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Ignorance abounds

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by KevinJames, Jan 9, 2002.

  1. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    I can't believe how ignorant even supposed industry analysts are regarding the wireless industry. It was brought to my attention that Tom Vacar, a northern California television Consumer commentator (http://www.ktvu.com) highlighted comments made by a Mr. James Guest of Consumer Reports.

    Part of Mr. Guest's comment was: "When you switch to a different provider, they've got the technology to enable you to keep your old phone number and keep your old phone, but they haven't implemented it because they want to make it real tough for you to switch."

    This is so wrong that I can't help but wonder if his resource was the National Inquirer. Carriers do not have the technology to keep your old phone number. Phone number portability is slated and being worked on as mandated by federal agencies, but it is not yet!

    Nor can carriers necessarily allow you to keep your own phone if broadcast technology is not the same as the phone you have (TDMA, CDMA, GSM, iDEN).

    It is no wonder that consumers show up on Wireless Advisor being totally confused! With supposedly credible, professional and respected individuals and firms like Consumer Report giving wrong info, how can we not expect the typical consumer expecting what is not possible.

    See full article at:
    http://www.bayinsider.com/partners/ktvu/consumer/cell_phone_01_2002.html

    Am I hot? You bet. Many of the regulars have worked hard to educate the public and then something like this gets dumped on the public.
     
  2. JFB

    JFB Gold Senior Member
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    Kevin,

    Drop him a note and tell him he can get an education at WA! Here is a link that would seem to go directly to him if you pick the right check box.
    http://www.bayinsider.com/partners/ktvu/aboutus/feedback.html

    We will defer to you, but if you don't want to send him a note we will!
    (We do it all the time.)

    WA
     
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  3. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Actually, I already have. There is more to this, but I don't feel its proper to publically post it. Contact me if interested.

    Oh -- and, yes, please, by all means send him a note. I cannot reveal my sources, by I have been told that carriers and industry groups are preparing replies to this ennormous public disservice.
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kevin,

    I have long put "journalists" (however described) at the very bottom of the employment chain, along with used car salesmen, lawyers, and stock brokers. If they could get a legitimate job, they would. The more "celebrity" the individual, the lower on the chain I put them. (Read: TV commentators are much lower than print; small local papers are better than national.)

    In my persoanl experience, 50% of news stories about which I have personal experience are WRONG -- many flat out and dead wrong, and the rest seriously wrong in some material way. Using simple statistics, if 50% of the facts in stories that I know about (a small sample of all stories) are wrong, I must assume that 50% of the facts in all stories are wrong. (You get to guess which stories are correct!! Got a coin handy that you can flip?) When it comes to science and technology, the level of ignorance is even higher (I'd say 80% wrong -- probably commiserate with the general level of science ignorance in the US population, but appallingly bad nevertheless!)

    I'm sure you've seen the CU article and the continuing discussion on most of the news groups relating to wireless. I've never been a fan of CU. See my comments above. They follow the 50% (at least) error rule -- so you pays your money and you takes your chances. Besides, my reading of the article (picked up at the library -- I'd never pay money for a CU!) was that it was very, very "Northeast US" oriented. But that's not surprising given that CU is located in suburban NewYorkCity...
     
  5. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
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    Mr. Vacar has won some rather prestigious awards and is a well-educated man, so I would never (just out of respect) belittle his accomplishments. I cannot expect anything out of others that I don't expect from myself. Therefore to expect that any journalist would be an expert on *every* industry just is not fair. My objection was to Mr. James Guest's comments. THAT man should have known better.

    I agree with you that, in general, journalism could use an overhaul. Several years back I was driving down a back road and passed fireman practicing a controlled burn on the hill. Most were standing around, everything was well under control. Later that evening on the local news, I was surprised to hear the reporter say: "A major fire on a hillside in Pleasanton is ravaging the town, threatening homes and really worrying the fire department...." Even the camera angle made it appear the flames were leaping into the air. I couldn't help but roar with laughter. It seems TV personages especially thrive on sensationalism--if it isn't sensational, they'll make it so.
     
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Kevin,
    Continuing from above:

    I don't know Mr. Vacar. Indeed, I'm on the east coast and have never heard of the TV station either. And I never said Mr. Vacar was not a competent TV journalist. You said he was the "consumer reporter". Commenting on a story published in the "premier" consumer magazine would qualify in my book as something that he SHOULD do. If he was only reporting that "Mr Guest of Consumer Reports says that ....." he could get away with saying what he said -- and it would even fall into the 50% accurate stories that I mentioned. (Technically a truthful but deceptive statement! And one that I would rather he not say, but nevertheless .....)

    Now if he said that what Mr Guest said was TRUE, he would have in my book been saying that he independently verified that fact. And we know absolutely that he didn't do that. If he IMPLIED that he did, he falls into the "sleazy journalist" category regardless of his reputation or education. OK! He was "taken" by a supposed (and obviously self-described) "expert" in his field. A truly educated man should know better. "I saw it on the Internet. It must be true!"

    I am not necessarily impressed by education. I know too many PhD's who couldn't find their way home if dropped off on the wrong street. I wouldn't expect any of them to be able to choose a cellphone.

    Redemption would come if Mr Vacar reports on the errors of Mr Guest's (and his own) comments in as least as much detail and enthusiasm as he reported the first story. We both know that will never happen.... Would you care to buy a used car from either of them? Will you believe a word he says on TV from now on?
     

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