Knowing the Questions to Ask and When

May 19, 2011

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A visit to the mobile phone store taught me a lesson or two about what happens when you don’t know the questions to ask.

After purchasing an iPhone, I was told I couldn’t change my two-year contract for another month in order to add the Internet option so I surfed the Internet via my home-based WiFi, with inpunity, or so I thought.

Until I got the bill two months later (I was in the US for one of them). It was then that reality hit. My mobile phone company was charging me for what they thought was data transmitted by their system, which it wasn’t. And when I confronted them, they blamed the Apple store, that mecca of cool, for not telling me.

It’s a classic case of the consumer paying for service providers’ lack of intelligence; or, put bluntly, my not knowing the right questions to ask. As in, “How can I surf without said phone company claiming money for work they had not done?”

You’d think one wouldn’t have to pose such a question, but today, it’s cover your butt at all costs or everyone in the fluorescent-lighted store will stare unblinkingly at you.

The truth is our hand-held devices may offer us a lot of freedom, but they also sacrifice our privacy. The phone company knows whether I’m using their system or not, but because the phone was not set on ‘airplane modus’, they could happily claim I had. And don’t get me started on the whole ‘iPhones-have-GPS-and-therefore-Big-Brother-knows-where-you-are-always” shtick.

Puzzling.

Have you, in your work life, wished you’d known the right questions to ask before you started something? It seems to be the lesson of the month for me. It’s not how much you know, but whether you know to ask the right questions before it’s too late.

Or too expensive, for that matter.

PS  Here’s a great article to avoid my mistake!

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3 Responses to “Knowing the Questions to Ask and When”


  1. [...] Interesting article on how some companies use the “If they don’t ask..why tell” concept within their business. A visit to the mobile phone store taught me a lesson or two about what happens when you don’t know the questions to ask. After purchasing an iPhone, I was told I couldn’t change my two-year contract for another month in order to add the Internet option so I surfed the Internet via my home-based WiFi, with inpunity, or so I thought. Until I got the bill two mon … Read More [...]


  2. That is cold! The thing is that as reputable as Apple is one would not expect them to pull something so scandalous. And if it did manage to slip by them, as it did in your case, they should have the courtesy to refund your money. But I guess its just a lesson learned. I am going to be buying and IPhone this month and I hope nothing like this happens to me =/. Thanks for the heads up powerofslow.

  3. powerofslow Says:

    Thanks! In all fairness, it wasn’t Apple. It was my mobile provider claiming retribution for work they hadn’t done. Just be sure you ask Apple, when you set up your new iPhone, how to disconnect from your cellphone provider, should you not have Internet included in your package. I have it now and have learned my lesson. In some regards, it was a cheap lesson because now I know to ask more questions next time! :)


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