I Jumped to Virgin Mobile!

Remember this ad I told you about before?

 

Well, I went ahead and joined the party. I got the new LG Optimus on sale for $99 at Best Buy, and bought their $45/month plan. When it came to the options, that was the best deal for me. That gives me unlimited texting, web, and data, plus 1200 minutes a month. The $35/month plan featured in the commercial gives unlimited text, data, and web as well, but only comes with 300 minutes a month. The only bummer is that VM doesn’t do free nights or weekends.

So far the coverage has been great too. I’ve been able to send texts from the bottom of the used bookstore I hang out in a lot, as well as a couple of other places that my T-Mobile coverage couldn’t reach. The phone call quality is just the same as it would be under contract, and Angry Birds plays just fine, btw. 🙂

Mrs. Linc is thinking about coming to VM now once she dumps T-Mobile, because she can’t seem to find a plan she likes on any contracts. I showed her that for $55/month, she can have unlimited everything. Text, web, data, and minutes.

Then I stopped and wondered why I didn’t spend the extra $10.

Oh well, I can do that next month if I want to. We’ll see just how many minutes I use.

If you’re curious, here’s the details about their Beyond Talk plan.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans.jsp

 

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Dems After President to Stop DOJ AT&T Lawsuit!

File under WTH??

Looks like fifteen DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) have asked the President to step in and stop the DOJ’s lawsuit against the AT&/T-Mobile merger. Apparently the merger should be allowed to go through, you know, if the President is REALLY serious about creating jobs for Americans.

Yeah. Because no one from T-Mobile is going to get fired if this happens. Because AT&T promises, you know:

“Owen Smith, AT&T’s regional vice president for Maine, said Tuesday that he couldn’t comment on T-Mobile’s business decisions because the two companies are still separate. However, he repeated the company promises. “More recently, we indicated that no wireless call center employee of either AT&T or T-Mobile on the payroll at the close of the merger would lose their job as a result of the merger,” Smith said.” (my emphasis)

They aren’t promising anything for people who work in the stores or anywhere else, of course. It looks like they don’t have to worry about much post merger firing. If you click the link above the quote, you’ll see that T-Mobile has already started firing employees!

And then there’s this quote from a CWA (Communication Workers of America) three pager about how they are going to protect job loss during and after the merger. Right from the mouths of the people inside, we learn:

“CWA is also working to return off-shored work before any U.S.-based workers lose their jobs. Current collective bargaining agreements stipulate establish the policy that “traditional wireless work will not be contracted out if it will currently and directly cause layoffs or part-timing of regular employees.” Thus, employees cannot be laid off while bargaining unit work has been outsourced. In recognition of this agreement, Randall Stephenson testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee that force reductions will take place first at outsourced sites before U.S. company sites.”

So it’s not that Americans within the merged companies won’t be fired. Even the union says it could happen. It’s just that workers in other countries will be fired FIRST.

I guess this article is titled right: Where It Pays to Deceive.

Virgin Mobile says forget AT&T, join the party!

OMG, I love this ad!! Virgin Mobile mocks the proposed merger, urging customers to come join the fun! The best part: the girl standing in for Carly has an awesome line at the very end while the creepy old guy representing AT&T is moving in on her. Be sure to hang in for it!

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Resistance Art: Anti AT&T Merger Ads

Ok, so after awhile news coverage of a merger can drag on. Which is why I let it fall off the blog. But then, thanks to the links I get from my Pulse News app, I found out that Save The Internet has a new outreach going on to help voice resistance to the merger.

I looked the site over, and they have some really excellent talking points, most of which are put together in easy to understand PDF’s. The site looks great. The commercials are awesome. Here’s one for your viewing pleasure:

 

 

If you want to check the site out, you can start at the page with all of the videos and vote for your favorite.

AT& T-Mobile News Round-up

Well hi there everyone. My inbox is LOADED with news about the merger none of us want to happen. Rather than write some long-winded post about it, I’ll just give you the direct news lincs and you can read it all first hand. Here you go!

The Justice Department is expanding and extending it’s review, and they want data from the competition! http://bloom.bg/lJwzmW

The FCC wants OUR opinion on the merger. http://www.mobiledia.com/news/88791.html 

And they have an easy to use website just for this purpose: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/hotdocket/list

No matter what, T-Mobile ads still make fun of the DeathStar: http://bit.ly/mzuuY0

The FCC has set a pleading schedule for starting their review: http://bit.ly/lkTGgj

Um, ok. This post tries to make it out that being bought by AT&T would have the positive effect of making T-Mobile by default more union friendly. Except that they wouldn’t be T-Mobile anymore for one, and even the author admits that the union got into AT&T because management was neutral. There’s a difference between neutral and friendly. http://bit.ly/lNfu4j

