03. 30. 2007
Making it easy to return lost cell phones
Like most cell phone or PDA users, my biggest nightmare is that if I lose the device somewhere, I'll never see it again. Disconnecting the phone service and knowing that whoever finds it can't make expensive phone calls on my bill is small comfort. What I'd really want is my phone back, with all my contacts and data intact.
Irish company Yougetitback's latest e-tag service makes that a little more likely (assuming whoever finds the phone is inclined to return it in the first place). Once you've subscribed, you get an e-tag that's installed as an application on your cell phone or PDA. If you lose the device, just go to the Yougetitback website to activate the e-tag, and that'll trigger a wallpaper that locks the device's functions, so that it can only be used to contact Yougetitback's 24-hour call center.
For sure, the e-tag makes it easy for whoever finds the device to return it. Finders even get a €20 Yougetitback gift pack for their trouble. And there's no compromising the device owner's identity, since the company will act as the middleman to get the device back to the owner, unless the latter chooses to contact the finder directly. If whoever finds the device doesn't want to return it, I suppose the Yousenditback application renders the device useless, so there's not much point in hanging onto it (hopefully they won't just chuck it into the nearest trash bin).
PC Magazine reports that the e-tag will be available for individual customers in the US after April for a fee of $9.99 for three years of service.