07-24-09 09:55 PM
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  1. jetman1287's Avatar
    What do you all think of this article?

    It supports my view that being the leader in a crappy industry is not saying much for Verizon. This bashes all the carriers, not just VZW, but it promotes some strong arguments against this anti-consumer industry that aren't "hey I broke my phone and they won't replace it!"

    I also agree with the text messaging points made. No one really pays individual texting fees but even spending $30 on a family plan totaling 10,000 texts is an overpayment, even when taking the network maintenance costs into account.

    Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/te...f=personaltech
    07-23-09 06:23 PM
  2. jrv2's Avatar
    It's about time SOMEONE brought this up in a VERY loud way.
    I understand R&D costs/advertising all that, but come on.
    Enough is enough. There is making a profit, and there is gouging customers in the darling industry of the 90's/00's...
    the billing deducting mins/texts for both parties is the worst. and the amount of data used is SO LITTLE
    they do know how to do math at these companies right? I'm, sure they got the math on their profit margins right....
    There were senate hearings into this in CAN as well a while back, I just hope that they keep the ball rolling, because between public pressure, and government oversight maybe we'll start Seeing some positive changes in this industry....
    my .02C
    cheers
    jrv
    07-23-09 06:54 PM
  3. gvillager's Avatar
    Here's my take on it...

    Text messages... sure, text messages could be alot cheaper, but we fell in love with the technology and we are obviously willing to pay for it. What's their incentive to lower prices? Those profits are used to expand the network, hire more people and to simply grow the business. It's like the soda of the fast food industry (huge markup on soda).

    Phone subsidies and contracts.... I hate 'em. We should do away with the subsidies and contracts. Everybody pays full retail.

    International calls... the carriers charge way too much. I use a calling card. Problem solved. FYI, Metro PCS charges $5/month for unlimited international calls to select countries.

    Voice mail greetings... waiting for the greeting doesn't really bother me, but they could be alot shorter.
    07-23-09 07:27 PM
  4. Gawain's Avatar
    The New York Times, losing subscribers faster than they can print their garbage.

    This clown is gloating over number portability. Great, a standard was mandated and while it was a pain in the @ss to fragment number blocks within SIDs to enable number portability, it doesn't measure up to the development and testing that hardware manufacturers go through to bring products to market.

    His "double-billing" take is non-sense, and it is certainly not universal. Carriers offer plenty of avenues to avoid over use of allotted minutes.

    I love this one:
    And here’s the part you can legitimately get angry about. If your monthly fee includes payment for the phone itself, how come that monthly bill doesn’t suddenly drop in the month when you’ve finished paying off that handset?
    Um...because you're not financing the handset?

    International long distance: good grief. Program in a calling card then. WTF?! They'll charge whatever they want and whatever the market will bear. In addition, a significant amount of those international rates are a pass-through of the switching charges that the international telco and cell carrier charge for. Believe it or not, routing local trunks from the cell towers to the terrestrial system to the international trunks is a bit more resource intensive.

    Voice mail: AT&T and VZW both use Octel voicemail systems. Despite that, they are still slightly different depending on MSA. Talk about high class problems.

    This takes the cake:
    But no. Apparently, persuading cell carriers to treat their customers decently would take an act of Congress.
    I am always treated very well by Verizon. I don't know who peed in this guy's Cheerios, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't VZW, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile...
    07-23-09 07:50 PM
  5. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    You know, that article makes some valid complaints, but in typical NYTimes Socialist-leaning fashion, the writer is calling for government intervention in free-enterprise.

    He compares European carrier practices without fully disclosing what you go through with European cell service - higher costs, per minute billing, no free nights/weekends and no free mobile-to-mobile usage. Oh, and he failed to mention that you pay a whole lot more for the phone to start with, since subsidies are absent. Some plans only include an allowance toward the cost of minutes - if you use a more expensive time period, you pay more.

    I did a Vodafone comparison about a year ago, using AT&T & VZW 450 min plans as the US equivalent, with 2500 texts (with appropriate plan). All told, for similar usage, Voda was about 40% higher before nights/weekends were figured in. And the phones I checked were 3-8 times more expensive at initial purchase.

    The text rates do subsidize other services.

    Rural areas are better covered in the US - where rural customers are covered in Europe, their rates are often higher.

    Something else to consider - US customers prefer voice, while abroad they clearly like text - something that makes simple comparisons difficult. Popular US plan is 450 min with about 800 min actually used, while Euros typically use about 200 min total.

