We all have our cell phone woes | NevadaAppeal.com

We all have our cell phone woes

by Becky bosshart

I have 2,000 rollover minutes on my cell phone plan that I will probably never use. I also don’t use my text messaging, but that doesn’t keep me from getting charged for it.

This is just a small sample: I had 121 text message charges on my last bill for a phone that can’t receive text messages from a company I never subscribed to (or heard of, for that matter) at a cost of 30 cents each, totaling $36.42. With my regular service, that brought my bill to $80.47.

I must predicate my rant with this: I turned off my text messaging capability about eight months ago for this exact reason. Some other company (called SMS.ac on my phone bill) was randomly spamming me. For a few months, I took the charges because they were all pretty low. The charges blended in with all the other fees that steadily raise that $50 a month budgeted bill to $65. Two dollars here. Three there. Then all of a sudden the charges jumped to $10 or $15. I complained to my provider and asked to take the text messaging option off my phone. The helpful clerk told me this would stop the text messaging.

Curse him for his infernal ignorance. It didn’t really stop. It just slowed them down. My May 2005 bill included $8.40 for text messaging. In June: $7.30. From August to November the ubiquitous SMS charged me $43.80. Then m-Qube Inc. took its place to feast on my lean bank account. I’ve already given this company $11.40 for a service I can’t receive and wouldn’t want it if I could. Then comes the $80 bill.

When a sane person hits Breaking Point they deal with it in complicated ways: I seethed. I ran on the treadmill and seethed. I called Cingular Wireless and was told, essentially, that it was my fault. I, apparently, had signed on to some “joke of the day” service that was text messaging my phone, and still getting through, daily.

That really didn’t jive with the inconsistent charges on my phone bill, but oh well. I’ve never signed up for such a service, but SMS and m-Qube got my number some how. This whole time I had to cancel the service with these companies, even though I was never told that, nor knew who they were in order to cancel it. My cell phone provider had been billing me based on the charges from SMS and m-Qube.

Note to war hawks: Why bomb buildings? Sign your enemies up to a “joke of the day” service. You’ll be the one laughing.

I canceled my “account” with m-Qube. The $36 was eventually credited to my account after I had someone from Cingular intervene.

I just got my January-February bill. Fifty-four text messages from m-Qube Inc., $17.12.

We used to haggle with the general store owner to get a good price on seed to grow the hay on our farm to feed the horse that took us to into town to discuss the weather and share jokes about chickens and farming.

After adjusting for the cost of inflation, I wonder if wireless joke sharing costs any more than what it used to back in the horse and buggy days.

The Economic Development Authority of Northern Nevada is accepting applications for the Business of the Year award. The award recognizes companies in the region that have made Northern Nevada a better place to live and do business. The award will be given to one large company and one small company. Winners will be announced at EDAWN’s fifth annual luncheon May 2 at John Ascuaga’s Nugget. For information, visit http://www.edawn.com/event/annual.cfm.

According to the Business Tax Climate Index, Nevada ranked in the top 10 for business-friendly states, ranking fifth overall and first for business tax index. View the rankings at http://www.taxfoundation.org/.

Reno Harley-Davidson/Buell will open its new retail store 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in downtown Reno. The new 1,140-square-foot store is on the second floor of the Silver Legacy, next to RumBullions Bar.

The new Reno Harley-Davidson store at the Silver Legacy will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A customer appreciation open house is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 25 at Reno Harley-Davidson/Buell, 2295 Market St., to celebrate the dealership’s second anniversary. Donate $2 for Klothes 4 Kids, which provides new school clothes for kids in need, and receive a barbecue lunch.

Rich Green joins PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open as tournament manager. Green brings knowledge and experience in the golf and sporting events industry to his new position, where he will support the tournament director in developing event sponsorships and sales, as well as coordinating and managing tournament operations.

Matt Riecken was promoted to senior vice president of office and industrial leasing for the Northern Nevada division of Trammell Crow Co. Riecken has worked with Trammell Crow since 1998. He will continue to direct leasing efforts for the Reno office.

“Matt’s experience and expertise has enabled us to expand our leasing services,” said Par Tolles, managing director of the firm. “We’re now the largest full-service real estate firm in Northern Nevada.”

Washoe Medical Center’s network of healthcare services was named one of the top 100 most highly integrated healthcare networks in the nation by the Verispan corporation. Washoe Med is the only healthcare network in Nevada to make the 2006 list and is included for the third year in a row.

A project manager for more than four years, Shaun Smith was promoted to associate with CFA Inc., a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in planning, civil engineering, landscape architecture and surveying. Smith joined CFA in 2001. His accomplishments include projects such as the St. Mary’s Downtown Campus, Incline Elementary School, RTC Transit Centers in Reno and Sparks and the Vista Business Center.

Smith is a licensed professional engineer in both Nevada and Utah and has more than nine years of experience in civil design. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Montana, Montana Tech. His professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Public Works Association. Smith is an active member of the Economic Development Authority of Northern Nevada.

— Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.