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Verizon Settles ETF Suit, Will Pay $21M

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Let's get rid of subsidized phones...

JeffdaBeat

Jul 2, 2010, 12:23 PM
Seriously, I would love to just get rid of the option so folks realize what they are really paying for. Sure, they won't get a phone every two years...or they might just because that's how long it would take them to save up to get one. But it would put phones more in line with TV's or Blu-ray players...
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Azeron

Jul 2, 2010, 12:52 PM
I second that motion.
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Kaztro

Jul 2, 2010, 12:59 PM
I agree also. the mark up on electronics is rediclous anyway, Most products have a 1000% mark up. HDMI cables cost cents to make and there 50-100$. I read an article when the Droid came out that was saying based on the cost of the componets the Droids Contract price was not that much higher then it's cost. yet the full retail is 100% mark up. It's just crazy
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Jayshmay

Jul 2, 2010, 1:04 PM
People who pay $50-$100 for an HDMI cable are *BAD* consumers!!!

I paid $7-$8 for an HDMI on ebay!
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Kaztro

Jul 2, 2010, 1:25 PM
ha ha, true but you walk into an electronic store there 50-100$ thats my point.

I got a buddy who works at Best buy who gets me every thing i need at cost.

I personally don't like ebay
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thrille

Jul 2, 2010, 2:04 PM
umm really you dont have to sign a two year contract now and pay full price for the phone anyone can go into there provider and say i dont wanna sign a contract and just pay full price for a new phone and their be happy to assist you, no one forces you to sign. Unless your a new customer then thats when you dont have a choice...
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JeffdaBeat

Jul 2, 2010, 2:09 PM
I know you can do that with AT&T. I know with Sprint there is a special plan for going month to month, but you don't get a lot of features that the post paid plans have. So they are forcing you into a 2-year contract even if you provide your own equipment.
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thrille

Jul 2, 2010, 2:15 PM
i have worked for sprint for many years and also worked for att in the past and both are the same and im assuming that all the carriers do the samething, if your a new customer and use your own equipment you still sign a contract but can use your upgrade whenever you want. If you want to upgrade and use your upgrade to sign a contract you get the discounted price on the device but if you dont wanna sign a contract you can buy the phone full retail with no worries of a contract. So a person wanting to stay with their carrier and get a new phone, can just pay full price and stop b*tching about a contract. Me personally rather sign and get a break on the phone, im not gonna pay full price, up to $500, for a phone thats crazy.
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Azeron

Jul 2, 2010, 5:43 PM
T-Mobile and Verizon have Month-to-Month option EVEN for new customers. I had thought AT&T did too. I question your statement there, but it would take an AT&T rep to resolve it.
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WarriorProphet

Jul 3, 2010, 1:55 AM
AT&T has both non-contract options, either go month to month (simply use a GO phone sim) or get a contract (pay $25 for a regular ATT sim).

As mentioned above the smartphone data plan is not available without a contract, period. This is due to the overage model not being compatible with prepaid or pay as you go models. ATT experimented briefly with a metered data model, but it resulted in too many accounts ending up with uncollectable balances...

Anyhow, thats the scoop. I do sell a lot of sims to people who goto bazaars/flee markets and get unlocked world phones though at my kiosk.
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Enzzo

Jul 3, 2010, 2:03 PM
If you're a COR store rep I'm sad at your lack of knowledge or your wording...not sure what's wrong.

