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Verizon Wireless to charge customers $30 for upgrading to a new phone - Page 2

post #41 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Why isn't the DOJ investigating this insane business practice? Charing users a start up fee is bad enough (I still don't understand why a provider needs money to start my service) but charging users a fee when they stay with their carrier and upgrade is outrageous.

glad i have the phone i want for a few years. am sick of these gouging ba$turds.
post #42 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdipisReks View Post

they certainly aren't the only politicians that will screw over the electorate, but conservative politicians seem to be the only ones who vocally make it their stated mandate.

So you're saying you prefer the one who lies to you?
post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This doesn't invite antirust scrutiny?!

^%#$*&.

As long as they didn't discuss it.

Airlines do this all the time. One airline raises its fees and the others all follow suit. Or if the others don't follow suit, the first one rescinds the increase. You're allowed to respond to market pricing changes. You just can't collude to change them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

What the article doesn't seem to include is that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have been charging this fee for quite awhile now. AT&T was charging $18 and it sounds like they are going to raise it to $30 to match Verizon. Sprint charges $36 and T-Mobile charges $18.

Apple Insider is making much to do about nothing. You're paying $100+ a month....you shouldn't worry about $30 every two years.

One more reason for me to change.

Here's the way it plays out. I have 2 lines. I get an iPhone and my daughter usually gets an Android phone (she insists on a physical keypad since she sends several thousand text messages per month.

AT&T 2 year expense
$199 for iPhone
$99 for Android Phone
$3,600 monthly fees ($150 per month)
$30 upgrade fee
Total: $3,928

Straight Talk 2 year expense
$699 for iPhone
$499 for Android Phone
$2,160 for monthly fees ($45 per month per line)
Total: $3,358

Now, Straight Talk uses the AT&T network, so I won't be giving anything up on reception. So I save $570 every 2 years by using Straight Talk instead of AT&T. And Straight Talk gives me unlimited data - with AT&T I only have 2 GB for one phone and something like 200 K for the other, so I occasionally get overcharges, as well. In addition, I would imagine that AT&T gets a better price on the phones than I do, so the have some additional profit there.

Now, I wonder if someone at AT&T can explain to me how it is that Straight Talk is able to make a profit on this and I still save $570. Seems to me like AT&T is making PLENTY of money, so all this whining about needing to have extra charges to make up for the subsidies is nonsense.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #44 of 65
Nothing like incenting your customers to switch to your competitor...
post #45 of 65
Mr. Cook, this will be your first real test. You can either be on Verizon's team or continue Apple's practice by thinking of your customers first. What will it be?
post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

ATT already charges some BS upgrade fee, i think it was $18 per phone when i upgraded to the latest 4S. The fee is for them to update their customer records. You know, the records which already have all my information. Nickel and dime @#$@#$@.

When i asked them to wave the fee they refused and when i asked what it was for they said it was also for them to pay employees at the store to help me decide what phone is best for me. I never even talked to them before upgrading nor would i want to.

What sucks is that I'm pretty sure the other carriers do the same BS.

I would not complain since anywhere else in the world you have to pay full price for a new phone.

"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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"Apple people have no objectivity when it comes to criticism of Apple.." Lenovo X1 Carbon is out..bye bye MBAir

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post #47 of 65
Let me get this straight. They are going charge you an extra fee when you buy a new phone because you are not going to continue to subsidize the old phone that you already paid off.

This is the most backasswards fee I have heard of in a long time.

Monopoly power!
post #48 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

I would not complain since anywhere else in the world you have to pay full price for a new phone.

News flash. You pay full price for your new phone in the US too if not more.
post #49 of 65
I have AT&T and I guess I can still with them doe $30 when I get an iPhone 5 or switch to Verizon. And I assume the same logic applies to starting with Verizon and switching to AT&T.
post #50 of 65
I don't understand what Verizon is doing? Why would you deliberately push your customers to AT&T? Every 2 years, just swap carriers. Become a new customer each time.
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Here's the way it plays out. I have 2 lines. I get an iPhone and my daughter usually gets an Android phone (she insists on a physical keypad since she sends several thousand text messages per month.

AT&T 2 year expense
$199 for iPhone
$99 for Android Phone
$3,600 monthly fees ($150 per month)
$30 upgrade fee
Total: $3,928

Straight Talk 2 year expense
$699 for iPhone
$499 for Android Phone
$2,160 for monthly fees ($45 per month per line)
Total: $3,358

The unsubsidized iPhone is $649 not $699. You need to pay $15 for each Straight Talk SIM but there's no activation fee. Also, service comes down to about $42 a month if you prepay a few months in advance.

