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I have an older iPhone, a 3GS phone, that I’ve owned now for several years in Canada, and my provider, Rogers, will unlock such a phone (meaning, they will send it a secret code that allows you take it to another cell phone company and use it with their billing services).

Excellent, I thought, perhaps I could use when I travel to the United States and save some money instead of paying Roger’s huge travelling phone rates.

I paid a bit of money—$30?—to have it unlocked it, and I brought it down here with me, and I took it to a Radio Shack, where they told me AT&T had the best deal on a pay-as-you-go plan.  Sure, I thought. I’ve heard of this AT&T thing, it’s probably going to be just fine.

The AT&T pre-pay program (if you don’t want a contract) is called GoPhone, and it does seem like an okay deal at first.  There’s a plan for $50 / month, giving you unlimited talk, texts and data.  Perfect, I said! Gimme that!

But, the man said, this is only for non-smart phones, or as I like to call them, plastic pieces of crap from 2002.

I thought to myself: What’s the point of offering unlimited data on a phone that has no keyboard and can only surf text-only sites? I don’t need unlimited data, that’s like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet but you can only feed yourself from a little ketchup cup with two toothpicks.

No, the man said, if you have a SMARTPHONE, you have to purchase this alternate plan: $25 / month for 250 minutes, unlimited text, and no data plan. Then, you have to buy a limited data plan for $5 for 50MB, or $25 for a GB.  That’s an expensive GB, given that you get 5GB for $50 / month with a regular AT&T plan, but whatever.

So I signed up for that for $50, left the store, headed back, and discovered that while my iPhone could make calls, it didn’t have any data plan; it said, in fact, “Sorry, no valid data plan is active for this phone.” So I called the next day to AT&T headquarters and found out that… iPhones are not included in “Smartphones.” Even though it says this NOWHERE on the Web site.

All it says is: “Smartphone users must purchase a data package with an eligible plan to use data/Web services,” and the words iPhone don’t appear ANYWHERE in the limitations or the details.

So, is AT&T saying that the iPhone isn’t a smartphone? That’s a lie, a damn lie, and a stupid lie. No, it’s saying that they don’t want to let people with iPhones use Pay-As-You-Go services, even at ludicrous prices.  Bleh.



 
 

 

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Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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