You know. I am going to Sue Ford right now because on my 2011 Fully loaded SEL V6 Fusion I just got, I HAD to get the Navigation system in order to get the bigger radio display. Those BAS*%^$S made me buy the navigation that I willingly bought and knew about when I bought it just to get the better screen. How Dare They? Even though I could have bought a Fusion with a lesser radio screen and not paid the extra money or even bought a Nissan Altima or other brand I am going to sue Ford because that is clearly deception.
What does this have to do with socialism?
Last edited by ilvla2; 09-27-2010 at 06:08 AM.
http://www.isu.edu (Idaho State University)
- I meant Free market economy, and no, smart phones such as iPhone does not work in pre-paid plans.
I always question and challenge the norm to make them better
I am not sure where do you live, but in some places the three major carriers are the only service providers. That is why I am saying that in some states their practice seems to be price fixing. I can't go to another carrier because all of them got together to require data plans. Also AT&T is the only GSM provider around here.
For your analogy, I would not sue mcdonalds if I can go to burger king or Wendys, however if all the fast food restaurant got together and decided to not put mustard in their burgers and charge for it... then it would be another story.
- Your BMW analogy does match the circumstances. I could buy the M5 (with the 4 wheels) in cash to display it in my garage and I do not have to pay BMW every month a fixed amount of money because I OWN the car. With the three major carriers you must pay them at least $15 a month just because you own a "smartphone" which they decided what smart phone is.
Just find a money grubbing lawyer who will take on anything in the names of making big bucks. There are lawyers who specialize in class action suits. Check with your local or state bar associatation.
Good luck. Call me in a few years to let me know how it goes. Normally, each individual gets only a nominal sum in class action suits and they literally take years.
Personal Phone: iPhone 4 on AT&T
Work Phone: Blackberry Tour (9630) on Verizon
I was a winner in a class action suit against CitiBank and the AT&T Universal Card. I collected $0.62 in the form of a check. It would have cost me $1.10 to ride the bus to the bank to deposit it.
Earl F. Parrish
From a consumer viewpoint, mandatory "smartphone" data plans are pure greed by the cell phone companies. Cell phone companies are easily put a "data block" on smartphones and let people use wifi only.
But from a business viewpoint, charging for data is a cash cow for most cell phone companies. They know for the most part, they generate lots of $$$ for the $30 data they charge. Cell phone companies spin it and say they give you "unlimited" data. But it's backfired on companies like ATT when iphone users over load the system; they they have new iphone users go on a limited data plan. Yeah, I also know Verizon has a "cap" of around 5GB on their "unlimited" data and Tmobile has a cap of 10GB on their "unlimited" data plan.
So what's a "fair" policy for both consumer and businesses?
I like Tmobile USA's subsidized/unsubsidized policy/plans. However, I doubt most Americans would like Tmobile's policy judging by their lack of consumer growth the last few quarters.
For those unfamiliar with Tmob USA policy. Say you buy a subsidized Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant) for $199. Tmobile will give you that subsidized $199 price but requires you to have a mandatory $30 data plan for the life of that contract (24 months). You cannot remove that data plan regardless if you are using that phone or not. So that's fair, tmobile recoups their subsidy much quicker through the use of mandatory data plan.
On the other hand, you can choose to pay $500 unsubsidized for the same Samsung Galaxy S phone. They give you a break on their voice/data each month (it's about a $10-15 savings a month) going no contract. You can choose to add/delete the data plan for $25 each month but it's not mandatory.
So I think Tmobile's option is the best of both worlds.
However, most Americans want their cake and eat it too like others have said. My friends still think $199 if "expensive" for an iphone. They are used to cheap/free phones. They also frown upon paying $15/25 "mandatory" data if they are using their iphone. So if these folks think $199 for an iphone is expensive and not want data. How many phones would Apple sell if consumers were slapped with a $600 for an unsubsidized iphone?
So it's a tricky scenario cell phone carriers are in. Businesses are out to make money. Consumers have a choice in cell phone providers.
Let's just assume that 10 million customers decide they don't want a data plan (which is stipulated in their contract they voluntarily acknowledged) and let's assume that the average feature cost is $25 for the data feature. Do the math and tell me that a cellular company wouldn't raise their monthly service rate due to loss of data revenue. Apart from the actual cost of data, there are tremendous infrastructure costs to maintain the network. Gotta pay for the network somehow.
It is no different than a senior citizen refusing to pay school taxes because they currently have no children in school.
Last time I checked, the cost of voice airtime to the consumer has NOT increased since my first analog cell phone. Clearly data (internet and messaging) is where companies make their money. I agree that At&t and all major cellular companies make a lot (if not too much) of money, but they do so in the interest of their shareholders and not for their users.
If I'm annoyed and you're annoyed, does that make us a paranoid ??
Sarcasm is a fine art...
"Don't believe everything you think"
It's not a matter of if you win or lose, it's how you assign the blame
Just because someone chooses to live cell-only doesn't make it a utility, requirement or anything else. It's a choice you made. You could just as easily ring up the ILEC or CLEC and get home phone service.
The only reason we have regulations on utility companies is because there can only "naturally" be one company. Imagine how nasty things would be with 5 electric providers, 5 cable companies, 5 telcos all stringing their wires over the place. Imagine 5 natural gas companies, 5 water co's, etc.....
And even with "competition", prices never really go down. It just makes you feel good.
I'm looking at this strictly from a legal perspective. Everyone is aware that the US wireless phone industry is an oligopoly. For example, all four major carriers, in some form, or another, imposes data plans on smartphone users.
Under anti-trust laws, monopoly is illegal in the US, hence the divestiture of AT&T in the early to mid-80s occured. But we know that monopoly is different from oligopoly.
Now this is the challenge to the class action lawyer, and to anyone who's willing to take this case to court: If it can be proven that forcing smartphone users to buy data is a form of formal collusion, then there is a basis for the suit. However, if there is none, then its a waste of everyone's energy and resources. Although courts has always upheld in the past that formal collusion is illegal, while informal collusion is permitted, there's a lot of gray area in this matter.
Personally, I would like to see the court hear this case, just to resolve the matter once and for all.
To sue them, they would have to have broken some kind of law. What law have they broken? If as you say the top 3 company have colluded to force smartphones data plan then shouldn't T-Mobile (because they are excluded) be the one suing for unfair business practices? You don't even need a lot of money to sue. Just go to your local Attorney General's office to file a complain. With enough complaints they are sure to look into the matter.
Its pretty hard to convince a Judge what ATT, Verizon, or Sprint doing is illegal when you can't even convince half the people here on this forum.
Regulation of business practices is *not* socialism.
Think about it: there are innumerable ways in which business practices are regulated in modern western democratic polities -- child labor laws, minimum wage laws, mandated benefits, workplace safety laws, environmental laws, product safety laws, truth-in-advertising, truth-in-lending, anti-usury, non-discrimination, overtime, maximum hours worked, etc., etc., etc. Are these all examples of socialism?
Then, consider the wireless industry, which by its very nature could not exist without government control and licensing of wireless spectrum. By your lights, doesn't that mean that the entire industry is based on a socialist foundation?
What is your definition of socialism? I see people throwing this term about for every sort of business regulation they don't like with little understanding of what the word really means, as far as I can see.
Sprint (family plan): Epic (me)|iPhone 5 (spouse)|iPhone 4S (kid1)|SGS II/E4G Touch (kid2)|LG Optimus S (backup line)
ATTM (work): Nokia 6350
ATTM PayGo: Nokia N95-3