11-16-08 10:12 PM
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  1. wirelessforever's Avatar
    i actually just quit tanning at my usual place because i moved. i had my credit card on file with them and just had them take the $23 a month for unlimited tanning directly from my account. when i left there, i noticed they took out $48. yes, thats right, an etf at a tanning salon!!
    I believe if you read my contributions in this thread you'll note that I've indicated that there are a few sleazy gym clubs who pull this ETF nonsense. So you can modify that to a few sleazy nickel-and-dime gym club and tanning salon operators.

    I fail to see how anyone would categorize AT&T (a billion dollar corporation), Verizon (another billion dollar corporation) Sprint (and yet another billion dollar corporation) and T-Mobile (a multinational ka-zillion dollar corporation) in the same league with a few low-rent mom and pop gym club and tanning salon con artists.

    Again, and hopefully for the last time, there is no justification for ETFs and the practice of this wholly anti-consumer collusion by four fat corporate megagiants should be brought to an end.
    03-27-08 03:57 PM
  2. jenaywins's Avatar
    I believe if you read my contributions in this thread you'll note that I've indicated that there are a few sleazy gym clubs who pull this ETF nonsense. So you can modify that to a few sleazy nickel-and-dime gym club and tanning salon operators.

    I fail to see how anyone would categorize AT&T (a billion dollar corporation), Verizon (another billion dollar corporation) Sprint (and yet another billion dollar corporation) and T-Mobile (a multinational ka-zillion dollar corporation) in the same league with a few low-rent mom and pop gym club and tanning salon con artists.

    Again, and hopefully for the last time, there is no justification for ETFs and the practice of this wholly anti-consumer collusion by four fat corporate megagiants should be brought to an end.
    i was not comparing verizon to a "low-rent mom and pop tanning salon." i was simply making a point...

    i do completely agree that etf fees are a load of bs, however i also do not believe that anyone on this forum should be spoken down to the way you appear to be doing to anyone who posts any kind of opinion or reply to this thread.
    03-27-08 04:02 PM
  3. wirelessforever's Avatar
    i was not comparing verizon to a "low-rent mom and pop tanning salon." i was simply making a point...
    Yes, your point was that some tanning salon ripped you off. But how that compares to four billion-dollar corporate giants engaging in monopoly collusion against consumers is not quite clear.


    do not believe that anyone on this forum should be spoken down to the way you appear to be doing to anyone who posts any kind of opinion or reply to this thread.
    It's called debate. And it's curious that you are ok trying to pick a fight with me but don't callout Jayden when his behavior is condescending and when he engages in "speaking down" to others.
    03-27-08 04:17 PM
  4. jenaywins's Avatar
    Yes, your point was that some tanning salon ripped you off. But how that compares to four billion-dollar corporate giants engaging in monopoly collusion against consumers is not quite clear.




    It's called debate. And it's curious that you are ok trying to pick a fight with me but don't callout Jayden when his behavior is condescending and when he engages in "speaking down" to others.
    for one thing, no one is picking a fight. for another thing, i dont see jayden blatantly insulting my intelligence - not to mention the intelligence of every other person on this threat that disagrees with what you are saying or has an opinion. every post ive seen from him appears to be nothing but helpfulness, seeing as he DOES work at at&t. i notice you, on the other hand, start out 99% of your replies by calling what other people have to say "ridiculous beyond words."

    also, i will say AGAIN that my point was NOT to compare some shady tanning salon with at multi-billion dollar corporation. im blonde, but not a total moron. basically i was just posting an anecdote to point out the fact that yes, some things just plain suck, but it IS the way it IS. it doesnt make it right, its just reality! deal!
    03-27-08 04:23 PM
  5. wirelessforever's Avatar
    hi you :]

    yeah, i was thinking about switching to tmo, but verizon ain't so bad in socal. i'm happy for the most part.
    Verizon was the original ILEC (wireline phone company) in many parts of LA so when it came time to start building out towers for cell service, Verizon seemed to be ahead of most others getting permits to get their towers up first. Verizon's coverage in West Los Angeles is generally excellent. And if you look at the simple math of who uses Verizon, you'll generally find Verizon has a LOT of customers in So Cal.

