Posts from April, 2012

CUB Connects Spring Workshop Series Review



CUB Connects Spring Workshop Series Review

During the spring of 2012 the CUB Connects team presented a series of educational workshops at public libraries in Multnomah County. We offered three different presentations at six libraries:

• Choosing the Right Phone Plan
• Protecting Yourself from Scams
• Understanding Your Phone and Internet Bills

Every participant that filled out an evaluation said that our workshop was helpful or very helpful. As consumer advocates we have a long history of working behind the scenes to help consumers and these workshops gave… Full Post >>

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Posts from February, 2012

Consumer Education Workshops to Begin in the Portland Area



Consumer Education Workshops to Begin in the Portland Area

A long-term goal of the CUB Connects project was always to get out into the community and continue our telecom consumer awareness and education in a variety of ways.  Thanks to the Multnomah County Library, we are now offering several workshops at libraries in the Portland Area on the following topics:


• Understand Your Phone and Internet Bill
• Choosing the Right Phone Plan
• Protecting Yourself From Scams


For information on times and locations, please see the… Full Post >>

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Posts from January, 2012

New Website Helps You Manage Your Mobile Data



New Website Helps You Manage Your Mobile Data

A new website, What Is My Cap, created by nonprofit groups Mozilla Foundation, Public Knowledge and Open Source Democracy Foundation has just launched with the express purpose of comparing data plans of the major mobile phone carriers.

All of the major phone carriers, with the exception to date of Sprint, have placed caps on their data plans, with overage fees or throttling occurring after the cap is reached. Throttling is when the company slows down the speed of data exchange in… Full Post >>

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Posts from December, 2011

SCAM ALERT: Buying Tickets Online



SCAM ALERT: Buying Tickets Online

Last week I attended a big name show in Portland.  While in line to enter the show, I witnessed two women who were turned away because the tickets that they had purchased were fake.  They had purchased the tickets online, and the person who sold them the tickets had apparently sold duplicates of the same tickets to other unsuspecting buyers on the internet.  The result - multiple people with the same ticket for the same show.  Buying tickets for events online has become the easiest and most convenient… Full Post >>

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Posts from September, 2011

Parental Control Options for Cell Phones



Are you a parent of teens or tweens that have or want cell phones? According to the Pew Research center about 75% of 12-17 year-olds now own cell phones. As technology advances and younger and younger kids are getting cell phones, parents too have to adapt and figure out how to protect their children in a digital world.

It’s important that parents are aware of the options for purchasing cell phones for their children as well as the parental control available with different service providers.

All… Full Post >>

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AT&T/T-Mobile Blocked by DOJ



AT&T/T-Mobile Blocked by DOJ

In a rather sudden and unexpected move, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday filed an antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile.  The DOJ stated in a press release that

“The proposed $39 billion transaction would substantially lessen competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services across the United States, resulting in higher prices, poorer quality services, fewer choices and fewer innovative products for the millions of American consumers who rely on mobile wireless services in their everyday lives.”


Amelia Deloney of the… Full Post >>

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Posts from August, 2011

Tips from Illinois CUB



A few weeks ago I headed to Chicago to visit with the members of Illinois CUB’s staff who work on consumer education and outreach (link to Oregon CUB blog).  It was an interesting trip and a great way to learn more from a group that has an established consumer outreach program.  Not only did I get some helpful hints for how to develop the CUB Connects outreach program but, I learned some great money-saving tips to share with my fellow Oregonians.


1. Drop expensive, unnecessary features from… Full Post >>

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Posts from July, 2011

Mobile Data Plans: Managing your Cap



Mobile Data Plans: Managing your Cap

It has been about one year since AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans to new smartphone customers and now Verizon has followed suit. Existing customers can still be grandfathered into unlimited data plans, but this decision is representative of a larger trend in wireless data use.  According to a white paper from Cisco, “Global mobile data traffic grew 2.6-fold in 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row.” The white paper also indicates that data use per smartphone has more than doubled in 2010,… Full Post >>

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Posts from June, 2011

Detecting Phone Scams



Detecting Phone Scams

It’s good to be aware of phone scams when you answer the phone. Although many scams are performed online, phone scams are more common than you may realize.  Telephone fraud can take many different forms and phone scams can even be used in conjunction with information obtained on the internet or other forms of fraud. Unfortunately, some types of phone scams even target senior citizens.


Here are a few local examples of recent phone scams. In Clackamas County, fraudulent callers asked for financial information using… Full Post >>

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CUB Executive Director “Crammed” on Phone Bill



CUB Executive Director “Crammed” on Phone Bill

According to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) website cramming is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges on your telephone bill.  These unauthorized charges can be intentional or unintentional and often are missed by consumers. Phone bills are often confusing and have a lot of different small charges included, and crammers rely on this to hide unwarranted charges in consumer’s bills. According to the FCC, these charges may be any of the following: “service fee,” “service charge,” “other fees,” “voicemail,” “mail server,”… Full Post >>

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