12-20-09 02:01 PM
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  1. cenloe's Avatar
    Edit:

    Double Post
    Last edited by cenloe; 12-18-09 at 04:00 PM.
    12-18-09 03:57 PM
  2. gotblackberry's Avatar
    The FCC will let you know. Look, it's safe to say we disagree. I'm glad the FCC is investigating this, reform is long overdue.
    No, I'm asking you to let me know. You posted it. Please explain.


    No, Verizon did not purchase the spectrum. They leased it from the US public, which is who owns the spectrum. Leases are managed by the government to maximize income to the Treasury. Fail #1.
    JL, I'd like to see some evidence or sources to backup that because they "lease" the spectrum (which isn't really true, they purchase the licenses) that Verizon agreed to allow the FCC control of their billing practices. FCC licenses more likely determine what can and can not be broadcast over towers.

    Regulation is not "marxist socialism" or whatever outrageous nonsense was spewed earlier in this thread. I'm about tired of folks *now* expressing outrage, disgust, and spewing absurd monographs. Take a look at the FCC's recent history. Going back to at least 2006, and likely earlier (I stopped searching their site (fcc.gov) at 2006, they were expressing concern - industry-wide - about ETF practices. As I recall we had a Compassionate Conservative running the ship and appointing the FCC Commissioners in 2006, right? Sorry that the facts don't comport with your political views, but they are what they are.
    Hm, Bush wasn't a small government convervative for one. Is your argument basically, "well governments already intruding, just let it keep intruding?"

    Finally, if someone signs up for a smartphone they're doing so presumably with eyes wide open - in other words they have been explained and provided with the T&C. If they sign on that little electronic pad they're committing themselves to following the T&C. If they break the contract that breach should result in a monetary loss from the breaching party, like any other contract. ETFs are fine. Know what you're signing before you sign, and if you don't like it, go somewhere else for your service. But for the love of god, can we leave politics out it for a change?
    Politics enter it when the government takes over -- I never brought up socialism. My OP was, Why do people allow the government to interfere in private business.

    Excessive lock-in. An ETF is supposed to be merely the penalty for breaking the contract, not a means of keeping the customer in the contract for the entire length against their wishes.
    How it is an excessive lock in? Please, tell me. If you do not wish to keep a contract with Verizon Wireless, don't sign one. You would not expect Verizon to be able to cut your service early for no reason and not pay you an ETF. Would you?

    It does, actually.
    Really? Please show me.

    The customer agrees because if he/she wants that phone there is very little alternative. That's not quite the same thing.
    Hmm, they have LOTS of choices of phones to avoid the $350 ETF.. do you want me to link you all the non-pda phones that Verizon Wireless offers?

    See above. It's all well and good to blame the consumer for signing the contract, but you're absolving the company for tilting the contract heavily in favor of itself, and that's not right nor particularly free market.
    Then don't sign it. Simple. If you don't want a contract, go to cricket or metroPCS -- or you can start your own cell phone company.


    It is when the other three companies generally follow suit. There's a reason why all of them were up until very recently charging almost exactly the same price for the same billing plan, and competition wasn't it.

    There are always companies that will do something different -- this is what capitalism is.
    12-18-09 04:02 PM
  3. tech_head's Avatar
    The FCC does have the authority.
    Wireless and wired transmissions are regulated by the FCC.

    Just because you are a private company does not mean you can do what you want.
    You need a business license, articles of incorporation, etc...

    No such thing as do whatever you want as a company.
    12-18-09 04:38 PM
  4. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    Regulation is not "marxist socialism" or whatever outrageous nonsense was spewed earlier in this thread.
    Actually I said we were on our way to Marxist Communism.

    "Regulated Capitalism" leads to socialism...... The government has no right to regulate free enterprise in what is supposed to be a free market system. Take for example the bailout of GM.... Socialism.....

