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iPhone 3G users to pay $200 premium for early upgrade to iPhone 3G S - Page 10

post #361 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's not a point you can disagree on. It's a fact. People want many things they can't have. It doesn't make it unfair.

You can argue on exactly why you think THIS situation is unfair.

But you need to give specific points, and show why what you say shows how they're being unfair. A generalized complaint doesn't say anything.

You're not happy because you can't upgrade now and get the full discount? Or in a month? Or three months, etc?

Exactly WHY is that unfair?

It's not unfair just because you say it is.

.

As stated I think the contracts favor AT&T too much - for upgrades cost (125 ETF vs. 200 UPGRADE), for rollover minutes, for minute overage charges. That is my *opinion.* Your opinion differs. Let's agree to disagree.

Let's leave it at that.
post #362 of 430
A conversation about the cell phone industry is not the same as saying that AT&T and Apple are conspiring to gouge "loyal customers" with outrageous charges.

I have no issue with anyone campaigning for lower cell plan rates, or more transparency from any kind of service provider, or less lock-in or more freedom or fewer hidden fees etc.

But discovering this all embracing cause right at the point of sale of a particular fun new consumer bauble that you want a particular deal on doesn't strike me as particularly noble. And pointing that out hardly makes me some kind of corporate apologist.
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post #363 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhayes View Post

.

As stated I think the contracts favor AT&T too much - for upgrades cost (125 ETF vs. 200 UPGRADE), for rollover minutes, for minute overage charges. That is my *opinion.* Your opinion differs. Let's agree to disagree.

Let's leave it at that.

Ok, but you're the one who brought this up in the thread.
post #364 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

A conversation about the cell phone industry is not the same as saying that AT&T and Apple are conspiring to gouge "loyal customers" with outrageous charges.

I have no issue with anyone campaigning for lower cell plan rates, or more transparency from any kind of service provider, or less lock-in or more freedom or fewer hidden fees etc.

But discovering this all embracing cause right at the point of sale of a particular fun new consumer bauble that you want a particular deal on doesn't strike me as particularly noble. And pointing that out hardly makes me some kind of corporate apologist.

I think this boils it down the best. I don't like how byzantine contracts are these days (the contracts might even be an insult to the Byzantine empire), but if you sign it, you shouldn't be surprised when you're actually held to it. Complaining about learning contract provisions a year after you've signed it is a bit much, in my opinion. Especially when you're trying to replace your super expensive phone only a year after you've bought your previous one. Replacing electronic devices every year is crazy consumeristic, in my opinion.
post #365 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think this boils it down the best. I don't like how byzantine contracts are these days (the contracts might even be an insult to the Byzantine empire), but if you sign it, you shouldn't be surprised when you're actually held to it. Complaining about learning contract provisions a year after you've signed it is a bit much, in my opinion. Especially when you're trying to replace your super expensive phone only a year after you've bought your previous one. Replacing electronic devices every year is crazy consumeristic, in my opinion.

But I'm a loyal customer, they shouldn't treat me this way. I’m going to make an online partition and tell my friends not get an iPhone now. How can they do this to me?
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post #366 of 430
The mobile phone industry does have some unfair practices, but no this is not one of them. AT&T agreed to heavily subsidize an expensive phone in exchange for a two year contract. You want AT&T to heavily subsidize a new expensive phone in the middle of your two year contract, simply because you want the "new hotness" and you don't want to pay for it. You want to have things both ways and that's simply not reasonable.

The lesson to be learned from this is if you want to buy new phones every year, don't take the subsidized deal. Pay full price and you won't be locked into a contract.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhayes View Post

We seem to have an fairly large consensus on this thread, from all sides , that the cell phone industries practices are unfair.

And because a company is making money with an unfair, BUT LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT, why should we not voice our displeasure? Companies are in business to make money - and they can make a lot more money with unfair contracts -ala the company store, or payday loans.

"Don't sign. Don't complain. Unfairness is only caused by complaining.If I complain then it's my fault. Take a look in the mirror before you try to change the world. I would have told you this if I was your friend."

Did I sumamrize your points for you?
post #367 of 430
I read this forum occasionally and so wandered over to see what everyone thinks about the new iPhone. Wow....all that I can say is that I can't believe how worked up some are over having to wait three extra weeks to get their hands on this phone. If I was so unhappy I'd probably vote with my feet....and walk away from the company.

