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AT&T to impose $175 early iPhone cancelation fee - Page 3

post #81 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I really don't get this "we shouldn't ever criticize corporations" attitude.

I don't think anyone has said anything even remotely similar to "we shouldn't' ever criticize corporations" on this thread. At least I haven't. What I have said is that Apple/AT&T can generally decide how they provide their products/services and that a cancellation fee is not per se illegal. Just don't impugn the cancellation fee's legality without providing any basis in law or fact. Criticize the fee all you want. Kickaha's post provides sensible and pragmatic suggestions on how to do so.
post #82 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

I don't think anyone has said anything even remotely similar to "we shouldn't' ever criticize corporations" on this thread. At least I haven't. What I have said is that Apple/AT&T can generally decide how they provide their products/services and that a cancellation fee is not per se illegal. Just don't impugn the cancellation fee's legality without providing any basis in law or fact. Criticize the fee all you want. Kickaha's post provides sensible and pragmatic suggestions on how to do so.

You've done more than simply claim it's legal. You've essentially tried to shut down any criticism of the practice of cancellation fees by saying "you don't have to buy it," which everyone already knows anyway. AI is essentially a consumer website. To suggest that it's somehow inappropriate for consumers to criticize a corporation for their practices runs completely counter to the basic purpose of this website. Of course people can write letters, but there's nothing incompatible about discussing it on AI as well, and discussion may in fact encourage people to get angry enough about it to take further action.

Second, it's completely reasonable for someone to ask whether this fee is legal and not be told simply "shut up and don't buy it if you don't like it." There are a number of active lawsuits on this issue, and furthermore, if we don't like it we could ask our legislators to address it. To discuss those issues on a consumer-oriented website seems completely rational and appropriate.

In short, let people whine about it if they want; this wouldn't be AI without the whining.
post #83 of 117
Okay. If AT&T is requiring a 2-year service contract that does not subsidize the difference in cost of a product or service and then charges a termination penalty for breaking such contract then that's wrong.

If AT&T can prove -- which I'll bet they'll try -- that the data or voice rates they're charging for iPhone are less than their cost to provide them then they are justified in requiring a contract or penalty for breaking that contract.

If the reported penalty is true -- which it probably is since a contract is required -- I'm thinking we're going to see some very reasonable data or voice rates for iPhone. That makes sense since it's probably a lot harder to convince people to spend an arm and a leg each month rather than one time (for the upfront cost of the phone).

Cheap phone and ridiculous monthly fees: "Meh."
Expensive phone and reasonable monthly fees: "Okay, I can do that."
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post #84 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

Okay. If AT&T is requiring a 2-year service contract that does not subsidize the difference in cost of a product or service and then charges a termination penalty for breaking such contract then that's wrong.

If AT&T can prove -- which I'll bet they'll try -- that the data or voice rates they're charging for iPhone are less than their cost to provide them then they are justified in requiring a contract or penalty for breaking that contract.

If the reported penalty is true -- which it probably is since a contract is required -- I'm thinking we're going to see some very reasonable data or voice rates for iPhone.

Right. As someone has already pointed out, let's say that AT&T is charging $100/month for unlimited date and 1000 talk minutes, a figure that has been bandied about in another thread.

Under that scenario, canceling your contract amounts to just 7 weeks of service, so it's not that much of a disincentive, compared to carrying the contract forward.

Which possibly suggests at least some options for considerably less.

Yes, I realize the logic here is a bit tenuous, but I post for sport.
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post #85 of 117
Personally I feel we need some laws passed to eliminate these mafia contracts and fees. They are ridiculous.

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post #86 of 117


ATT: "No phone subsidy AND a $175 ETF, biatch!!!"

Customer: "This deal is getting worse all the time."


.
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post #87 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateRegistering View Post

Personally I feel we need some laws passed to eliminate these mafia contracts and fees. They are ridiculous.

