Wednesday, August 30, 2006

search warrants Saturday morning led to discovery of four separate meth Labs in Junction city

Oregon State police--

Following a two-month long investigation, the Oregon State believed me that initiative team detectives and Drug Enforcement Administration agents served a search warrant Saturday morning that led to arrest and discovery of four separate meth labs on a property west of Junction city.
Harley Harold Brewer, 61, was taken into custody. The agents also located four separate methamphetamine laboratories on the property.
"This lab shutdown is another in a long list of examples of how Oregon is leading the nation in this fight -- shutting down 77% of the state's meth labs last year alone," said Governor Kulongoski. "Our Oregon State Police provide a critical role in stopping meth from coming over our state's borders, and I am extremely grateful for their good work. This shutdown highlights the urgent need for 24/7 coverage for our state's roads and highways."

In addition to the drug related evidence, detectives located a stolen car, a stolen Harley-Davidson motorcycle, motorcycle parts and motors with altered vehicle identification numbers.
Proof positive once again that requiring prescriptions for cold medicine has made a significant cut back on the methamphetamine manufacture in Oregon. [Must've been a Walgreens in the area]

Something to Think about When You Throw Away Those Old Cell Phones

Associated Press--
Resetting the cell phone is a popular practice among sellers and it is often assumed that sensitive information would be erased. However, that information can be resurrected using inexpensive specialized software found on the Internet.
" Curious software experts at Trust Digital resurrected information on nearly all the used phones, including the racy exchanges between guarded lovers.
The other phones contained:
-One company's plans to win a multimillion-dollar federal transportation contract.
-E-mails about another firm's $50,000 payment for a software license.
-Bank accounts and passwords...."

All 10 phones that Trust Digital tested stored information on flash memory chips, similar technology found on Digital cameras & music players. The flash memory is inexpensive and durable however slow to erase. Phone manufacturers usually provide instructions for safely deleting a customer's information although it is not always convenient or easy to find.

Something to think about next time you dispose of your old cell phone.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

If This Does Not Get Your Blood Boiling...

the Terry Anderson Show--

"We will honor the American tradition of the melting pot and help immigrants assimilate by learning our history, our values, and the English-language."
-- President George Bush. [August 3, 2006, fact sheet: operation jumpstart: acting out to secure the border]

It really gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't it? That is, until you read headlines like this one on Daniel's blog , "hoisting the Mexican flag at the US Post Office." What?!? I check the link and

Sure enough... a picture of the Mexican flag on top of the flagpole at the Maywood California post office that was placed there by a small group of immigrants hoping for assimilation into the United States.

if these people love Mexico so much... then why don't they just stay there?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Upgrades to Radar Guns Will Be Able to Judge Distance between Vehicles

Mail Tribune--

At a cost of $625 for each laser radar unit, the manufacturer will install a new "Distance between Cars" (DBC) chip, which will be able to measure the distance between two vehicles. .
" here is what the updated lasers will be able to tell us:
The distance of the first car
The distance from the laser operator to the first car
The speed of the second car
The distance from the laser operator to the second car
The distance between the two cars (front bumper to front bumper)
The time difference between the two cars "

Dace Cochran, a patrol sergeant with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, who writes a weekly Q&A column on police issues for the Mail Tribune, states that Jackson County will start using the technology immediately as soon as the lasers are available.
" We'll enforce two things: speed and following too closely. So theoretically we could cite the lead vehicle for speeding and then the second vehicle for both speed and following too closely. "
[by the way, the Oregon Department of Transportation picked up the tab on two units for each of the seven agencies in the test program]

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Recruiters Hunting for Hispanic Executives

Gannett News Service--

Job recruiters are hired by all kinds of big companies to find qualified personnel. Competition is intense for headhunters find bilingual executives to teach them how to grab a bigger portion of the market spent by Hispanics, the country's largest growing minority. The prize: $70 billion a year and growing.
" There is a total war on talent out there," said David Bruno, vice chairman and managing partner of DHR International, an executive search firm with an office in Scottsdale, Ariz. "More and more, companies are looking to bring on ... folks who understand the culture. We oftentimes get the call from people who say, 'We want the best, but we also want Latino candidates.' You just don't find Hispanics in the number that you need. "

