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F3SS

'You're paying my phone bill'

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Posted (edited)

‘YOU’RE PAYING MY PHONE BILL’: WRITER SHOWS HOW EASY IT IS TO ABUSE FREE GOV’T PHONE PROGRAM

“Representatives from SafeLink and Assurance, two of the leading New York Lifeline vendors, stand outside the food-stamp offices, paired like Mormon missionaries, young and polite and earnest,” the articles notes. “They carry electronic tablets and ask all passersby whether they’ve received their free phone ‘yet’ — as if it were an inevitability.”

It gets crazier from there:

They approached me for the first time outside the food-stamp office at Tenth Avenue and 216th Street, on the northern tip of Manhattan. The SafeLink vendor, a man probably in his mid 20s, asked me whether I was enrolled in any benefit programs.

“No,” I said, “but I’d certainly like to be. I’m hoping to be.” And indeed, while doing research for another story, I had gone through the motions of applying for New York City welfare, which I also don’t qualify for. I showed him my Human Resources Administration paperwork packet and the case number assigned to me. I reiterated that though I had once applied, I had never been approved for any sort of benefit.

He brought out his electronic tablet immediately to sign me up for phone service. He asked if I had an insurance card, so I pulled out my trusty Blue Cross Blue Shield. He looked at it for a second, puzzled, then asked if I had Medicaid. No, I told him, just private insurance through my work plan.

After photographing her Blue Cross Blue Shield card and getting her home address, she was done. The process took maybe five minutes and she was signed up for a taxpayer-funded cell phone. At no point did she have to prove she was a low-income earner.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/01/youre-paying-my-phone-bill-writer-shows-how-easy-it-is-to-abuse-free-govt-phone-program/

Edited by F3SS
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What a colossal example of waste and abuse.

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Some folks do not get it. Even vampires know you can only bleed a victim so much before it dies.

I admit folks, I have tormenting conflict on some of these issues. As a Libertarian, I do not think the GOV should be wrapped up in every aspect of life. I do not want to open my medicine cabinet in the morning and see "Big Brother" staring back at me. I want to see freedom and opportunity.

I am also a human being. I hate to see suffering. I, as much as the MSM would have you not believe....think that the most vulnerable and weak of us need to have a source of help and aid. Believe it or not...I am ok with that. I am just against the waste and the fraud. People that are capable of contributing to society but choose not to and "bleed" the rest of us.

The free cell phone thing should have extraordinary limitations. You can call the cops and emergency services and maybe get a few minutes per day....and that is it. Now if the corporations want to offer something more, that is their decision...but it feels like the mega communication companies are milking the taxpayer....just an opinion. They 'could" do a lot of things...but they have a sugar daddy....a golden egg laying goose....aka....GOV contracts funded by taxpayers.

All in all.....we are screwed....the corruption and the deviousness knows no limits when it comes to fleecing the people out of their hard earned money.

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Some folks do not get it. Even vampires know you can only bleed a victim so much before it dies.

It's intentional. Cloward-Piven strategy.

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Posted (edited)

Now I'll give you the other side of the story.

I am living in assisted housing on $200 a month. Yes, I get food stamps. And yes, I have applied for a free cell phone.

First of all, some of the bigger cell phone companies, like Sprint, buy back cell phones from customers who are upgrading. They pay upwards of $10 to $15 for a phone and then donate those phones to the free phone programs. So no, for the most part, your tax dollars are not being used to purchase thousand dollar phones to give to people for free.

Secondly, the phone I applied for required a case number on the application, meaning that I had to be on some social program first. And then I was turned down because I am renting a room. Another person who previously lived here didn't change their address when they moved - the rule is one phone per household address - and I then had to send in a copy of my lease with my name on it. So no, phones are not handed out willy-nilly to just anyone.

Now having said that, I'm assuming you posters are all people who wish those of us on social services to get a job and start paying taxes.

Have any of you ever tried to get a job without a private phone?

I have and it sucks. Yes, it's possible to make calls from a phone booth, but much harder to arrange a number where someone can call you back. And a lot of jobs today require their employees to own a phone. That sucks too, but it's true.

I guess my question should probably be, why are some people so het up about other people getting off social services, but then do the very things that prevent people from doing this exact thing? For instance, where I live, there is a rule that no one can attend college full time. At $200 a month I can afford to attend the community college? Not a chance. And you know there are no grants or scholarships for the part time student. Yet how do I get myself out of assisted living, if I can't get myself an education? Whatever - now I'm venting. Sorry about that.

I have also lived in my vehicle at a time before cell phones were in common use, and believe me, if any of you have ever been in a situation where you were parked in a fairly deserted area and someone was prowling outside your car trying the doors, I think'd you agree you would want a phone in that case.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that any program has it flaws. Cutting off the whole program to people who really need it because of the flaws is sort of stupid. Wouldn't it be easier to find out how a program helps people instead and then try to fix the flaws?

By the way, did anyone take a good look at those graphs? If you did, did you notice approximately what year those graphs went up like a rocket? Yeah, that's right - when we had our economic meltdown. I wonder what we'd see if we laid those graphs over a similar graph of jobs lost or houses foreclosed on.

Edited by rodentraiser
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Posted (edited)

“Representatives from SafeLink and Assurance, two of the leading New York Lifeline vendors, stand outside the food-stamp offices,

were else would you like them to stand - in front of Wall Street?

Federal Lifeline Assistance: Assurance Wireless is a federal Lifeline Assistance program brought to you by Virgin Mobile. Lifeline is a government benefit program supported by the federal Universal Service Fund.

