Windows 10: Mobile plan pricing: The truth is out there Mobile

  1. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,021
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
       08 Sep 2015 #1

    Mobile plan pricing: The truth is out there

    After almost 27 months, my wife and I are still using Verizon on the same contract where we bought our Samsung Galaxy S4 phones. The phones are showing their age, and I've been looking at alternatives, including just keeping our old phones (not a good idea for the long term) and even (shudder) switching back to the iPhone.

    Since phone plans have changed so much since we bought our contract back in 2013, I decided to take a look at how the carriers are charging for their services. While they all seem to price out within a few bucks of each other, I found the way they represent their pricing to be incredibly misleading -- at least in the case of Verizon and Sprint.

    The carriers are now advertising unlimited talk and text, with a cap on the amount of data you use. They tell you that you can buy a monthly data plan for a certain amount per month, and then if you decide to buy a phone, that's a separate charge, as are taxes and fees...

    (more at source link below)

    ....How bad is it?

    So, are the carriers really lying? You can be very sure that there are entire teams of lawyers making sure the answer to that is technically "no." You can, eventually, find out how much you're going to pay, but you sure can't get that information together easily before you're in the clutches of a salesperson or Web page and making a buying decision.

    In this context, it's pretty clear that the carriers may have used the same legal team as Bill Clinton used when he discussed what the meaning of the word "is" is.

    The bottom-line is this: the new plans are pretty much the old plans. There are some different terms, different areas where there is flexibility, but if you're going to embark in a purchase of a phone and a phone plan, I have this single bit of advice: watch your back (and your wallet). The carriers are not on your side and they never will be.

    That said, these devices and the services they offer are nothing short of amazing. Fly back in time to the big sidecar-sized cell phones of the mid-1980s and tell Marty McFly what we have now, he would definitely think we'd come back from the future.

    Read more: Mobile plan pricing: The truth is out there | ZDNet
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  2.    08 Sep 2015 #1

    Excellent Advice, Brink. Shop very carefully and, if possible, buy your phone/plan from an authorized dealer, face-to-face, instead of on the internet.

    I go through great pains to ensure that my family stays on the unlimited Sprint talk/text/data plan that we've had for the past 8 years, as we trade in older phones for newer ones. The last thing I want is a surprise charge on our bill because someone in the family watched one-too-many Netflix movies, or something. These overage charges now account for the majority of the complaints in the Verizon, ATT, etc.. customer forums. It used to be dropped calls, LOL.

    A good rule of thumb to keep in mind for 2015 is that if a wireless provider is pushing a certain package, it's probably full of potential additional charges, or just a plain old rip-off. The $20 a month lease is a good example of the latest rip-off gimmick. The carriers have calculated that millions of people are too lazy or dumb to multiply $20 x 24 and figure out that they'll pay $480 (plus additional monthly taxes!) for the same phone that they could get for a one time $199 payment at the point of sale.
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  3.    09 Sep 2015 #2

    Well I have been with Sprint for about 5 years, I live in the DFW, Texas area. The phone side of things are great with Sprint. However their data network is horrible. I use my wifi connection at home so data is reliable with that. But if I go anywhere outside of my home I am constantly getting "data not available" with Sprint. It has gotten so bad that several times while out with friends I have used their Verizon phones to look something up on the internet. So buyer beware.
    I actually received a mailer from Sprint recently for a free lease offer on a new HTC One M9 phone. This expires today but I'm not falling for it. The deal might be legit but until Sprint fixes their data network there is no way I am biting. Now that my contract is up I am honestly thinking of just buying a cheap phone and using a prepaid service. I mean what good is Sprint's unlimited data when I can't use it?
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  4.    10 Sep 2015 #3

    Apple smells the huge profit and is jumping into the leasing-ripoff party...

    "Apple launched a broadside Wednesday against wireless phone companies, saying it will for the first time finance iPhone sales directly to customers without requiring them to be tied to any particular carrier.

    Apple will offer a monthly fee of $32.41 over 24 months for its cheapest iPhone model under the new program announced Wednesday at the latest iPhone launch. The deal allows customers to get a new device each year, as well as select their carrier with each upgrade, according to the Apple website."

    Source: Apple Takes Aim at Wireless Phone Companies

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