The incredible skyrocket in price for cell phones and data plans reminds me of a lecture given in my econ 101 class, it was a lecture on drug addiction and distribution.
The professor showed that the amount of people doing drugs in ratio to the amount dealing determined the price. As the smaller competitors in the phone industry are eliminated the bigger players can up their bills with no backlash.
The professor showed that the way to drop drug consumption was to drop customers not dealers, because for every dealer pulled off the streets the price of drugs just went up a little and the rate of violent crime from users increased to pay the increased price to feed their addiction.
Today in America their are only 3 or 4 viable cell phone companies and the price has naturally skyrocketed, but the user base is firmly addicted and at the whim of the Cellular phone companies.
Yeah I knew this was coming and saw one of the commercials. The only thing I really remember is seeing $350.00 in the small print blip. I remember when I tried out Sprint a couple years back in October and they wanted to charge me for a Femtocell when I got no service in my residence. I turned back on my old phone for a couple of months and then went to T-Mobile after MWC when all the new smart phones started dropping. The coolest part to me is I am grandfathered in on there 200MB data plan. Mind you I do not surf on my smart phone as I really have no need for it. I use the GPS, square card reader, Gas Buddy a lot they do not really use much data wise though. I have several tools I use as well and check email when I need to. Either way my point is first I was a Verizon subscriber for years, and second I left them because there in general a rip off.
I think you hit the answer to the problem in the last paragraph. People are ditching POT (Plain Old Telephone) lines like crazy and the phone companies are trying to reinvent new ways to charge customers more for things they don’t need or use. The copper POTs cost the carriers nothing; the network is already built (many years ago), very little maintenance is needed, and they can charge you by the minute at different rates for what you use. I work in a small IT department and we manage a few cell phones. My boss and I were having this same conversation today because we had to add a new user to the company plan. If you want to purchase a ‘smartphone’ you are REQUIRED to purchase a data plan. If all of these devices already have WiFi, why is it inherent that we NEED a data package? We just want to give the person a phone because she’s mobile and give her the ability to check her email over the local networks at different sites. I’d be willing to bet that more than 95% of the population doesn’t even need this service. I’ve had a smartphone for more than 4 years now and I can only think of 2 times that this was truly useful; once being broken down on the road miles from town and needing a phone number for a local tow service. And in this case I would gladly pay a one-time-fee for the service as needed. WiFi is so widespread at this point it’s not hard to pick up an open signal walking down nearly any street. I think if people weren’t locked into these plans, they would realize how much they DON’T need data plans.
I'm happy to still have my grandfathered unlimited data plan. I was scared to see what the cost would actually be based on my family plan actual data usage. Now I know. Yikes! We use around 16 GB between the 3 smartphones in our plan. Under the new structure, I'd pay at least $40 more a month for what I'm using now. Considering my wife and I started with 3G handsets and the two of use used barely 2GB a month for two years, I feel as long as VZW keeps honoring my unlimited data status, I'm happy. If they take that away, they just removed my last incentive to stay with them. I know they have the best coverage but I don't travel all over the USA. The other three major carriers cover the DFW area quite well and now that VZW is requiring me to pay full price for handsets to keep unlimited data, They are walking a fine line to lose the thousands of dollars I pay them each year. I do use a lot of data because of the capabilities of my newer 4G handset. Making me pay forty dollars more to keep what I have would be... undesirable. That's the nicest way I can put it. Especially undesirable because I know that our next smartphones will either cost us full retail or will have to be used phones (likely with no warranty). I just don't like the idea of paying more and getting less...
So the question then is, how long do we as the consumer allow them to continue to get away with this? I heard a very good saying, "The rich get richer as the poor get more poor." I'm thinking along the lines of the US economy. If the carrier charged less this means more money in our pockets, which means more money for us to spread and this in turn means more companies make money, and then they get to pay their employees more, and their employees then spend their money at different companies, and so forth. Economy is basically currency exchange, the higher the rate of currency exchange the better the economy. So, again, how long do we let the corporations continue to do this? If we as people know that they are screwing us over, why let them? Why not have everyone boycott them until they lower their prices, or, if we as the people create our own network and charge just enough to keep the network running? I don't see why this isn't possible. Just get a few investors, start small, then allow your customers to choose where they need coverage then let everyone know, "Hey, you need coverage there, then we will need 'X' amount of income to cover the cost." Raise the prices slightly, build the towers, then lower the price again to keep the network running.
You can keep your data plan -- but say good-bye to subsidized upgrades. From this point forward, if you want to use VZW, your phone is full price.
Honestly not a huge talker use medium amount of text and little internet but this is why I bought a prepaid phone cost me about 7 dollars a month.
Not 70 not 100 not 150 and honestly phone cost 15 dollars then add a 20 dollar prepaid card every three months that comes with 90 days of service.
People give me crap but its so simple if phone dies buy new swap sim easy as that 15 is all it cost. Need to change phone number transfer contacts to new phone throw old away done.
I envy the Europeans on what they have to pay for internet and cell phones plans. For me, these high prices are the only downfall to living in Canada.
"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to
them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."
If you go to Consumer Cellular you are NOT required to have a data plan with a smartphone. CC only offers a couple of smartphones, but since they are a virtual carrier on the AT&T airwaves, it should be possible to transfer the SIM card from any CC smartphone to an AT&T-compatible unlocked phone. I haven't tried because my Moto Bravo is sufficient for my smartphone needs; all my heavy lifting is on the (non-cellular) Lenovo tablet.
a completely greedy, repulsive company.
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