A typical recruit that headhunters are looking for are in their late 20s to 40s, young enough to be molded and promoted, speaks, write and read English and Spanish. Has an MBA or postgraduate degree and is willing to relocate. Extra points are scored for female applicants.
" "The demand is huge," said Ron Todd of Florida-based Execumax, which specializes in mid- to executive-level talent. "My objective is to have every Hispanic MBA graduate in my database, and I worry where they'll fit later. That's what it's become. The ones that get it can pretty much pick where they want to go, when they want to go, and how much they get paid." "

Thursday, August 24, 2006

President Bush losing support for his guest worker program

the Washington Times--

President Bush has convinced House representatives that he is serious about enforcing the border however, he has failed to win their support in his 100 day all-out push to create a guest worker program or a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.
"... the first thing we have to do is to protect the borders," House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, told the Washington Times. "Until you protect the borders, any reform without protecting the border is premature."
While polls show varying support for a guest worker program and for legalizing illegal aliens, one area that most voters agree on in the polls is the need to do more to secure the borders.

Police Charge a 14-year-old Boy for "Meowing" at a neighbor


Jeannette Pennsylvania -- a district judge has been asked to decide whether "meowing" is grounds for misdemeanor harassment or just a harmless taunt.
The 14-year-old boy started meowing at Alexandra Carasia, their 78-year-old neighbor after the boy's mother got rid of their family cat after the neighbor complained to police that the cat was using the neighbor's flower garden as a litter box.
"The boy testified Tuesday that he only meowed at the woman twice. Carasia testified, "Every time he sees me, he meows." "

Jeanette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis decided to wait 90 days before ruling on this case.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"And I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: they must leave." Said Hazelton Pennsylvania mayor Louis J. Barletta

last month, the mayor and the city Council passed the illegal immigration relief act which imposes $1000 per day fine on any landlord who rents to an illegal immigrant, and it revokes for five years of business licenses of any employer who hires them.
Barletta wants to make Hazelton "the toughest place on the illegal immigrants in America.
" What I'm doing here is protecting the legal taxpayer of any race," said the dapper 50-year-old mayor, sweeping his hands toward the working-class city outside. "And I will get rid of the illegal people. It's this simple: They must leave." "

Although the law does not take effect for another month, the mayor already sees the progress. "I see illegal immigrants picking up and leaving -- some Mexican restaurants say business is off 75%."

An isolated case?

Four neighboring principalities in Riverside and New Jersey have already passed identical ordinances. Seven more cities are debating on similar legislation.

Barletta has received 9000 favorable e-mails and has raised thousands of dollars for the city's legal defense.
"Barletta insists there's no whiff of racial antagonism. "This isn't racial, because 'illegal' and 'legal' don't have a race," he says. "

Hat tip to Laura for this article

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ted-Tax-and-gouge-me introduces the "target meth Oregon toolkit"

KVA L.--

Today, Governor Ted Kulongoski rolled out the "target meth Oregon toolkit" that can enable communities to take control of local neighborhoods and fight methamphetamine use. The kit includes a "community action guide", a PowerPoint slide library that allows users to customize presentations and help build coalitions in the community as well as a list of prevention experts in each county.

"The purpose of the toolkit is to motivate, enlighten and inspire Oregonians to make the most efficient use of their minds and their hands to prevent methamphetamine use and trafficking," said Kulongoski.
criminals beware... I have a PowerPoint...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

New changes on the way you renew your driver's license or identity card


Real ID act and facial recognition are things to come at the DMV
Starting August 25, 2006, the DMV will no longer except rental agreements or lease contracts as proof of residence when customers apply for driver's licenses or identification cards.
State law requires proof of a person's resident address before DMV can issue a driver's license, instruction permit our ID card. Acceptable ID includes mortgage agreements issued within the current or previous year of application for DMV services, a paycheck stub issued by an Oregon employer within the previous 60 days, a utility hookup order dated within the previous 60 days or for a minor, a statement from a parent or Guardian and living at the same address.

Senate Bill 640 --
Under the real ID act and Senate Bill 640, give states until May 2008 to comply with facial recognition technology.
Customers who apply for a new, replacement or renew drivers license, instruction permit our ID card will receive an interim card during their visit to the DMV office. DAV will run a one-to-many facial recognition verification checks during the customers visit to the field office which will compare the applicant's current photo with a photo that was last issued on her driver's license, instruction permit our ID card.

