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Why no discounts for bringing our own equipment?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by A.Nonymous, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    It's no secret that we in the States pay far more for cell service than those overseas. People here routinely pay in the ballpark of $100 a month for cell service. Of course the reason for that is subsidized phones. Overseas you can't buy an iPhone or a Galaxy Nexus for $200. Here you can. Carriers make the money back by jacking up the service prices. I get that with subsidized phones.

    Why can't I get a discount for my own equipment though. Now that I'm out of contract, my phone is my own. I've paid off the subsidy (supposedly) so why do I still have the $100 phone bill? Why can't/don't carriers give discounts for people who bring their own devices?
     



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  2. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    That's why I opt to upgrade my phones even if I don't need to (usually the iPhone since carriers pay the most subsidy for it). If they're gonna make me pay subsidy pricing, then might as well get a new device. Was able to sell a brand-new AT&T locked iPhone 4S last year for full price.

    T-Mobile does. Thank goodness the AT&T buyout didn't go through.
     
    BklynEnigma and VoidedSaint like this.
  3. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja

    i do believe if they do that, they would never make money...

    also remember, you are using their data and bandwidth to do whatever you want on it, inside your limits

    and you are able to make calls to anyone you want to, within your limits, its no big surprise we pay a lot, but at the same time, it would be nice to have a break from that if we pay off our device, but that will never happen
     
    BklynEnigma likes this.
  4. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja

    another reason i have been contemplating going to T-Mobile, however 3 lines arent due until next year, so im stuck :(
     
  5. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    I've never really understood the lack of logic behind this!
    Fine, charge me more for 2 years until I "pay" my phone off, but then reduce my rate. If I bring my phone then charge me less. I'd be happy to see my bill go down by a few dollars, doesn't have to be a lot, just throw me a bone Verizon!!
    I just don't get why that isn't the case!!
    Pre-paid phones aren't really that much less either, unless you really don't use it. You buy the phone outright and still pay ~$50 a month for data/text/talk. Sure, it's less than Verizon but it's not THAT much less (especially if you have family/multiple lines).
     
  6. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja

    yeah verizon kinda doesnt care about the little guys, they know that no matter what people will still pay to have their service.

    we created a monster! :p
     
  7. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    That's true. If you want data on a prepaid smartphone, you're still going to pay through the nose. The minimum is usually $40~50 per line.

    The only exception (again) is T-Mobile which offers a $30/month unlimited web/text + 100 minute voice prepaid plan.

    I'd like to see a graduated subsidy scheme like overseas carriers offer.
    e.g.

    • $40/month for 24 months - Galaxy S2 $199, iPhone 4S 16GB $299
    • $50/month for 24 months - Galaxy S2 $99, iPhone 4S 16GB $199
    • $60/month for 24 months - Galaxy S2 free, iPhone 4S 16GB $99

    I'd also like to see various length plan terms.
    e.g.

    • $40/month for 12 months - Galaxy S2 $399, iPhone 4S 16GB $499
    • $40/month for 18 months - Galaxy S2 $299, iPhone 4S 16GB $399
    • $40/month for 24 months - Galaxy S2 $199, iPhone 4S 16GB $299
    • $40/month for 36 months - Galaxy S2 free, iPhone 4S 16GB $99

    Right now, the current system in the US penalizes those who aren't on a 2-year upgrade schedule and folks getting iPhones are getting bigger subsidies compared to folks buying other handsets.
     
  8. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I don't buy that argument. The carriers overseas do it and they still stay in business. What's the difference? I honestly don't know. I just know the carriers overseas don't sell subsidized phones, charge less for service and still manage tos tay in business.

    Verizon offers great speeds and great coverage IMO. At least it does where I am. I went to Vegas not too long ago and there were places in some of the casinos where I got no coverage (and had no clue I had no coverage since I was in a casino) but my family on T-Mobile got a signal. I haven't found that to always be true though.

    Where I live, TMobile coverage is a step above ATT, but not much. It's still pretty bad. Sadly, I'm kind of locked into VZW because I have the grandfathered unlimited plan. If I leave I can't get that back.
     
  9. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    They do offer subsidized phones. Subsidy usually depends on how much the device costs, how much you're willing to pay per month and how long you're willing to lock yourself in a contract. Needless to say, the higher your monthly tariff and the longer your contract is, the higher the subsidy you get.