    I prefer GSM because I want my phone to work anywhere in the world. And TMo also generally has excellent coverage everywhere I go in West Los Angeles and Southern California in general.

    If you are serious about looking at changing, I can tell you that no one gives you more pricing wise than T-Mobile.
    03-27-08 04:32 PM
  6. wirelessforever's Avatar
    "ridiculous beyond words."
    Comparing renting an apartment where a landlord is asking for a security deposit to protect himself against property damage to simple cell phone service is indeed completely ridiculous beyond words.

    And this exchange is going in that direction too. No where to go with you. You just seem to want to fight without discussing the substance of the thread.

    Have a nice day Jenay.
    03-27-08 04:38 PM
  7. overmydeadberry's Avatar
    wow this totally got out of hand... mods should just lock this thread... to keep things pleasant...
    03-27-08 04:42 PM
  8. wirelessforever's Avatar
    wow this totally got out of hand... mods should just lock this thread... to keep things pleasant...
    Not at all. The topic is an important one. Lively debate isn't unhealthy.

    Unfortunately sometimes people just want to jump in to a thread perhaps for the wrong reason. If the content of a post or a thread is on topic, it's a good thing. If the *only* reason someone posts is to argue and pick a fight and not post relative content tied to the thread, then it's unproductive.
    03-27-08 05:12 PM
  9. overmydeadberry's Avatar
    hmmm... ok...
    03-27-08 05:16 PM
  10. wolff46's Avatar
    I just want to put in my 2 cents... the cellular companies are losing money if you leave early. you are getting a phone for a discounted price. they expect to make their profit and pay off that expense when you pay your bill every month for the duration of your contract. If I get a free cell phone, then leave the next month. why should I not be charged for that phone?
    03-27-08 05:23 PM
  11. wirelessforever's Avatar
    I just want to put in my 2 cents... the cellular companies are losing money if you leave early. you are getting a phone for a discounted price. they expect to make their profit and pay off that expense when you pay your bill every month for the duration of your contract. If I get a free cell phone, then leave the next month. why should I not be charged for that phone?
    Not a likely assumption that they lost money on you selling you the phone in the first place. Years back, call phones were built for LONG lives. Some of the early Nokias seemed to be built to last forever. Then the manufacturers started studying people's habits. They found that most people really want a new cell phone every year or two. You'd have a hard time finding a friend who has a cell phone that's older than 18 months. People just don't hang on to their phones that long anymore. They drop them, they get scratched, they want new phones.

    When the manufacturers started looking at these trends, they changed their manufacturing processes. Everything became plastic, cheap and designed for short life spans.

    There are few cell phones today that aren't manufacturered in China at a cost of just a few dollars. Motorola manufactures in China. Rim manufacturers in Mexico. That Curve or Pearl you are holding in your hand probably cost just a few dollars to make. Ohhh yeah, they TELL you it has a retail value of $250.00 but the retail value has little to do with the real cost and what a reasonable profit margin might be.

    Retail can be a supremely lucrative business. The Ralph Lauren Polo shirt that's priced for $200 probably cost old Ralph $2.00 to make. He sells it to Macys for $20.00 and you pay $150 for it on sale. Someone got very rich along the way selling you that shirt.

    Phones are no different. My God, look at their labor costs in China and Mexico. They're paying those poor people pennies. I'd bet it costs RIM less than $20 a copy for every Curve they produce and that INCLUDES amoritized R&D costs.

    AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile aren't losing any money on you selling you a "discounted" phone. Sure they aren't making $250 on phones sold on new contracts but I guarantee you they aren't losing money either.

    It's a scam. They tell you they are discounting your phone. They're just making LESS of a margin selling you that phone than if you paid "normal retail." If selling you the phones was such a big deal, why do you think they'd be so quick to discount them to get you into a contract. AHA! No it's the CONTRACT for airtime where they make their real money.

    I've run several businesses in my life and the ones BANKERS all love are re-occurring revenue businesses. The ones where a bill goes out every month and a payment rolls in. Cell carriers are masters at this. They can go to the bank knowing that with ETFs they can keep their churn low and their reoccuring revenues high.

