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We're gonna need more minutes... (cellphones)
Old 09-29-2011, 01:04 PM   #1
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We're gonna need more minutes... (cellphones)

Oh, frabjous joy! The Distinguished Gentlemen Towns and Terry of the US House of Representatives, Finding Themselves with Time on their Hands, have introduced the following:

H. R. 3035
A BILL
To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-1...12hr3035ih.pdf

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011’’. I can thing of other names for it...

What's it mean? Well, according to the folks lobbying for it:
Under the TCPA, it is unlawful for a person to use an “automatic telephone dialing system” to call any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service without the prior express consent of an individual. H.R. 3035 would clarify the scope of this prohibition in several respects:
  • The bill would make clear that oral or written approval by an individual in the context of an established business relationship constitutes “prior express consent” under the Act;
  • Commercial calls to cellular telephone numbers would no longer be covered by the prohibition, except to the extent that the calls are “telephone solicitations”; and
  • The definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” would cover only equipment that actually produces and dials randomly generated telephone numbers.
These clarifications would resolve certain reported ambiguities under current law, including the ability of firms to contact existing and former customers using automated telephone dialing technologies.

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Old 09-29-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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Must be the Congressional version of the Netflix strategy:

"If you thought we were out to p!ss off our customers constituents, just hang on. You ain't seen nothing yet!"

I see single digit Congressional "approval ratings" in the near future...
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I see single digit Congressional "approval ratings" in the near future...
Actually I foresee minus "approval ratings " . Last night we were at our neighborhood seafood place and I got talking to some people there . They had free cellphones courtesy of The Federal Government . If you qualify you get a free cell phone with 250 minutes a month for free and there is no follow up so you get it forever .

Free Government Cell Phones – Free Cell Phone + 250 min/mon


Sorry for going off track !
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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If you qualify...
At the income levels and conditions of the article you posted, I certainly would not want a "free" cell phone.

These are folks that are just scraping by in life, IMHO and in some situations could probably not even afford a home phone.

I could say that I'm outraged (since my taxes pay for the phones/service), but OTOH, I also realize that except "for the grace of God", I may be in that situtation.

I for one, consider myself lucky...
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:19 PM   #5
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Actually I foresee minus "approval ratings " . Last night we were at our neighborhood seafood place and I got talking to some people there . They had free cellphones courtesy of The Federal Government . If you qualify you get a free cell phone with 250 minutes a month for free and there is no follow up so you get it forever .

Free Government Cell Phones – Free Cell Phone + 250 min/mon

They have had this piece of largess for awhile... nobody seems to care...
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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At the income levels and conditions of the article you posted, I certainly would not want a "free" cell phone.

These are folks that are just scraping by in life, IMHO and in some situations could probably not even afford a home phone.

I could say that I'm outraged (since my taxes pay for the phones/service), but OTOH, I also realize that except "for the grace of God", I may be in that situtation.

I for one, consider myself lucky...
I would agree in terms of what it takes to qualify. But if there no attempts to periodically verify continuing eligibility, it's a problem.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
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How do they determine income? I lost my job a couple months ago but am over the income limit anyway for this year. Does that mean I don't qualify even though my current income is $0.

I use less than 250 minutes every month and don't have a fancy phone or plan. Even though I only pay $41/mo now, i'd rather pay $0.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Oh, frabjous joy! The Distinguished Gentlemen Towns and Terry of the US House of Representatives, Finding Themselves with Time on their Hands, have introduced the following:

H. R. 3035
A BILL
To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit informational calls to mobile telephone numbers, and for other purposes.


http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-1...12hr3035ih.pdf

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011’’. I can thing of other names for it...

What's it mean? Well, according to the folks lobbying for it:
Under the TCPA, it is unlawful for a person to use an “automatic telephone dialing system” to call any telephone number assigned to a cellular telephone service without the prior express consent of an individual. H.R. 3035 would clarify the scope of this prohibition in several respects:
  • The bill would make clear that oral or written approval by an individual in the context of an established business relationship constitutes “prior express consent” under the Act;
  • Commercial calls to cellular telephone numbers would no longer be covered by the prohibition, except to the extent that the calls are “telephone solicitations”; and
  • The definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” would cover only equipment that actually produces and dials randomly generated telephone numbers.
These clarifications would resolve certain reported ambiguities under current law, including the ability of firms to contact existing and former customers using automated telephone dialing technologies.

Somewhere hidden in this mess is a conspiracy to save the Post Office..
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
How do they determine income? I lost my job a couple months ago but am over the income limit anyway for this year. Does that mean I don't qualify even though my current income is $0.

