California has more residents than any other state. Far more. Unfortunately, the state also seems to have far more than its fair share of bumbling, incompetent bureaucrats. And even more unfortunately, more than just a few of them appear to be working in the state’s free government cell phone program.
Here at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net, we’ve supported the Lifeline Assistance program since its very earliest days. California was one of the last states to approve free government cell phones for its neediest residents, but the state seemed to be making amends for its tardy approval by giving phone companies additional state subsidies if they offered plans with unlimited voice minutes and unlimited texts rather than the 250 minute plans available in most other states.
The state even ramped up its own Lifeline website in an effort to educate low-income Americans about the benefits to which they were entitled.
Enter the bureaucrats
Murphy’s Law states that “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.” If there were such a thing, the California Lifeline Bureaucrats’ Law would state, “The simpler a program, the greater the likelihood that we’ll screw it up.”
Seriously, California, your Lifeline website (which is so bad that we will not link to it) is a mess. Not only is it poorly designed and filled with information and programs that have nothing to do with free government cell phones, but that information is riddled with inaccuracies and presented in an incomprehensible format.
In other words, it’s a website only a bureaucrat could love.
Let’s get specific
Please allow us to be of service, California. Here are some things found on your Lifeline website that need to be corrected immediately:
Parent companies are listed instead of actual free government cell phone providers. What’s up with that, California? For example, the website lists Virgin Wireless. In the real world, Virgin doesn’t offer free government cell phones, but its Assurance Wireless subsidiary does. In fact, if you Google “Virgin Wireless Lifeline” you’ll get links only to Assurance.
The website makes the same mistake over and over again. It lists I-Wireless instead of its Access Wireless subsidiary. It lists Boomerang instead of enTouch, Air Voice instead of FeelSafe, Telrite instead of Life Wireless, and AmeriMex instead of SafetyNet
Even worse, it lists Nexus instead of ReachOut Wireless when, as we previously reported, that company is retrenching and is no longer accepting any new Lifeline Assistance customers.
In the case of Global Connection of America, the California Lifeline site lists free plans that aren’t even listed on the Global Connection website. As far as we can tell, this company only offers discount cell phone plans, not free plans.
When we say strange organization, you may think we’re referring to the California Lifeline bureaucracy. While that may well be true, we’re actually referring to the way information is presented on its website.
For example, consider the page that lists service providers. In addition to listing the parent companies instead of the correct subsidiaries that actually offer Lifeline service, we are unable to fathom the format in which they are listed.
Is it alphabetical? No.
Is it in order of fewest free minutes and texts to most? No.
So while we don’t understand the format, we can tell you that it appears to be a haphazard list in no particular order and of questionable value.
We could go on, but we won’t
The problems listed above are just the beginning of the problems with California’s Lifeline website. We could go on, but there’s no reason to beat a dead horse and even less reason to question a deaf bureaucrat.
Lifeline Assistance is a tremendous program that has helped millions of financially-struggling Americans improve their lives. If the state of California actually intends to provide its people with the kind of information the need, they should begin by re-doing its Lifeline website so that the information is presented quickly, meaningfully, and most of all, accurately.
if you can’t do that, shut down the website and save some money for the beleaguered taxpayers of the state.