    It's all a scam my friend. And there is NO reason any sharp consumer should fall for it.
    Last edited by wirelessforever; 03-27-08 at 05:47 PM.
    03-27-08 05:44 PM
  12. P.H.A.D.E's Avatar
    I Like The Way This Threat Is Going, Kind Of "Politics" In Some Sense, Like wirelessforever Stated: "Lively debate isn't unhealthy"

    Everybody Here At CB Is Family, If You Have Your 2 Cents, Then State Them!!!
    03-27-08 05:45 PM
  13. overmydeadberry's Avatar
    so WF you are saying that these companies shouldn't make a profit? well not at the consumers expense right? but isn't all profit at our expense since we are paying for said items? i would like to know... what is it that you do? and would you be willing to sell products at cost to be a good guy?
    03-27-08 05:55 PM
  14. wolff46's Avatar
    labour costs for phones and materials may be cheap. but what about the hundreds of thousands of employees at RIM that design the phone market it all of the rest. you can't compare profit to what it costs to make in materials alone... look at all the people that work for all the different companies...
    03-27-08 05:56 PM
  15. wirelessforever's Avatar
    so WF you are saying that these companies shouldn't make a profit? well not at the consumers expense right? but isn't all profit at our expense since we are paying for said items? i would like to know... what is it that you do? and would you be willing to sell products at cost to be a good guy?
    No, no, no! I want AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint to be profitable companies. We NEED them to be profitable. Wireless technology will change our lives in the years ahead in ways we haven't even dreamed of yet.

    And no I would also not run a business selling things at cost. Where is the future in that?

    The issue here is creating an environment where competitiveness excels and where the carriers have to innovate and have to get better and better. Not an environment where they all collude (illegally I might add) to create a business environment where they lock you into a contract and know that they can count on capturing revenue from you no matter how poorly they treat you.

    Let the free market reign. Isn't that the American way?

    Our Anti-Trust laws were written to prevent oligopolies http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligopoly from colluding together to get fat and stay lazy because if they can all wink, hold hands, and keep their mouths shut, they can mistreat the consumer any way they wish.

    I'm all for the profit motive. I'm also for empowering the consumer and ETFs are so blatently anti consumer that I can't see how any reasonable person can look at them and not be offended that they should be held at gunpoint to agree to them.
    03-27-08 06:11 PM
  16. wirelessforever's Avatar
    labour costs for phones and materials may be cheap. but what about the hundreds of thousands of employees at RIM that design the phone market it all of the rest. you can't compare profit to what it costs to make in materials alone... look at all the people that work for all the different companies...
    I didn't. If you carefully re-read what I wrote you will see that I included amortized R&D costs.

    It still doesn't cost RIM more than $20 a copy to *design,* to *manufacture* and to *distribute* a Curve. To get my Curve, I paid $250 and had to agree to a 2-year contract.

    Believe me, they made out like bandits with my $250/2-year contract. Total bandits. Not saying I'm unhappy with my carrier. I like T-Mobile. But you'd have to be an economic incompetent not to see that selling $250 Curves with 2-year contracts is like a license for printing money.
    03-27-08 06:18 PM
  17. Flurrycat's Avatar
    As far as ETFs go, having lived in New York City I can tell you that some apartments definitely do charge ETFs, even if you leave the place spotless. When we moved to Minneapolis, it cost us $2000 to break our lease (thankfully my husband's company picked up the bill!). Now that's an ETF!

    A lot of fitness clubs charge ETFs too. I know because I've paid them. I don't think I've ever signed a contract that didn't have a contract breakage clause with some sort of penalty. It's not like it's a secret or anything. Should these be null and void if the other party doesn't hold up their end of the deal? Yes. If you take them to court and you have a real grievance, you'll probably win. But are you really going to take a company like Verizon to court over a couple hundred dollars? It'll cost you more than that in court fees. It's not worth it.

    As far as getting out of the fee, a mix of honey and vinegar can go a long way. I've gotten out of fees, and gotten my way on other things, most often by reminding companies that they don't want me to go away mad. I tell them I'm angry, I tell them why, and I tell them that I don't want to be. If you sound rational and calm, smart CSRs will work with you. If you don't get a smart one, say thanks and call back later.