    In the US, it's kind of a one size fits all solution. It doesn't matter whether you're paying $60/month or $100/month, you still pay the same price for the phone. It also doesn't matter if you get an iPhone or a budget Android smartphone, you still pay the same price for service.
     
    VoidedSaint likes this.
  10. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja

    ^^ couldnt have said it better myself
     
  11. Omar Days

    Omar Days Android Expert

    *shudders*

    The US companies shaft you American folk.

    Can you get a contract under 24 months?
     
  12. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Let's say I go out and buy a Galaxy Nexus unlocked. I pay $600-700 for the phone. Then I walk into ATT and try to activate it. They'll activate it no problem. But they still want to lock me into a contract and they're still going to charge me $100 a month even though I brought my own device.

    Heck, I remember purchasing a refurbed Galaxy Tab w/Sprint. I walked into the Sprint store and asked how much it would cost to get a data plan for the tablet. I had it in my hand at the time so it was obvious that I owned it and wouldn't be purchasing any hardware. They told me it was $60 a month and I would have to sign a two year plan. I asked why they needed a two year plan when there was no subsidy involved and they told me that's just the way it is. Needless to say I didn't sign up. If I did though I'd be paying off someone else's subsidized device which is beyond ridiculous IMO.
     
  13. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    They can't lock you into a contract unless you get a phone from them. Even if they try to put you on contract, you can cancel that contract anytime and you don't have to pay early termination fees. The AT&T service rep you talked to was an idiot.

    What bugs me is if I'm paying $100/month for service for a total of $2,400 for the life of contract while another customer pays the same rates but gets their phone for free. Another thing, if I buy my phone full price, AT&T would still force you to get a data plan even if you don't want or need one (e.g. if you've got easy wi-fi access). T-Mobile doesn't and their pay per use data rates is actually quite reasonable.

    With current pricing and policies and limited choice of carriers due to coverage (for most folks, it's either Verizon or AT&T), the smart thing to do is get a high-end phone from the carrier and use it or buy a phone with high resale value and sell it to offset the cost of the unlocked device purchase.

    Unfortunately, the carriers are afraid to change the status quo. They don't want to be considered a dumb pipe/utility. That's why in the US, most of the phones are full of carrier branding. That's also part of the reason why there are carrier exclusive phones. Instead of choosing carriers based on price and quality of service, people are choosing carriers based on the phones they carry.

    Wasn't it mentioned somewhere that it takes AT&T 17 months to recoup the device subsidy for the iPhone? Frankly, I'd be happier if carriers give me that phone subsidy (Samsung said $200 industry standard for most manufacturers, around $300~400 for Apple) as a discount on my monthly service plan instead of getting a smartphone. It's less upfront cost for them.

    @Omar Days
    Nope, no contracts less than 2-years. Either you get a 2-year contract or you pay full price for your device and go month to month. Of course, even if you don't get a subsidized device or if you get a cheapie $20 feature phone, you still pay the same rates as others with heavily subsidized phones.
     
  14. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I've seen some contracts here that are only 12 months. You pay more for the phone as would be expected. What sucks if you pay the same no matter what you get. If I buy a subsidized phone on a 2 year contract, my phone bill is $100 a month. If I buy a phone elsewhere and bring it to the carrier, my bill is $100 a month. Personally, I'm reluctant to make a two year commitment to anyone so I'd rather go month to month and buy my phone, but I pay just as much as the guy who signs a contract and he gets a cheaper phone.

    Yes, I could go to T-mobile, but their coverage is crappy in general IMO. Why can't I get good coverage with my own handset on an unlimited plan?
     
  15. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    Well now you are just being silly! :rolleyes: :p
     
  16. Omar Days

    Omar Days Android Expert

    I dunno how this compares to you guys but in the uk I got my first contract phone in summer '09, an HTC magic, 10 hours of free calls, unlimited texts, 500mb internet on an 18 month contract for £30 a month. When it came to upgrade time, Vodafone gave me the desire hd for free for the same deal.


    lol if I ever moved to America, picking a network and phone would probably give me the biggest headache!
     
  17. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    Ask Verizon why they're so greedy. My company had VZ service for years (no choice) and never once got a break from them. Coverage and customer service kinda sucked too. Never again...