If DMV staff determines that the applicant's photo matches a file under a different name, DMV will not issue a drivers license and the interim document will become invalid. If however, DMV has reason to suspect a person is attempting to commit identity theft, the agency will notify the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction in the area.

Other changes in the issuance of drivers license, etc. is centralized issuance. The one-to-many facial recognition requires an overnight process and potential matches with photos on file to be investigated prior to issuance. These changes also require DMV to mail cards directly to applicant's who should receive their cars within three weeks.

(And not surprising, the cost of SB 640 may be recovered with a fee increase of up to three dollars per application.)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bounty Hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman Is Being Sued in San Francisco

Yahoo -- AP--

A lawsuit filed by Daly City man in US District Court on Wednesday seeks unspecified damages from Chapman; A & E network television and police. The suit filed by Simaile "Cisco" Lutu, 29, claims that Chapman wrongly try to apprehend him when trying to snare a bail jumper who played for the Daly city renegades semipro football team.

The lawsuit says that following the incident; Lutu was handcuffed and held at gunpoint on two different occasions by the Daly City police. The lawsuit also claims that Lutu refused to sign a release for the use of his image however the episode with his encounter with "dog" was still aired.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Who should foot the $66,000 bill for the princess's visit?

KVA L.--

Last month, the princess of Thailand made a visit to Eugene and the Eugene police department was tasked with providing 4-5 officers to protect her during her four-day visit. This added up to over a thousand hours of overtime costing the Eugene Police Department more than nearly most politicians visits to a sum of $66,000 ($16,500 per day) which will come out of the department's general fund.
" You're working people 24 hours a day, for 4 or 5 days and that gets pretty expensive," Captain Chuck Tilby of the Eugene Police Department explained "

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It was just a matter time before the ACLU decided to sue over the crackdowns of the legal aliens


The Puerto Rican legal Defense and education fund, the ACLU and other groups have filed a lawsuit on behalf of 11 Hazelton residents 80 miles from Philadelphia, business owners and three nonprofit groups over an ordinance to fine landlords $1000 for renting to illegal aliens, deny business permits to companies that give them jobs, and make English the city's official language.
The lawsuit, the first in the nation against a city that passed an illegal immigration ordinance claims that the ordinance is discriminatory and unworkable.
"It makes every person who looks or sounds foreign a suspect, including those who are here legally,” Witold Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “You might as well just paint a target on every foreigner’s forehead or a sign saying, ‘Please treat me differently.”’
Mayor Lou Barletta, who proposed the ordinance after two illegal immigrants were charged with shooting and killing a man, had no immediate comment. "
frustrated by the inaction in Washington, many cities and states have passed there own measures to restrict or punish illegal immigrants and those who do business with them.
again, people are defending other people who blatantly break the law.
hat tip to Laura for pointing out the story

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bikes without brakes??? Senator Atkinson thinks it's OK

The Oregonian--
and related story
"Fixie", a form of one speed racing bike with fixed gears and where the petals continually rotate while the wheels are in motion. These bicycles do not come with brakes and rely on the bicyclist to resist the forward motion of the petals with their legs and stop by backpedaling. E.g. you cannot coast.
" I asked they feel a lot more confident writing a fixed gear because your control over the bike is so much stronger," said Ayla Holland, 24, Portland bike messenger "
As these bicycles gain popularity, they run into issues with Oregon law which says that bicycles "must be equipped with a break that enables the operator to make the brake wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement." While the law does not define what a break is, it only defines how it works.
" It seemed to me it was a relatively simple issue," Circuit Court Judge Pro Tem Gregg Lowe said Friday in an interview. "A rose is a rose is a rose. A brake is a brake is a brake. And feet or musculature aren't brakes. "

Sam Adams, the Portland commissioner in charge of the city's office of transportation , said he has asked the city's attorney to review the law to see where the Portland police were properly applying it. "My advice to people is to get hand brakes," said Adams. "I think it is an added margin of safety."

State Senator Jason Atkinson says he's coming to the aid of bicyclist upset about the judge's ruling that riders a fixed gear bikes must have conventional brakes. He told that he intends to fix this "ridiculous problem" by changing the law.
personally, I like my bikes to have brakes. My suggestion would be for the "fixies" to have brakes available, and it would be up to the bicyclist at the time which brakes they decide to use.