    As far as the "ruining your credit" thing goes, I have some experience there too. You CAN generally let something go to a collection agency without hurting your credit. BUT, the minute you get that collection letter, call them. Explain your situation and come to an agreement with them. I've never had a situation where doing that hurt my credit. The key to getting what you want here is that if you decide to wait it out, don't settle AT ALL with the company directly. That way when you settle with the collection agency, you're only paying what you think is fair and the collection agency still gets something. If you pay what you think is fair to the company directly, the collection agency will still want something from you and that's where you can get into trouble. If you don't settle with them, they WILL go after your credit.
    03-27-08 09:35 PM
  18. ep1's Avatar
    $109.00 a month for 2yrs $2616.00 I paid for a few phones. i think i should get two phone that amount money.
    03-27-08 10:18 PM
  19. tp_cracker's Avatar
    I've run several businesses into the ground in my life
    so WF you are saying that these companies shouldn't make a profit? well not at the consumers expense right? but isn't all profit at our expense since we are paying for said items? i would like to know... what is it that you do? and would you be willing to sell products at cost to be a good guy?
    Maybe thats why WF has run several companies "into the ground" by not making a profit.
    03-28-08 12:14 PM
  20. wirelessforever's Avatar
    I've run several businesses into the ground in my life
    So the best you are capable of is forging posts?

    What I really said was ...

    I've run several businesses in my life and the ones BANKERS all love are re-occurring revenue businesses
    The objective here is serious conversation. If all you can do is attempt ridicule by forgery, I might suggest you not waste our time.
    03-28-08 07:10 PM
  21. -sandman-'s Avatar
    you are also forgetting the fact that a huge company like at&t buying a LOT of BB's from RIM also does not pay anywhere close to retail when buying a batch the size they do....
    03-28-08 09:35 PM
  22. P.H.A.D.E's Avatar
    I Don't Know If Any Carrier Do This, But Maybe If You're In Good Standing With Them: They Should Automatically Lower If Not Waived The ETF After Six Months!!

    But That's Just In My Opinion
    Last edited by P.H.A.D.E; 03-29-08 at 02:54 PM.
    03-29-08 02:52 PM
  23. wirelessforever's Avatar
    I Don't Know If Any Carrier Do This, But Maybe If You're In Good Standing With Them: They Should Automatically Lower If Not Waived The ETF After Six Months!!
    They have no interest in doing that. The ETF is simply a scam tool to reduce churn. Churn being customer defections.

    Cell carriers HATE seeing their churn rates increase. And it drives the bean counters in their accounting departments nuts. If cell carriers can reduce churn, their revenues become very predictable which pleases the bean counters and delights Wall Street. And keep in mind that the big four cartel (AT&T, TMo, Verizon and Sprint) are all BILLION dollar companies.

    Remember the story last year about Sprint sending cancellation letters to a few hundred of their unprofitable customers? With data mining and business intelligence software programs, cell carriers spend a LOT of time internally analyzing who their customers are and what their customers are spending. Most cell companies identify customers who spend over $100/month as a profitable customer. They want to hold on to those customers as LONG as possible. Reducing ETFs for the length of a customer's service would run counter to what they are trying to accomplish.

    Their goal is to lock in as large a group of customers paying as large a reoccuring bill as possible for as long as they can.

    As I've previously said, bankers (and Wall Street analysts) LOVE predictable revenue streams.

    No matter what anyone claims, ETFs have nothing to do with anything but reducing the carriers' churn rates and pleasing their Boards of Directors. ETFs are an anti-consumer scam which violates the spirit of our national anti-trust laws based on price fixing by a cartel. Plain and simple.
    03-30-08 11:47 PM
  24. wirelessforever's Avatar
    When we moved to Minneapolis, it cost us $2000 to break our lease.
    A lease on property is really a wildly different concept than a phone-service subscription scam dreamed up by a cartel (AT&T, TMo, Verizon and Sprint) in some smoke-filled room years ago.

    In a lease, you are agreeing to pay a landlord a prescribed amount of money for an agreed-upon period of time. Originally the landlord and you reached an agreement that you would pay $X dollars and he will accept $X dollars for the term of your lease. There is an mutually beneficial agreement here. You will not leave early and he will not throw you out if he finds someone willing to pay more for your apartment than you.

