Category: From the Counter
From the person who just checks their email to the other who streams Pandora eight hours a day, we all have need of our data plans. ï¿½Data plans give us access to a world of information on our phones or tablets. ï¿½But just what is a byte, and why should we care? ï¿½And what’s the deal with tiered data plans?
We explore the data plan as it is today, look at what’s changed in the last couple years, and where the future may or may not end up.
This is a follow up to our article titled “The Basics: Understanding Verizon’s Upgrade Policy.”
We get a lot of searches and questions from people trying to understand Verizon Wireless’ upgrade policies and discounts. Our Upgrade Policy article accounts for a lot of our traffic, but upon further review, we felt it might be prudent to follow up with an article explaining why discounting has changed over the years, and what it looks like today.
If you haven’t read the original upgrade article, please read it first.
And now… the fascinating world of Verizon Wireless subsidy.
Now that Verizon Wireless has the Iphone, they’re taking some time to change their upgrade and return policies.
Make no mistake; these changes came when they did because of that device. Call it a “cost” of selling the device that so many wanted. The iPhone is expensive, and Apple has some VERY specific price points where they sell their product. But there’s no use arguing over the why, what’s important is how it affects you the consumer.
Join us after the break as we go over what’s changing, what isn’t, and what you can do about it.
If you’ve followed our articles here at PhoneCan, you might see that we have a thing or two to say about contracts. In fact, some might say we’re talking about them too much, that we should be talking about important things, like iPhone rumors, telling you which carrier is best, and how to brew the perfect cup of coffee.. well, maybe not that last part.
The reason we spend so much time talking about Contracts is that it’s something that we hear about everyday. Customer want to upgrade, but they already used their upgrade and carriers are trying to “punish” them by making them pay “retail.” or a customer wants to know why the phone they bought just a few months ago is already obsolete.
We also believe that contracts are the single largest thing holding back true innovation and pro-consumer change from the US cellphone market. Carrier’s need to change, but before they do we as consumers need to show them that we’re ready for it.
What I’m talking about is our addiction to the term “Free.” We want Free phones, cheap (or free) services, Free accessories, and when we get what we want, we complain about something else.. We complain about only getting to buy a new phone every two years, or how when something breaks we get a used device, or how certain phones REQUIRE features we might not want, like unlimited data.
But nothing is ever free, not really. Sure, you might not pay anything up front for a phone, but you’re paying for the service to use that phone. You might even be paying for services you wouldn’t pay for otherwise to get the phone at that price (some retailers offer steeper discounts if you purchase on a higher value plan). Maybe your paying by giving up the ability to fully customize that phone, or accepting one jammed full of bloatware you can’t remove. Nothing is ever free, so why are carrier’s so quick to offer us “free” phones?
The writers and editors of PhoneCan are asked one question more than any other: how do I get out of my contract without paying a fee?
Many carriers have Early Termination Fees (ETF) built into their contracts. This is, by far, one of the biggest reasons why people don’t like signing contracts (even though the overwhelming majority do). But most people don’t run into this bill killer unless they have an emergency or immediate need to cancel or transfer service. When they do, though, they tend to feel like their service provider is raking them over the coals.
We’ll take a quick look at Early Termination Fees, talk about your options, then reveal the truth about trying to get out of your contract without paying a fee.
A customer walks into a phone store to buy a phone. They want the latest Android phone - the one with the big touch screen. Their last phone bit the dust, after months of acting up. They dealt with a slightly cracked housing for a while. They know they need to do better at protecting the next phone.
After choosing their phone, the sales rep asks them what their plans are for accessories. He or she walks the customer over to the phone’s options. $30 for a car charger? $25 for a cover? $13 for a screen protector? Holy crap!
The customer says no, they’ll get what they need somewhere else. The sales rep asks if they’re sure, because they can get a good discount on accessories when they buy multiple products at once. The customer says they can get it cheaper at Wal-Mart, or online. The rep probably keeps a little pressure, talking about the benefits of the accessories. In the end, the customer is probably unmoving. They buy the phone. They get some last help from the forlorn sales rep, and get out of the store.
Once in the car, the customer says what many customers think while looking at the shelf prices on accessories in the store: “Why do they cost so much here?”
Come around the counter with PhoneCan as we try to explain why accessories cost so much in the store, as well as why you might want to care.