Archive for January, 2013

Comcast Bait-and-switch

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Oh Comcast, I knew there was a reason I dropped you so many years ago and never looked back. Comcast reps are always knocking on our door. I give them 2 minutes, then thank them for their time because the deals are never worth switching for. Here’s what I want: no-frills basic cable + internet and nothing else for cheaper than the other guy.

One day a rep comes knocking with some deals. I tell him what I want. He tells me that there’s a new special out: $49.99/month for one year for basic cable + internet. I’m intrigued. I ask questions:

– “What’s the price after a year?”
– “It’s higher, but if you call me next year I’ll hook you up.”
– “What do you mean by basic cable? You’re not talking about broadcast cable. I want ‘real’ basic cable: USA, TNT, TBS…”
– “Yup, vanilla basic cable.”
– “Can I think about this and call you back later?”
– “No, you need to decide today. I’m an authorized salesperson, not a 3rd party, and these deals are only available through me.” (Yeah, right.)

Okay, for once I was sold. I signed up and scheduled an installation appointment.

The installer comes by, runs a new line down my house (argh, we’d just paid to get a bunch of old lines taken down last summer). He hooks up the cable and starts showing me the features of my plan.

– “Wait, why don’t I get TBS?”
– “Not included in your plan.”
– “What? I specifically asked about that. Is this a broadcast cable plan?”
– “Pretty much, plus a few other channels. But no USA, TNT, TBS…”

I was pissed. I called up the sales rep while the installer was still there. They chatted. He apologized, said he must’ve misread the plan description. Called his boss, called me back (after the installer had to leave), said there was NOTHING HE COULD DO.

Really? You sell me plan, run a line down my house, then can’t deliver? I call Comcast directly. They try to talk me out of cancelling, but why would I want to stay? Their own reps don’t even know what they’re selling. Here’s where it gets really ridiculous. They tell me that an installer can come by in a few days to disconnect their cable, but they’re not allowed to reattach my old cable. I’m going to have to call the other guys. What? The other cable is live and all they have to do is screw it back in. Nope, they refuse and even tell me that if my other cable company charges me for coming over, they won’t cover it. It’s their “policy” not to pay to connect you to another company, even if they goofed.

Luckily when the installer comes by, I tell him to reconnect my old cable. He shrugs and complies. Shortest Comcast contract ever: 24 hours. Now all I have to do is unsubscribe from all this Xfinity spam that’s flooding my inbox and uninstall all these bookmarks and homepage settings that got pushed to my browsers.

Should’ve trusted my gut on this one. Never again.

Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM Swap Trick for iPhone

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

NOTE: I no longer condone using Straight Talk. Their customer service is horrible. I can’t stress this enough: They just don’t give a shit … about anything. I’ve since switched to T-Mobile and their service is much better for about the same price. Still want to use Straight Talk? Use these instructions at your own risk…

This is how I got MMS working on an unlocked (non-jailbroken) iPhone 4s running on Straight Talk.

1.) If you’ve already followed the instructions for changing the APN settings using unlockit.co.nz, that’s fine. But that will only give you cellular access, not MMS access. You do not need to delete the Unlockit profile to continue.

2.) Order a T-Mobile micro SIM from tmobile.com. It’s only 99 cents. Don’t ask for one at a T-Mobile store. They’ll want $20 for it.

3.) Take out the Straight Talk SIM card.

4.) Insert the T-Mobile SIM and let it connect to the network. You’ll get some voicemail notifications; cancel them.

5.) Go to Settings > General > Cellular. A new Cellular Data Network option now appears. Go into it.

6.) Go back to your home screen and open another application, like Notes. You must do this or else the next step won’t work! If you swap the SIM while on the settings screen, it will sneakily try to close itself.

7.) While Notes is open, swap the T-Mobile SIM for your original Straight Talk SIM.

8.) AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN, double-click the home key, choose Settings, and click back into the Cellular Data Network options screen. If you don’t move quickly enough, swap the SIMs and try again.

9.) Wait for the Straight Talk SIM to connect to the network (you’ll see it cycle from “AT&T” to “HOME” in the notification bar).

10.) Enter the new APN/MMS settings below.

11.) Close the Settings. No restart was necessary. Try sending/receiving an MMS. Voila!

Settings:

data apn: att.mvno
user:
pass:

mms apn: att.mvno
user:
pass:
mmsc: http://mmsc.cingular.com
MMS proxy: 66.209.11.33:80
Max Size of Message: 1048576
UAProf: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

1.) Get a T-mobile micro sim card
2.) Start Iphone and let boot up. Then take out ST sim card
3.) Place the T-mobile sim card in and let it connect to network
4.) Under general and cellular there is cellular data option
5.) Under cellular data you see fields for Data APN an MMS
6.) At this point double hit home button at the bottom to open camera or some other app
7.) Then take out T-mobile sim and place ST sim card into phone
8.) Right away, double hit home key and pick settings button at the bottom
9.) The Data APN and MMS settings window should pop up. Let it connect to Straight Talk Network. Enter in the info below after that:

data apn: att.mvno
user:
pass:

mms apn: att.mvno
user:
pass:
mmsc: http://mmsc.cingular.com
MMS proxy: 66.209.11.33:80
Max Size of Message: 1048576
UAProf: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

10.) After click back upto and it should store the settings. You can click cellular data to check if the settings are in.
11.) I had to repeat the process twice before it took.