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NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Temporarily insane

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Temporarily insane

I pleaded temporary insanity to Amber, and I think she may have bought it. I even managed to persuade her to take a ride on the Harley with me down to Half Moon Bay for a romantic weekend getaway, and enjoy the beautiful post-Christmas weather in California. There, I plan to have a little trick up my sleeve.

Pesky persistence

I guess my persistence with Amber is paying off, although the true test is still to come. But I’m not the only persistent one. Take the case of Sprint’s billing practices.

Sprint had been sending bills to former customers for $0.00, and a number of spies reported that Nextel and AT&T have the same bad habit.

I have learned that there are literally hundreds of recipients of these “zero bills” from Sprint. One of my spies suggested that folks send them a cheque for $0.00, and another suggested a cheque for $0.01, based on the notion that if you owe someone a penny, they will clear the matter up rather than continue to send a bill for minutia. But, hey, you never know.

Palm prices

Palm, on the other hand, appears to be engaging in a not-so-minute pricing change. A cohort of mine in the US received a certified letter from Palm about a pricing plan change for his Palm i705 wireless service.

According to his company’s usage patterns, a user would go from a US$39.95 unlimited use plan to a cap of 1MB and an additional fee for every kilobyte beyond that. In a nutshell, a user would pay about $277 per month. The letter suggested some practical ways to cut down on usage. So after trying those, he found that the pricing was still cost-prohibitive. He then tried to set up email filtering, but to no avail. A call to tech support and my spy still has nothing resolved. “I wish they’d just send me the source code so I can fix it myself,” he grumbled.

Mergers and unions

Another of my gumshoes who was sleuthing around the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently informed me that rumours are swirling of a merger between CES and the ailing Comdex trade show, once the biggest of all IT trade shows. Comdex has seen the number of attendees dwindle in recent years as the tech economy flagged.

After a nice dinner and some unforgettable dancing, we stopped at a beach in Half Moon Bay. “I have a little something for you,” I said. When she saw the small jewellery box her eyes lit up, and her face broke out into a big smile. “Oh, Cringe,” she cooed. “What a surprise.”


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