Laws lead to loopholes, loopholes lead to the same situation, but with the corporations being able to point at them and saying "See? We're already regulated... leave us alone."

Give them feedback, and vote with your wallet, preferably at the same time. That's the only long-term effective route to getting the services you want at the price you want.
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post #88 of 117
We are bitching and whining out of the way, then we are all going to buy the iPhone. AT&T and Apple knows this. They are hiring extra security, closing ahead of time, etc. And for those that don't buy it at first, there will be some price drop or incentive. So yeah, bitch and whine, then go get your iPhone. Resistance is futile.
post #89 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by pt123 View Post

We are bitching and whining out of the way, then we are all going to buy the iPhone. AT&T and Apple knows this. They are hiring extra security, closing ahead of time, etc. And for those that don't buy it at first, there will be some price drop or incentive. So yeah, bitch and whine, then go get your iPhone.

Resistance is futile.


Nope.

No iPhone for me unless and until:

1) 3G
2) Price drop
3) ATT's network gets a bit better



"Assimilate THIS!!"

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post #90 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Not buying isn't the only way to influence corporations. Bitching about them to others is also a perfectly legitimate way to voice consumer opinion.

I really don't get this "we shouldn't ever criticize corporations" attitude.

I think here its more of a "We shouldn't ever criticize Apple or Apple's allies" -type thing. \

Fortunately, its just one point of view. Frankly, I think charging an ETF on top of no subsidy for the phone sucks enormous donkey schlong. Sure, they can get away with it for now, but that does not alter the fact that it sucks enormous donkey schlong. Meanwhile, I invite ATT to perform deviant acts upon itself that would make a Teamster blush.

Oops. Too frank?

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post #91 of 117
i make cellphone games, we buy phones at full retail all over the place, or get them free from the makers on a prelease, sometimes we need a new contract and we'll still have to sign up for the cancellation fees or lengthier contracts although generally you can get a 1 year contract for a lot of phones, they just don't tell you, and will suddenly remember you can do things like that once you push the question.

so subsidy of the phone you have itself doesn't always come into in, subsidy of the other phones they sell might though.

they have still asked for two years contracts , even if we provide a phone.
post #92 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliex View Post

i make cellphone games, we buy phones at full retail all over the place, or get them free from the makers on a prelease, sometimes we need a new contract and we'll still have to sign up for the cancellation fees or lengthier contracts although generally you can get a 1 year contract for a lot of phones, they just don't tell you, and will suddenly remember you can do things like that once you push the question.

so subsidy of the phone you have itself doesn't always come into in, subsidy of the other phones they sell might though.

they have still asked for two years contracts , even if we provide a phone.

Of course they'll ask for two year contracts, no matter what. The salesman gets a larger commission for a two year contract than a one year. They're incentive-ized to push two years and not mention one years unless you ask them about it first.

The real rip-off though, is you providing the phone and them still putting you under an ETF. The main argument for carriers charging ETFs is that, since they subsidize the phone up front, and then make their money back slowly over the life of the contract, customers being able to just walk away from contracts without penalty would devastate their bottom line.

Of course, they wouldn't have to worry too much about that if their service was good, but in purely economic terms, ok, it makes sense. But... wtf if you supply your own phone? The carrier isn't doing you any economic favors up front then. So, how is an ETF justified in those cases? It really can't be, not by any good reason I've heard yet.

The industry is starting to see more of a push from consumer groups and politicians to regulate ETFs, and of course they're counter-lobbying and coming up with some bullsheeite reasons why ETFs are actually good for the industry. But in reality, aside from protecting a carrier's phone subsidy investment, what ETFs mainly do is protect weaker, more poorly run carriers who provide bad service. It ends up being a Berlin Wall meant to keep dissatisfied customers in, and it may actually be self-defeating. The only good justification for an ETF is if they give you a discount on a phone. \

A few carriers have even seen the future coming (ETFs becoming increasingly restricted by legistlation) and are trying to get out ahead of the trend. Verizon, for example, actually pro-rates the ETF over the life of the contract. For every month you're under contract, your ETF is reduced $5. That isn't much, but over time, does add up.