Quote:
Now, Straight Talk uses the AT&T network, so I won't be giving anything up on reception. So I save $570 every 2 years by using Straight Talk instead of AT&T. And Straight Talk gives me unlimited data - with AT&T I only have 2 GB for one phone and something like 200 K for the other, so I occasionally get overcharges, as well. In addition, I would imagine that AT&T gets a better price on the phones than I do, so the have some additional profit there.

Now, I wonder if someone at AT&T can explain to me how it is that Straight Talk is able to make a profit on this and I still save $570. Seems to me like AT&T is making PLENTY of money, so all this whining about needing to have extra charges to make up for the subsidies is nonsense.

Straight Talk does not provide international long distance calling nor international roaming. Of course, with an unlocked handset you would have the opportunity to use a local carrier's SIM.

Straight Talk's customer service is pretty low rent. Also, I'm pretty sure that MMS doesn't work, nor do you get Visual Voicemail. Straight Talk's margins are probably lower, so yeah, AT&T shouldn't be whining.

AT&T's dividend yield is 5.70%; America Movil (parent company of TracFone and thus Straight Talk) has a dividend yield of 1.10%, so the shareholders are getting less money.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

You may be well intentioned, but I believe it doesn't matter who you elect. Congress with majority democrats passed bank reform legislation in 2009 to protect against all the evil things banks were doing to steal money from poor people. Now banks just find different ways to nickel and dime people, mostly the same poor people that the legislation was supposed to help. (eg. no more free checking accounts, but if you carry a high enough balance you still get free checking)

The same would be the case with phone companies if legislation was passed. They're going to get their money one way or another. If you close this hole they'll just go the other direction. You can't legislate business into a corner, there's always another way.

What the Government can do, although this wouldn't change the amount we pay, is to enforce clear advertising and billing practices. They shouldn't be permitted to advertise a $60 a month plan when that plan actually costs $83 with taxes and fees. They shouldn't be permitted to imply that certain fees are "government fees" when they're not. They shouldn't be permitted to advertise that an upgrade to a new iPhone (after two years) is $199 when it's actually $229. They should HAVE to tell you exactly how much you're going to be billed. Call AT&T or Verizon and ask them for a given plan how much your bill will be including fees and taxes. They won't tell you. That should be illegal.

When landline telephones were first developed, Bell Telephone was given a monopoly in return for providing "universal service" - telephone service to everyone at low cost, even in markets that weren't profitable.

As the Government has permitted these cell phone companies to merge and acquire other companies, for all practical purposes we're down to only two companies: AT&T and Verizon. If there's only two, their pricing should be subject to government regulation. And maybe AT&T and Verizon didn't plan together to charge a $30 fee for the upgrade, but when one copies the other, it's a difference without a distinction from a consumer standpoint. This also should be regulated.

From a marketing standpoint, I think banks, airlines and these phone companies are making a big mistake. It's a way to raise prices without raising prices, but customers hate it and I believe it alienates the marketplace. I don't think it makes for a strong business model when most of your customers hate you because there's always a new technology coming down the road that will enable your customers to escape you. If WiFi were to become ubiquitous, for example, you really wouldn't need the phone companies at all.
post #53 of 65
And there will be no shortage of suckers willing to pay.
post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

And there will be no shortage of suckers willing to pay.

Well there's not much alternative besides not upgrading - ever, or switching providers when you do upgrade and paying them an activation fee that most likely is just about the same price as the upgrade fee.

Consumers are screwed every which way with the tele-cos.
post #55 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Well there's not much alternative besides not upgrading - ever

Ooh! Ooh! That's what we do. We've only upgraded once since getting cell phones in 2001.

Our current models are seven years old. They must be so mad with us, holding them back.

They can deal with it until they start allowing iPhones without data.

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The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post

Let me get this straight. They are going charge you an extra fee when you buy a new phone because you are not going to continue to subsidize the old phone that you already paid off.

This is the most backasswards fee I have heard of in a long time.

Monopoly power!

Actually it's not, it makes perfect sense - every time they subsidize a new phone for you, it's a HUGE expense for them. You become a much less profitable customer with every new phone you get subsidized. I'm not sure why you think it's backwards. They want customers who keep one subsidized phone (and of course keep paying the same monthly amount) for as long as possible.

It sucks, for sure, and if they would just break out the subsidy (and end its payback) this would not happen, but with the subsidy situation as it is today, I don't see how you could be confused that they want to punish people who get new phones often.
post #57 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

I don't understand what Verizon is doing? Why would you deliberately push your customers to AT&T? Every 2 years, just swap carriers. Become a new customer each time.

Problem is that doesn't save you money. They have new customer sign-up fees, and existing customer upgrade fees. And they all work out the same. If I can do simultaneous data and voice on VZ with the iPhone 6, I'm going to see what kind of deal I can swing by switching, but the rack rate (what you get without bargaining with them) is the same if you stay or if you switch.
post #58 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

They all ready charge a service activation fee anytime you reup your contract.