    The carriers charge what the market will bear - nothing more & nothing less. For the dummies at the NYTimes, there are US carriers known as Cricket, MetroPCS & Helio, all with simple billing and no contracts - free text, some free data & unlimited calling dot the list of benefits they offer. Even Sprint offers a dynamite deal @ $99 for simple everything - data, text, TV, voice. If the price is such a determining factor, why are none of these carriers number one or two in any market they serve?

    I mean, Sprint might be number two in a few places where VZW or AT&T are absent, but come on - they have just a bit more than half the number of customers of VZW or AT&T.

    If you don't like the way VZW or AT&T does things, why not head over to Helio or MetroPCS? Last time I checked, they offer unlimited BlackBerry for $50 or so.

    Then wonder if the Euros are so great, so high & mighty, why T-Mobile, wholly owned by Deutsche Telekom (Germany), charges for texting? Sure, their packages are a hair cheaper, but I believe they don't offer unlimited mobile to mobile texting except with their unlimited plan. T-Mobile's value is in their smartphone plan - for $5 more than VZW or AT&T data plans, you also get unlimited messages.

    Still, why not jump ship to T-Mobile? And why are they nowhere close to being number three nationwide? Could there be reasons other than price that hold you back?

    Competition. It works well, but the minute you throw in government meddling, it all goes out the window.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-23-09 07:54 PM
  6. jetman1287's Avatar
    The problem is that there is no competition here in the US. We are talking about huge networks, companies with many employees and management structures, and yet every single carrier charges basically the same high rates across the board. In a truly competitive environment, you would see more competitive moves being made than "we have this cloned lg phone and you don't". No one competes on price, not even sprint. That and the deceptive marketing tactics put these companies next to the cable operators - distrustful and angry.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-23-09 09:05 PM
  7. jetman1287's Avatar
    In addition, a text is only .1 kb, and it costs $30 to add unlimited to a family plan per month. So if your family sends 10,000 per month at 160 characters per text (both very high assumptions), you are paying $360 per year to send 12 megabytes of data over these high-end networks. Disgusting!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-23-09 09:15 PM
  8. Gawain's Avatar
    The problem is that there is no competition here in the US. We are talking about huge networks, companies with many employees and management structures, and yet every single carrier charges basically the same high rates across the board. In a truly competitive environment, you would see more competitive moves being made than "we have this cloned lg phone and you don't". No one competes on price, not even sprint. That and the deceptive marketing tactics put these companies next to the cable operators - distrustful and angry.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I'll call total shenanigans on that one right there. In any given MSA you have a minimum of four carriers competing for business, with perhaps as many as half a dozen prepaid resellers. In any given RSA, less obviously. But there is no monopoly here.

    In addition to the four big players, there are major regional providers like US Cellular, Centennial, Cellular South, half-a-dozen more...Cincinnati Bell is small, but has outstanding plans for their small market. KDDI is a major Japanese carrier, reselling here in the states, targeting their obvious demographic on the west coast.

    The successful wireless carriers have telecos backing their plays, and combined, you have stable, well managed companies. Cable companies dream they could be in such a good position.

    There is more competition for telephone based services (wireless and wireline) than there is for Cable/Satellite by such a wide margin it can't be fathomed.
    07-23-09 09:27 PM
  9. DesertDogs's Avatar
    In addition, a text is only .1 kb, and it costs $30 to add unlimited to a family plan per month. So if your family sends 10,000 per month at 160 characters per text (both very high assumptions), you are paying $360 per year to send 12 megabytes of data over these high-end networks. Disgusting!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Not trying to be combative, but why do you pay for texting then? The carriers charge what the market bears and evidently everyone is willing to bear the higher costs.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-23-09 09:35 PM
  10. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    I agree with you, Jetman, in regards to the texting issue - except you're overestimating the data transmission of a text - they ride on the voice channels & when not being sent, data is still flowing. So texting really costs the carriers nothing.

    Yet as long as we are willing to pay for texting, the carriers will continue to charge for texting. A funny thing happened in the past two years - texting rates doubled, but the number of texts more than doubled. I have heard that texting has increased about tenfold over the past two years.