If a customer comes in with their own equipment, no matter what kind they can go month-to-month on a post-paid account with NO CONTRACT. Yes, they sign for Terms of Service, but their account shows no contract and can be cancelled at any time. Being on a rate plan and accepting terms of service is WAAAAY different then being on a contract. You don't have to use a GO Phone SIM or pay us for a SIM. They are free in COR stores...at least in the Tri-States.
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GeeksAreBest

Jul 5, 2010, 11:35 AM
Right. That's exactly it. You don't need a GOPhone SIM or anything. I could go to walmart, buy a gophone for $30, walk into an AT&T store, say "I have this phone already, want to start services." and as long as I'm credit eligible (non contract or contracted, have to be eligible.), they'll start an account for me, provide me a number and all I'm charged extra is an activation fee of $36.
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rip_odb

Jul 5, 2010, 5:29 PM
Not with Sprint. As mentioned in an earlier, if you want any of Sprint's advertised plans, you must sign a two-year contract, regardless of whether or not you provide your own equipment. This has been verified by countless Sprint reps.
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texaswireless

Jul 2, 2010, 4:16 PM
Thats what you are suggesting here. Eliminate choice.

What happened to educating the consumer on those choices. Maybe that is a better idea.
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Globhead

Jul 3, 2010, 9:02 AM
No, right now we don't have any choice because we are forced to pay for phones whether we want them or not.

By asking for subsidized phones, you are asking them to pad their monthly rates. If you want that money back, you have to limit your next phone to their selection. That isn't a "choice", that's just fooling yourself.
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texaswireless

Jul 3, 2010, 10:09 AM
You absolutely have a choice. You are under the false assumption that prices would go down under the un-subsidized phone scenario. There are no stats to back up the false claims that prices for service would drop.
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SPCSVZWJeff

Jul 3, 2010, 5:43 PM
Carriers would not have as high of a CPGA. The problem is there would no longer be a such thing as a family plan because no one would pay 400-1500 for 2 phones.
Cricket does business like you say and their customers have less choice. Bad phone for $50.00 or not so bad phone for $200.00. They also have the highest churn and the lowest satisfaction in the industry.
The current contracted system works well enough that it is being emulated in Europe as an option on some carriers. With the contracted system the consumer has more phone choices for less money but they don't go to jail for breaking the contract they just pay a prorated disconnect fee.
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Globhead

Jul 3, 2010, 6:15 PM
You don't have to pay $400 for 2 phones. You can easily get a phone for $100 each or less.

Cricket may not be very good, but there is no reason to think the price of phones is the issue. That claim doesn't fit with reality anyway, because most of their phones are well under $100, both because they are locked phones sold at a discount (and thus there is likely to be some portion of revenue wasted on them) and because they specialize in bare-bones phones which hardly cost anything anyway.

Look at your favorite carrier's "prices" for new activations. They are selling for "free" phones which cost a lot more than those which would easily satisfy most customers. The waste is ridiculous, and we all have to pay for it.

Sprint sold milli...
(continues)
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SPCSVZWJeff

Jul 5, 2010, 10:39 AM
The analogy with Cricket was to illustrate the same point that could be made with any prepaid carrier; that is low end phones sold cheap or encouraging people to buy a Verizon or Sprint phone at a thrift store and have it flashed. This is sure to disappoint people with the low quality.
Many people like the convenience of a wireless device but it is not important enough for them to spend $150.00 or more.
You are correct in saying that if the carriers did not subsidize the handsets then it would lower the CPGA IF net adds remained the same. The question is if the consumer paid what the phone was really worth would there be as many customers?
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Globhead

Jul 3, 2010, 6:01 PM
Prices DEFINITELY will NEVER drop if people like you keep demanding "free" stuff.

You propose that prices MIGHT not go down when carriers' expenses are reduced. Maybe not, but then there is that whole competition principle. Maybe you forgot that we don't pay $1 per minute any more.

Imagine these numbers (hard as that may be), which are quite likely to be typical:

Average customer's rate plan: $60
x12 months = $720 per year.

And then that idiot customer wants a $100-200 phone subsidy every 1-2 years.

That's almost 14% of a carrier's revenue (ie, YOUR BILL) being spent on "free" phones.