Qualifications: Enrollment is available to individuals who qualify based on federal or state-specific eligibility criteria. You may qualify if you are on certain public assistance programs, like Medicaid or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). You can also qualify based on your household income.

Proof of Eligibility: You must provide proof of program participation or proof of income.

One Account per Household: The Lifeline Assistance program is available for only one wireless or wireline account per household. Separate households that live at the same address are eligible, including residents of homeless shelters and nursing homes, for example. Residents with temporary addresses are also eligible

There are requirements and proof that must be met.

Edited by ninjadude

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were else would you like them to stand - in front of Wall Street?

There are requirements and proof that must be met.

This guy didn't need proof of much and since you didn't open the link, the one per household must be one of those rules that is more of a 'guideline'.

Immediately following where I ended the article quote, Read...

But wait! That’s not all.

“The SafeLink vendor then referred me to his opposite number, a rep from Assurance. She too took down my information,” registering her for another government-provided cell phone.

“Traveling to several of the welfare offices in the city, I learned this was common practice,” the article adds. Apparently, it notes, reps for the cell phone program “come in twos, and both will sign you up if they can.”

When all was said and done, the article’s author successfully signed up for three “free” phones: one from SafeLink and two from Assurance phone — all of it taxpayer-funded.[/Quote]

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Snip

No one is bent about people needing social services. We are bent about the abuse of it and even more bent that he government seemingly encourages or ignores the abuse. Hence the writer getting three "free" phones in one day. It seems that you needed help and thats ok. That isn't were my gripe is.

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sounds like an Identity theft scam to me...... they got what again, her company health insurance number and name. They Must have gotten an address and or e-mail address maybe a present phone number all they need to fund their own use of that insurance card

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Posted (edited)

You guys might want to watch this:

One reporter shows how a government free phone program can be rife with abuse and fraud

http://video.foxnews...ntcmp=obnetwork

Edited by Kowalski

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This guy didn't need proof of much and since you didn't open the link, the one per household must be one of those rules that is more of a 'guideline'.

Immediately following where I ended the article quote, Read...

I did read. And although he "signed up", it's not clear that he ACTUALLY got the phone.

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Posted (edited)

I did read. And although he "signed up", it's not clear that he ACTUALLY got the phone.

Good point but why are these companies hustling more than one tax funded phone to one person? She was referred from one company to another who proceeded to sign her up for another phone under the same company. It's as if they attempting to create tax funded dependence.

Edited by F3SS
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Good point but why are these companies hustling more than one tax funded phone to one person? She was referred from one company to another who proceeded to sign her up for another phone under the same company. It's as if they attempting to create tax funded dependence.

If you watch the video link I provided above, you can cleary see that this reporter showed, in the interview, all three phones she was able to obtain through this program.

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No one is bent about people needing social services. We are bent about the abuse of it and even more bent that he government seemingly encourages or ignores the abuse. Hence the writer getting three "free" phones in one day. It seems that you needed help and thats ok. That isn't were my gripe is.

Understood. Thing is, enough of these stories and people want to start cutting all social services.

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Understood. Thing is, enough of these stories and people want to start cutting all social services.

No man, just reign it in and have some accountability.

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If you watch the video link I provided above, you can cleary see that this reporter showed, in the interview, all three phones she was able to obtain through this program.

So there we have it. A colossal waste caught on camera. How many times a day does this happen?

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So there we have it. A colossal waste caught on camera. How many times a day does this happen?

Very troubling....Don't get me wrong, there are people out there who do need help, but it's sad when you see the system being abused.

Look who is really benifiting from this:

"It’s not fair the biggest beneficiary of this is Carlos Slim, the billionaire owner of TracFone.”

Slim owns Mexico’s biggest phone company, America Movil SAB (AMXL), which offers mobile service in 17 Latin American countries and the U.S. Its TracFone unit is the largest recipient under the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s Lifeline program, taking in $451.7 million, or 28 percent, of payments in 2011, the last year for which records are available.

Started in 1985, Lifeline pays companies $9.25 per customer per month. It disbursed $772 million in 2008 and $2.2 billion last year, according to the Universal Service Administrative Co., a Washington-based nonprofit that oversees the subsidies.

Largest U.S. telephone company AT&T Inc. (T) took in $274.9 million and third-largest wireless provider Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), based in Overland Park, Kansas, received $273.5 million, according to the FCC. AT&T’s share includes aid for wired phone customers.

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-25/richest-man-slim-cited-for-profiting-from-phones-for-poor.html

Gotta love Fabian Socialism....

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it is a conundrum isn't it? I don't want people to suffer or be out of touch with emergency services....but this is so easily corrupted. How can we fix it?

I might be wrong on this, but I thought that even a dead cell phone with no monthly billable service can still call 911....don't know.

We have so much broken now. greed is good....it's ok to hoard while the guy next to you starves. We play these word games and find justification...but it is a blemish on humanity.

I do not think we will make it very long. We have lost the very essence of humanity....we have been programmed to be selfish.....there is no way around it. Hell, I'm selfish...I admit it. I still have a part of me that hurts for the poor and the desperate....but it is a voice that is slowly becoming mute....

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Good point but why are these companies hustling more than one tax funded phone to one person? She was referred from one company to another who proceeded to sign her up for another phone under the same company. It's as if they attempting to create tax funded dependence.

because the more people they sign up, the more government money they get. That being said, there are checks. They have to be able to prove this in an audit. Well assuming that the Republicans have not cut that budget too.

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