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OT but still techy: Stupid Cell Phone Features

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by D from BC, Jun 30, 2007.

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  1. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I went to buy a new cell phone.

    I asked the ~phone guy~, "I would gladly pay $100.00 extra for a phone
    where I can enter my monthly minute allowance (350 daytime Mon to
    Fri.) and see a minutes used countdown on the display.."

    There was about 15 phones on display..
    "I'm sorry sir...there are no phones with that feature.."

    Fkn!! ..fkn!! @[email protected]#@....10 zillion nearly useless features on these
    phones but a "save you money" feature.. Unbelievable..
    Fk the camera
    Fk the bluetooth
    fk the mp3 player
    piss on the phone cell browser
    piss on the fancy ringtones

    I WANT MY "SAVE YOU MONEY" MINUTE TRACKING FEATURE.

    Those sneaky cell phone providers..

    What can I do?? :(
    D from BC
     
  2. Either bow to their demands and just pay more money every month, or, switch
    to a phone that is capable of third party software options. Either the some
    Treo flavour, or one of the WM5 types.

    I wouldn't wait for the manufacturers to do it, because the larger buyers
    (especially in the US) are the carriers who on-sell the phones with long-term
    contracts aren't going to like it very much.

    I had a quick look on Palmgear, they have "MinuteHawk" which counts incoming
    and outgoing calls, with over-time warnings and such.
    I'm sure there would be some options available for the WM5 phones.

    Only other option I can think of is Symbian, but whichever way you go, it's
    going to be an up-market PDA/Phone, thus not cheap to start with.

    It's viable for me, because I use the PDA features of my Treo quite heavily,
    and the phone quite lightly. But if you're one of the many that just need a
    plain-jane phone, then you're stuck with the limited feature set..
    In fact, the current Nokia trend is to use the same/similar hardware base,
    add a bucketload more useless "features", paint it a different colour, charge
    a bucket load more money for it, And you've got yourself another brand new model.

    The cynic in me says the bottom-end phones are the ones LEAST likely to ever
    get your feature, mainly because they're not making any money on the phone,
    and try to make their money through contracts and tightly controlled talk times.
     
  3. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Thanks I'll Google WM5 phone and see what's around + minutes tracking
    software..

    Currently, I kinda feel like I'm being forced to buy a car with no gas
    gauge..

    #$#$ *(*@ ^$$%#$!!! cell phone providers.. It's a trick.
    D from BC
     
  4. Here in New Zealand we can call a free phone number and a robot tells us
    how much time we have left. I would be surprised if you didn't have a
    similar service available.

    Cheers,
    Nicholas Sherlock
     
  5. We have that here, but it's limited to some pre-paid plans. and then
    they'll only tell you how much money you have left, not how many minutes that
    translates to.

    Most plans don't have that option at all. Most notably the ones that give
    you X minutes per month. The bastards.
     
  6. Get a pre-payed, any pre-paid shows cost last call, and money left.
    If you go past that, then it is 'no connect'.

    Safest thing.
    Get a Nokia 1600 prepaid :)
    No camera, no bluetooth, no mp3, no internet, no downloadable ringtones.
     
  7. One of the early GSM cell phones I had was equipped with a register
    that displayed the accumulated number of minutes, but it was deep
    within the menu system and you would have had to reset it every month.



    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  8. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I automatically get charged extra on my monthly bill for anything over
    350 daytime minutes per month. (Mon to Fri)
    I still want the hassle free automatic option of using extra minutes
    and getting charged for it...
    However, I want to see my minute burn rate displayed so I can control
    my call lengths..

    I almost suspect a pile of cell phone features are a pacifier to
    detract people into not thinking about minute tracking features that
    could help save money..

    I think cell phone providers are acting like gangsters with this set
    up.
    "We won't help you save money, but here's a free toaster."
    D from BC
     
  9. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest

    my Moto C139 TracFone counts down the minutes I use.
    It also displays the date they expire.
     
  10. It is worse then that, they use 'hot buttons' to do GPRS, internet, what
    not.
    Part of that is now illegal in some countries.

    Sure, but prices are going down, not much profit margin....

    It is all a ripoff, maybe better if Voip via wifi, via local hotspot and
    internet.

    Its getting that hot hey ;-)?
    Defective battery?
     
  11. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    Agreed, they are baubles to entertain and distract the feeble minded
    and under 30s They have learnt that if they pack enough baubles in
    there, folk forget to ask for the important things, instead they
    simply chant "way cool".
    What, and probably minimise our profits, are you mad?
    When I HAVE to use a cellphone, I use the smallest cheapest Motorola
    one, a C155, it has a "network-connected timer" that is useful, but
    does not necessarily agree with the billing time, ie, it also counts
    ringing and busy signals, and 0800 free calls,

    Or, Throw it away, there was life BC
     
  12. mpm

    mpm Guest

    Why does this remind me of the 9/10ths of a cent they charge for each
    gallon of gasoline...??

