AT&T, Giving me More Reasons to Stick with Verizon

Ever since the iPhone came out I’ve wanted one.  I’m not much of a phone user, but the idea of being able to have anywhere access to the web in the shiny iPhone interface made me drool.  Of course I couldn’t justify the cost of the data plans, not to mention I was still under contract with Verizon.  We got another 2 year contract with Verizon as both of our phones were spiraling towards the grave (man, the RAZR’s looked so cool, but they were riddled with problems), so I put any thought of getting an iPhone on the back burner.  AT&T helped me not feel bad about this decision by doing such things as not allowing tethering of the phone (this is the ability to link the phone to your computer so that your computer can then use the phones internet connection to connect with the outside world).  Other news stories came up about little things where AT&T may have been influencing Apple to hobble features AT&T wasn’t keen on (features that mobile carriers in other countries do in fact offer on the iPhone).

As my Verizon contract inches towards running out I again looked at the iPhones with lust, but AT&T seemed intent on making me laugh at purchasing any phone that was locked in to their service.  AT&T has changed their terms of use to forbid the forming of class action lawsuits against them.  This from the terms of service that already force people in to arbitration that is decidedly leaning towards the corporate behemoth.  While this clause is of questionable legality – the ability to enforce does vary from state to state.  Even if held unenforceable it would cause people who have a grudge against AT&T to have very deep pockets to be able to wage a legal battle against them.

The US cellphone technology and system is already a joke when compared to much of the rest of the world.  Allowing these companies to employ questionable legal tactics is only going to further the divide between us and everyone else from a technological stand point.  This country is far too interested in civil legal action, corporate red tape, and shafting customers to actually think about becoming a nation of innovation once again.  It’s no wonder we’re in the economic mess we’re in.  While I’m not exactly the biggest fan of Verizon, these days they certainly are slipping in to being the lesser evil.

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