WOWT-TV reports that things got a little heated recently when Life Wireless tried to give ObamaPhones to low income residents of Omaha. (We know there’s some play on words we could do with Obama Phones and Omaha Phones, but we’d much rather get to the meat of this story.)
Life Wireless set up a booth at the corner of 58th and Ames in Omaha and began signing up low income residents for the free government cell phone program. The temperatures grew hot and the temperaments grew even hotter when the sign-ups didn’t progress as smoothly as those waiting in line thought they should have. In fact, things got so heated that the police eventually swept in to cool things down.
Nebraska is new to the LifeLine Access free government cell phone program and residents were eager to sign up when given the opportunity. The Nebraska program is much like LifeLine programs in other states: Low income residents can sign up to receive a free government cell phone plus 250 free minutes per month.
Apparently, however, LifeLine underestimated the demand for the phones and definitely underestimated the day’s high temperatures.
Alisha Gilmore was one of those standing in the long line under a broiling sun. “They should have some sort of security out here to help,” she said. “That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. I appreciate what they’re trying to do but get some organization.”
Jim Carpenter, Senior Vice President of Life Wireless, issued a statement to address the chaos at the event:
“Today’s sales event, our first in Omaha, attracted large crowds, and some customers waited a long time to sign up for phone service,” Carpenter said. “We regret any problems this may have caused. Life Wireless trains field representatives to select sales locations that take into account the safety of our customers.”
As the nation’s leading advocates of the free government cell phone program, we urge Omaha residents to cut Life Wireless a little slack. We can expect them to control their business, but no one can expect them to control the weather.