    And, if you had any brain about you at all you would know that the definition of Marxist Communism is a political state that occurs when capitalism succumbs to socialism..........
    12-18-09 06:12 PM
  5. jlsparks's Avatar
    Actually I said we were on our way to Marxist Communism.

    "Regulated Capitalism" leads to socialism...... The government has no right to regulate free enterprise in what is supposed to be a free market system. Take for example the bailout of GM.... Socialism.....

    And, if you had any brain about you at all you would know that the definition of Marxist Communism is a political state that occurs when capitalism succumbs to socialism..........
    My takeaway from your post is that, simply stated, you don't believe government has a role in regulating interstate commerce (which the legislature actually *does* have under the US Const.), or a role in regulating any "free enterprise." In your perfect world then, I presume, we'd strip mine and dump the dregs in rivers, polluting waterways for centuries; allow power and light companies to raise rates at their whim (without oversight from a PUC); still have a monolithic AT&T (think: pre-divestiture); allow you to prescribe me schedule iv narcotics (who needs the DEA licensing process?); abandon the practice of companies reporting quarterly and annual financial information (you'd like to invest blindly, wouldn't you? who needs SEC reporting requirements?); operate our airlines on a wing and a prayer - literally (are FAA inspections and pilot licensing *really* necessary regs?). You get the idea. There are sensible regulations affecting every aspect of your life. In the event an agency overreaches, that's what public comment periods and the ballot box are for. As I stated in my earlier post regarding VZW's ETF's, not only does the FCC absolutely have the authority to investigate VZW's interstate commerces practices (see: Commerce Clause to the US Const.), but it has been piddling around into the issue of ETFs for years. The VZW inquiry is simply an extension of the line they've been following for most of this decade.

    Cheers.
    12-18-09 06:28 PM
  6. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    I don't so much have a problem with the government regulating pollution, drugs, safety inspections, etc... but when it comes to an organization's financial practices, I draw the line....
    12-18-09 06:34 PM
  7. jlsparks's Avatar
    I don't so much have a problem with the government regulating pollution, drugs, safety inspections, etc... but when it comes to an organization's financial practices, I draw the line....
    Respectfully, I don't draw absolutes on that issue. For example, in the housing industry, a renter/lender can't deny the rental app/loan app simply on the basis of race, gender, etc. I think that's a reasonable regulation, yet it does touch on "financial practices." It all comes down to common-sense balance, IMO. If the greater good is served by way of legitimate regulation (which, 99% of the time, require a public comment and review period prior to implementation), I'm not going to get in the way. If the regulation is plainly over the line, punitive, overreaching, or oppressive I would likely oppose it. Let's keep the ETF issue in context though: at this point all that's happened is FCC sent a 4 page letter to VZ requesting information. VZW responded today in a 77 page brief. That's all that's happened. No one's getting into VZW's pricing, no one's cramming any new regs or policies down their throat. What is taking place now is... dialogue. Which is a good thing.
    12-18-09 06:41 PM
  8. Nerdherder#CB's Avatar
    Respectfully, I don't draw absolutes on that issue. For example, in the housing industry, a renter/lender can't deny the rental app/loan app simply on the basis of race, gender, etc. I think that's a reasonable regulation, yet it does touch on "financial practices." It all comes down to common-sense balance, IMO. If the greater good is served by way of legitimate regulation (which, 99% of the time, require a public comment and review period prior to implementation), I'm not going to get in the way. If the regulation is plainly over the line, punitive, overreaching, or oppressive I would likely oppose it. Let's keep the ETF issue in context though: at this point all that's happened is FCC sent a 4 page letter to VZ requesting information. VZW responded today in a 77 page brief. That's all that's happened. No one's getting into VZW's pricing, no one's cramming any new regs or policies down their throat. What is taking place now is... dialogue. Which is a good thing.
    A very good thing.

    Thats whats puzzling to me, why so many get bent out of shape when questions start being asked.