If it worked for Kulongoski, maybe it would work for Lane County


Lane County is tired of dealing with the meth problem... so it has come up with a plan, however, all they need is the funding.

What??? are you telling me that Kulongoski's plan requiring cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine a prescription only drug isn't working?

"It's proven that meth related crimes go hand-in-hand with property crimes," says Sergeant Clint Riley, public information officer for Lane County Sheriff office.
" I think we're just trying to push it out there as education for people and to see where we're at with budgeting and meth problem," said Riley.
And all of it requires money.
So the county hopes this plan will get people to vote for the public safety tax this November.
"I think this plan will be a step in the right direction for targeting meth use meth crimes treatment programs," said Riley. "

as discussed on Lars's show today, with the upcoming public safety tax we are going to hear more and more of these type of stories, including buzzwords like "meth",. "Cutting public safety", and the usual excuses that they tell us when they ask for more money.

personally, I'd rather they use the money for that "high-speed bus system" for public safety instead... oh yes, I almost forgot, nobody asked for our opinion on that.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

More illegal aliens are financing homes

Washington Post--

Forecasting more weakness in the housing market, many US lenders are looking at illegal aliens as homebuyers.
"For now there is no legal barrier to buyers like Martinez purchasing a U.S. home. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, in a report three years ago, estimated that undocumented Latino immigrants could represent potential for $44 billion in new mortgage loans. Association head Frances Martinez Myers said that can only have grown since "

Big banks are hesitant to target the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants while Congress is considering new laws to tighten border security and more aggressive deportation. "The worst-case scenario would be if they enforce the employment rules because the borrowers might very well lose their jobs," said Mark Doyle, president of second Federal savings bank Chicago, where one third of their mortgages are to illegal aliens.
"Loans to undocumented residents do not carry an undue risk of default, said Myers, director of the Hispanic real estate group. "
"certainly, if there was significant deportation, that would be a concern," said Chan Peterson, head of community banking at the lender. "We have to keep working."
The ideal situation for a borrower according to Jason Madiedo, vice president of Star Funding is a full-time employee who has filed federal tax returns for three years and has either a Social Security number or a taxpayer identification number (ITIN).
" "The immigration rules are complex and evolving," Fannie
Mae spokeswoman Cristina Miranda said in explaining why the mortgage finance company does not now handle mortgages to the undocumented residents. "
under this type of strategy (greed) from the banks, I foresee a higher rate of foreclosures in the future. I must agree with Lars on this one about not feeling sorry for the banks for taking this risk, however, as we all know large corporations do not lose money, they just pass on their losses to their customers.

Feds target fugitive illegal aliens who refused deportation orders

Pawtucket Times--

"Police! Policia! Open the door!" shouted the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on a new push to round up immigrants who have been ordered deported for criminal convictions or visa violations.
"The new Atlanta-based fugitive team is one of seven the government is rolling out this week in an effort to show Congress that officers are aggressively going after illegals. "

"The team is focused on individuals who had their day in court," said Larry Orton, the supervisor for the Atlanta-based team. Primarily the team's focus is on fugitives who are threats to their communities such as convicted drunk drivers, gang members or any other non-criminal illegal aliens that they find during the raids.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

British police foiled a plot to blow up aircraft in midflight


Unconfirmed media reports said anywhere from 6-10 airlines had been targeted in a terrorist plot to blow up the aircraft in midflight.

The US Department of Homeland security raised the threat level to "red" for passenger aircraft, its highest level for the first time. After concerns that the device may be a "liquid chemical" device, the US Department of Homeland security banned all liquids from US commercial flights.
" British police on Thursday foiled a plot to blow up aircraft mid-flight between Britain and the United States in what Washington said might have been an attempted al Qaeda operation.
"We are confident we have disrupted a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and destruction," said London police Deputy Commissioner Paul Stephenson. "Put simply, this was intended to be mass murder on an unimaginable scale."
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a news conference: "This operation is in some respects suggestive of an al Qaeda plot, but because the investigation is still under way, we cannot yet form a definitive conclusion." "

British police played down the idea although they did not totally rule out that al Qaeda was involved.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

ODOT says "no trespassing" to Creswell parachuters


"CRESWELL - The Oregon Department of Transportation will post "no trespassing" signs today around state property long used as a parachute landing zone by two Creswell skydive companies. "

Eugene skydivers and Wright Brothers sky divers have long used the state-owned vacant parcel just east of the airfield as a skydive drops zone. However, ODOT canceled the permit this summer after Creswell failed to sign a revised contract for the use of the site.

the cancellation occurred over concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration about landing safety zones and over liability concerns from ODOT.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What do you do when you own a company and find out the second shift that 100 out of 150-175 just won the Powerball?

