This afternoon I paid a visit to my friendly Verizon Wireless store, which may or may not be providing my calling information to the National Security Agency. I had come to upgrade to a Treo 650 — an expensive proposition somewhat ameliorated by the fact that I had $100 coming toward a new phone.
Obstacle #1: The saleswoman told me that I had to choose between two Internet plans. I think they were $25 a month and $45 a month. I told her I didn’t want an Internet plan — that I intended to use my Treo as a phone and organizer, not to receive e-mail or access the Web. She seemed mildly flummoxed, but I cleared the hurdle.
Obstacle #2: The sale was nearly complete when I sought assurance that we wouldn’t be paying any more per month than we are now. No, I was told — except, of course, for the $5 a month mandatory fee that comes with my having chosen “pay as you go” Internet access. I repeated that I didn’t want any Internet access. The answer: Not an option. My answer: No sale.
I am not a Luddite. In fact, I had intended at some point to check out the possibility of adding WiFi to the Treo for occasional Internet access, à la carte or free. But I wasn’t going to pay $60 a year for something I don’t want or need. Why can’t I choose the features I want? Ridiculous.