No More iPhone Gripes!

By now most everyone on the planet has heard about Jobs’ keynote at WWDC. The new iPhone has GPS, 3G, and better battery life. It will be sold in 22 countries around the world starting with the initial release on July 11. AT&T is still the US exclusive carrier right now and they are offering it for $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB). This is all awesome news. However, there is also a lot of griping on the intarwebs about the price hike of the AT&T data plan. It’ll be $10 more a month. I want to say something to the honking noises of the masses on this.

The total cost over the 2 year contract will be $40 more than it is now. That’s $200 off the price of the phone and $240 added back for the data plan price increase. Some people have felt the need to moan about how we are getting screwed by this new way of charging us and that the new deal isn’t actually a deal at all. I disagree. The phone has newer and more efficient hardware. The device is now fully 3G capable. It has a full GPS built into the unit. I’m pretty sure the market value of these changes equates to more than $40. So guess what, we’re still getting a deal on the phone…more of one in my opinion. If you don’t like it…go buy a RAZR. I paid $400 for my Tilt with a 2 year contract. The iPhone does almost all of the same things now in a much smaller package. Not to mention it is a far better media player than my Tilt.

I can’t understand what drives people to concoct these ludicrous conspiracy theories every time a corporation makes any kind of change. It’s just as bad as people whining about Windows security for a decade and then bitching because Vista takes on a security model not unlike that of Linux. Sure the Vista implementation is a little rough around the edges and always in your face when you try to install software or change system settings. Remember the market for Windows machines, though. These aren’t the people that are going to do a Stage 1 Gentoo install over an entire weekend. It has to be more intrusive because Microsoft has to deal with a lower common denominator of computer savvy.

This is the problem with the masses. You take things in the worst possible light at every possible opportunity. Relax a bit and just imagine what the iPhone might have cost if Jobs had decided to keep the same deal with AT&T. The iPhone could easily have been more expensive with the same plans. At least this way you aren’t forced to cough up the extra dough up front. You get to spread it out in micropayments made over the 2 year contract. So sit down, shut up, and be thankful there’s a plan in place to get more iPhones in more hands. The more we see on the market, the more applications we’ll see to make the iPhone an even better communication tool.

Comcast Episode Two: Attack of the Fuzz

There I was, minding my own business. It had been a long day at work but the week was now over. I had made it to Friday night. Supper was eaten and the dishes put away. All I had to do was relax on the couch with Doctor Who. The episode teaser was intriguing. The Doctor has a daughter?

The show started and I was instantly mesmerized by the images on the 50″ plasma. Say what you will, but I like the way Doctor Who stories are presented. I like the writing. I like the acting. It’s probably my favorite show next to Good Eats (and nobody can top that one). But there was a problem. Max Headroom syndrome was starting again. It was a little spastic, but it was there…probably nothing to worry about. Continue reading “Comcast Episode Two: Attack of the Fuzz”

Comcast Episode One: The Signal Menace

Yep, it’s another Comcast post. The saga continues. I had a tech out Wednesday to diagnose my Max Headroom Syndrome and random HD DVR reboots. Of course, he had to call for some help back at the office because the box reported my cable service had been disconnected. Funny…I recall having paid my bill in full well before the due date and by that point I had not yet received the next bill. Turns out something freaked out but it was a quick fix. Continue reading “Comcast Episode One: The Signal Menace”

This is Nunzio from Comcast…

So I got my call from “the local leadership” this afternoon. His name was Sid and we had a nice long talk about things. Apparently Melissa and Sid went over all of my emails and my previous Comcast blurb (Guido part 1) before he got in contact with me. They get points for being thorough. The wonderful thing about that is that he already knew what my issues were and had time to review my service and some options so we didn’t waste all that tedious time rehashing everything I’ve already talked about.

I didn’t know this right up front, of course. So I asked him to summarize what he knew about the situation already. He was surprisingly accurate. I mean accurate to the point that I was wondering if maybe I should check all of my systems for signs of tampering or monitoring. Okay, not really but I was highly impressed. He even took the initiative to take the stations I listed and compared them to the current packaging plans. Guess what…with all of the changes they’ve made in my area, I did not know that the stations I watched were all available in a lower priced plan now.

