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Tmo2go Mofo 2

Tuesday, 22 March, 2011

I am a cheapskate. I used to have the excuse that I was poor, but now I’m just cheap.

As a cheapskate, when I finally decided to join the 90’s and get one o’ them cellular phones (ca. 2005) I was looking for a good deal. I still had a twentieth-century phone at the time. The best deal was T-mobile-to-go. In this area, T-mobile is infamous for always making a connection. Recently I was traveling near Hope, Arkansas and got an incoming call. Supposedly, that isn’t likely. It’s a flat 10¢ per minute. As much as I use the phone (<100 min per month), that’s a pretty good deal.

I won’t go into the saga, but I couldn’t get telephone calls over ye olde telephone, couldn’t make calls and my DSL service was about 256k inbound. This went on for about three months. Despite spending two days every week working the system, the customer service at the company now using the name AT&T just wasn’t interested. I bought more time on my Tmo2go phone and called the other internet service provider who hooked me up right away.

When I finally got through to the office to disconnect AT&T twentieth-century service, via Skype by the way, I reached the first person to take an interest in my situation. I felt almost apologetic explaining that it was too late. I gave up on “AT&T” and had acquired services elsewhere for about 70% of the price.

Then my apartment was renovated and the capacity for twentieth-century phone service was removed. You can still see the indentation in the molding along the floor. This does not stop Ma Bell from sending me about three offers every week. Even if the unimaginable happened and I suddenly desired Southwestern Bell service, I’d have to move.

AT&T mobile service is such that they compelled the iPod touch into existence. The iPhone is so good people have to have it even if cannot actually use it as a phone or to make a data connection. That’s a hell of a phone.

I, on the other hand, operate a far more modest Nokia unit purchased at Walgreen’s for $25 on the same day I ran my previous Nokia through the laundry. The old phone was eventually reassembled and does work, by the way. This is the kind of service I’m looking for. I don’t have to F with it. I don’t have to get special permission to get another phone, just walk down the street and get another one. I especially don’t want to pay more than $20 per month for a phone and especially for services I don’t need, use or want.

Pops don’t txt.

When my present minutes on the TMo2go phone run low in about six months, I guess I’ll have to go elsewhere. I find it implausible that AT&T will tolerate value and service. They’re just not that kind of company. I shall not entertain the notion that service will improve now that Ma Bell owns the best network in my area. It will simply be shut down. There are technical reasons for this, but the real reason is that AT&T are a bunch of assholes. As far as the telephoning public is concerned, that’s all you need to know.

So, where do I go?

This deal is the best thing to ever happen to Sprint.

I’ll post my new number in October or so. Well, not here.

  1. Graeme permalink
    Tuesday, 22 March, 2011 10:02

    Does Virgin still do mobile to go? They had those at the Best Buy years ago. It’s been some time since I looked.


    • Tuesday, 22 March, 2011 15:35

      Virgin Mobile USA and Common Cents, each marketed to price-sensitive consumers under 30 or over 50 respectively, are subsidiaries of Sprint. Indeed, most of those phone companies you never heard of but are popping up all over are Sprint MVNOs. The analysis saying Sprint must be suffering because the mother brand has relatively few subscribers is simply wrong.

      With Virgin you can get $25/mo no contract prepay with “unlimited” 3G data. Common Cents does something not unlike 15¢/min flat but you have to pay handsomely for data.


  2. Graeme permalink
    Wednesday, 30 March, 2011 11:48

    That makes sense. I figured they had to be piggybacking on someone’s network for the scheme to make any sense. Otherwise, they’d have to be doing way more to sell more so they could build infrastructure.

    Shake Shack lived up to the hype! Wow! We went to the original one in Madison Sq. Park. Apparently the cold was working for us, as excited locals were raving about the lack of a line. I guess it gets pretty crazy in the summer.

    The crinkle cut fries were perfect. Wonderful blend of crispy exterior & meaty center. Not at all greasy. I couldn’t stop eating them, even though the burger was staring me in the face.

    I got a double without cheese. No discernible seasoning. Good, quality meat. The buns make it! Other than White Castle, I’ve never had another burger where the bun melts into the burger in this way. Just a wonderful experience. All three diners were prepared to be disappointed, and we all walked away raving fans. It was too cold to try a shake, but I imagine they know what they’re doing with those as well.

    If you’re in NYC, I would suggest an extended Hamburger Diaries review. It may be an expensive take on the quick service model, but the guy was way out in front of this trend. Our favorite local take on this concept, Super Duper, doesn’t stack up to Shake Shack. The bun… I’m telling you, the bun just sent a good burger screaming over the top. Tremendous. I know I’m not describing the experience in any detail. What can I tell you? We were eating like real New Yorkers: in a hurry to get somewhere.


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