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

GNU nano 2.9.7 was released

Accumulated changes over the last five releases include: the ability to bind a key to a string (text and/or escape sequences), a default color of bright white on red for error messages, an improvement to the way the Scroll-Up and Scroll-Down commands work, and the new --afterends option to make Ctrl+Right (next word) stop at the end of a word instead of at the beginning. Check it out. Read more

Red Hat and Fedora News

Games: Cities: Skylines - Parklife, Descenders, WolfenDoom: Blade of Agony, Stoneshard

  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife launches this Thursday, get the main game super cheap on Humble Store
    With the release of Cities: Skylines - Parklife on Thursday, it's going to expand the already great city builder with some fun new features. For those who don't have Cities: Skylines yet, it has a massive sale on Humble Store with 75% off.
  • Extreme downhill free-riding game 'Descenders' just had a huge update, needs a quick fix on Linux
    Descenders is an extreme downhill free-riding game currently in Early Access and their first major update just went live. I've been quite a big fan of it, as it showed a massive amount of promise at the initial release. I held off on covering this update right away, since the released version of the update broke the 64bit Linux version. Nearly a week later and no fix, so here's how you can fix it manually: Right click on it in your Steam library and go to properties, then hit the Local Files tab up the top and press Browse Local Files… once there, open the Descenders_Data folder, go into the Plugins folder and delete "libfmod.so".
  • WolfenDoom - Blade of Agony is looking for AMD testers
    The GZDoom-powered FPS total conversion WolfenDoom: Blade of Agony [Official Site] is pushing on with development of Chapter 3: The Clash of Faith.
  • Open-world roguelike RPG 'Stoneshard' will have Linux support, nearly hit the Kickstarter goal
    Stoneshard [Official Site] is a pretty good sounding open-world RPG, it's currently on Kickstarter with a promise of Linux support and they've nearly hit their goal. With 26 days left to go, they've hit $28K of their $30K goal, so it looks like they will manage it easily. Inspired by the likes of Diablo, ADOM, Darkest Dungeon and more, they have a lot to live up to in terms of their inspiration. What makes it sound quite interesting, is the survival elements you heal to deal with like diseases, broken bones, mental health and more.