Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Phone-y downloads rack up $9,000 bill

Filed under
Sci/Tech

Seattle businessman Don Etsekson has his life wired. A simple cable allows him to synchronize computers at home, at the office and in his pocket every day like clockwork.

But an onslaught of illegal spam and unrequested downloads to his new "smart phone" racked up a $9,000 bill -- for being wireless.

And Etsekson said that when he called his carrier, AT&T Wireless, now Cingular, no one was able to help him.

He was routed around the phone system, talked with billing representatives who wouldn't budge and was given a number for tech support that was disconnected.

He ended up figuring out the problem on his own. His new cell phone, an Audiovox SMT5600, had been preprogrammed to remotely download his e-mail every 15 minutes without his authorization. No one, not even the phone, told him it would.
After the Seattle Post-Intelligencer brought the matter to the company's attention this week, Etsekson's problem was resolved.

"The real problem is I've spent so much time on this, time that I desperately do not have," he said. "I shouldn't be forced to walk through a mine field as a consumer."

Cingular representatives say Etsekson's case is unusual.

His feelings toward his wireless carrier are not.

Consumer complaints against wireless carriers increased 37 percent last year, according to Federal Communications Commission statistics.

An analysis of those 2004 FCC complaints by the Consumers Union found that most cell-phone complaints are about billing problems. Topping the list: AT&T Wireless and Cingular, which merged late last year.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

KaOS 2016.06 Moves the Distro to Linux Kernel 4.6, Adds Full-Disk Encryption

The developers of the KaOS Linux operating system have had the great pleasure of announcing the release and immediate availability for download of the KaOS 2016.06 ISO image with some very exciting goodies. First and foremost, the devs have decided to move the distribution from the long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel series to Linux kernel 4.6, which makes it possible to fully automate the early microcode update. Furthermore, the default desktop environment has been migrated to the Beta of the upcoming KDE Plasma 5.7. Read more

Tiny Core Linux 7.2 Enters Development, First Release Candidate Is Out Now

The developers of one of the smallest GNU/Linux operating systems, Tiny Core, have announced that the next point release in the Tiny Core Linux 7 series, version 7.2, is now open for development. Tiny Core Linux 7.2 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) has been released today, June 25, 2016, and it lets early adopters and public testers get an early taste of what's coming to the final Tiny Core Linux 7.2 operating system in the coming weeks. Read more

Huawei CEO: Will keep using Android as long as it's open

He made the said comment in a Weibo post, where-in he also noted that Google's mobile OS has promoted the development of smartphones, which in turn has benefited consumers. Interestingly, he didn't say anything about whether or not Huawei is developing an in-house mobile OS - said to be called Kirin OS. His silence on the matter, though, can be taken as a confirmation of sorts, especially when his comment reflects the possibility of Google restricting the companies’ freedom with Android in future. Read more Also: Huawei CEO Comments On Rumors about its Independent OS