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One thing that's been aggravating me lately is all the wireless providers and device manufacturers making exclusive deals so that a customer must have one carrier if they want a ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! Djarum's Avatar
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    What can we do as consumers


    One thing that's been aggravating me lately is all the wireless providers and device manufacturers making exclusive deals so that a customer must have one carrier if they want a particular phone. This thread is not a rant about the iPhone, but rather the entire state of the industry in this regard.

    What can we as consumers do to combat this? I'm a very happy Verizon customer, something I never thought I would say 10 years ago when they bought out Southwest bell and modified my contract, then refused to give me the option to opt out of it.

    After a number of years, they forgave the whole fiasco and so did I, so I gave them another chance. I've been very pleased with them since. There are phones out there that I would love to have, like the Palm Pixi that I cant get unless I go to Sprint. I don't choose a carrier based on the phone, because the subscription is the major consideration. but that doesn't mean I like the phones I have to choose from.

    Any thoughts?

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    Combating this would require a nationwide boycott, which has never been successfully done on a product like this. The majority just lives with it, so the few who don't get the product don't make enough of a difference money wise.

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    Just Joined! Djarum's Avatar
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    I thought about the idea of organizing a boycott as well. while in theory, that's the only way these things change, getting people to vote with their wallet. The problem with that is, in order for that to succeed, You would have to get people to boycott wireless service all together because all carriers and device manufacturers are doing it. To boycott one carrier and device manufacturer would only support another.

    There is no theoretical way to get enough people to drop their wireless service to be effective because practically speaking everyone is locked into a contract. Breaking that contract would mean fees that would offset any financial impact a boycott would have on the companies that would otherwise be effected.

    So is the whole idea of doing anything to fight this practice a kin to pushing a rope?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Djarum View Post
    I thought about the idea of organizing a boycott as well. while in theory, that's the only way these things change, getting people to vote with their wallet. The problem with that is, in order for that to succeed, You would have to get people to boycott wireless service all together because all carriers and device manufacturers are doing it. To boycott one carrier and device manufacturer would only support another.

    There is no theoretical way to get enough people to drop their wireless service to be effective because practically speaking everyone is locked into a contract. Breaking that contract would mean fees that would offset any financial impact a boycott would have on the companies that would otherwise be effected.

    So is the whole idea of doing anything to fight this practice a kin to pushing a rope?
    Pretty much, yeah. A lot of people like to talk about it though and talk about how it would work if they actually did it. They never do it though.

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    Just Joined! Djarum's Avatar
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    There is only one viable solution I can think of, and the's to somehow convince people to only use phones that are not part of an exclusivity agreement between the carrier and the manufacturer. The sheer volume of iPhone owners alone who wouldn't dare part with their beloved handset would be the single greatest obstacle.

    Not to mention the phones that are part of exclusivity deal have the lowest purchase prices for signing a service agreement. Many people walk into a store with a grandiose notion of their ideals and principals until the full effect of their principals is felt in the one place that counts, the pocket book.

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    Linux Guru D-cat's Avatar
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    Plus often the manufacturers do get a sense of what people want and rebrand phone models for use in other carriers. Verizon may not have the pixi, but if it catches on, Verizon and others will likely have a very similar and just as capable phone to answer back with.

    AFA I know, AT&T is the only network that can support all of the iPhone's features simultaneously (other networks are too bandwidth restrictive), so that exclusive contract actually makes some sense at this time, though it may not in the future. Plus, this kind of exclusive contract opens doors for other manufacturers to try and do something similar for other carriers... tell me pixi wasn't a response to the iPhone... and Apple can do nothing about it.

    I am a mostly satisfied Sprint customer. I have a Samsung Rant, my daughter has the LG Lotus. The Rant is one of those examples where it has been rebranded to just about every other carrier; it's stable and has a very usable keyboard. Web browsing however is slow and limited; the Lotus works better here, I just really hate those tiny keyboards. I'm sure the palms and BlackBerries blow both these phones out of the water, but they're also expensive (and double the insurance deductable).

    This decade has seen a shift where the phone has gone from a talking device to a general communications device, adding video, text, and internet to the mix. It has also become a leisure and gaming device, which I think exceeds the original intended purpose of a phone. People start getting all up in arms if they can't have it their way right away, we're spoiled brats! There's phones now doing WiFi, streaming TV, FM radio... phones with financial apps, WTF! Why would anyone want a computer any more? The phone does everything! ... oh wait, I'm roaming, I can't make a call.

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    Linux Enthusiast cousinlucky's Avatar
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    I had a Verizon phone when I moved to Staten Island from Boston in 1997. I took my bulky phone to Verizon and got a new phone number. However the company may have been the same but their billing practices were entirely different and my bill was three times higher in New York.

    My " contract " had long expired so i just canceled the service. I carry a pager for dire emergencies but otherwise my home phone ( without an answering machine ) and my email and snail mail are the only ways that i can be contacted.

    I keep a 35mm film container full of quarters in my bag to use public phones when I need to. I am 65 years old and cranky; so I do not need to be bothered when I'm out shopping and such.

    One of the things that really annoys me is people on a bus, a train, or a ferry boat having loud public conversations about very private matters.

    Of course there are the " screamers " who can not wait for an audience of people to hear the yakking of their mouths. You can not imagine how many vehicle accidents there are in New York city because people are texting or talking while they drive.

    I recently got slightly hit by a Chinese guy looking to the right at his cell phone when he stepped on the gas while I crossed the street in front of him. My right leg got bruised by the bumper as I scurried out of the way; but being a typical New York driver he sped away from the intersection.

    You are not alone in your complaints because folks are switching plans all the time.
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    Just Joined! Djarum's Avatar
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    Not really what the topic of conversation is about, but I'll take take this segway for a ride.

    While I for one can identify very much with your particular situation being that I live in a busy city with no car. I rely on LPC's and public transit to get around. You see people from a whole other prospective when you get around without a car. I've been clipped stepping off a curb to cross a street when the driver was more concerned with their mobile than watching for people in the crosswalk. I usually throw what ever disposable item I have in my hand at their car. The last occasion, I threw a half empty can of red bull at his windshield.

    There is an iPhone app that I've heard of that I think should be a feature added to all phones. The app I'm told is designed to detect when you are traveling in a car and locks the phone out from everything excepts your blue tooth hands-free device. I'm guessing that it has some kind of speed limit as it would be terribly inconvenient for people walking and talking at the same time. I fully support hands-free driving laws, but those laws are reactive, and cant bring a person back to life who is killed by a distracted driver.

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