    Want to reduce texting charhes? Stop texting. Get your friends, neighbors & coworkers to stop texting. When enough people stop texting, the price will come down.
    It is all supply & demand. As long as you're willing to pay, companies will gladly take your money.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by TwinsX2Dad; 07-24-09 at 08:36 AM.
    07-23-09 09:35 PM
  11. bucky716's Avatar
    The problem is that there is no competition here in the US. We are talking about huge networks, companies with many employees and management structures, and yet every single carrier charges basically the same high rates across the board. In a truly competitive environment, you would see more competitive moves being made than "we have this cloned lg phone and you don't". No one competes on price, not even sprint. That and the deceptive marketing tactics put these companies next to the cable operators - distrustful and angry.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Ok, come up with a better solution for the companies other than switching to the European model where everything is a lot more expensive.

    Don't let the NYT brainwash you.
    07-23-09 10:22 PM
  12. rb68's Avatar
    Thank you TX2D for bringing sanity to this discussion, something obviously lacking at the old gray hag... er, lady.


    BTW, that avatar has to be one of the top three I've ever seen.
    07-23-09 10:47 PM
  13. vatothe0's Avatar
    I agree with you, Jetman, in regards to the texting issue - except you're overestimating the data transmission of a text - they ride on the voice channels & when not being sent, data is still flowing. So texting really costs the carriers nothing.
    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Hold on there... Verizon processes around 10,000,000,000 texts per month. Yes ten billion, maybe more. Surely the cost is more than nothing or even next to nothing.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 01:53 PM
  14. gotblackberry's Avatar
    I find it interesting people are complaining about Wireless. I went to my Cable company and canceled my TV last night because COX is ridiculous and there is no competition in this area. Do I really need 500 channels for $170 a month or whatever I was paying? No. My internet is $42.95 a month. When I was living up in the Comcast Area I was getting the SAME SPEED for $19.99/month.

    Talk about gouging.
    07-24-09 02:36 PM
  15. gotblackberry's Avatar
    In a few months I'll probably cancel my internet too and just tether.
    07-24-09 02:40 PM
  16. blue_and_bold's Avatar
    Its expensive but we need(maybe just want) it. So we continue to pay.
    07-24-09 02:40 PM
  17. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Hold on there... Verizon processes around 10,000,000,000 texts per month. Yes ten billion, maybe more. Surely the cost is more than nothing or even next to nothing.
    Believe it or not, next to nothing - actually nothing.

    Text messages ride on what is basically a redundant carrier verification channel. Backup verification data is being transmitted on it constantly. When a text message is sent, it rides on this channel & replaces the redundant data in the path.

    You know that 10 billion figure you mentioned? Multiply that by 250,000 and you might be hitting 10% of the system capacity.

    The only times the system absolutely, positively needs to verify you is on device initialization (startup) and when you're mobile - basically it needs to see who you are as you move from cell to cell. The process takes less than 1/100,000th of a second, or about the time it takes the system to accept your text. A SMS text is slightly faster, since it doesn't require as many bits.

    Interrupting this transmission for even 200 texts in an hour is nothing - it adds no cost or bandwidth to the carrier signal.

    The biggest cost of text messaging? Billing for it. The second biggest? Customer support.

    I have a suggestion for all carriers - allow us to forego any free call-in support for SMS where I agree to an account flag to charge me $5 if I call about it and we'll allow you to not endure the cost of billing. In return, we get free SMS.

    Even with all that, I don't begrudge the carriers for charging us. What they pay to provide us a product or service does not matter. What we are willing to pay is what matters. Until the masses decide that texting is too much or someone comes along with a cheaper solution, whatever we pay is what they will charge.

    I remember a time when America was truly great. We held up and were proud of companies like GM, AT&T, P&G, Dow Chemical, Raytheon. It didn't matter what they charged - they were shining stars on America's lapel. When we bought things these companies made, we bought theirs. National pride was everywhere & we celebrated success - because we knew it was America & Americans were working. These days, we see too many wanting to tear down & mock hard work, success & innovation, calling it bad, evil or worse. Instead of encouraging the have-nots to work harder so they have something, we want to take what the haves worked for & give it to those who don't.

    In my mind, if VZW does well, God Bless 'em - a lot of risk was put forth to build what they they have created & to provide us the service we get and are willing to pay for. The same goes for any company or individual, more so if they are American & contribute to America.

    Its too bad so many have lost any attachment to what made this country, its people & its companies great. They have a skewed vision of history.

    The way to change history is to to teach it wrong for one generation. This is what has happened here. For a single generation, our young people have been taught to hold success, profit & risk-takers in contempt.