Looks like I'll finish my AT&T contract, demand they unlock my phone and head to tmobile or such. They will be so happy to see me that they will probably pay me $30 to sign up

Yeah, I would imagine if T-Mobile gets the iPhone, they'll quickly backtrack as they start losing customers right when contracts end...
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandyf View Post

Time to bail the 2 year upgrade carousel. Given all the wifi availability, I'll keep my iPhone 4 (and iPad 3) for the simple convenience of contacts, emails, reading, video, browsing, ad infinitum, and buy a dumb-phone family plan with no forced data and unending charges. Unless you're compensated by your company, a dumb-phone is pretty smart.

Good luck with that wifi while your riding down the highway and trying to help the driver figure something out. I'm constantly looking things up, like hours, reviews, phone numbers, etc. Plus, on long car rides, it gives me something to do besides sleep.
post #60 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Why isn't the DOJ investigating this insane business practice? Charing users a start up fee is bad enough (I still don't understand why a provider needs money to start my service) but charging users a fee when they stay with their carrier and upgrade is outrageous.


Ummm, here's the thing. People here on AI bash on the DOJ and cry foul anytime they bring suit against Apple for anticompetitive practices as defined under the FTC or Sherman Act. These are laws that have existed for decades and withstood all manner of Apple fanboy hate. But a $30 fee? It's not illegal for a company to slap a higher price tag or an extra fee for a good or service.


I'm not saying I particularly love this fee. The bigger issue not enough people are paying attention to is the lack of competition in the smartphone data market. The DOJ and the FTC won't file antitrust suits just because a company decides to change prices without a finding some kind of finding it's linked to anticompetitive behavior.


Let's be a little more consistent, shall we?
post #61 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozchris View Post

ATT already charges some BS upgrade fee, i think it was $18 per phone when i upgraded to the latest 4S. The fee is for them to update their customer records. You know, the records which already have all my information. Nickel and dime @#$@#$@.

When i asked them to wave the fee they refused and when i asked what it was for they said it was also for them to pay employees at the store to help me decide what phone is best for me. I never even talked to them before upgrading nor would i want to.

What sucks is that I'm pretty sure the other carriers do the same BS.

I was pretty surprised to see the "upgrade fee" when I got my 4S in October. It seemed rotten to me, especially since it wasn't clearly stated anywhere that this "fee" would be levied on top of the phone price. I called up AT&T and complained and they agreed to waive it for me, but they said that now I know about the fee so they won't waive it for me in the future if I want to upgrade.

It does seem like a dirty way to do business, but over the years Verizon Wireless and Sprint have done even more shady things to make a quick buck off of me, so there aren't a lot of options.
post #62 of 65
It's simple. The subsidy model is ridiculous and shouldn't continue. You already get ripped off when subsidizing the phone. In California at least, you pay the tax for the entire subsidy when you purchase the phone. You pay part of the cost of purchasing it and now fees on top of it.

Instead of pissing and moaning about the model, just save some cash and DUMP the model. It stupid to complain that something is expensive because you don't want to pay up front and thus get ripped off.

PagePlus let's you put Verizon Apple iPhones on unlimited everything with 1 gig data plans for $55 a month. StraightTalk lets you put iPhones on Unlimited Talk/Text 2 gig data plans for $45 a month.

Buy the phone. Put it on either plan and stop sweating fees, overpriced plans and all the other nonsense. Turn the carriers into pipes and they'll stop their bullshit.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #63 of 65
That's why I always tell people they're screwing themselves paying full price for a phone. Because the phone companies don't give you a break on the bill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

What about the not so little detail that about $15 of your bill is to payback your subsidy but when you are out of contract they don't remove that charge and same if you pay full rce
post #64 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Verizon Wireless has decided to tack on a $30 surcharge when users opt to upgrade their mobile device. AT&T has indicated it will likely follow suit.

Pinched by the heavy subsidies it pays Apple to attract iPhone buyers, Verizon has announced it will charge upgrading customers an additional $30 fee when they qualify for a subsidized device and choose to switch phones.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]

The article appears to have glazed over one important point: the $30 fee isn't just for iPhones. It's for all upgrades on all devices (smartphones and regular phones). It doesn't seem like a way to erode the subsidy, but rather capitalizing on a practice of competitors.

http://news.verizonwireless.com/news...012-04-11.html
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post #65 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

And there will be no shortage of suckers willing to pay.

Well if we shorted the shock this past week it would have paid off, Look like the no name Walter Piecyk, an analyst at BTIG LLC got the market to respond they way he wanted. So if the FCT going to investigate him and his company to find out if they were making recommendations to short the Apple. Also notice they are an LLC so their assets of protected from wrong doing.
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