    I suggest checking T-Mobile's coverage in your area to see if it's really so bad as you seem to think. It's actually good in most areas and their HSPA+ service is fast (at least in some areas) and very battery-friendly. The Value Plans are great deals and they have some nice phones. I've had good service from them for 13 years. If the coverage works in your area you should check 'em out.
     
  18. mrsbelpit

    mrsbelpit Android Enthusiast

  19. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Here's it a lot different. Let's say you walk in off the street and want an iPhone. You'll pay $200 for the iPhone w/VZW. You'll sign a 2 year contract with $300 or so ETF. You'll pay $40-50 for talk depending on how many minutes you get, another $10-20 for texting depending on how many text you want and then $40-50 on top of that for a data plan.

    If you walk into the VZW store with your own device, the plan is identical.
     
  20. Omar Days

    Omar Days Android Expert


    Wow.
     
  21. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I've got friends here who use T-Mobile. Their coverage here sucks IMO. Especially compared to VZW. I'll be in concrete basements and my phone will ring. I get coverage in areas I have no business getting coverage in. Plus, VZW has 4G in my area and there is no way in the world HSPA+ can compete with LTE.
     
  22. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    That's a shame, you could save a lotta money. Around here T-Mobile has better coverage than VZ or Sprint. AT&T is the coverage champ here.

    I dunno, 42mbps HSPA+ is plenty fast enough and has a HUGE advantage in battery life. I'm not at all sure I even want T-Mobile to go to LTE. But when they do they'll have newer, better LTE equipment than VZ or AT&T. They're installing a later generation version.
     
  23. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    ATT coverage sucks here. I was with ATT for about a year before going to VZW. I didn't realize how much better VZW was until I switched. There are factories I would go into for work and I wouldn't get any signal at all. I just thought that was normal until I switched to VZW and was making phone calls from the factory floor without any problems.

    HSPA+ in reality doesn't get 42 mbps though. That's the problem. In both theory and practice LTE is faster. In theory, HSPA+ caps out at around 170 mbps while LTE caps out at nearly 300. In reality I can get 15-25 mbps on LTE (or I could when I briefly had an LTE phone). I've been told by users that they can get 3-5 in reality on HSPA. LTE is just faster
     
  24. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    I can get 5-10mbps on HSPA+ - effectively still fairly fast - and the far, FAR better battery life is well worth the sacrifice in speed vs LTE.
     
  25. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    Yeah. T-Mobile is great if you can get good reception. At home I get around 6~7 Mbps on my Galaxy S 4G - that's plenty fast enough for Netflix 720p. Unfortunately, at work I get a measly 30 kbps and constant drop-outs.

    Calculating the costs of moving the whole family to a mid-range smartphone:

    T-Mobile Value 1000

    • 1000 minutes + unlimited text, $59.98
    • Line 1: unlimited data w/hotspot (throttling after 5GB), $25
    • Line 2: unlimited data (throttling after 2GB), $10
    • Line 3: unlimited data (throttling after 2GB), $10
    • Line 4: unlimited data (throttling after 2GB), $10
    • Add-a-line fee: $10 ($5/line for lines 3&4)
    • TOTAL: $124.98/mo or ~$3,000 for 2 years

    AT&T

    • 700 minutes, $69.99
    • unlimited text, $30
    • Line 1: 5GB w/hotspot, $50
    • Line 2: 3GB, $30
    • Line 3: 3GB, $30
    • Line 4: 3GB, $30
    • Add-a-line fee: $19.98 ($9.99/line for lines 3&4)
    • TOTAL: $259.97/mo or ~$6,240 for 2 years

    2-year savings on contract cost:
    $6,240 - $3,000 = $3,240

    Cost per device:
    $3,240/4 = $810

    That's Galaxy Nexus territory at release date pricing right there (no discounts). The iPhone 4S 32GB is what, $749? Seriously, at the rates Verizon and AT&T are charging, we should be getting top of the line phones for free.

    By the way, the ETF on smartphones are as follows:

    • AT&T: $325 (-$10 per month of service completed)
    • Verizon: $350 (-$10 per month of service completed)
    • Sprint: $20 * remaining months in contract ($100 min, $350 max)
    • T-Mobile: $200 180 days left in contract, $100 31~90 days left, $50 last 30 days
     
    Crashdamage likes this.
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