Oh well, we have the original iPhones with no subsidy for $400 each. We skipped the 3G as it got lousy reviews as far as coverage in our area goes. People I know who upgraded last year said that they wished that they had kept the original phone.

The network is now much better and now with voice and a video camera we're getting the new ones next week. Pre-ordered two 32Gs....
post #368 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

The lesson to be learned from this is if you want to buy new phones every year, don't take the subsidized deal. Pay full price and you won't be locked into a contract.

Assuming we can expect yearly updates, which is about how long I keep a phone for before updating anyway, Id like to see a 12-month contract in place.
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post #369 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldg8 View Post

I read this forum occasionally and so wandered over to see what everyone thinks about the new iPhone. Wow....all that I can say is that I can't believe how worked up some are over having to wait three extra weeks to get their hands on this phone.

In all fairness, you didn't notice that for a lot of people it's an extra six months.
post #370 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhayes View Post

Why is it WHINING if someone voices the opinion that they are being treated UNFAIRLY?

That's my beef.

Because you are not being treated unfairly. You are only being asked to honor the agreement that you signed.

That's why it's whining.
post #371 of 430
I think a large part of the issue here is that the cell phone carrier industry as a whole operates more like car dealerships - I've never seen so much back room deals/discussions and "let me talk to the manager" moments. So much so that I've come to expect it as the norm and not the exception. No doubt that there are binding contracts etc. but much of the language in the contracts and policies are vague (like the upgrade rules), and in my experience it is common practice to negotiate, with the outcomes almost entirely dependent on who you happen to catch that day. It's this type of setting that works to aggravate issues like the current one - because the carriers themselves have made a practice of circumventing their own contracts/policies.
post #372 of 430
I don't usually get excited about these things but I think ATT is missing a great opportunity here. While they are within their rights to enforce the contract agreements that customers signed last year with the subsidized phones, if they just take moment to "listen" to their customers, they have a chance to build customer loyalty and attract new customers just as Apple is doing with pricing on their new OS (Snow Leopard). Its just smart business and a great PR move. Sacrifice a bit of profit for long term gain. Think outside the box! Isn't making 40 million users happy worth it? Apple "sees the light" with a cheaper OS and lower pricing for its new hardware, why not ATT?
post #373 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by wa6nqk View Post

I don't usually get excited about these things but I think ATT is missing a great opportunity here. While they are within their rights to enforce the contract agreements that customers signed last year with the subsidized phones, if they just take moment to "listen" to their customers, they have a chance to build customer loyalty and attract new customers just as Apple is doing with pricing on their new OS (Snow Leopard). Its just smart business and a great PR move. Sacrifice a bit of profit for long term gain. Think outside the box! Isn't making 40 million users happy worth it? Apple "sees the light" with a cheaper OS and lower pricing for its new hardware, why not ATT?

How is it "long term gain" when, if they offer undue discounts on this round of upgrades, the complainers here will demand it again when the next phone comes out?

There is nothing new that a cell phone company wants you to wait out your contract before subsidizing a new piece of hardware.

The 3G owners who are under contract need to either suck it up and pay the price for new hardware or just wait until they are eligible again. It's that simple and I have no sympathy for them.
post #374 of 430
I could agree that selling the iPhone for $299/$399 on an 18 month contract would be realistic and reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Assuming we can expect yearly updates, which is about how long I keep a phone for before updating anyway, Id like to see a 12-month contract in place.
post #375 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

No cell phone carrier is going to provide reception for everyone, every place, all of the time. Not even Verizon. If you want that, get a land line.

Wrong- Verizon has complete coverage in continental US and is able to better provide it due to CDMA technology.
post #376 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM
when you're trying to replace your super expensive phone only a year after you've bought your previous one. Replacing electronic devices every year is crazy consumeristic, in my opinion.

Apple wants you to upgrade year after year - that's why they stage these hoopla events in the first place.
AT&T has got Apple by the balls on this one but Apple should give the break, not AT&T.
post #377 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But I'm a loyal customer, they shouldn't treat me this way. Im going to make an online partition and tell my friends not get an iPhone now. How can they do this to me?

