PUBLIC NOTICE: Cell phone replaced

This serves as a public notice that my beloved Motorola Razr M phone died (no longer bootable; local data not recovered) a few weeks ago, immediately before flying to attend OSCON 2014. Since I was busy at the conference, and since I couldn’t decide on what to upgrade to, I took a while replacing my phone. It was a strange experience traveling without a cell phone, I must say!

Please note that as of now I now have a working Moto X, which I love, and which I’m still working through setting up.

This is important for various two factor authorization setups I have that used my old phone, which I now need to figure out how to re-create. Ugh.

Take Back the Beep – purposeful inefficiency is unforgivable

Open letter to AT&T

Please add a clear and obviously explained option, for both callers and AT&T customers, to permanently disable the carrier-provided messages for voice mail.

A suggestion for your business model: realize that in today’s age of excessively fast information, your customers actually do care about the details – and if they don’t now, some blogger will remind them of it soon.

Comments like this (from the David Pogue NYT article):

And yes, several attendees (cell executives) admitted to me, point-blank, that the voicemail instructions exist primarily to make you use up airtime, thereby maximizing ARPU.

will alienate your company from larger and larger segments of your customers in the coming years. And it’s not just the cost issue, it’s the efficiency issue. Your fellow industry leaders have admitted that they’re PURPOSEFULLY wasting our time. While I can understand that your purpose is to make a profit, it’s just insulting to be doing it by explicitly being inefficient.

Thanks for your time,
– Shane

Today is Arlington FiOS day!

As promised by the aggressive canvassers last week, this is the day for FiOS installs in Arlington. The fleet of white and red Verizon vans from across eastern MA gridded the streets of Arlington Heights this morning as they started their FiOS installs.

If you’re interested in FiOS, you’ll probably have to wait a while for an install, and probably pay more – at least that’s what their canvasser said. It was interesting: I actually spent a good 20 min discussing ISPs and phone companies with the canvassing supervisor the second time they came to my door. A simple explanation that we don’t accept unsolicited callers didn’t get him to leave, but he was interesting enough that I spent a while – on one of those rare sunny moments – just chatting.

Well, I was chatting, and he was still selling. They were definitely getting desperate – I’m betting that besides the commissions the door-to-door salespeople make, they’re having trouble achieving their new home penetration rate with their first round of installs. I wonder what it will end up being in the first round – Arlington is very dense, but it’s definitely a mixed community overall. I was still surprised they spent that long at my door even after I made it clear I wasn’t signing up with them under any circumstances. The first salesman wasn’t much; he just kept spouting the party lines. But the backup salesman / supervisor was actually interesting, and asked a few interesting questions amidst the rest of the sales pitch.

I wonder if Verizon will stop sending me their weekly junk mail now, or if it will continue with a higher pitch. I’ve got quite a large pile, and hope to make an art piece out of them someday.

P.S. Verizon, I’m lookin’ at you. If there are any problems with my existing phone or internet tonight, I’m going to be calling. Your technician hit both our POTS and Cable lines pretty hard with his ladder this morning as he was installing the neighbor’s line. Then he hit them again as he moved his ladder around. If my phone goes out, I’ll be blaming you – and most assuredly not getting your service, either. I almost wonder if this is an unwritten rule for the FiOS installers.