FCC Task Force Tackles AT&T, Google, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
Today the Federal Communications Commission sent letters of inquiry to all four national wireless network operators — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless — and Google over the use of early termination fees. The investigation is being headed by the FCC's new Consumer Task Force. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said, "I commend the Commission staff for its ongoing and proactive examination of the consumer experience in the wireless marketplace. This inquiry is the first action by the FCC's Consumer Task Force, which was launched last week to tackle these kinds of issues. I look forward to reviewing the responses to the letters and the recommendations from staff regarding next steps." The FCC inquired into Verizon Wireless' recent ETF increase from $175 to $350 late last year and said that Verizon's answers about marketing and customer acquisition costs were troubling. Google was named because of the ETF it charges for Nexus One customers who choose to break their contracts.
Verizon Makes It Pricer to Break Contracts
Verizon Wireless has changed its terms of service and made it more expensive for customers to leave the carrier before the end of their contract. Under the old terms of service, all customers who purchased a smartphone agreed to an ETF of $350.
FCC Pushes Privacy Rules Forward
The FCC on Thursday followed through on plans to tackle consumer privacy. The agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to govern the use of consumer data by broadband providers, both wired and wireless.
FCC Unhappy with AT&T and Verizon's Zero-Rated Services
The FCC believes zero-rating content can hurt consumers and competition. The agency sent letters to AT&T and Verizon Wireless this week calling them out for exempting their own video services (DirecTV Now and go90, respectively) from customers' data caps.
Consumer Groups Demand Broadband Privacy Laws
Dozens of consumer action groups have petitioned the FCC to install regulations that would protect the privacy of the nation's wired and wireless broadband users. The groups believe broadband providers — including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon, and others — should be subject to tough privacy standards.
FCC Dismisses Watchdog's Do Not Track Petition
The FCC has denied Consumer Watchdog's request that the agency force web sites to honor Do Not Track requests. The group asked the FCC to initiate a notice of proposed rulemaking that would force internet companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pandora to cease collecting user data if they so asked.
FCC needs to get with the damn program!
-Sprint raises their text pay-per-use rate from 0.10 a text to 0.20 which is a 100% rate hike. Within weeks AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile increased their rate with little explanation. Then smaller carriers followed suit. FCC launches an investigation with almost no result and suddendly dropped the investation (many including myself feel it was a buy out)
-Carrier exclusivity increased. While exclusivity are nothing new, wireless carriers now use it as part of their sales pitch. Want an iPhone? have to go with AT&T. Want a Blackberry Storm? Have to go with Verizon. Want a Palm Pre? You have to go with Sprint. Want a G1? Have to go with T-m...
Stupid greedy ass Verizon
You're barking up the wrong tree.... Google is just as guilty (if not more so)
If it wasn't for innovation the industry wouldn't be where it is today...
"I deserve a free phone!" No you don't....
-Do you deserve a new water heater because you pay your electric bill with the same company for years?
-Do you deserve free bread for shopping at Walmart for 5 years?
Wireless Providers offer "Wireless Services", they just slash the price off the phone to entice people to sign with them.
It's pretty black and white. You want a service, company provides the service, you pay for said service. It's basic economics, but what people will argue about is marketing, not economics. "Want a cheap phone? you have to stay with us. If you leave you have to pay it back"
If you still have difficulty understanding this simple concept, blame the...
One Question Though:
If you get the Nexus for $180 aren't you signing a contract with T-Mo??? Not that I'm defending them because to charge $200 w/o providing the subsidy is ridiculous.
well, this is it i guess.
the full retail price forces contracts
both at&t and verizon profit hugely on monthly costs. About 35% of what a data text plan costs is straight profit after all admin operation sales and payroll expenses. So if the handset costs them 300, 325-350 would be muc...
Can the FCC *really* be that stupid?
This whole situation leaves us only a few conclusions,
a) they really don't understand how it works and our country is doomed if politicians are actually *MORE* idiotic then we think they are or
b) they do understand and in a desperate move to swing public opinion of the federal government in general are trying to appeal to the "little guy" with this "take down the evil cell carriers" horse crap. Which would make them as corrupt as we already knew the government is.
Either way.... /facepalm
Politicians can't balance a budget. Most know nothing about running a business. That's why they go into politics in the first place.
No subsidies = bad thing
So if you buy your handset full price
You're throwing hundreds of dollars
out the window.
I don't understand people ...
Stupid Greedy Ass Customers
Last time I checked if I signed a contract and I broke the contract I was held to the penalty I signed for- even to the extent of a court case. The FCC sure does know how to throw reliability out the window.
If you don't like the terms of the contract, then don't sign it....and pay $500 for a phone.
there is no nocontract deals
here it comes! no more subsidies
Then we can really give the consumers something to whine about right?
Is this a case of... be careful what you wish for?
AT&T buys out T-Mobile and Verizon buys out Sprint. LTE and same frequency. No more subsidies. Phones retail from $250 to $600 a piece and consumers make their choices. Monthly rates are anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on numbe...
Good for the FCC...
Business makes the world go round. when you think about it...why'd they tie the two together in the first place? Cuz the manufactuers wanted people to buy their phones....make a deal with providers. From there call centers an...
Why is Google the only 3rd-party seller named?
All Smoke and Mirrors
The members of the FCC know exactly how the cell phone industry operates. They all know that a good portion of complaints are unfounded (not all), but think of the average consumer (not phonescoop member). Anyone in the industry knows what I'm talking about.
- I wanna a free phone
- The carrier should warranty the manufacturer's product or just give me whatever I want in exchange
- I am entitled a mo...