Your whining comes so natural to you. Who do you mean by they?
post #378 of 430
No it doesn't, no carrier has the entire continental US covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Wrong- Verizon has complete coverage in continental US and is able to better provide it due to CDMA technology.
post #379 of 430
Obviously you cannot read. I NEVER said I agreed with PayDay loans! Just like I never agreed with AT&T. Apparently you do not understand. I am stating reality, you know, that thing that exists that we all wake up to every morning?

I was stating that the PayDay loan places are corrupt and charge an abnoxious amount of money. That doesn't sound like agreeing with them to me. I was explaining how to fight them and how not to fight them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhayes View Post

If you think PayDay loans are a-ok then we shall *never* agree on this issue. Let's agree to disagree and be done with it.
post #380 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Because you are not being treated unfairly. You are only being asked to honor the agreement that you signed.

That's why it's whining.

I honestly do not believe if it were as simple as honoring the 2 year contract it would not be causing this much turmoil.

Respectfully, while you may agree or disagree whether any one has a "right" to complain, this particular churning has largely been fueled by two factors.

1. The precedent that was set when 2G owners were allowed to buy 3Gs and simply sign a new 2 year contract last year. This set up the expection they would be able to do it again this year with the 3gs.

2. The fact that some account that some people (based reportedly on some unpublished spending formula) who signed the 2 year contract are not being held to its terms and others are.
post #381 of 430
1) As stated numerous times on here, the 2G phone was not subsidized. AT&T made $0 and lost $0 on those who purchased it. The customer paid the full cost of the phone. When these people upgraded EARLY when the new 3G came out, they did not pay full price and AT&T subsidized the hundreds of dollars difference. = no right to complain

2) I think the point being missed in this entire thread is that upgrading your phone is a privilege not a right. TO ALL WHO BOUGHT THE IPHONE 3G: You signed a 2 year contract with AT&T. They agreed to sell you the 3G for $199/$299 (subsidized) and they agreed to pay the remainder of the phones cost and provide you with service. They do this with the comittment from you that you are going to retain service for 24 months. Period. End of story. If they let you upgrade at 12/18 month's time, you should feel privileged and appreciative.

I think what has happened is that we have all come to expect these upgrades, but in reality they are not a guarantee. This is why they are not in the contract and the policy is not public. You cannot argue that point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgunther View Post

I honestly do not believe if it were as simple as honoring the 2 year contract it would not be causing this much turmoil.

Respectfully, while you may agree or disagree whether any one has a "right" to complain, this particular churning has largely been fueled by two factors.

1. The precedent that was set when 2G owners were allowed to buy 3Gs and simply sign a new 2 year contract last year. This set up the expection they would be able to do it again this year with the 3gs.

2. The fact that some account that some people (based reportedly on some unpublished spending formula) who signed the 2 year contract are not being held to its terms and others are.
post #382 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by wa6nqk View Post

I don't usually get excited about these things but I think ATT is missing a great opportunity here. While they are within their rights to enforce the contract agreements that customers signed last year with the subsidized phones, if they just take moment to "listen" to their customers, they have a chance to build customer loyalty and attract new customers just as Apple is doing with pricing on their new OS (Snow Leopard). Its just smart business and a great PR move. Sacrifice a bit of profit for long term gain. Think outside the box! Isn't making 40 million users happy worth it? Apple "sees the light" with a cheaper OS and lower pricing for its new hardware, why not ATT?

Because AT&T watches their churn numbers and knows that very few people are actually going to jump ship just because they didn't get a big off-contract discount on a phone they want (especially knowing that the other carriers don't give big discounts on popular phones, either).

"Happy customers" only means something insofar as it causes you to not lose business, otherwise it's a wasted expense. This isn't the relationship between a small town hardware salesman and his small town clientele; cell phone customers are no more "loyal" than the next shiny thing that catches their eye, and the carriers know that.

