Sprint (and others) fail to honor CTIA Commitment

On December 12, 2013, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless committed to adopt a set of principles to allow consumers that OWN their smartphones to unlock the phones, allowing the consumers to sell their phones (to offset the cost of an upgraded phone?) or switch to other carriers while being able to keep their existing phone.  You can read the “Carrier Unlocking Voluntary Commitment” letter here:

Carrier Unlocking Voluntary Commitment

Sounds nice in theory.  Not so easy in practice.  I called Sprint today asking about unlocking the iPhones currently on our account so they can be sold to help pay for new phones.  At first they were reluctant to even acknowledge that phones could be unlocked.  I asked them about their “unlock” policy which is published here:

Sprint\’s Unlock Policy

Once I pressed them, they acknowledged that the 2 active iPhones on the account did satisfy the conditions under which Sprint would provide the MSL (Master Subsidy Lock) Code and they gave me the codes for the 2 phones.  (It’s still not clear how I use the MSL?)

After I hung up the phone, I was reminded that we had a 3rd iPhone on the account that has since been upgraded already, so I called Sprint back and told them I’d like the MSL for the 3rd phone.  The customer service rep immediately tried to tell me that they don’t give out iPhone unlock codes.  Oh, really?!?  I informed him I just received MSL codes for 2 of my phones, and just wanted the code for the 3rd phone.  He put me on hold… (they’re good at that!)  When he came back,  he conceded that I was allowed to have the MSL code but had to track down which phone it was for.  He put me on hold again.  When I was taken off hold, the rep on the other end was someone else (a supervisor?) who proceeded to tell me “We don’t normally give out the MSL codes, but since you’ve already gotten 2 of yours, we’ll give you the third”.  I said “Excuse me!  Don’t make it sound like you’re doing me any favors!  Sprint’s own policy spells out under what circumstances we can unlock our phones, and our iPhones satisfy all your requirements for unlocking.  So why are you making it sound like you’re going to do me a favor?!?”.  He said “I’ll provide you with the code”.  I said “OK, but don’t make it sound like you’re doing me a favor!”.  He did give me the code, but he certainly didn’t want to make it easy!!  Why should a customer have to fight with “Customer Service” to get the service they deserve????

There seem to be conflicting stories about how iPhones get unlocked and what you can do with them once they are unlocked?!?  Half the articles state how the carrier (Sprint in this case) must submit the request to Apple directly, and then Apple will unlock the iPhone somehow.  If you ask Sprint, all you need is the MSL – you provide that code to the “new” carrier and they port the phone to their own network.

I’m still not clear how it’s supposed to work, but I know I got plenty of pushback from Sprint just for asking for my 3 iPhones’ unlock codes!!

Apparently, Verizon Wireless does not acknowledge the CTIA Carrier Unlocking Voluntary Commitment, at least not yet.  A Verizon Wireless customer told me that he contacted Verizon Wireless to ask about getting his iPhone unlocked, and while they were pleasant on the phone, the customer service rep was unable to find any reference to customers being able to have their phones unlocked, even after asking around to several departments.

Want your phone unlocked??  Good luck!!

At XO Communications “Your Opinion Matters!”?!?

These people make me laugh!  I don’t have time to go into WHY I was trying to contact XO Communication’s support people – it’s a whole nother story.  What gets me is how their support web page touts “Your Opinion Matters!” and offers a link so you can send them your “opinion”.

I was at this web page:

The page proudly boasts this:

Your Opinion Matters!

Yet, the link for “Customer Feedback Form” doesn’t work!  Why??  Well, here’s the HTML for that part of the page:

Oops!

Hmmm… I don’t think my name server is going to be able to resolve the hostname “ektronxostaging”!!  I guess customers’ opinions don’t matter that much after all??

To be fair, when I finally got through to a live person (THE SECOND TIME), she was knowledgeable and helpful!  I should have gotten her name!!

 

Java is going to make us throw away our devices??

I recently updated Java on my Windows machine.  Probably won’t be happening very many more times.  Now when I connect to my (old) webcam or web addressable UPS, I get the following threat from Java:

 

Java threat

Really?  “Running unsigned applications like this will be blocked in a future release”?!?  Who are you to FORCE me to have “signed applications” on all my devices?  How am I supposed to get my old webcam upgraded to have signed apps?  Who’s going to convince my UPS manufacturer that they have to hire some engineer to sign their apps??  Until you can promise me that all my current equipment (that I trust with unsigned apps) will get signed apps before you assert your mandatory block of said apps, stop threatening me!!

 

Printers that force you to use “genuine” ink cartridges!?!

Another pet peeve of mine – printer manufacturers that make printers that will only accept their OVERPRICED “genuine” ink cartridges.  I have an Epson Artisan 837 printer.  It’s a nice printer.  I had the Epson Artisan 800 before this, and it worked well.  I was able to buy cheap cloned ink for that printer, and while it whined every now and then about the ink cartridges not being genuine, it used them and they worked well for the most part.

It’s bad enough that this error has to pop up in the middle of printing a document that is ALL BLACK AND WHITE, so it shouldn’t need any MAGENTA ink:

Replace cartridge

Now, with the 837, it appears Epson decided to get a lot more strict about the ink cartridges they accept?!?  I put in one of the clone ink cartridges, and I get the following message:

Unrecognized

I picked Epson because their ink cartridges are not nearly as expensive as HP and others, but to simply reject clone ink because they want to sell their own is stupid.  Now I have to run off to Staples to buy some magenta ink just so I can finish printing my black and white document!

