Thursday, December 22, 2011

Net10 is a frustrating company

I'm done with Net10.  I've had a phone with them since June 2011. I originally signed up for the $15/month plan for 200 minutes. It worked great.  I was charged 1 unit/minute of talk and .25 units/text. I was able to calculate everything out and figured out adding a 900 min Pay As You Go would supplement and get me through the year, or so I thought. I was still being charged the standard 1 unit for each minute of talk and .25 units/min for texting. In October I decided to try the $25/month plan for 750 minutes. No rollover with that plan but I figured it would be the perfect plan. Net10, however, is not up front about any of the costs on their plan. Oh sure, they'll respond to an email and tell you the costs are buried in the terms and conditions and indeed they are. However, an honest company would simply put that right on the plan page so you know the change in charges between plans. So I changed and began to be charged 1 unit/text, up from the .25 units/text on the other plan. I was surprised at the change but of course was told in an email it's all there in the terms and conditions, instead of being right on the plan page itself. Not a big deal but irritating that they are not up front and honest about the change in costs.
In mid December I decided I'd switch back to the $15/month plan and just supplement with a 1500 min card. I had 23 mintes and 1 day of service left when I tried to switch plans using the web site. So I logged in and followed the pages to change my plan. I got all the way to the final payment page clicked on Submit and was eventually greeted with an error after submitting payment. I then became stuck in their monthly plan hell. My phone showed that it was no longer enrolled in any monthly plan. To make matters worse, I could no longer enroll in the $15/mon 200 min plan, it was simply greyed out.  The $30/month 500 min plan was an option but not what I wanted. I decided to call their toll-free number. I won't go into details but I will simply tell you, don't bother. The rep was utterly clueless about how to fix anything and simply kept telling me that plan was not an option. The damn web site says you can change as much as you want without charge. Clearly this rep had no idea what to do other than tell me that wasn't an option. Completely useless. So I simply added a 1500 Pay As You Go card and got 180 days of service. Fine, at least I had minutes and service time. I then sent a text and was charged .5 units. WTF? I figured going back to the Pay As You Go option would get me back to my .25 units/text that I was being charged before. So I sent an email.
Within 24 hours I had a reply that all phones are charged .5 units/text on the Pay As You Go options. I didn't even bother asking where I could find that. I'm sure those details are also buried in the terms and conditions of the Pay As You Go plans. 
I really liked the Net10 options initially because I thought it was easy to figure out exactly what combination of monthly plan and Pay As You Go options would work. I then figured the 750 min/month plan would be perfect, not knowing there was a change in charges. I've had enough of the games the company plays by changing charges based on what plan you use. It makes it much more difficult for me to figure out what plan to use and how much it will cost. Oh, and the forums on their website are an absolute joke. Go there and you will see that every reply to a public forum post is from a company person saying they will gladly take care of things for you through a private direct message(DM). What exactly is the point of having forums for people to get help if you simply want to take care of everything via private message? Talk about a clueless company.
Since then I've done some looking around and found AT&T's Go Phone option of $25/month for 250 minutes of talk and unlimited text. That sure seems like the best option for me at this time but I suppose I should go read the terms and conditions first.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Query last 5 installed rpms by date

rpm -qa --queryformat '%{installtime} (%{installtime:date}) %{name}\n' |  sort -n | tail -5