Mobile phone junkies – fleece ’em!

The news is running a non-stop story this morning, something really important and crucial – people aren't happy about roaming charges on their mobile phone fixes when they're abroad. This raises two issues.

There's the simple one of the mobile phone companies charging what they like for the service they supply. How shocking! A business that's daring to operate the principle of supply and demand pricing. If the customers weren't happy to pay what was being charged, then they'd vote with their feet and drop it. The successful business path is strewn with casualties that charged too much, and no-one was interested, so they went bust. If people pay, and keep paying, the supplier will just keep on supplying, at the price the market will stand.

And that's the second issue. No-one has their arm twisted up their back when they use a mobile phone and these charges are levied on them, and they can't claim that they don't know they exist. I don't use roaming, yet I know and I know there are huge charges (or were until now). The problem is that many people are addicted to their mobiles, and they're simply too lazy to make the effort to pick up a landline.

I find it both alarming and apalling whenever I come across people's mobile phone bills, they seem to have no qualms about spending hundred and thousands of pound a year for something completely intangible, and that they have no need for, simply the privilege of being allowed to talk, while someone collects money from them by the second. Sheer bliss for the service provider. The most offensive of these are the unemployed and the teens and teenies (who are probably spending their parent's money to impress their peers) who I see glued to their phones, seemingly able to spend hundreds of pounds before being caught, unable to pay or being hounded for payment.

As soon as the contract on my mobile expired, I switched to a Pay-As-You-Go account, that pricing tariff is a good motivation to use landlines, and I do, and it has denied the mobile phone company of a few hundred pounds they were getting from me, and the cost of landline calls by comparison has been almost pennies.

Mobile phone junkies deserve to have every last penny taken off them that can – maybe they'll stop doing ridiculous things like phoning home to ask if a bag of potatoes with 10 p off is a good buy. If they're on PAYG then they'll be about 15 p out of pocket even it is, and they're wasting bandwidth, wasting power and causing pollution.

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