 

I HATE my Samsung Galaxy S II

Have I mentioned that I HATE my Samsung Galaxy S II?  Well, I do!!  I keep seeing these posts and ads on Facebook saying “<your friends> Like Samsung” and it drives me NUTS!  I got this Samsung Galaxy S II last March when I switched back to Sprint.  I was considering getting a new iPhone, but the guys at the store said “this is the best phone out there…”, and like a fool, I decided to be open-minded and try something new.  “Best phone out there…”?  I don’t think so.

In one of the software / firmware updates, they removed the “Contacts” button from the main phone screen.

Their mail client software SUCKS!  I can’t send emails with it.  I can’t open my (imap) mail folders.  I can’t use proper encryption with it.

The NBA app keeps crashing.

The battery charge indicator just disappears sometimes until I reboot the phone.

Sprint pops up with messages trying to promote their stuff (so, to me, it’s spam that I can’t turn off).

And why does it seem that reception on the Samsung phone is lacking when a Sprint based iPhone 1 foot away seems to work just fine?!?!?

Why didn’t I just go with the iPhone?!?

Harry Reid: King of Hippocrisy!

On September 19, 2012, Nevada Senator Harry Reid apparently took to the Senate floor to (illegally) campaign against Mitt Romney.  He ranted about how Mitt Romney was hiding this and avoiding that.  All speculation with zero proof of any of his suppositions!

Mitt Romney’s recently released tax return indicated he paid a little close to 14% of his income in tax last year.  Reid didn’t point out that more than half of Romney’s income came from Long Term Capital Gains, which the government taxes at 15%!  If Reid doesn’t like rich people paying less taxes on their long term investments, why doesn’t he propose legislation to remove the limit on Long Term Capital Gains??  Let investors pay the same tax rates for all their investment income.  Mitt Romney isn’t a criminal because he pays (only) what he has to!!

Reid said nothing about the 16.4% of Mitt’s income that he gave as charitable contributions.

Most telling, Harry Reid also tried to paint Mitt Romney as a hypocrite with the following statement:

Mitt Romney believes in two sets of rules – one for millionaires and another for the middle class.

That’s funny, because I know that Harry Reid regularly votes for legislation that applies to all citizens of the United States EXCEPT the Federal Government!  If that’s not “two sets of rules”, I don’t know what is?!?!

Mitt Romney’s “two sets of rules” – subjective and very hard to prove.  Harry Reid’s “two sets of rules” – objective and a matter of public record!

Obama was no better than Romney!

I get a kick out of Obama’s new ad attacking Mitt Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts for being #1 in per capita debt and #47 in job creation (apparently for the 4 year term from Jan. 2003 thru Dec. 2006, source: Moody’s 2007).  While Massachusetts was #1 in per capita debt, Illinois was #7 – not a whole lot better, and while Massachusetts was #47 in job creation,  Illinois was #46!  From the looks of it, Illinois was barely a step behind Massachusetts in the rankings.  (Funny how they don’t mention that in their ad?!?)  And guess who was U.S. Senator for the great state of Illinois during the last 2 years that Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts?  You guessed it: BARACK OMABA!  So for all that Barack Obama tries to attribute to Mitt Romney, as a U.S. Senator, it seems Barack Obama was no more effective in helping his own state reduce the debt and create jobs!?!?

FactCheck.org has an interesting and more detailed review of the facts, so I won’t bore you with them here.

 

Aint it the truth?!?

Sad, but oh so true!

Thank you FreakingNews.com!

 

I AM AN AMERICAN!!

When someone is doing a survey/questionnaire (company, web site, store, etc…) and ask “Do you consider yourself…?” with selections like “African American, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, Mixed Racial Background, Native American or Alaskan Native, White, or Other”, it’s time we all start selecting “Other (please specify)” and write “AMERICAN” in the fill-in box!!!

Obama is an idiot!

On Monday, April 2, 2012, just days after the Supreme Court heard arguments about the Constitutionality of parts of the legislation known as “Obamacare”, President Obama made the following public comments:

Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress, and I just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint – that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

First of all, for the Supreme Court to overturn a law would not be unprecedented or extraordinary.  That is part of their job.

Secondly, the law WAS NOT passed by a “strong majority” – the votes were 224 for and 206 against (source).  That’s only 52% for versus 48% against, with over 10% of the Democrats (and 100% of the Republicans) voting against the bill!

Thirdly, Obama besmirches the Supreme Court by calling them “an unelected group of people”, thereby questioning their integrity and authority to review a case like this, suggesting that such actions would only take place as a result of “judicial activism”.  Of course, the Supreme Court is “an unelected group of people” – they’re supposed to be unelected so that they can be impartial (in theory) because they never have to worry about being re-elected.  Their job is to interpret the Constitution without any bias whatsoever.

Obama makes it sound as if a law can’t be overturned once it had been approved by the Congress.  That’s simply not the case!

President Obama: Did you forget your elementary school social studies class that first taught you about the “Separation of Powers”?  Remember the executive, legislative and judicial branches??  Remember that the framers of the Constitution created this separation of powers so that no single branch can take over the control of the country?  You’ve already commented that the Constitution was “too restrictive” – now you’re trying to imply that it’s not the Supreme Court’s place to overturn a law that was passed by Congress??  THAT IS EXACTLY THE SUPREME COURT’S JOB when the law is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!

This was just Obama’s way of getting his “message” to the members of the Supreme Court that might succumb to his influence without having to pick up the phone and actually make a call.