The cellphone is a Millennial dream machine, and most of those techno-savvy users can’t live without it. The cellphone is changing the way the world looks at itself in more ways than one. Sure. Cellphones are great communication devices. And cellphones are capable of surfing the web for almost anything our 21st-century society wants and needs. But all that glitters for typical cellphone users glitters even more in the world of spam. You know. Those dinnertime calls from some roboperson that wants you to refinance your home, or take out a warranty on your used car.
The nasty truth is, spam calls are on the rise. The FCC says people are getting three times the spam calls they got in 2010. More than 2.4 billion robocalls hit cellphones every month, and the annoyance level is at a level 10 for most cellphone users. The FCC is trying to stop those robo-spam-a-maniacs from invading our personal cellphone space, but the chances that will happen in the next year are slim-to-none. Phone providers like AT&T and T-Mobile are fighting back, however. Both companies are offering clients features that identify spam calls, and Verizon is jumping into the super-phone hero category too.
But Verizon is looking at their bottom line by charging for those spam-identifying features. AT&T and T-Mobile are giving their clients those features for free. The cost of sticking a techno handkerchief in the mouth of spam callers is $3 a month for Verizon clients.
The new feature is not really new. Phone companies are calling it “Caller Name ID,” but the service is a spinoff from the Transaction Network Services caller ID database. The new feature adds names of businesses and people that are not in a person’s contact list. The service also identifies those vacillating spam numbers, and the service gives people the ability to report them.
The $3 a month Verizon charge is not going to have a negative impact on most Verizon clients. Verizon has a reputation for nickeling and diming clients whenever they can. AT&T and T-Mobile are not going to get an extraordinary influx of disgruntled Verizon customers because they offer the spam identifying service for free. But the Verizon charge is a wake-up call for some loyal Verizon customers. Sprint had a similar mentality when Sprint was the king of the cellphone jungle 20 years ago. And we all know what happened when their customers woke up, and they saw the anti-service policy and true deep greenback color of Sprint.