I'm reminded of Albert Brooks' speech to the casino owner after his wife gambles away the "nest egg" in "Lost in America"-- "You can give us our money back! Think of the publicity! You'll be the nice casino!"
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post #383 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinLH00 View Post

1) As stated numerous times on here, the 2G phone was not subsidized. AT&T made $0 and lost $0 on those who purchased it. The customer paid the full cost of the phone. When these people upgraded EARLY when the new 3G came out, they did not pay full price and AT&T subsidized the hundreds of dollars difference. = no right to complain

2) I think the point being missed in this entire thread is that upgrading your phone is a privilege not a right. TO ALL WHO BOUGHT THE IPHONE 3G: You signed a 2 year contract with AT&T. They agreed to sell you the 3G for $199/$299 (subsidized) and they agreed to pay the remainder of the phones cost and provide you with service. They do this with the comittment from you that you are going to retain service for 24 months. Period. End of story. If they let you upgrade at 12/18 month's time, you should feel privileged and appreciative.

I think what has happened is that we have all come to expect these upgrades, but in reality they are not a guarantee. This is why they are not in the contract and the policy is not public. You cannot argue that point.

I did not miss the point, and I did not claim it was a "right". Actually, you really supported my point that people have come to expect that they can break the contract because they have done it before and because some are able to do it now.

I do not deny there is a contract or even that there may have been different reasons last year. My point is that by having precedents and exceptions it only serves to fuel this perception that the contracts are only somewhat binding. And this is fueling a lot of ill will.
post #384 of 430
You are over playing this argument quite a bit. For one its not really breaking your contract. Being able to break your contract without paying a penalty is not at all a common practice.

When AT&T feels they reasonably profited from their subsidization, and as a reward for being a good customer, they will allow you to purchase a new subsidized phone before the end of the contract. As has been stated before this is a privilege they are extending its not a right.

Because everyone's situation is different, AT&T retains the right to extend this privilege in the way they choose. They are not obligated to extend it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgunther View Post

I did not miss the point, and I did not claim it was a "right". Actually, you really supported my point that people have come to expect that they can break the contract because they have done it before and because some are able to do it now.

I do not deny there is a contract or even that there may have been different reasons last year. My point is that by having precedents and exceptions it only serves to fuel this perception that the contracts are only somewhat binding. And this is fueling a lot of ill will.
post #385 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgunther View Post

I did not miss the point, and I did not claim it was a "right". Actually, you really supported my point that people have come to expect that they can break the contract because they have done it before and because some are able to do it now.

I do not deny there is a contract or even that there may have been different reasons last year. My point is that by having precedents and exceptions it only serves to fuel this perception that the contracts are only somewhat binding. And this is fueling a lot of ill will.

Actually, you seem to have slide from "outrageous abuse by AT&T" to "we must all fight the man" to "all I'm looking for is a little consistency."

I get that you want to get a new iPhone, now, without having to pay more than a new subscriber, but it doesn't seem like you have a coherent argument to make beyond that.

Which is fine; I'd want that as well. But when you, uh, evolve your line of thought this way it comes off as rationalization.
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post #386 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by wa6nqk View Post

I don't usually get excited about these things but I think ATT is missing a great opportunity here. While they are within their rights to enforce the contract agreements that customers signed last year with the subsidized phones, if they just take moment to "listen" to their customers, they have a chance to build customer loyalty and attract new customers just as Apple is doing with pricing on their new OS (Snow Leopard). Its just smart business and a great PR move. Sacrifice a bit of profit for long term gain. Think outside the box! Isn't making 40 million users happy worth it? Apple "sees the light" with a cheaper OS and lower pricing for its new hardware, why not ATT?

They won't be attracting loyal customers, they'll be attracting customers who are willing to bolt the second ATT asks them to honor the agreement they made. Why would any business fight to keep such fair weather friends?
post #387 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Wrong- Verizon has complete coverage in continental US and is able to better provide it due to CDMA technology.

That's funny - my clients this morning were lusting over my iPhone, and they were shocked when my phone rang. They asked what service it was on (these are senior citizen types, so they had no clue) and I was surprised when they said that there service was on Verizon, and that it didn't work until they went about 1/2 mile down the street.

This is inside the beltway in the DC area, in a nice part of VA.

Oops!
post #388 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Your whining comes so natural to you. Who do you mean by they?

How sad, he missed the sarcasm.
post #389 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Actually, you seem to have slide from "outrageous abuse by AT&T" to "we must all fight the man" to "all I'm looking for is a little consistency."

I get that you want to get a new iPhone, now, without having to pay more than a new subscriber, but it doesn't seem like you have a coherent argument to make beyond that.