However, Verizon does that largely because its churn rate/customer loyalty is very good... it doesn't have to erect a high fence to keep its customers in. It'd be hard to imagine a company with bad churn and a lot of customers leaving, like Sprint right now, doing the same thing voluntarily.

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post #93 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by zac4mac View Post

Hey Sirus20x6 - went to your website to check out your "info"... I LOLd at all the spam you have in place of article comments. No real comments to be found, and your piece on the iPhone is as full of holes as a paid analyst. Thanks for wasting my time.

Y'all argue all you want, one week and 6 hours from now I'll be playing with my new iPhone.

Time to leave work and ride into Boulder and do some Apple/AT&T recon

Z


yeah sites overrun with spam. tough shit, and you enjoy those edge speeds. mmm 200k a second ..... ill just stick with my 700+ 3G HSDPA phone
post #94 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

Okay. If AT&T is requiring a 2-year service contract that does not subsidize the difference in cost of a product or service and then charges a termination penalty for breaking such contract then that's wrong.

If AT&T can prove -- which I'll bet they'll try -- that the data or voice rates they're charging for iPhone are less than their cost to provide them then they are justified in requiring a contract or penalty for breaking that contract.

If the reported penalty is true -- which it probably is since a contract is required -- I'm thinking we're going to see some very reasonable data or voice rates for iPhone. That makes sense since it's probably a lot harder to convince people to spend an arm and a leg each month rather than one time (for the upfront cost of the phone).

You know why they'll say their rates are lower than their cost of service - Apple is bloody fleecing them for it. No operator in Europe will touch Apple, one went so far as to label them "Unbelievably arrogant" in their demands.

There are better phones out there...
post #95 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post

You know why they'll say their rates are lower than their cost of service - Apple is bloody fleecing them for it. No operator in Europe will touch Apple, one went so far as to label them "Unbelievably arrogant" in their demands.

There are better phones out there...

I'm not convinced that Apple isn't subsidizing the iPhone at least a little bit, to get the money from the contract.

It's not unreasonable to think that most of the $175 is going to Apple. How much of that $70x24 is Apple getting anyway?
post #96 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post

You know why they'll say their rates are lower than their cost of service - Apple is bloody fleecing them for it. No operator in Europe will touch Apple, one went so far as to label them "Unbelievably arrogant" in their demands.

There are better phones out there...

And you know this without ever so much as having touched an iPhone because.....

Oh yeah, because everything we need to know about consumer electronic devices can be discerned from preliminary specs.
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post #97 of 117
I understand the new phone will not work with Vista or Microsoft Outlook. Is this the case?
post #98 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by FordGT View Post

I understand the new phone will not work with Vista or Microsoft Outlook. Is this the case?

No, it syncs with Outlook email, calendar, and contacts on the PC. I haven't seen specifically that it works with Vista, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't.
post #99 of 117
Only $175??? Thats actually very nice of them to do that.

In the UK the termination fee for breaking a contract is always the remaining line rental. Imagine how much it would be for you on a 2 year contract.

post #100 of 117
So finally we have the true price of iPhone: $775 for the 8GB model, $675 for the 4GB model.
post #101 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post

Only $175??? Thats actually very nice of them to do that.

In the UK the termination fee for breaking a contract is always the remaining line rental. Imagine how much it would be for you on a 2 year contract.

I think you'll find that's because the cost of the phone is being paid back as part of the contract. In that sense it's like monthly payments for something they've already given you.

The outrage here is that you're paying the full price of the iPhone outright, but still have to pay a hefty amount just to take it off the network and stop paying for service.

