/Bloomberg coverage
  Huffington Post coverage
  ars technica coverage

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