The telephone is a technological marvel that has granted man the ability to instantaneously communicate with one another around the world. However, this triumph of engineering is overshadowed by the douchebags known as Phone Companies.
Before the invention of the telephone, human beings that wished to communicate over long distances had to resort to time consuming methods in order to convey relatively simple messages. Some of these were simple, such as the "Lover's Telephone", which works on the same principle as those tin can pieces of shit you and your friends made when you were 5.
State of the art technology, circa early 19th century
In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the first telephone, paving the way for a nationwide communication network. It also saved the rest of us from looking like retards.
He was also known for having an epic beard
By the 20th century, telephones had become a standard part of society. It was a standard facet of the American dream, next to baked pies on the window sill, that is. In 1973, a Motorola executive demonstrated the first cellular phone.
But fuck that. Pies are cooler anyways. And delicious.
Today, the newest phone technology is Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP. It's free, fast, and allows you to read Cracked.com while talking to your bitchy Aunt Ruth.
Any company or industry requires money to operate. This is understandable. However, in the case of a phone company, it requires both your money AND your commitment. It's like being married, except without the sex, fighting, and make up sex.
I'd like to see you try this with Sprint
Let's say that I want a new phone that can browse the internet, take pictures, call, and text. I choose to go with Verizon as my provider. After trying out new phones, I decide that the LG Ally is what works the best for me. Ready to check out, I have the option of either paying $100 for the phone with a two year plan or spend $370 on just the phone. Being the smart person that I am, I choose the $100 option.
What a fucking idiot
Now I'm bound to Verizon for the two full years of my plan. On top of that, I now have to pay an extra $30 per month simply because my phone uses the Android OS. And, because I like to text, an additional $10 for 500 texts per month and unlimited mobile-to-mobile texting. But hold your horses there, cowboy, there's more! That mobile-to-mobile texting only covers OTHER verizon cell phones, so if your friends use a different cell phone company, you're shit outta luck. And if you send more than 500 texts to other phone carriers, then you have to pay an additional 10 cents FOR EACH FUCKING TEXT.
The amount of money this girl will waste on text messages could feed an entire African village for a year.
Having learned this, I choose to go with a cheaper, less expensive phone on a month-to-month payment plan. How expensive could it be?
I would even tolerate a phone as shitty as this
That right there is the Kin, an epic failure of cellphone technology. It was pulled only 48 days after release due to horrible sales. On a month-to-month plan, it would cost me $120 for JUST THE PHONE. That doesn't include the plan, which (for 450 minutes per month) would cost me an additional $40 EVERY FUCKING MONTH. This doesn't include the emasculation I would feel every time I used the phone.
The Kin: Embarrassing no matter how weird your friends are
So I've become dissatisfied with my phone company and have decided to live without technology. How bad could it be? I would be like a pioneer, living life off the grid.
Minus the dysentery
I choose to cancel my phone contract with Verizon. Walking into the store I feel as though my balls were made of wrought iron. I am there to end this abusive relationship in hopes of beginning life anew. And possibly tell the clerk that I think he's an asshole. But before my shining moment, I am told that if I were to end my contract, I would be LEGALLY required to pay an early termination fee. HA! It couldn't be that bad. I mean, it's not like it would cost more than this phone and the month of service I purchased.
Wait, actually it does. A $175 early termination fee is the only thing that can free me from this mess. And so I leave the store, an empty shell of the confident man I once was. All I have left is a shitty phone and a broken spirit.
And that's where my alcoholism began...
In summation, no matter what you choose, you're fucked.
The cardinal rule of customer service is that "The customer is ALWAYS right". Believe me, I know this. I worked at a grocery store for four years. I know exactly how the system works. Sure, there are extenuating circumstances where the customer is just a fucking retard that doesn't understand that you can't return a half empty bottle of gin. But for the most part, we would resolve the situation in a manner that was satisfactory for both parties involved.
At a phone company, the customer is NEVER right. Why? Because they're the fucking phone company, that's why. And while it's understood that not everyone is going to be satisfied with the end results of their customer service experiences, AT&T takes it to a whole new level
That is the face of a man who does not give two shits of a fuck about you or your well being
In New Jersey, a woman was billed $700, even though she only used a $35 per month plan. Assuming that is was simply a bookkeeping error, the woman elected to call AT&T's customer service department to sort the issue out. There were then two options for AT&T to choose as to how to solve the discrepancy:
1. Respond cordially and quickly, resolve the issue, and continue a 30 year relationship with the customer
2. Ignore the problem and hope it will solve itself
AT&T made up a third option: Call a collections agency, continue charging the woman, and otherwise ruin her financial life.
They probably also killed her puppy for being on company property
The woman now owes over $1,900 in charges and has been unable to get anyone at AT&T to help her. The worst part is that this is not an isolated incident. AT&T has the worst customer satisfaction rating in the United States as well as being recognized by fucking J.D. Power and Associates as having extraordinarily shitty customer service.
YOUR BILL IS IN MY HANDS! PLEASE ME AND I SHALL REWARD YOU WITH FREE RINGTONES! DEFY ME AND I SHALL RELEASE THE LATE CHARGES!
As society has evolved, so has advertising. Instead of Jimmy and his Pops playing ball out in the backyard, we are shown masses of hopeless looking people suddenly enlightened by the background noise of shitty indie music. The following is a great example
All advertising works on the principle that in order to convince someone to buy something, you must convince them that the something that you are selling will in some way dramatically enhance your life. This is relevant in many ads, such as one for a new car. The ad never claims that by buying the car you will be able to bone the hot girl sitting on the hood, but our minds are smart enough to infer that purchasing the car could lead to such an event
The Model T would never have been so popular if it weren't for the sex appeal
However, phone companies don't rely on sex appeal. They prefer to give you the illusion that by purchasing their phone, you will receive some sort of mental transcendence and become almost omnipotent. With a smart phone, you can check your friend's facebook statuses, email your co-workers, and even organize community events on a whim without any prior planning. You will become all knowing and all powerful.
Behold the power of the mighty bowl cut
The worst part of all this is that the process works. I can understand some sort of executive using a smart phone in order to perform business on the go and organize important meetings. But that is not what a smart phone is for, according to the Phone Companies. A smart phone makes you look cool, feel cool, and become a shining pillar of light to everyone you know. Because of this image, the demand is extremely high. Everybody needs one in order to fit in. I mean, come on, who want to be the idiot stuck in the corner on his flip phone while everyone else is watching funny videos on youtube?
If smart phones were cheap, I would understand. But they're not. And regardless of how exorbitantly expensive the phones become, people will still buy them. Why? Because the Phone Companies created a demand for a need that doesn't exist.