It's like you've just bought a car for cash, but the dealer is requiring you to buy gas from them for the next 2 years unless you pay another fee.
post #102 of 117
Well then I guess the point here is dont go out and buy such a nich product if you intend to let buyers remorse get the better of you at a later point.
post #103 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb View Post

I think you'll find that's because the cost of the phone is being paid back as part of the contract. In that sense it's like monthly payments for something they've already given you.

The outrage here is that you're paying the full price of the iPhone outright, but still have to pay a hefty amount just to take it off the network and stop paying for service.

$600 is a hefty price, but hefty doesn't equal full.

After the announcement, we know that the full price of an iPhone, no strings attached, is $600+$175=$775.

Or you can take the service which subsidises the price of the phone by $175. It's too expensive for me, but I don't see a reason to be outraged either way.
post #104 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

$600 is a hefty price, but hefty doesn't equal full.

After the announcement, we know that the full price of an iPhone, no strings attached, is $600+$175=$775.

Or you can take the service which subsidises the price of the phone by $175. It's too expensive for me, but I don't see a reason to be outraged either way.

I do know that the Verizon Motorola Q will not sync with the new Microsoft Vista system or the new Microsoft Outlook 2007. It may be worth the switch for me if the iPhone will sync with the outlook 2007 and the new vista... that is if their service has improved since I left the last time.
post #105 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post

Only $175??? Thats actually very nice of them to do that. In the UK the termination fee for breaking a contract is always the remaining line rental. Imagine how much it would be for you on a 2 year contract.

SHHHHHHHHH What are you TRYING to give them ideas?!?!

I agree the ETF sucks the big one....

BUT

It's not groundbreaking or earth-shattering by any stretch... Many cable broadband providers, DSL providers, VOIP carriers do it too.

Dave
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post #106 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

$600 is a hefty price, but hefty doesn't equal full.

After the announcement, we know that the full price of an iPhone, no strings attached, is $600+$175=$775.

Or you can take the service which subsidises the price of the phone by $175. It's too expensive for me, but I don't see a reason to be outraged either way.

I'm still in doubt that Apple will be selling AT&T contracts. It's possible that Apple will sell the iPhone as is, and you'll be expected to get your own contract/SIM card from AT&T.
post #107 of 117
On the other hand (replying to original post) any change in the service on AT&T's part is a violation of the contract and you are entitled to cancel yours with no penalty. For example, if text-massaging starts at, say, $.10/message and they raise it in 2008 to $.11, they have changed the service terms meaning you are legally entitled to cancel your contract if they do not grand-father you. I've never needed to do this (with Verizon) but since my contract, there have been no fewer than 5 times when I could have, just on text-messaging changes alone. Anytime you get a new "Terms & Conditions" insert, you are in a position to cancel without penalty.

As for the iPhone, all I can say is that I wouldn't wanna be one of the new adopters...
post #108 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post



ATT: "No phone subsidy AND a $175 ETF, biatch!!!"

Customer: "This deal is getting worse all the time."


.

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further
post #109 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

That's for subsidized phones, Einstein. What justification does AT&T have for such a fee in this situation?

Any more bad news, and Solipsism may need a new piece of technology to wank to.

And what pretentious and arrogant S.O.B. you are.
post #110 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by TX Ciclista View Post

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further

Yay! Somebody gets it !

And to think a Star Wars quote could come off as obscure... (its not like it was from the suckass LATER movies...)




PS- Oh, and in reference to above, let me save the 'one in every crowd' the trouble:


Dumb Replier: B-but... but.... Episodes I, II, and III weren't... THAT... bad...

*TBaggins shoots replier between the eyes*

Anyone else? :evil:

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post #111 of 117
The reason why the $175 cancelation fee is so shocking is that, unless your iPhone has an active account with AT&T, none of the other features will work. Not the iPod, not the PDA functions, nada!

From David Pogue's review in the NYTimes:

Do I need an AT&T account? Yes. The iPhone won’t work at all without a two-year AT&T voice-plus-Internet plan (and no, you can’t use it as just an iPod, no matter how tempting the bigger screen and longer battery life is).
.......