    Again, if you don't like the texting fees, search for a better deal - don't hammer those who you choose to provide you the service.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 03:27 PM
  18. TheSultan's Avatar
    I've always taken offense to the texting fees AND a data fee. I understand the data fee, but shouldn't texting be included in that since it's a transfer of data??
    07-24-09 03:29 PM
  19. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    I find it interesting people are complaining about Wireless. I went to my Cable company and canceled my TV last night because COX is ridiculous and there is no competition in this area. Do I really need 500 channels for $170 a month or whatever I was paying? No. My internet is $42.95 a month. When I was living up in the Comcast Area I was getting the SAME SPEED for $19.99/month.

    Talk about gouging.
    Call Qwest - don't ask about or accept DSL because Digital Subscriber Lines are crap on any carrier. Ask them if fiber-optic service is available to you yet. They have it in speeds of up to 30Mbps, soon ramping up to 60Mbps - for a lot less than Cox charges. They can offer you video (DirectTV or VDSL) for less & phone too. The phone is more expensive, but is more reliable. Or you can sub a Hub (or Vonage or AT&T VoIP).

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 03:33 PM
  20. jetman1287's Avatar
    Interesting that people are bringing up the cable companies, because that's exactly what these wireless operators are doing -- except you have a slightly larger choice in options so it's not a COMPLETE rape like with TV.

    The problem with the "it's America you're supposed to be successful and not take down the big boys" argument is that IN THIS CASE, we're not experiencing any real competition. I would argue that Exxon-Mobil is not as anti-competitive as the wireless carriers.

    I agree that whatever the market is willing to pay, they will charge, however you're looking at some wireless companies that have been threatened recently - Sprint for example. Now what if, instead of losing more and more customers, Sprint decided to charge everyone only $10/month for unlimited text. SURE the market is willing to pay more, but does that mean they should charge more? You'd have a lot more people jumping over to Sprint and leaving VZW/ATT to save a SIGNIFICANT amount of money per year.

    Maybe $10 isn't the magic number where you'd recoup all the losses -- we'll leave that to some finance manager somewhere -- but my point is that competition is great because it lowers prices for consumers and gives us better choice. With the 4 major wireless carriers in the US you don't really see much competition going on. All the prices are the same and move in similar increments, carriers have exclusive headsets but except for the iPhone, no one really cares. It's all a show while they all collectively own us.
    07-24-09 04:23 PM
  21. ericsmcdonald's Avatar
    I agree that whatever the market is willing to pay, they will charge, however you're looking at some wireless companies that have been threatened recently - Sprint for example. Now what if, instead of losing more and more customers, Sprint decided to charge everyone only $10/month for unlimited text. SURE the market is willing to pay more, but does that mean they should charge more? You'd have a lot more people jumping over to Sprint and leaving VZW/ATT to save a SIGNIFICANT amount of money per year.
    Really?

    Sprint has an INCREDIBLE deal where I and many others could save HUNDREDS each year by subscribing to their Simply Everything plan.

    So why do people continue to leave Sprint in droves, while Verizon continues to add customers?
    07-24-09 05:03 PM
  22. jetman1287's Avatar
    Simply everything is not for mainstream consumers, more for business users as 1200 for one phone isn't exactly cheap.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 08:20 PM
  23. DesertDogs's Avatar
    Simply everything is not for mainstream consumers, more for business users as 1200 for one phone isn't exactly cheap.
    For a year's service, that isn't exactly cheap? That's what you'd pay on Verizon for 450min + BB + unl msgs.

    And to your comment of should they charge more? Dang straight they should. They are in business to maximize profits and to get the best return for their shareholders. They are not in business to be charitable to you.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 08:35 PM
  24. gotblackberry's Avatar
    Call Qwest - don't ask about or accept DSL because Digital Subscriber Lines are crap on any carrier. Ask them if fiber-optic service is available to you yet. They have it in speeds of up to 30Mbps, soon ramping up to 60Mbps - for a lot less than Cox charges. They can offer you video (DirectTV or VDSL) for less & phone too. The phone is more expensive, but is more reliable. Or you can sub a Hub (or Vonage or AT&T VoIP).

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I'll call but their DSL prices seemed to be the same as COX if I didn't have a phone line w/ it. I'll ask about fiberoptic do they have it in the east valley?
    07-24-09 08:39 PM
  25. DesertDogs's Avatar
    I'll call but their DSL prices seemed to be the same as COX if I didn't have a phone line w/ it. I'll ask about fiberoptic do they have it in the east valley?
    I don't know where you are at but I have it in Mesa. It screams.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-24-09 08:43 PM
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