Hello, Senators? Greedy Cell Phone Biz Needs Attention

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 7:04 AM CDT
The Senate Commerce Committee is currently holding hearings on the cell phone industry's handset-exclusivity practices.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – It's nice to see Congress looking out for the cell phone customer with hearings on carrier exclusivity, but there's plenty of dubious practices in the business they should look into before they worry about getting us all Verizon iPhones, David Pogue writes in the New York Times. 

  • Texting fees. These have doubled from 10 to 20 cents in the last couple of years for no apparent reason. By one estimate, sending data via text message now costs 60 million times as much as sending the same data via email.

  • Double billing. How did we let phone companies start charging us to both send and receive calls? It doesn't happen with landlines—or in Europe.
  • International call charges. With the advent of zero-cost technology for international calls through Skype or Google, cell phone carriers still charging $1.50 to $5 a minute are starting to look more than a little greedy.
Click below for the full list of gripes.