Asking our cellphone overlords

Normally, I don't use my blog to say "Amen", but this is one article I can make an exception for. Now that Congress has brought us telephone number portability (that enabled us to finally ditch our landline), what should Congress be asking cellphone carriers about?
  1. Why has the price of a text message gone to 20 cents, from 10, in two years? There was no big technology shift. There was no spike in the cost of electrons.
  2. In Europe, you’re billed only when you place a cellphone call — not when you answer one. And you’re billed only when you send a text message — not when you get one ... Somehow, though, we’ve let the cellphone industry get into the habit of billing both [sides of the transaction].
  3. If your monthly fee includes payment for the phone itself, how come that monthly bill doesn’t suddenly drop in the month when you’ve finished paying off that handset?
  4. Why ... am I still billed an astonishing $1.50 to $5 a minute to call [international] from my cellphone?
  5. When I call to leave you a voicemail message, the first thing I hear, before I’m allowed to hear the beep, is 15 seconds of instructions ... Is 15 seconds here and there that big a deal? Well, Verizon has 70 million customers. If each customer leaves one message and checks voicemail once a day, Verizon rakes in — are you sitting down? — $850 million a year.

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