Apparently now Citigroup has gotten in on the deal. They’re now part of Deutsche Telekom’s financial advisory team. THAT increases my confidence!! http://on.wsj.com/lYscfY

Now AT&T’s deal with Qualcomm is getting extra reg attention too! http://bit.ly/ixjDtu

AT&T is still saying that being a massive overlord in wireless service is GOOD for the customer! Really, it is! http://lat.ms/mLIi98

No Peeking!: FCC rules no one can see the unreleased papers related to the merger. Trade secrets might be compromised. Maybe we’d learn just how much AT&T got paid for letting the government listen in on their customers? http://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting

San Antonio Texas tells us how this merger would effect them locally, including how higher phone bills would impact the Latino community. http://sacurrent.com/columns/story.asp?id=72323

AT&T’s Tech Chief says really, this is GREAT for competition! Really! http://bit.ly/f3b6iP (Why is it only AT&T people talking publically??)

OUCH! WT?? Hoffa Jr Backs Merger: http://bit.ly/jcBcMF Says something like it will be great to get hundreds of T-Mobile employees into the union. Um, yeah, the ones who didn’t lose their job from the merger in the first place. Why do both of the pro-union articles miss this fine point?

That’s all I’ve got for now, y’all. Enjoy the reading.

AT&T Merger News Roundup

People in the business world are looking at the merger from varying angles. I’m finding a lot of the articles interesting. Rather than re-spin them myself, I’ll give you the links. You get to read good writing from a variety of sources without having to dig through the web for hours! Win/win here at the Linc!

**Particularly Awesome** Visuals showing how the merger would consolidate cell service in America: http://www.allareacodes.com/consolidation-of-the-us-mobile-industry/

Some state attorneys are weighing in: http://www.mobiledia.com/news/85562.html

The merger might delay (badly needed) spectrum reforms:  http://www.mobiledia.com/news/85062.html

What kind of effect this could have on smartphones in the marketplace: http://bit.ly/goptMq

A look at what American cell users pay compared to the rest of the world: http://nyti.ms/h5f9iO

Sprint has now come out against the deal: http://nyti.ms/hh2YFM

And AT&T tells Sprint to mind their own business: http://politi.co/dFAAHg

AFL-CIO president sees merger as good for workers: http://bit.ly/fnV15v (I guess for the ones who get to keep their jobs)

Video explaining one of the scales that will be applied to exploring the merger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYpMsHCPvLo

And The Consumerist shows us why mergers that allow companies to dominate a market concern people greatly: http://bit.ly/h2krg3

From Seattle: AT&T Merger Not Great

It appears the AT&T Death Star moving into orbit around Bellevue, WA has caused some people to look around and notice a few things. Like how the housing market might be affected once the two companies “consolidate resources”. (AKA lay a bunch of people off…most likely the lowest paid ones.) http://bit.ly/eo5rdO  The basic idea being that the loss of jobs will have a secondary on real estate in the area around Factoria. Less people working means less folks paying rent or buying a home. They also won’t necessarily chose to stay in Seattle for their next job.

Tim Ellis over at The Seattle Bubble, a real state blog, has this to say: “…Considering that their headquarters spans at least six large buildings in Factoria, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not just a story that interests me. There are a lot of good jobs that are going to be affected by this acquisition.” http://bit.ly/igJBUD   Indeed there are. In a way, I feel like that’s also a big part of the fight. Sure, I don’t want to be dragged back into a contract with AT&T. I ran away from them, and don’t want to be their customer ever again.  

But I also would hate to lose the awesome in person and over the phone customer service I get with T-Mobile. And it would be gone once “our company” was fully digested by the Death Star. There’s some whispering around the web that, in spite of their promise to keep a “significant presence” in the Seattle area, the jobs at T-Mo HQ will be lost, and everything moved to Texas. *sigh*

This article by Jon Talton over at the Seattle Times says one thing I agree with. That “AT&T gets to grow through acqusition, instead of organically by actually serving customers well.” (He must know a few former customers.) He has another point that I’m not certain rings true. Mr. Talton seems to see this particular merger as part and parcel of problems in Seattle business culture that make it hard to grow and keep dynamic, big name companies. I would have to disagree. Where T-Mo lives was not a pre-condition to being eaten by AT&T, more an “accident of birth”, if you will. http://bit.ly/ezWnQ3

T-Mobile’s HQ could have been on the dark side of the moon and AT&T still would have bought them out rather than improve their own customer service.

One thing he brought up that I did not know is that T-Mobile had been on the 24/7 Wall St Blog’s List of 10 Brands that will disappear in 2011. The qualifications for making the list are that “…we expect the brand to be gone by the end of 2011, or for its parent to be sold or go into chapter 11”. That’s all I have for right now. Enjoy their list! http://247wallst.com/2010/06/15/247-wall-st-ten-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2011/#