Reconciling assholes for nearly a decade.

Half-assed scam at my local Cingular retailer

I bought a new Motorola V551 some months ago. I was distressed to find that Motorola no longer supplies a plastic "holster" with their phones that can clip onto your belt. If you want a belt clip, I was told, you have to buy a leather case for $29.99.

So I bought a case and that's what I used for about 4 months.

A short while ago, my dad bought a V551, and, surprise, his came with a plastic holster (same provider, different retail location) just like I had remembered Motorolas always did, sealed in the OEM box.

So, I figure mine must have been mispacked, I'll just get a generic holster from one of the mobile phone kiosks at the mall. So I stopped at the kiosk that's right outside of the Cingular store at the mall that I went to originally and asked for a clip to fit a V551.

The guy opens this drawer in his kiosk, and it is FILLED with clips for all models of phones. Not only does he have hundreds of them, but they're all original OEM clips, not generics.

I've since spoken to a few other people who bought phones from that particular Cingular location, and theirs did not come with holsters, either.

SO, it seems that the sales staff at Cingular Wireless in the WestFarms mall in West Hartford Connecticut might be making a few extra bucks by removing the clips from retail boxes before presenting them to the customers (the boxes are always open when they come from the back because the salesperson programs the phone in the back), and passing them off to their buddies outside for a buck or two each.

The guy at the kiosk was selling them for $10 a pop, and people were paying that. Free clips for $10. I told him I'd give him $3 and he agreed without arguing or bargaining.

Fuckers.

Disclaimer: I have only circumstantial evidence and no firm proof of any malfeasance on the part of Cingular, its employees, or of the kiosk in front or its owners or operators.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
sympathy reply.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
Do you believe in Karma, muppet? :D
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 12th, 2005
Dear Mat,

You're among the least qualified persons on the planet Earth to make any value judgements regarding my karma, you simply have no idea.

Respectfully (but not very),

Muppet
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
My dearest darling muppet,

It was merely a jocular question relating your apparent bad luck in many areas to your angry-young-man persona on ?off, and not a value judgement. I even added a smiley face to emphasise it.

Yours non-judgementally,
Mat
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 12th, 2005
Better Business Bureau
Letter to Cingular Wireless
Letter to the cell phone manufacturer
Letter to the local DA if you're feeling particularly pissed off.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 12th, 2005
Philo,

Yeah I've considered most of that list. I'll probably tap out a letter to each of them this weekend.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
Maybe you could also set up a blog to let us know how this goes?

Oh, wait a minute... :P
Permalink qwe 
August 12th, 2005
(waits for the Cingular Wireless retailer to show up in this forum and this thread to grow to 400+ posts)
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
That'd be fucking sweet.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
If you post a link they can claim that Fogcreek software is 'all over their stuff'
Permalink qwe 
August 12th, 2005
maybe they removed them to prevent unknowing customers from looking like total geeks?
Permalink Kenny 
August 12th, 2005
That sounds a whole lot like theft to me.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 12th, 2005
Speaking of which...

Know the difference in a thief and a peeping tom?

A thief snatches watches.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 12th, 2005
I also have a Motorola V551 ... does anyone but me hate the menu structure? It's very nonintuitive and takes me forever to find what I'm looking for. Plus, there are hardly any built-in ring tones other than chimes, beeps, dings and squawks. My old phone, also a Motorola, had about 30 musical tones; now I suppose I'll have to pay for good ones.

Plus, in the old phone, the green Send button was on the right ... now it's on the left. Can't they just come up with a system and stick to it? Every time I get a new phone it's a huge learning curve, even with the same manufacturer.

Don't get me started about the whole two-year contract thing ... purchasing a phone and buying phone service should be completely separate, as they now are with land lines.
Permalink Dana (formerly Blue State Bitch) 
August 12th, 2005
Well you can get your Cingular GSM phone unlocked and then go with any carrier. I dunno if the unlocking is technically a breach of DMCA or what.

If you get a bluetooth adapter for your PC, you don't have to pay for ringtones, you can upload wavs, midis, and mp3s to the phone as long as they're not too large. It's how I get my photos off of it.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
Thanks, Muppet ... time to sit down with the manual and figure it out. My phone does have Bluetooth but I haven't had time to fool around with it yet.
Permalink Dana (formerly Blue State Bitch) 
August 12th, 2005
The manual is disastrously unhelpful.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
Everything is a breach of the DMCA.

http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68492,00.html
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
Well in that case the claim is totally specious, made only in the spirit of "eh, why not" to try and scare the kid into complying with their demands.

Also, that kid deserves what he gets with hair like that.
Permalink muppet 
August 12th, 2005
"sympathy reply."

You can't sympathy reply to yourself! It's against the rules!
Permalink Cory Foy 
August 12th, 2005
sympathy rebuttal.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 12th, 2005
sympathy troll.
Permalink Snark 
August 15th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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