Which is fine; I'd want that as well. But when you, uh, evolve your line of thought this way it comes off as rationalization.

Yep, and just like almost all the crybabies on this thread, his thinking will continue to evolve until he walks into an ATT store and slides his credit card across the counter for the asking price. Because in the end, like a child, his wants will overtake his "principles" (cheapness).

And in 12 more months, he'll do it all over again.
post #390 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Yep, and just like almost all the crybabies on this thread, his thinking will continue to evolve until he walks into an ATT store and slides his credit card across the counter for the asking price. Because in the end, like a child, his wants will overtake his "principles" (cheapness).

And in 12 more months, he'll do it all over again.


Who appointed you group counselor?
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post #391 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In all fairness, you didn't notice that for a lot of people it's an extra six months.

Okay, that's fair. However, I'm not exactly an Apple freak or anything and I knew that there was a good chance that an updated phone would be coming out this summer. So I waited...still, I get that some are frustrated. I guess I'm just surprised at the sheer level of outrage.
post #392 of 430
I bought the original 4GB iPhone the day it shipped. Had to move from T-Mobile to AT&T.

A year later I sold my old 4GB phone and bought the 8 GB iPhone 3G the week it was released (had to extend my contract, etc).

Later that summer I moved my wife to a 16GB iPhone 3G from a RAZR (T-Mobile) and got a family plan with AT&T for both our iPhone 3G's.

Im a loyal customer.

Now, I want to sell my "old" 16GB iPhone 3G and get a 32GB iPhone 3GS (I can get $100 to $200 minimum Im sure - did it before and it sold on eBay in 5 minutes. Got $300 bucks for my unlocked 4GB first-gen iPhone. Crazy.)


I just called AT&T. My upgrade options:

I am not eligible until Jan 15th 2010 for AT&Ts full upgrade rates. IF I were to wait until 01-15-10, my rates are as follows:

16GB = $199 (2 year)
32GB = $299 (2 year)


If I dont wait until Jan 15th 2010 and upgrade NOW (after June 19th), I qualify for an "Early Upgrade":

16GB = $399 (2 year)
32GB = $499 (2 year)
Both require an $18 upgrade fee (???)


If I were to by the same iPhones 3GS under a "non-commit price":

16GB = $599
32GB = $699
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post #393 of 430
And what is your point? You just described what 90% of the people this thread have already said, or are you just summarizing?

Please define "loyal customer". Apparently, your definition means an individual who switches to a carrier for the sole purpose of obtaining their exclusive product and remains a customer for 2 years in order to continue to use exclusive products. I have to inform you that you are wrong there buddy.

Now, myself, have been a customer since 8/16/2003 (6 years this year). I would think that I may be considered loyal, but not you sir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dstranathan View Post

I bought the original 4GB iPhone the day it shipped. Had to move from T-Mobile to AT&T.

A year later I sold my old 4GB phone and bought the 8 GB iPhone 3G the week it was released (had to extend my contract, etc).

Later that summer I moved my wife to a 16GB iPhone 3G from a RAZR (T-Mobile) and got a family plan with AT&T for both our iPhone 3G's.

Im a loyal customer.

Now, I want to sell my "old" 16GB iPhone 3G and get a 32GB iPhone 3GS (I can get $100 to $200 minimum Im sure - did it before and it sold on eBay in 5 minutes. Got $300 bucks for my unlocked 4GB first-gen iPhone. Crazy.)


I just called AT&T. My upgrade options:

I am not eligible until Jan 15th 2010 for AT&Ts full upgrade rates. IF I were to wait until 01-15-10, my rates are as follows:

16GB = $199 (2 year)
32GB = $299 (2 year)


If I dont wait until Jan 15th 2010 and upgrade NOW (after June 19th), I qualify for an "Early Upgrade":

16GB = $399 (2 year)
32GB = $499 (2 year)
Both require an $18 upgrade fee (???)


If I were to by the same iPhones 3GS under a "non-commit price":

16GB = $599
32GB = $699
post #394 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPond317 View Post

Yeah, I upgraded my original iPhone to 3G last July, and I can upgrade to 3GS on July 25th.

