Life Is Not a Monopoly Game

It’s somewhat comforting that politicians are starting to take up the side of the everyday citizen as it pertains to outrageous price gouging by monopolized services that the majority of Americans use, namely cell phone service providers.

If you go ask the average person on the street to name cell phone service providers off the top of their head, there are most likely 4 that they will name first before they taper off. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, almost always in that order.

I understand when a business uses one of these services, whether small businesses like cleaning services or larger businesses like a taxi cab service.7895616412_36654b8a76_o_d

It is these four companies that have dominated the marketplace and have absorbed any up and coming competition to their services. Beyond these 4 major service providers, the rest are mostly off-shoots of them or have very limited coverage areas, unreliable signals in more rural areas, and poor customer service.

I have used Verizon for several years now and it has only recently become affordable, but that is because my contract has expired and now I am paying month to month. It has proven to be a significant difference in pricing now, but for years I felt like I was paying a lot more than what I was receiving. On top of that, for all my loyalty over the years, the rewards given in return are pretty shabby.

I used to have a brand new phone and it broke because my little boy loves shiny things that make noise and he can watch and play cartoons and games on, but he doesn’t realize that throwing it off the second story balcony will put a serious damper on his fun time with said projectile.

Yes, I have insurance on my phone, and one would think that that would mean that if something like this happens, I’m fully covered…..right?

Mmmm not so much…Verizon and others have their “loyalty” program which reflects lower price points for their repertoire of phones, which is to say that they essentially charge you full price for all the phones you actually WANT, and offer the lower quality, bottom of the barrel phones at a discounted price…still usually a pretty significant chunk of change when all is said and done.

This is only a conversation so far of their phone prices. I have yet to beef about their actual service plans.

But the phone issue I resolved successfully, for the most part, by inheriting friends or coworker’s old phones, which obviously present their own set of issues.

I’ve settled for a 5 year old phone that barely even seems to know how to function most days, but I get the essentials I need from it. I can check my email, use the phone, text, and browse the web fairly without a hitch…most days. Sometimes it’s like my 2 year old son and has no idea what it is supposed to do but has all sorts of nonsensical urges to do things that make no logical sense whatsoever.

Those infuriating issues aside, their service most certainly leaves much to be desired. I’m sure anyone with a cell phone that has been around for a while has heard all the horror stories relating to cell phone companies and their customer service. I am no exception to that endowment. I’ve had numerous conversations with numerous customer service “professionals” at Verizon about various discrepancies on my monthly statement and have gotten the run around and inexplicable, nonsensical explanations of service “overlaps” and charges for “carry over data”…blah, blah blah.

Pretty infuriating and very taxing on my patience.

Like I stated at the beginning of this rant of mine, at least the government is starting to take notice and speak out about it.

We’ll see if anything actually comes of their “ranting”. There is very little action that actually occurs when the ranting is coming from politicians. When one of their hands is raised in a fist of protest but the other is in the cookie jar of corporate profits, it makes sense that we rarely see actual change.

Hopefully that will change soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *