Alltel can suck it

So, when I was late with my cellular bill some time ago, it was because I was poor. The bill would come due and I would have to make payment arrangements because we often wasted money or consistently spent more than our income. There are no excuses for that. It’s simple economics (from which politicians could use a refresher course).

Today, however, our income is enough to pay the mobile bill, and the other bills on-time each month. No bubbles, no troubles. However I still pay my mobile bill ‘late’ every month. I mean, it’s not late in the sense that I’m not paying for the services I use in a timely manner, it’s late in the sense that I don’t pay ahead of time for services I may or may not use.

In case you have forgotten (or were never aware), the mobile industry in the United States bills you for services ahead of time. Look at your next statement. The time billed ends in the near future. This is similar to the cable company (and probably satellite). Normally this would not anger me much as I will use the service, and thus will pay the bill (like the cable). Alltel sees fit to start sending threatening texts and making harassing phone calls over 10 days before the service that you are pre-paying for is ended however. 10 days. WTF.

I could understand if it were the 24th (the day after my billing cycle) and they began bugging me, but that is not the case. They have informed me via text that they will be shutting my service off on the 21st if I do not pay my ‘past due’ balance. Again – WTF?

The 21st is still two days before the date my ‘late payment’ will cover. If I’m on a prepay service, fine, just tell me so and let me end my service with no termination fee. Oh hell no, you will prepay and like it Mr. Consumer!

Previously, I stayed with Alltel because of some stupid sense of loyalty – they bought First Cellular and treated us well while downsizing. Then it was because they were the ‘little guy’ after selling out most of their network to Verizon. At this point, they can suck it. As soon as the mood strikes I will be moving to AT&T or one of the lesser carriers. Verizon is out because they are 50% foreign-owned (didn’t know you were sending 1/2 of your money overseas? better check into it), and I figure my cellular dollars may as well make some American executives rich.

Oh, and work gets me discounts with AT&T, so they are the front-runner. Yes, there will be a rape-you-in-the-ass early term fee, but that will be less than continuing my service without the discount, so I still come out ahead.