I was seriously considering forking over a lot of money for this thing, but yes, "this deal is getting worse all the time." Especially since it's AT&T we're stuck with. They have the worst ratings by afr of all cell phone companies, and don't get me started on their customer service.
post #112 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

That's for subsidized phones, Einstein. What justification does AT&T have for such a fee in this situation?

Any more bad news, and Solipsism may need a new piece of technology to wank to.

I don't see that the fee is in any way tied to a phone being subsidized. I think thats an assumption that people have made. If they didn't charge a fee, then what is to prevent anyone from breaking their contract? There is always a cost for breaking a contract, in this case it happens to be $175.
post #113 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbella View Post

I don't see that the fee is in any way tied to a phone being subsidized. I think thats an assumption that people have made. If they didn't charge a fee, then what is to prevent anyone from breaking their contract? There is always a cost for breaking a contract, in this case it happens to be $175.

It appears that way because the 2-year discount for a phone is traditionally $175 - a premium to get you to sign up: quit early, give back their premium: It has always been like a contingent signing bonus than a termination fee: this time, they dont give you a phone coupon for it though


The one thing that everyone over looks is the data plan is half the price of BlackBerry so that in its self will save you $240 each year

Holy crap! I just justified the iPhone cost!!! (shutters)
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post #114 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliciouspoison View Post

...It sounds like if you sign up AT&T has you by the balls.

That's the whole idea. I think "your first-born-child" clause was removed at the last minute... \
post #115 of 117
TBaggins: You are in top form mate. Best iPhone thread these past few weeks!!! Cheers

Yes, Episode 1, 2, and 3[especially the skwaking dragon-thing Ewan McGregor was on], for most parts I was like, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS??????????!!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Like watching a train accident at night: lots of pretty sparkling thing and you can't look away even though you know the whole bloody thing is a godsdamned mish-mashed disaster.
post #116 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madame Defarge View Post

The reason why the $175 cancelation fee is so shocking is that, unless your iPhone has an active account with AT&T, none of the other features will work. Not the iPod, not the PDA functions, nada!

From David Pogue's review in the NYTimes:

Do I need an AT&T account? Yes. The iPhone wont work at all without a two-year AT&T voice-plus-Internet plan (and no, you cant use it as just an iPod, no matter how tempting the bigger screen and longer battery life is).
.......

I was seriously considering forking over a lot of money for this thing, but yes, "this deal is getting worse all the time." Especially since it's AT&T we're stuck with. They have the worst ratings by afr of all cell phone companies, and don't get me started on their customer service.

You can opt out of the contract within 30 days and not be charged the ETF. You do need to sign up for / upgrade an existing ATT acount to activate the iPhone, but if you pull the SIM card, how will it know if you close the account? After the initial activation, will the iPhone work without the SIM card?
post #117 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

For the sake of avoding redundancy, I won't directly reply to your post and will quote parasubvert instead:
Companies have 25+ years of imposing cellphone cancellation fees. They are enforceable. What is the precedent that says otherwise?

Well, to answer my own question, a California Judge recently ruled that Sprint's early terminatin fees are illegal. As I alluded in my original dialogue with another poster, there is no legal precedent for this type of ruling:
"Though the decision could be appealed, it's the first in the country to declare the fees illegal in a state and could affect other similar lawsuits, with broad implications for the nation's fast-growing legions of cell phone users."

"On June 12, a jury in the Alameda County lawsuit ruled in favor of Sprint Nextel, determining that its customers who canceled their service early had breached their contracts with the company and that early termination fees were warranted." Well, at least the jurors got it right.

"But in overruling that decision, Sabraw said the jurors appear to have erred in assuming the fees were valid, and she took issue with the way Sprint Nextel determined that its customers owed the fees."

This ruling is tentative and subject to appeal.
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