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AT&T Wants Device Subsidies to Be As Low As Possible

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Top message:  Why not end subsidies? by kingstu   May 17, 2012, 3:06 PM

Replying to:  Re: The Reason for the Subsidy by NonBiasedRep   May 19, 2012, 8:52 AM

Re: The Reason for the Subsidy

by T Bone    May 19, 2012, 12:32 PM

That happens right now already, contracts don't prevent it. However, getting rid of the connection between 'phone' and 'carrier' and making it easier to get phones through someone other than the carrier will arguably make it less likely that someone looking to run a scam will choose to do it by going through a carrier.

If you buy a phone and cancel your service you'll still have to pay for it...if you refuse to pay for the phone then you become subject to collections agencies, or legal prosecution or whatever....and the way to avoid people giving fake names or whatnot to make themselves untraceable is by enacting tougher laws on identity theft.

Another benefit to the carrier is that it will reduce churn. There are a lot of people who choose their carrier based on the particular phone they can use. When I worked for at&t I had people telling me they were quitting to go to Verizon for the Droid Incredible, or go to T-Mobile for the My Touch, or go to Sprint for the Evo...under this system, customers could use ANY phone on the market with ANY carrier, and there would be no need for customers to jump from one carrier to another to get a certain phone. There was never anything more frustrating than a customer who was determined to leave due to something we had no influence or control over, after all, if they wanted an EVO, we could not possibly offer them one.

This would mean that churn would be determined by factors that are actually under the control of the carrier, such as coverage, quality of the signal, accuracy of billing etc and not something out of left field that we couldn't do anything about, like a rival carrier offering a really cool phone that was an 'exclusive'.

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