    There is nothing similar to this in cell phone service. You can rent apartments on a month to month basis. You cannot get normal cell phone service on a month-to-month basis. You must agree to the extortion of a long-term contract to get monthly billing from your cell-phone carrier. It's nothing but a scam.

    Yes you can get prepaid cell phone service but you don't run any other part of your life that way. It would be a hardship for most people to operate their lives on a prepay basis. Any why should anyone who handles paying their bills responsibly be required to bay on a prepaid basis. The idea of it is ridiculous.



    I don't think I've ever signed a contract that didn't have a contract breakage clause with some sort of penalty. It's not like it's a secret or anything. Should these be null and void if the other party doesn't hold up their end of the deal? Yes. If you take them to court and you have a real grievance, you'll probably win. But are you really going to take a company like Verizon to court over a couple hundred dollars? It'll cost you more than that in court fees. It's not worth it.
    AT&T started out in West Los Angeles with TDMA service. It was OK. Nothing special but it worked enough of the time to make it worthwhile. In 2001, they transitioned to GSM technology. The service in West Los Angeles became horrible. I literally saw grown adults crying, screaming and yelling and in various states of emotional distress in the local AT&T Wireless office because their service had become so horrible (and because AT&T refused to either fix it or release these people from their contracts). It was criminal. It became impossible for me to inititiate and maintain a call from the beach to downtown on Wilshire Boulevard because the service was so terrible.

    AT&T had me locked into a contract. That contract had been required of me to get service in West Los Angeles. They refused to provide minimally acceptable service standards in this same area and refused to release me from their contract. In other words, they were well aware of their horrible service but they had me nailed. How in any way is this reasonable, fair, or decent? It wasn't. ETFs for cell phone carriers are a scam to protect the incompetent.

    No good company needs (or requires) ETFs. Your doctor doesn't. Your dentist doesn't. Your water company doesn't. Your cable TV company doesn't. Your favorite restaurant doesn't.

    ETFs are anti consumer and the practice by cell phone companies should be investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice under U.S. anti trust and RICO statutes.
    03-31-08 12:31 AM
  25. Stewie_23's Avatar
    I just spent the last 45 minutes reading this entire thread. After making my own logical decision on the matter, I believe I will stand on the side of WF. Here are my basic reasons for doing so:

    I, as a consumer, should have any right whatsoever to choose service with ANY said provider or business that I want to. With this said, if I feel that I am not getting the service I am paying for then I should have the right to find same said service elsewhere.

    I have no problem paying for something that I am using. This could be anything from internet services to my ******** electric bill. In some cities across the US, we don't GET a choice in what we use in the terms of service. Take for example some hick and stick place in the panhandle of Nebraska. The ONLY national cell phone carrier in these parts is Alltel. Want a cell phoneout here? See Alltel. What choice is that? Then get screwed with an ETF because you got a new job in Omaha which has every major carrier on the market and you WANT to change to Tmo? What fairness is that? I beg anyone to TRY calling this problem in as I have recently and see what happens.

    I recently have as I am moving away from the Lincoln-Omaha metro back to the hick and stick place in Nebraska because of family issues back home. Do you rightly think AT&T was concerned about me? **** no!! They told me flat out after speaking with not 1 or 2 of there lame CSR's but 6 and 3 supervisors that I was locked into my contract and would have to pay an ETF for leaving. What kind of horse hockey is this? We live in a country where freedom of choice matters. I believe that when WF says we are being screwed over with the broom handle up the anus by these companies, I right say yes. Does this change the fact that I'm not going to move because my cell phone carrier won't let me cancel my contract? NO!! But best believe me when I say that I am going to do EVERYTHING in my power just short of getting a lawyer to get out of this ETF thing.


    These are a general basis as to why I support WF in his claims. I got out of my ETF with my landlord, which was harder than I thought, but rightfully told him that I notified him within 30 days of when I was moving out and that it becomes his problem to find someone to move in after I leave. He can't keep me in place as life events happen. Once I explained things and stood my ground, he willingly agreed to let me leave without penalty. Things happen in life. And a person should have the freedom of choice and a right to cancel things when need be.

    I'm off my box. Have a nice day everyone.
    03-31-08 12:43 AM
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