Can someone explain why, if I bought my iphone (new AT&T customer) in 08/08, the Apple site says I won't be eligible for an upgrade until 04/10?? Not one year, not two, but some odd in-between date!
post #395 of 430
When the touch pro 2 comes out with Sprint (it will come out for AT&T and Verizon as well) I plan on either renewing my contract for new user price, or paying full price in order to continue to end my 2 year contract at the same date as before. This is fair.

So please clarify for me, because what I've read in the article and with what people are complaining about is a little confusing. If I were an AT&T user who bought an iPhone 3G last year, it wouldn't matter if I wanted to renew my contract, I'd still have to pay $200 to get it vs the new users? Sorry, but this is UN fair. Perhaps I'm simply spoiled by how Sprint, TMobile, and Verizon did things, but this isn't normal. Every carrier I've ever been with allowed me to pay new user costs, provided I renew my contract.

This is greed plain and simple. Are you people really surprised by this with AT&T and APPLE of all companies? These are the two main reasons I don't have an iPhone! lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

That's funny - my clients this morning were lusting over my iPhone, and they were shocked when my phone rang. They asked what service it was on (these are senior citizen types, so they had no clue) and I was surprised when they said that there service was on Verizon, and that it didn't work until they went about 1/2 mile down the street.

This is inside the beltway in the DC area, in a nice part of VA.

Oops!

Hey I'm in Manassas! lol.
post #396 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by gomommago View Post

Can someone explain why, if I bought my iphone (new AT&T customer) in 08/08, the Apple site says I won't be eligible for an upgrade until 04/10?? Not one year, not two, but some odd in-between date!

Isn't the phrase you're looking for not "won't be eligible until" but "eligible as soon as"?

Maybe what AT&T should do is stop extending early upgrade eligibility to customers who have spent more over their contract period and just hold fast to two years, no matter what.

Since apparently doing so is a source of rage and horror from their "loyal customers."
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post #397 of 430
Other than the fact that I suspect AT&T has a lot of people logged in here making comments about honoring contracts, etc. (There can't possibly be this many righteously indignant disinterested persons, unless they just get their kicks from telling people to, "suck it up," which would be pretty sad.) I think this is an issue of AT&T and Apple having their business interests and marketing strategies at cross purposes.

Quite simply, for Apple, the more iPhones they can sell each year, the the more money they make, end of story.

AT&T also wants to maximize the money they make, but their business model is completely different than Apple's: they want to lock people into contracts for as little incentive as possible, for as long as possible. So naturally, they don't want to allow people to upgrade to the 3Gs without wringing some extra cash out of them. In other words, AT&T doesn't care how many iPhones are sold, except to new customers, and, in their eyes, they have no incentive to cut anyone an upgrade deal.

What this points to is that the business model of the wireless industry is extremely consumer unfriendly. It's all about locking people in and generally limiting consumer options as much as possible. (The example of how long and hard they fought against number portability is a perfect example of this. The way phones are "locked" and the way they have, historically, completely controlled what can be done with those phones is another example.)

The outcry against these business practices that has been provoked by the release of the iPhone 3Gs is the predictable backlash and consumer rage against the wireless companies that has been incubating for years. Consumers hate this business model, but, because of what is effectively collusion among the wireless providers and phone suppliers, they basically have little choice in the matter. (Oh, and please don't drag out the pathetic example of pay-as-you-go wireless service unless you can point to one that offers the iPhone.)

My hope is that, given an administration that is at least not consumer hostile, this current brouhaha will stimulate investigations, congressional and antitrust (similar to the current Silicon Valley investigation over hiring practices and the effective collusion allegedly involved there), into the wireless industry and force reform that will result in more consumer friendly terms of service across the board.

So, instead of just complaining, write or call your congressional representatives and let them know that you want legislation that guarantees more consumer choice in wireless service, and an end to contractual lock-ins and locked phones. Yes, you may have to pay more for phones up front, but at least you'll know exactly what you're getting into and you'll actually have choices to make, and in the long run the availability of those choices will let you have the latest iPhone, along with service that actually supports its features, and for less money overall than you are paying now.

If AT&T and the rest of the wireless industry were smart, they would take steps now to reduce the pressure for that legislative reform, but I doubt they will until it is forced on them.
post #398 of 430
The trouble with this line of reasoning is that it's predicated on a misreading of the situation.