I use less than 250 minutes every month and don't have a fancy phone or plan. Even though I only pay $41/mo now, i'd rather pay $0.
Aaron, I didn't realize that you had lost your job. I am so sorry to hear this, though it's certainly their loss and not yours. I wish you the best and hope you find something else soon. Have you thought of looking for jobs further south than your present location? I know you are tired of those northern winters.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Somewhere hidden in this mess is a conspiracy to save the Post Office..
I figure they're just looking for a way to make campaign and PAC autodialing of cell phones legal. That's clearly the intent here:

Quote:
(C) in subparagraph (B), by striking ‘‘paragraph (2)(G)).’’ and inserting ‘‘subsection (b)(2)(G); and’’
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:26 PM   #11
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Aaron, I didn't realize that you had lost your job. I am so sorry to hear this, though it's certainly their loss and not yours. I wish you the best and hope you find something else soon. Have you thought of looking for jobs further south than your present location? I know you are tired of those northern winters.
Thank you W2R. I have thought about moving south but I think it's in my best interest overall to stay put. I have a condo that would be hard to sell(last unit took over a year) and costs me very little. Also all of my family is here and we're close so i'll likely stay where I am. The only place down south that interests me is Florida but that may be too hot in the summer. All my experience is in blue-collar manufacturing. If I did that down there with no air conditioning i'd pass out like a have already done here a couple times. Next spring if I still don't have a job i'll put the condo up for sale and if it sells before winter I may go down south at that time and look for work someplace temperature contolled.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #12
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Thank you W2R. I have thought about moving south but I think it's in my best interest overall to stay put. I have a condo that would be hard to sell(last unit took over a year) and costs me very little. Also all of my family is here and we're close so i'll likely stay where I am. The only place down south that interests me is Florida but that may be too hot in the summer. All my experience is in blue-collar manufacturing. If I did that down there with no air conditioning i'd pass out like a have already done here a couple times. Next spring if I still don't have a job i'll put the condo up for sale and if it sells before winter I may go down south at that time and look for work someplace temperature contolled.
Sounds like you have given this a lot of thought and have come up with the best possible plan. Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:44 PM   #13
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OK, I have a big problem with this part of the bill (actually, I hate it all, but this one really gets me):

Quote:
A person who provides a telephone number as a means of contact evidences consent under this paragraph
So basically, if you order something or fill out some other web form that REQUIRES you to fill the phone number into the form before it will process it, even if you don't want to be called, filling it in means you consent to their junk calls!

If this goes through I won't do business with anyone who requires my phone number if I don't think they have a legitimate business reason to need it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:34 PM   #14
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At the income levels and conditions of the article you posted, I certainly would not want a "free" cell phone.

These are folks that are just scraping by in life, IMHO and in some situations could probably not even afford a home phone.

Except for the abuse. One way to get this free phone in most states is to qualify for the free lunch program at schools. I downloaded the form to check, and it is the vaguest thing I've ever seen. It just asks for a 'weekly income' number, with no specific definition, no reference to a 1040, W2 or anything. No mention of verifying this info, nothing. I suppose if you were out of work one week, you could use that weeks income. Or put zero, and later claim 'but I'm paid every other week, I made zero THAT week'. We know of people with fancy new cars, coming back from fancy vacations, and claiming the free lunch, which also waives most other school fees (athletics, field trips, etc). From what I understand, schools don't want to question it, because for every free lunch kid, they get extra $ from the State. It's a racket!


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I would agree in terms of what it takes to qualify. But if there no attempts to periodically verify continuing eligibility, it's a problem.
I wonder about that, too. I'm sure the companies providing the service and getting a steady payment from the Feds aren't going to ask.

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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
OK, I have a big problem with this part of the bill (actually, I hate it all, but this one really gets me):

So basically, if you order something or fill out some other web form that REQUIRES you to fill the phone number into the form before it will process it, even if you don't want to be called, filling it in means you consent to their junk calls!

If this goes through I won't do business with anyone who requires my phone number if I don't think they have a legitimate business reason to need it.
For now, I've got a VOIP # to use, so I rarely give out my cell #. But sometimes I need to, and I don't want that getting a bunch of calls on my limited pre-pay account.

This stinks. As much as I hate to, time to start writing our reps in DC.

-ERD50
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:40 PM   #15
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Geez, it's worse than I thought!

Who Qualifies for a free government cell phone?

bold mine

Quote:
Step Three:Once you’ve determined which company seems right for you, you’ll fill out a form and if everything checks out they will send you your new mobile phone. Here’s a tip: if you qualify under both the program-based method or the income-based method, apply under program-based. The process will be easier as you would have to prove your income, but you don’t have to offer proof of program participation.
So how's that for a very unsubtle wink-wink-nudge-nudge, hey here's some Other People's Money (OPM, OPiuM) we can take!


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

-ERD50
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