Another 'Fuck Cell Phone companies' Thread...

Yeah, I’m pissed. How was I to know that 800 numbers use up my minutes?? It should be FREE, as in TOTALLY free! First my computer screwed up (it won’t play CD’s without freezing up - this is a brand new computer!) - which pissed me off to begin with. Next I call Dell and end up waiting 10 minutes for a technician person. Spent half an hour on the phone with them, and now I’ve gone over 33 minutes on my cell phone bill - that’s almost $14!! GRRRRRR!!!

I’m really hating the world right now… think I’m gonna move to the mountains in Europe somewhere and live there in the wilderness. I won’t need a cell phone there.


An 800 call isn’t free, it’s toll-free, meaning that the company you’re calling is paying the long distance charges instead of you. It’s a courtesy extended to you by the company you’re patronizing, as a means of getting/keeping your business.

It has nothing to do with your cellular plan. You’re still using the phone, you’re still on the network, why on earth would the call be free if you’re not calling within your allotted free time, be that nights or weekends or holidays or whatever.

The only calls that are free on your cell network are calls to your cellular company and calls which are the equivalent of toll-free charges, which are usually four-digit calls preceeded by the star or pound sign. #ROAD is a free call on some cell phones to a cellular company contracted roadside assistance company. The numbers you dial to reach your cellular company customer service and technical service centers are similarly free. Additionally in some places, local talk radio stations will set up their call letters or dial position with the pound or star key as a “free” call for subscribers to a particular cellular company.

In all of these cases, as in dialing an 800 number, the cost of the call is being absorbed by the company that you’re calling, the “cost” in this case being cellular minutes rather than long distance tolls.

Your cellular company’s literature explains all of this. The free/not-free question is something that has been explicitly covered by all three cell companies I’ve used (the three national industry leaders) simply because there are people who seem to think that toll-free ought to be free on their cell phone, because they don’t understand what in hell their talking about.

In short: you didn’t RTFM, so quitcherbitchin.

:rolleyes: that “their” should be a “they’re” clearly, but that sentence was originally “their cellular plan says because they couldn’t be bother to read it, therefore they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

I prematurely edited myself. I hate it when that happens!

Hm… that just confuses me… the equivalent of toll-free charges? Calling a toll-free number seems to me to be the “equivalent” of making a toll-free phone call.

And if this is true…

…then aren’t you saying that the company I called would “absorb” the minutes, meaning they wouldn’t be charged to me, but “absorbed” by them?

And as for reading the manual, I just did, and this is what it says regarding charges…

“In addition to [the normal] usage charges, you may be charged for recurring monthly service charges, applicable local and long-distance toll charges, other usage charges, connection fees, roaming charges, directory assistance, call completion charges [whatever that means], blah blah blah…” Pretty ambiguous if you ask me. Applicable local and long-distance toll charges? Whatever… In other words they’ll charge me for whatever they want, if they feel like they can get away with it, and there’s not really anything I can do about it because it’s in the fucking manual?.. and stated rather dubiously at that.

I just figure if I can go down to the gas station and dial an 800 number from a public phone for free, then I should be able to dial it free from my cell phone too. Yes, I think I SHOULD be able to dial it free from my cell phone.

And I don’t have to quit ma’ bitchin’ cos I’m in the BBQ pit.

:eek: What’sat? What’d I say? That’s right! Bring it on!! :wink:

Those charges only apply when your plan doesn’t cover the calls you’re making. Obviously, long distance toll charges are never applicable if you have a plan that includes free long distance. I assume the “local” charges they’re referring to are either roaming or local-long-distance charges.

Well, shit, I can call local numbers from a land line for free. Does that mean I should be able to make free local calls from my cell phone?

You can dial it free from your cell phone - you weren’t charged with any long distance fees, were you? That is all an 800 number (and all their variations) means: there are no toll/long distance charges to the person calling. That doesn’t mean you aren’t using minutes - you’re still on the phone.

As far as I know, it’s very standard among all the cell companies that the only calls that don’t count are calls to your cell phone company.

Sorry, but in this case you’re just being a :wally


Jesus, LoganDear. There are two issues with a cell phone. One is airtime, the *other * is long distance. Please learn how a cell phone works. You are always going to be charged for airtime, or have the airtime minutes you used deducted from the minutes in your monthly plan. Everytime you access your cell phone company’s system, you are being charged/deducted for the time you’re using it.

I hate to break this to you, but you also get charged/deducted for minutes for incoming calls (please tell me you knew that), and also for using your cell phone for checking your cell phone voicemail (which is why if you’re watching your minutes you should check your voicemail from a landline).

Your cell phone is not a landline. It doesn’t work like a landline. Your cell phone is not a landline. It doesn’t work like a landline.

:rolleyes: ,
Former Cell Phone Customer Service Rep (Former, thank god.)

Heh, same here. And this is one of many issues I used to get.

I won’t hound the OP any more as everyone else has done a great job. I hope this didn’t generate an irrate call to your cell phone company LoganDear.

But to reiterate one point. Star (*) and Pound (#) numbers are generally free as long as you’re within your service area and are both Toll-free and Airtime free. No other number is free except for Customer Service (which, most of the time, is already a * number but sometimes not).

Not the minutes… the toll.

Exactly. As is the case with virtually every business in the land. If it’s written in the fucking manual, or printed in the back of the fucking ticket, or in any other fucking document that the fucking contract incorporates as ruling the transaction, they can get away with it. Unless there is a law or government regulation to the contrary.

Yes, I think I SHOULD be able to dial it free from my cell phone.[/quote[

And I think it should cost me less to fly SJU-LEX than it does to fly JFK-CDG. While I’m at it I think I should get a prolonged tag-team fellatio session from Tyra Banks and Britney Spears thrown in at no cost. Butthat’s just me.

With cell phone companies I take the approach that they can and will shaft you at every opportunity. Its as if they’ve all resigned themselves to having the worst customer service in all of retail and make no excuses for it. I can imagine the conversation:

<<after 40 minutes of hold time>>

“Sir, you do realize we are a cell phone servivce?”

“Well, yes but…”

“Then you must know by now that we do our best to screw you at every opportunity and that it is our goal in life to tempt to you go to another, equally crappy company for service.”