    If the FCC finds that no action needs to be taken, then so be it. If they find anti competitive practices then so be it. If you don't like it then bring forth change by voting.
    12-18-09 07:18 PM
  9. gotblackberry's Avatar
    My takeaway from your post is that, simply stated, you don't believe government has a role in regulating interstate commerce (which the legislature actually *does* have under the US Const.), or a role in regulating any "free enterprise." In your perfect world then, I presume, we'd strip mine and dump the dregs in rivers, polluting waterways for centuries; allow power and light companies to raise rates at their whim (without oversight from a PUC); still have a monolithic AT&T (think: pre-divestiture); allow you to prescribe me schedule iv narcotics (who needs the DEA licensing process?); abandon the practice of companies reporting quarterly and annual financial information (you'd like to invest blindly, wouldn't you? who needs SEC reporting requirements?); operate our airlines on a wing and a prayer - literally (are FAA inspections and pilot licensing *really* necessary regs?). You get the idea. There are sensible regulations affecting every aspect of your life. In the event an agency overreaches, that's what public comment periods and the ballot box are for. As I stated in my earlier post regarding VZW's ETF's, not only does the FCC absolutely have the authority to investigate VZW's interstate commerces practices (see: Commerce Clause to the US Const.), but it has been piddling around into the issue of ETFs for years. The VZW inquiry is simply an extension of the line they've been following for most of this decade.

    Cheers.
    You're not comparing these two things as apples to apples. I'm sure no one would contest regulating flight traffic, regulating health standards for different industries (drugs, food, safety etc..) Consumers can not decide which drugs are safe, which building is safe to walk in, or which meat is contaminated on their own. You need advanced degrees for this stuff. You can, however, easily understand and choose about a $350 ETF.

    The line gets drawn when the government barges into private business and (even inquires) about a price raise, or a fee raise. It's none of their business -- period. If the people do no like it, Verizon will change it because people won't sign PDA contracts with them. I would not agree with the FTC telling Safeway they can not charge $10/lb for meat. I do agree that they should have health standards.

    Edit: Hiring/Firing standards should be abolished.
    12-18-09 10:48 PM
  10. jahoobob's Avatar
    Respectfully, I don't draw absolutes on that issue. For example, in the housing industry, a renter/lender can't deny the rental app/loan app simply on the basis of race, gender, etc. I think that's a reasonable regulation, yet it does touch on "financial practices." It all comes down to common-sense balance, IMO.
    The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, etc. and thus a renter/lender cannot "deny rental app/loan" based on race, gender, etc. That is about as absolute as you can get. It is not common sense as it took rules being written to stop the discrimination. Some lender/renters would discriminate if there were no rules.
    There is, however, no protection in the Constitution for cell phone purchasers.
    12-18-09 11:16 PM
  11. jlsparks's Avatar
    You're not comparing these two things as apples to apples. I'm sure no one would contest regulating flight traffic, regulating health standards for different industries (drugs, food, safety etc..) Consumers can not decide which drugs are safe, which building is safe to walk in, or which meat is contaminated on their own. You need advanced degrees for this stuff. You can, however, easily understand and choose about a $350 ETF.

    The line gets drawn when the government barges into private business and (even inquires) about a price raise, or a fee raise. It's none of their business -- period. If the people do no like it, Verizon will change it because people won't sign PDA contracts with them. I would not agree with the FTC telling Safeway they can not charge $10/lb for meat. I do agree that they should have health standards.

    Edit: Hiring/Firing standards should be abolished.
    I disagree. They're a regulated industry. That's the way it is. As such, they're subject to inquiries. If they've done nothing wrong (and I don't personally believe they have) then what's the worry? (and why the 77 page brief?) If they've acted in violation of existing regs then they'll get their wrist slapped.