    I knew we were screwed the minute they tried to pawn off 6-second
    billing increments on us!!
    Like that was somehow a savings by not charging the whole minute.

    -mpm
     
  13. mpm

    mpm Guest

    I could not agree more!
    I want a cell phone to communicate, that's all.
    If I want to take a picture, I'll go get my Nikon.

    That said, some marriages might make sense.
    Like a cellphone / glucose monitor (for diebetics).
    ....especially if the phone could transmit the readings direct to your
    physician.

    -mpm
     
  14. Vodaphone here in Australia (at least on some plans) charge to the nearest
    second.

    "Pay for only the time you use" they say in their sales blurb.

    Till I actually sat down with a friend who was under their wonder plan and
    spewing their sales BS. I said you NEVER talk for only a second, and once you
    average out your "normal" use, it ends up costing more than the 30 second
    blocks that a lot of the other carriers normally charge.

    The people who fall for this crap, in my experience, NEVER know what the
    single second charge rate is. At least none of the ones I've asked never knew.

    It's like they just don't care about how much the basics cost. They "say"
    it's cheaper, but have never actually worked it out.
     
  15. The main customers of the handset makers are really not you and me,
    but the service providers, so anything that helps rack up the online
    minutes is a good thing. Like the stupid button that conveniently
    turns on the useless web browser (with additional charges) on my old
    phone.


    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
     
  16. It's a conspiracy. See:
    <http://digg.com/tech_news/Verizon_very_upset_with_a_Minutes_Used_Firefox_Extension>
    <http://verizon-minutes-used.blogspot.com/>
    Verizon and others apparently tried to pressure Mozilla into removing
    the program from their web pile. It's still there. However, you'll
    need a smartphone that runs Windoze Mobile 5 (WM5) and Firefox in
    order to use it. My Verizon XV6700 does all that. I scribbled a web
    page on the phone to give you a clue as to its features:
    <http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/xv6700/XV6700.htm>
    The problem with this particular phone is that it has every feature I
    could ever want, but all of them are broken in some minor way
    sufficiently to drive me nuts. Still it's better than most.

    There's also another conspiracy theory that suggests the absence of
    Wi-Fi from most cell phones was precipitated by cell phone provider
    pressure. I believe it as Verizon will barely admit that their XV6700
    has Wi-Fi. They don't seem to like VoIP via Wi-Fi.
    It would have been useful to know which cellular provider you were
    interrogating.
    I can see you're not a candidate for the new iPhone. Without all
    those features, you're just not "cool". You gotta plug in the ear
    phones, turn up the volume to the threshold of pain, and strut down
    the street showing off the phone which you just overpaid. Having the
    phone ring with my own composition is the ultimate in "cool".
    Incidentally, you left out location based services and push to talk.
    Get a pre-paid phone. Verizon has some key combination you punch to
    tell you how many minutes you have left on your account. Think of it
    as the modern version of the pay telephone. Please insert 10 cents
    for the next 3 minutes. You can also get your minutes remaining
    online.

    My XV6700 and most phones have a usage timer in the phone. That's
    useless for several reasons:
    1. It has no way to reset the monthly usage counter at a
    pre-specified date and time.
    2. It does not accurately reflect various billing rates, such as free
    minutes. Only the cellular providers billing machine has all that.
    In the US, almost all cell phones are subsidized by the cellular
    providers. The price you pay for the discount is that they have a
    rather large say in what features are still functional when you
    activate the phone. In Europe, users either rent or buy their phones
    with very few subsidies. Fewer features are disabled or missing.

    Note the disabled features:
    <http://support.vzw.com/pdf/BT_Chart_Handsets.pdf>
    1. Thou shalt not abbrev.
    2. You might try asking the same question in one of the 200 assorted
    alt.cellular.* newsgroups, preferably in the one for your unspecified
    prospective cellular provider.
    3. Write your own program.
     
  17. Jim Yanik

    Jim Yanik Guest


    a cellphone camera is useful if you get into an auto accident;chances are
    you will usually have your CP with you,but not your Nikon.
     
  18. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Hot buttons & GPRS???
    I didn't understand that part...
    D from BC
     
  19. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Here's the minute tracking feature I'm looking for..

    I enter this information on the cell phone.
    Mon to Fri 8a.m. to 7pm
    350 minutes allotted minutes
    Free weekends.

    So....
    It's July 1st..Sunday
    I get a phone call..
    I answer my phone and can immediately see I have 350minutes.
    My weekends are free
    There is no change to the counter during the call.

    July 2nd..Monday
    I get a phone call at 11am..
    I answer my phone and at any time I can look at my phone see my
    allotted time dropping..350,349,348, etc..

    I get another phone call at 8pm.. (At this time my phone is free)
    I look at my phone at during the call the counter remains the same.

    Does the Moto C139 act like that?

    If so that'll be great...
    During the month I can shorten my call times when I see I'm getting
    closer to running out of my allotted minutes and I'm at risk of
    getting charged for extra minutes.

    D from BC
     
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