Lexington Herald leader--

Philadelphia, Wisconsin -- about 100 workers who won the Powerball jackpot worth $208.6 million must now make a decision whether or not to retire.
The group estimates that each person will receive between $500,000 and $700,000, after taxes if they choose to take a lump sum.
" to see the joy on their faces, it's just incredible," Sargento chief executive officer Lou Gentine said , "we're really happy for them. "

I think if I won $500,000, I'd quit my job and I'm not even working. Okay, to be honest, it would depend on my job how well I like it, however at the very least I would have a very nice vacation.
What would you do?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

1/2 of Springfield Police Department patrolling I-105

Robin's Commentary--

We're told that in Springfield that during the day time that the only have four officers on average patrolling our streets and how shorthanded they are, so I was very flattered when I saw half the department tag teaming radar by Weyerhaeuser today, a tactic that the state police used to do.

This involves one officer sitting in the center median standing outside of his car with his "laser" radar gun standing at the same stance that one would use when they get ready to fire a weapon and looking like he's getting ready to blast an oncoming vehicle into the next county, while about a half-mile down the road sits a chase car [with another radar gun] waiting for the radio call.

What makes it very interesting about this particular roadway, just from my observations from daily travel is I see more people on this particular roadway doing 10 miles an hour under the speed limit [of course I always find them] then I see going over the speed limit. [just my opinion, I do not have the facts to back that up]

Personally, if given a choice, I'd rather have the uniformed police officer at the side of the road instead of using photo radar, however, I think it really an issue of how best to use our limited police resources.
Given the choice, would you rather...
A) Have your tax dollars pay for the police to watch for speeders on the freeway?
B) Have your tax dollars pay for police to patrol the neighborhoods and investigate crimes, etc.?
I choose option B)

U.S. Senate passes amendment to provide nearly $2 billion for US/Mexico border fence

the Washington Times--

The U.S. Senate in a 94-3 vote appropriated $2 billion from a $86.3 billion contingency fund included in its proposed 2007 budget yesterday voting to overwhelmingly to begin paying for the 370 miles of fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers on the US-Mexico border just three weeks after voting against the same spending.
The amendment's sponsor says senators were so embarrassed by that July 13 vote [with 66 senators switching from "no" to "yes"] that they felt that they had to reverse course and vote for it this time.
" But the Guard's presence has led to a 25 percent drop in apprehensions at the border compared with the same time last year, suggesting the troops are having success in preventing illegal aliens from trying to cross. "

However, the good news about the reduction of 25% in apprehensions was tapered by the report that found Department of Homeland security employees were fooled by counterfeit driver's license in nine different cast by undercover investigator said US border crossings.

"The record is clear: for more than five years, the president has failed to secure our borders and to enforce our immigration laws," said House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The administration insists that Congress pass a broad bill that includes a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens according to White House spokesman Tony Snow.
"I think were increasing awareness in both houses of Congress that there is the proper way to proceed," Mr. Snow said what, they're finally getting the picture there were being invaded? Politicians!

"The voice of the American people is beginning to be heard, and there's been a sea-change in how people are thinking about some of these issues," said Senator Jeff sessions

Friday, August 04, 2006

Communication difficulties force non-English immigrant more time in jail

the Washington Post -- MSNBC --

Fernando Antonio Cruz was arrested and sent to the Prince William jail back on October 15 with a blood-alcohol level at .175, twice more than the legal limit, for being drunk in a public place and fighting with another man.
On December 12, the wounded man refused to show up for court and the case was dismissed. Normally, that would've been the end of it and Cruz would be free to go.

