The wireless telephone business created an awkward paradigm for itself in the interest of selling people on a young technology that was becoming increasingly affordable by completely redesigning (or abandoning) the business model of telephone communication.

The trick was to make the entire process appear to be as extremely affordable as possible:  the telephone is sold to the customer with extensive rebates to make it literally or virtually free, and in return, the customer signs a fairly liberal contract to keep the service for a year or two.

I have nothing against this process, since under the contract I have, I bought a phone for $50 that has more features than I can actually use where I live (damned infrastructure here is terrible) and for the similar bill of about $50 a month I can use my phone anywhere in the 48 contiguous states where I can actually get a signal, and do a lot of nifty things besides calling someone or receiving a call.

The issue I have with this arrangement is that mass production makes things so affordable, and this process makes the phones seem so affordable, that I have no idea how much it really costs for a service provider to procure these phones.

You see, in the list of features I didn’t choose in the interest of keeping my bill around $50, was accidental damage insurance.  Add to that, that I have a habit of abandoning my phone simply because people really don’t call me all that often, and you get…

I left it in my pocket and ran it through the laundry, to discover my dead phone at the bottom of the machine.  Its almost identical replacement (it has a software update, IR, and Bluetooth now) cost $290.  Buying out my contract to have no service at all would have cost $250.  The moral: pay for the insurance.

Haven’t been up to too much lately besides that.  I decided to make a point to try cleaning up a little bit and in the process, I rewired my workstation and discovered quite a few things I’ve had laying around unused and a few more things I just don’t need anymore but leave plugged in and turned on anyway.  It’s still a mess, but when I’m through recovering from the ordeal with the phone I think I’m going to buy a shelving unit and that’ll make my workspace a bit more acceptable.

Thanks for the comment.

linuxaddict11111:  For the most part, I agree.  Most of the borderline-paranoia going on is just a way to make certain kinds of people, specifically the kind that don’t understand the principle that certain kinds of freedom require you to compromise certain kinds of security; as long as those are the kinds of people that are effected by that sort of thing, I don’t have too much problem with it.

This is the reason for the Bert/Ernie terror level bar at the bottom of the page.  It’s not good to take this seriously, because if you have any grasp of the reality of the matter, you’ll know that the terror level will never drop below medium.

Conspiracy theories aside, overseas terrorism has now taken the spotlight off the kind of terrorism that has been dominant in the US for as long as there has been organized crime:  urban violence.  When a suicide bomb kills shoppers in Baghdad, and a drive-by happens in your city on the same day, which event leads on the news?

See you next time.


2 thoughts on “INSURANCE

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