Saturday, September 08, 2007

Senator Klobuchar and cell phone contracts: America, bow before Minnesota

It's hard to believe, but Minnesota wasn't always the coolest state. I confess when I lived on the coasts I didn't really know where it was, and when I moved here 15 years ago the twin cities were only beginning the ascent to greatness. Now, of course, the coasts bow down to us.

Klobuchar is one of ours:
Senator Amy Klobuchar:

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) today unveiled legislation aimed at empowering the 200 million cell phone customers nationwide to make informed choices about a wireless service that best fits their needs and their budget. The Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007 will require wireless service providers to share simple, clear information on their services and charges with customers before they enter into long-term contracts; a thirty-day window in which to exit a contract without early termination fees; and greater flexibility to exit contracts with services that don’t meet their needs.
Of course I have to take some credit here, because I'm sure my senator was inspired by a Jan 2007 post of mine:
Amazon and the evil of cellphone companies (Jan 2007)

...The bottom line: If you don't want to change your contract expiry date, you go to a Sprint store and pay full price, or you buy a used phone on eBay or Craigslist. I'm told some Radio Shack stores will sell used phones, but I distrust the quality there. I have a visceral distrust for eBay, so it's Craigslist or list price.

Lastly, looking over the scam I first documented above, I'm thinking Amazon's a part of the deal too. In other words, they sold out. Well, it's not the first time.

The next time a politician hits me up for a donation, I won't ask them about healthcare reform or global warming, I'll ask them if they'll vote to require any cellphone vendor to accept a compatible unlocked phone.
Ok Amy, send me another request for a donation.

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