I was having a phone chat  with a very happy sounding lady called Kelly in the  telephone accounts department.  A couple of messages had attracted a surcharge as picture messages and I could not understand why. There was not a modicum of a picture in sight in either one, not even an emoticon.  I read the two messages to her and counted the digits in one of the them – fifty-five, (160 is the text limit).   Kelly just couldn’t understand it… I checked my settings, all okay there.

As I still had the messages and could account for what they were, she agreed a refund to my account, then added with a sigh;

I hate smart phones, they’re getting too smart for me!” 




My cell phone signalled that I had received a text message. The message invited me to claim a sum of money for my car accident. There was guidance to text ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I asked my insurance company if they had passed on my details to accident chasers. Was the text, I was asked, suggesting I could obtain X number of pounds sterling if I claimed? To my surprise, the question mirrored my message. This person had received the same text, she said. I was advised to delete it and not reply, as there was no knowing from where messages emanated; it could be a costly reply. I was profoundly disturbed by this news as I had already replied, with a ‘No’. It was the very first time I had received a scam text and I fell for it because of the lack of experience and because it fitted circumstances that were not so distant in the past.

On my bill were three calls outwith the cell phone package charges. One I recognised the other two were expensive 0870 phone numbers, and I puzzled over them. A bit of research showed, to my amazement, that these numbers were based in France! I had been charged for receiving a text and I was charged a higher amount for transmitting a response saying, ‘No’.

Your cell phone tells you there is a text message to open, so, that’s what you normally do. I have received yet another one of the text messages, and unfortunately, I opened it, though, this time I immediately deleted it. In all probability I will be charged for receiving the message. I now feel I can no longer freely open any text message I receive. In future, I will have to treat all text messages as suspicious.

>:XX >:-[


I was talking to a family geek about the two phones, The Apple iphone kit and Google’s Android. It was said that there was in-built advertising on the one,the Apple. There was a certain naiveté, I felt, in suggesting that Google were not exploiting similar potential with their product.

A little bit of research revealed that Google had already got underlying ‘acceptable’ ads behind their system. I’m not sure who the ads are acceptable to. The Google underlying adverts would be installed with the same rationale as Apple has, a profit motivation. In this, all phone manufacturers and resellers are playing the same game. I guess I.T. organisations will be telling mankind that all marketing is good for the soul. Will it become the next ‘must have’, the next faith forum?

There’s a lot to be said for staying with a good old fashioned cell phone that just makes phone calls, if anyone can remember what they are. And for a bit of added excitement, a wee facility to send text messages would be useful, though not essential, since voice messaging is bound to be in the bundle.