    What would concern me more is government *not* listening to a myriad of customer inquiries to the FCC about the ETF change. If for nothing else, isn't government supposed to listen to the people?
    12-18-09 11:17 PM
  12. gotblackberry's Avatar
    The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, etc. and thus a renter/lender cannot "deny rental app/loan" based on race, gender, etc. That is about as absolute as you can get. It is not common sense as it took rules being written to stop the discrimination. Some lender/renters would discriminate if there were no rules.
    There is, however, no protection in the Constitution for cell phone purchasers.
    Where does it say that in the constitution?
    12-19-09 02:14 PM
  13. gotblackberry's Avatar
    I disagree. They're a regulated industry. That's the way it is. As such, they're subject to inquiries. If they've done nothing wrong (and I don't personally believe they have) then what's the worry? (and why the 77 page brief?) If they've acted in violation of existing regs then they'll get their wrist slapped.

    What would concern me more is government *not* listening to a myriad of customer inquiries to the FCC about the ETF change. If for nothing else, isn't government supposed to listen to the people?
    Obviously you disagree and obviously they're regulated. I'm not debating what it is, I'm debating what it should be. I believe the government should listen to the people, within the bounds of the constitution.
    12-19-09 02:15 PM
  14. ips8's Avatar
    Where does it say that in the constitution?
    The correct answer is no where
    The tenth amendment very clearly states that any power not expressly given to the federal government is reserved for the states or the people. While the government has the right to regulate interstate commerce this right is only meant to extend to tariffs and trade borders, to prevent the lack of state cooperation and free trade that occurred under the articles of confederation. The founding fathers were very much against a welfare state and government regulation of business, as they were all thinkers who liked what adam smith had to say.

    While I do not like some of the things verizon has done recently (Bing) they have every right to change their terms for future customers based on their financial needs and concerns. If they wanted to they could charge you a thousand dollars to leave your contract early.... You know how you stop them from continuing to do that? You stop giving them your money and go to a different company. When the government gets involved in things to make them fair (see housing crisis) the market is distorted and everything is messed up.
    12-19-09 08:34 PM
  15. jahoobob's Avatar
    Where does it say that in the constitution?
    Thanks. I stand corrected. It is not by the Constitution but by laws enacted by the congress and upheld by the Supreme Court - still nothing about cell phone users.
    12-19-09 10:06 PM
  16. gotblackberry's Avatar
    Thanks. I stand corrected. It is not by the Constitution but by laws enacted by the congress and upheld by the Supreme Court - still nothing about cell phone users.
    Correct.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-19-09 10:19 PM
  17. jlsparks's Avatar
    The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, etc. and thus a renter/lender cannot "deny rental app/loan" based on race, gender, etc. That is about as absolute as you can get. It is not common sense as it took rules being written to stop the discrimination. Some lender/renters would discriminate if there were no rules.
    There is, however, no protection in the Constitution for cell phone purchasers.
    Only the loosest possible construction of the US Const. would find a prohibition on discrimination in housing. Okay, maybe you could find it in the 13th-15th Amendments, but that's a stretch. Rather, the Fair Housing Act (legislative action signed by the executive and upheld by the judiciary) establishes the prohibition. I guess I could argue that, as a result of the legislative action Constitutional authority is implicit, but I'm frankly too tired to do that.

    Bottom line: finding housing anti-discrimination in the US Const. might be tough, and I'm no strict constructionist I'm with WeekendBum here.
    12-19-09 10:40 PM
  18. gtvett's Avatar
    It would be fun to know what phones actually cost. I can't imagine the last 6 months VZW sold the 8330 it cost them more than the ETF.

    Hind sight says the BOGO Was a bad deal for the rest of us. No more free phones, just give us one phone at half price and maybe it they won't cancel the second line after It sells it on eBay.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-20-09 12:40 AM
  19. cenloe's Avatar
    Good article, it explains and boils the topic down to its essence.

    Mobile Phone Cancellation Fees Help the Poor, Verizon Tells Feds | Epicenter | Wired.com
    12-20-09 12:47 PM
  20. ips8's Avatar
    Is anyone really that surprised the FCC is trying to do more and more? I mean Obama's FCC diversity czar wants to re instate the fairness doctrine too!
    12-20-09 02:01 PM
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