And you say who cares, because maybe ending that practice wouldn't actually result in carriers trying to compete by reducing prices, despi...
(continues)
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smylax

Jul 5, 2010, 9:31 AM
Actually you're wrong. T-Mobile's price plans are based upon whether you're signing a contract or not. Even More (contract) plans are competitive with the other big 3. However, if you want to pay invoice prices on phones (or provide your own), you can do Even More Plus (non-contract) plans. For individuals these are $10-$20 a month cheaper. For the first 2 lines on a family plan, these are $10-$40 a month less.

So yes, if a carrier is not subsidizing phones they are able to drop their prices... one of the Big 4 is already doing it...
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Menno

Jul 2, 2010, 4:39 PM
I'm more a fan of there being other incentives for buying the phones retail (discount per month, maybe extra minutes, etc) I don't think subsidized phones are going away, I just think we need more options presented.
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Jayshmay

Jul 2, 2010, 5:21 PM
I like that extra minutes idea. Recently I've been contemplating upping to the 1400 min plan, extra $20/mo.
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justfinethanku

Jul 2, 2010, 4:52 PM
I'd like a discount on my phone.

A big discount.
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Menno

Jul 2, 2010, 5:45 PM
Eh, I'd prefer a monthly discount.

But it's all psychological for me.

Like, if I paid $600 for something, I'm going to be more careful with it than if I paid $199 for it, AND it helps temper the "New toy, buy now" urge my inner geek gets whenever a new phone is launched.

So contract pricing on phones doesn't entice me that much. Now, a $10 discount like tmobile offers for paying retail for the phone? That's awesome.
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Globhead

Jul 3, 2010, 9:09 AM
How do you think the carrier pays for those "big discounts"? The same way they pay for EVERYTHING--by pricing monthly rates to cover it.

Your carrier has to buy those phones from a manufacturer. They don't have a magic phone tree from which they can choose to give you something for free without charging you for it.
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yeahright

Jul 2, 2010, 8:05 PM
get your discount every two years of service but you have to pay full retail when you first sign up.

So instead of getting discount for signing a 2yr agreement.... just give consumer a discount every two years for using the service 24+ months

so basically the carrier gives you discount after two years of service instead of giving it to you before and then no contract is needed
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ells2187

Jul 3, 2010, 8:28 AM
idk man, wouldnt that kinda defeat the purpose of post paid companies? and then destroy the market for smartphones. everybody would do the cheaper, pre-paid phones. and as far as i know, the only people that walk around with 500 bucks burning a hole in their pockets are pimps, dealers, and mexicans. im just saying, the cell phone industry would look pretty bleak.
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ecycled

Jul 3, 2010, 10:45 AM
Apple geeks would still pay ridiculous money. Trust me. --RDF - steve jobs reality distortion field
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ecycled

Jul 3, 2010, 10:50 AM
Advertise the no committment price and then when they are willing to sign a contract tell them their price.

Its a dream but just anything to make ppl realize what they are getting and maybe save some trouble later by making them appreciate it. Sad you have 'to make' them appreciate.
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Poking Pixie

Jul 5, 2010, 11:51 AM
if we could give customers a reality check on how much those phones are really worth. I just love it when I offer someone insurance on the phone they just bought and they're like "It's a free phone, why would I pay 4.99 a month and a 50.00 deductible on a free phone. I'll just go out and buy another phone for 50.00 if this one breaks." Laughing Laughing Laughing I'd like to see you try. That "free" phone is actually 300.00 at full retail price, and that's what you're gonna be paying for it when your kid inevitably drops your blackberry in the toilet 3 months into your contract. Rolling Eyes
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kewball012

Jul 13, 2010, 2:21 AM
I agree. I think Americans think of the wireless industry like they do about american lifestyle: They feel they are given a right to do how they please and get what they want all over the world... lets put politics aside... Look .... If you really want to pay 500-600 for your new smartphone (yes that's MSRP dumb a$$e$), then fine, do so, but the bottom line is that if you want a phone at a reasonable price, then get over the fact that you aren't going to do away with contracts and subsidized phones until then. People don't realize how much these F*$&ing phones are really worth. A
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