Our cell phones have become a necessary commodity but the digital technology behind it maybe confusing to some people. When the CEO’s of our wireless carriers knowingly take advantage of this fact then that’s when I can no longer remain silent. As most of you are already aware, I grew up in rural Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Our family didn’t have a lot of money so I understand and appreciate the true value of hard work and earning a clean dollar. I will always try to lend a helpful voice to those who quietly go through life but is being preyed upon by individuals or corporations in the name of greed.
Have a friend ever told you to check out a cool music video or some funny video but you couldn’t because you’d reached your data limit? Here’s another scenario that goes on daily: Using her cell phone, a struggling single mother watches several do-it-yourself, YouTube videos on fixing a clogged drain because she can’t afford to hire a professional plumber. Halfway through the third video she gets a data usage alert on her phone alarming that she’s reached her data limit. She finds out later that she actually went over her data limit and the overage penalty fee was much more than the cost of the drainage treatment chemicals the guy in the YouTube video had recommended to unclog the drain. If this young mother had went to her local public library and freely watched the D-I-Y video on the desktop computer there she could’ve saved her data usage on her cell phone. This raises a lot of questions. Why does it cost so much for data usage on a mobile device? What’s the exact charge or face value of a byte of digital storage space? What’s the actual cost of a gigabyte and a megabyte? And are these charges the same for the mobile device and the desktop? Are there any rules or laws by which these cell phone carriers are basing their data fees and data charges on? Are the carriers correctly calculating our usage of megabytes and gigabytes? Is anybody double-checking them? I’m all for competition to open the marketplace but when the wolves and the hustlers get out of control then maybe it’s time to bring in the FCC to lay down some basic fair-play ground rules.
The faces of hustlers are changing. Today’s cell phone carriers are just as seedy as shifty ticket scalpers, walking that thin line between legal and shady practices. Naively, I used to associate the term ‘hustlers’ with fast-tongue street swindlers who made a fast buck on the backs of others. As a writer, I’ve even peppered a couple of my novels with these types of characters. In real life, a few years ago, Bernie Madoff reminded me that the most damaging hustlers are the executive-types, dressed in tailored suits and sitting behind big, glossy oak desks. As a stock broker and financial advisor, Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years behind bars in 2009 for scheming his clients out of millions as they were unsuspecting victims of his infamous Wall Street Ponzi scheme.
Is Bernie Madoff any different than the current management and the CEO’s of our major cell phone carriers? Actually, this question is debatable. The following is a little backstory to help explain why I’m writing this piece:
Up until the early 80’s, the AT&T Corporation, also known as the Bell Operating Systems, controlled the telephone service throughout America and Canada. To stop this monopoly, between 1982 and 1984, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forced AT&T to break up. This breakup created the “Baby Bells”, smaller telecommunication companies, which have developed into some of our major cell phone carriers today, such as Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. The breakup of AT&T in the early 80’s created more competition within the telecommunication industry and intended to protect consumers from an unfair monopolizing giant. Is history repeating itself? Last week, AT&T buys Time Warner for $85 billion, and today’s “Baby Bells” are still walking that thin line between lawful and secretive, greedy practices, as evident in T-Mobile’s recent court settlement, agreeing to pay $48 million for misleading its customers into thinking that they actually had “unlimited data”.
Are there any honest, righteous CEO’s out there who are sincerely looking out for the best interest of the customers? To the average person, the world of gigabytes, megabytes, and digital storage space can be confusing, so, most often than not, when we get that surprisingly high cell phone bill, we obediently pay it but silently complain. Ideally, a good CEO will set the tone and the culture of the company, and hopefully will ensure that all of the company customers will have clarity of their phone bills and easy access to questions regarding their services.
Today’s top wireless carriers are today’s data hustlers, and we must let the CEO’s of these cell phone giants know exactly how we feel about their fees and overage charges. The mailing address of some of the top cell phone carriers CEO’s and the Chairman of the FCC are listed below. Don’t be silent. We can only bring about change if we make enough noise. Please Share and Re-post. – Randolph Randy Camp
- AT & T Corp., CEO Randall Stephenson, 208 S. Akard St., Ste 110, Dallas, TX 75202
- Sprint, CEO Marcelo Claure, 6200 Sprint Parkway, Overland Park, KS 66251
- T-Mobile, CEO John J. Legere, 12920 SE 38th St., Bellevue, WA 98006
- Verizon Wireless, CEO Lowell McAdam, 1 Verizon Way, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
- US Cellular, CEO Kenneth R. Meyers, 8410 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste 700, Chicago, IL 60631
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Chairman Tom Wheeler, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554