You think this is some kind of grassroots uprising against consumer unfriendly cell carrier practices, when it pretty obviously is a very specific bit of crankiness from people who apparently have never upgraded a cell phone before and don't understand how it works, and just want what they want for less money, principles and common sense be damned.

You'd think AT&T had managed some kind of barely legal and wildly unethical hoax, when in fact they're just doing what they've always done-- typcially without any kind of widespread rage.

Yoking cell phone industry reform to a mass case of some kind of baseless sense of entitlement is foolish, and unlikely to lead to anything benificial for consumers-- because it's evident to anyone who's paying attenttion that lofty notions of general reform are the merest fig leaf for plain old whining, and singularly inchoherent whining at that.

Or did you think that if AT&T started to hand out early upgrade pricing all those happy new iPhone owners would continue to work for cell industry reform? It's about getting what they want, now, the end. The "politics" of a four year old.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #399 of 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The trouble with this line of reasoning is that it's predicated on a misreading of the situation.

You think this is some kind of grassroots uprising against consumer unfriendly cell carrier practices, when it pretty obviously is a very specific bit of crankiness from people who apparently have never upgraded a cell phone before and don't understand how it works, and just want what they want for less money, principles and common sense be damned.

No, I'm saying there OUGHT TO BE a, "grassroots uprising against consumer unfriendly cell carrier practices."
And I disagree that this is about, "a very specific bit of crankiness." As I said, I think this is a long bottled up outpouring of rage, possibly a tipping point, against practices that are based on collusion and a thousand small monopolies, plus a few big ones. And what's wrong with consumers wanting things for less money? Nothing that I can see, but you seem to have a problem with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

You'd think AT&T had managed some kind of barely legal and wildly unethical hoax, when in fact they're just doing what they've always done-- typcially without any kind of widespread rage.

Hoax, no, Barely legal and unethical, yes. I do believe that wireless industry practices probably amount to violations of antitrust law, certainly in spirit if not the letter. No one is denying that they are doing what they have always done, but the iPhone, like it or not, is something new, something different from what people have had the ability to use before, and the culture of iPhone use, which is about freedom and choice, is in stark contrast to wireless industry culture, which is why we see this rage coming out now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yoking cell phone industry reform to a mass case of some kind of baseless sense of entitlement is foolish, and unlikely to lead to anything benificial for consumers-- because it's evident to anyone who's paying attenttion that lofty notions of general reform are the merest fig leaf for plain old whining, and sinularly inchoherent whining at that.

It's not about entitlement, except in the sense that consumers ought to be entitled to freely choose products and services and not be forced into artificially straightjacketed choices as a result of monopoly practices. What you call whining, I call people being fed up with being led by the nose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Or did you think that if AT&T started to hand out early upgrade pricing all those happy new iPhone owners would continue to work for cell industry reform? It's about getting what they want, now, the end. The "politics" of a four year old.

Well, if AT&T and other wireless providers were giving them what they want, there really wouldn't be much need for reform, now would there? I hope AT&T doesn't give them what they want, because I think we'll all be much better off in the long run when there is reform and/or succesful antitrust litigation.
post #400 of 430
There's nothing wrong with wanting things to cost less. I want a 52" plasma for $500. Should I start movement? Is my cause righteous?

As I say, I have no affection for the cell industry or their business practices. I flatly reject the idea that this particular outcry is based on pent-up rage at those practices, or that it can be marshalled into a campaign for general reform.

I think there should be a campaign for general reform, I don't think it should be crippled out of the gate by being based on bullshit claims of abuse arising out of a bunch of people wanting a special deal on their damn new iPhone.

Have you not been paying attention? The people complaining are most assuredly not saying "I think the cell phone industry policy of selling hardware at below cost in exchange for recovering those cost with a two year contract, and charging more for a new phone than the original subsidized price if you elect to purchase that new phone before the originally agreed upon two year period is over is anti-consumer and leads to anti-competitive lock-in."

They are saying "WTF, AT&T, you larcenous bastards, I want a new iPhone and it's going to cost me more than someone who's just signing up, even thought I'm a loyal customer? So what if I'm only 1 year into my service contract, I wnat that damn iPhone for cheap!"

These two things are not the same. One leads to working for change, the other leads to fulminating on the internet and starting toothless online "petitions" and generally getting to work the rightous indignation muscles for a while.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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