" normally, jail officials would have brought Cruz to the courthouse for the hearing, in the court clerk would have issued a release order for him. He could have walked into freedom that day. "

but that didn't happen.
" "It seems like there was a breakdown on a couple of levels," said Tawny G. Hays, clerk of the General District Court.
Cruz had been forgotten. Like many non-English speaking immigrants, he has become invisible inside the criminal justice system.
From the beginning, his last name was entered as "Antonio Cruz" in court documents and as "Cruz" in jail records -- a problem that both jail and court officials say often arises with Hispanic names that tend to be long and include an also-known-as."

This was not an isolated case. In March, a Guatemalan immigrant labor, Ramiro Games, 46, was charged with a misdemeanor in Prince George's County and was released after spending nearly 6 months in jail without going to trial. because he didn't speak any English, he was unable to alert anyone that his case had not been heard.

" Need for Spanish speakers
On a typical morning, court clerk Kerry Kaiser bounces between Spanish and English at least once every few minutes. "Archives," she tells one man. " Archivo ," she tells another. "

hat tip to Laura for the article
obviously there was no excuse for this type of flaw in the jail system... who do you blame? You blame the immigrant for not being able to speak the language of the land? Or do you blame the jail system for not having enough people that speak the language of their inmates?
On immigration side... whether you are visiting or moving to another country, it is always a good idea to know a little of the language where you're going to visit.
In defense of the jail... while I do not condone the fact that they lost a prisoner, it is also not logistically feasible to have a representative on staff for every language that might be within the system. E.g. can you provide someone for every language from from Spanish to Klingon???

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Protests hurt Mexico City sales

Register Guard--

" MEXICO CITY -- Political unrest here is taking an economic toll, rattling investors and costing businesses in the capital millions in lost sales.
Observers here say leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador may be gaining momentum with his calls for a recount of the July 2 balloting.

Results showing that he lost by a whisker to conservative, pro-business rival Felipe Calderon have been dogged by allegations of vote tampering and dirty campaigning. Street protests by supporters of Lopez Obrador, the popular former mayor of Mexico City, have grown in recent weeks.

His followers seized control of one of the capital's main arteries on Sunday, setting up tent encampments following a massive rally in the historic city center to pressure election officials to perform a vote-by-vote recount of all 41 million ballots cast in last month's presidential contest. "

why don't illegal aliens from Mexico use that same momentum to take back their country and make it a more livable place instead of having to run over here?

the old Sears building... what will become of it?

Register Guard--

City planners say that potential developers are asking for extra time to submit proposals for the former Sears building in downtown Eugene. However, some local real estate experts wonder if some of the same financial difficulties[ e.g. being classified as a "depressed urban area" source:ORI.ORG] is hindering developer interests.
Two development groups that have been curious about the property stated Tuesday that they are no longer interested.

The site, which is nothing more than a deep pit now had recently gained the interest of Oregon research Institute which was forced to scrap its plans for the $21.5 million office building when the firm could not secure financing.
I said it was a mistake when they first closed the downtown mall... and I was right. They reopen the mall to car traffic however, I think it was too late. What downtown Eugene has become is a place that as a woman I am very nervous about walking through the downtown area by myself and I avoid doing so as much as possible.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Upgrading that cell phone could cost you some extra fees


You might think you just got a great deal on a cell phone and a steal of the monthly plan for $34.99 per month, however, this phone comes with an upgrade fee
" Julie-Ann Klein, a Washington, DC real estate agent, found out about upgrade fees the hard way. Klein had an old AT&T wireless phone and decided recently to get in all in one gadget that would make her calls and receive e-mail on the road. Cingular acquired AT&T wireless two years ago, so Klein had a turn to Cingular for the new e-mail phone.
The gadget worked fine, and she had no complaints, until the first bill came. On page 4 of the 22 page bill, there was a long list of "other services"... at the bottom of this list was the entry: "promotion for upgrade processor." $18 "
Klein was furious about the fee. She says she was never told about the fee. When she contacted Cingular, they held their ground and refused to remove it.

Cingular says all fees are disclosed to customers before they sign their phone contracts.

The charge for upgrade fees depends on the cellular phone company which can range from $18- $36. Other companies like Verizon and T-Mobile do not charge an upgrade fee.

The purpose of the upgrade fee is for the process of changing your hand set out and programming the new one (and) making adjustments to your account, according to Mark Eliot spokesman for Sprint.
a good FYI... the last phone that I bought (upgraded), I was informed up front about the fees.