Of course that isn’t anything to be shocked over. They have eleventy billion customers and there’s no way they could make sure everyone single one of them was aware of how every plan shift affects their needs. I’m not really upset about that; I’m happy that he spotted it. So we talked about the ways we could change what I have to lower my bill but still let me have all the service I want. I didn’t get all my HD and DVR goodness for $30 a month, but we did manage to cut my overall bill for cable and internet by about $50. That’s nothing to sneeze at. So I agreed to keep my Comcast cable television service just a bit longer to see how that works out.

One thing I did enjoy was that he seemed very interested in my idea of a-la-carte packaging. We actually developed it a bit further into an idea that would have fewer hurdles to overcome than a 100% a-la-carte service. Try this idea: Have a small basic package (local channels and whatnot) with add-on options of semi-premium channels. This isn’t quite like the HBO or Cinemax add-on, though I suppose it could be done that way. But the idea is you get the basic package for say $10 a month. Then you add Sci-Fi for $1.45 a month and maybe even a group like HGTV, DIY, and Food Network for $2.30 a month. This way you don’t pay for the unholy legion of channels you never use and have no interest in, your bill is smaller, and the networks you dislike aren’t making money off your service. Win-Win-Win…oh…and Win because such a move would position Comcast at the forefront of the next iteration of cable service. They would be offering the iPod of cable television.

(Begin idea to rant transition…but before I do…I just want to say thanks again to Sid and Melissa ^_^ )

Of course if they aren’t careful, FIOS or U-verse may snatch up the idea and steal what could be a revolutionary move in the old industry. Time moves on and things have to evolve. Digital instead of analog isn’t really the leap forward I mean, either. That’s just a style of delivery. The entire service is due for an overhaul because the times have been changed enough by the internet and daring start-ups…so much so that people now expect to have granular choices. Look at iTunes. I no longer have to buy an entire crap CD for one song that is good. I can just get that song and leave the crap out of my library. I can get one disc of a TV series from Netflix if there is only one or two episodes I want to see. I don’t have to go out and buy the entire thing.

Everyone else seems to get it Mr. Cable Industry. When are you?

Welcome to Comcast, this is Guido. (Part 2)

So if you read the previous post, then you know that roughly four hours after I hit the “Publish” button…I got a response from someone at Comcast in the form of a comment on the post. The comment solicited and email on my part going further in depth on the sources of my frustration with cable television. I have decided since the experience was as nice as it was…I would share most of the email conversation I had with “Melissa M”. Continue reading “Welcome to Comcast, this is Guido. (Part 2)”

Welcome to Comcast, this is Guido.

I recently started reviewing my monthly expenses in order to slow the large black hole of doom that was eating my cash faster than I could make it. While looking over the bills, I stopped at the Comcast bill. I’m giving them about $150 a month…and that’s just way too much. I have expanded basic or whatever they call it, the HD tier, a DVR, and internet service. Now as far as watching TV, I only have a couple of shows that really hold my interest. So I set out to think about alternatives. Continue reading “Welcome to Comcast, this is Guido.”

Why Customer Service isn’t.

I’ve used Vonage as my home phone service for a couple of years now. They’ve been great. I only had one issue and that was back in February 2006 when I first switched and they were able to take care of the problem in a matter of moments. So the service has been wonderful. However, I use my cell phone exclusively now. As a matter of fact, the cordless phone I have connected to my Vonage router has been dead for about 4 or 5 months now. I just don’t use it any more. So why pay the $30 a month? Continue reading “Why Customer Service isn’t.”

Apples aren’t all roses

Don’t get me wrong, I love my new iMac. It’s sleek, fast, and easy to use. Every program I use regularly at home on my Vista laptop has an OS X counterpart. But I do have a bone to pick with Jobs’ company about one thing. While the overall prices of the base models are in line with the cost of PC’s with similar specs…prices on the upgrades are somewhere in the realm of stupid. Continue reading “Apples aren’t all roses”