First: My wife’s cell phone was stolen from her office at work. She called T-Mobile and had a stop put on the phone. When she went to the local T-Mobile store to get a cheap-o replacement phone, it turns out that she has to renew her contract for a year or two years in order to get a cheap phone. Otherwise the “cheap phones” start at $100. And she will be charged a $200 cancellation fee if she doesn’t get a new phone within (I think) 60 days, so there’s no option for just not getting a replacement phone at all. It turns out we should have put insurance on the phone — but at the time, we told the T-Mobile rep no thanks for the insurance because why insure a free phone? And the rep didn’t argue with us.
Second: Because the T-Mobile service at our new house is nearly nonexistent, we had to get a landline phone for calls made from home. We ended up going with the $14.99/month plan from Vonage, and we’ve been very happy with the service. (Cool geek feature: Voice mails are automatically converted into audio files and emailed to you!) However, now it appears that Verizon is going after Vonage for patent infringement, and winning — which means, according to this, that Vonage may be out of business within a year.
So: the phone technology that currently exists either sucks, or the company that sells it sucks, or both. And the phone technology that is being developed which doesn’t suck and which is being managed by companies that don’t suck, is being eaten up by larger companies which do suck. Overall effect: Lots of suckage in the phone industry. (And let’s not even begin talking about the suckage of the phones themselves…)
This ain’t the way technology improves, folks.