This isn't my usual rant about cell phones, about people driving while chatting or texting. This is about the cell phone business, as close to outright deception and trickery as business can get.
Tamar and I have T-Mobile phones. We started by paying in front, so many minutes cost so many pennies. Worked out great, except that if you leave your metropolitan area and drive for an hour, you have no phone. Weirdly, coverage for pay-as-you-go plans is far worse than for monthly, on-going, this-is-a-holdup plans.
But you know all that. Probably. Here finally is the reason for my rant: The battery in my year-or-so-old phone, little used but never shut off, charged all night every night, is holding less and less charge by the day. It's on its way out.
T-Mobile doesn't sell batteries. T-Mobile, again, doesn't sell batteries. They don't feel the need. All their phones are powered by batteries but they don't sell them.
If you say you need a battery, they sell you a new phone (with a new battery in it) CHEAPER than a replacement battery - and they sign you up for two or three more years of their service.
Look on the T-Mobile web site. Look for replacement batteries. Click around there. Look, as I did, in Accessories. No goddamn batteries. Before you suggest it, yes I called Batteries Plus. No batteries for my phone model in stock. Come in and order one. Takes two weeks. Forty bucks.
To T-Mobile, the failure of your battery is not a loss, it's an opportunity! Why should they sell you a boring battery when you can buy a slim, powerful, omni-featured new phone? And more years of good service from T-Mobile? For less out-of-pocket today than a battery alone....
Are the cretins behind this con the same guys who give away printers and sell short-lived $100 ink cartridges?
My PHONE isn't broken, dammit. I don't need a new PHONE. Why is it okay for cell phone companies to mislead us and upsell us? If our local merchants did it, we'd never stand for it....