Californian Judge Deems Cellular Early Terminations Fees Illegal

Status
Not open for further replies.
G

Guest

Guest
This is great news. Wireless vendors have limited for long enough when consumers can switch by having these fees in place. It's like a virtual tie down with out the ropes of course. Hopefully this will bring more competition in the marketplace and better service from all vendors not just Sprint/Nextel.
 

JonnyDough

Distinguished
Feb 24, 2007
496
0
18,940
3
I hope this applies to more than just cellies. I want my broadband wireless $200 early termination to be gone too. I'm sure that before two years are up I'll be wanting something different. I live in the country and when it's working, it's fine but still not that terribly fast. When it's not though, I realize that it sucks. I fear having to pay another $700 for another year of service (I paid a yr in advance) or having to pay 29% of that just to terminate my "contract." Did I enter into the contract? Yes. But it was under their terms and because of the monopolization in this country I didn't have much other choice, so I wasn't really able to negotiate the terms. What T-Mobile has with the declining termination fee makes much, much more sense. I was unaware of them doing that, but if they are then I applaud them for it.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Its about time and I wish the FCC or someone would get in there fix this problem nationwide. I currently have Sprint and have been a customer for 8 years. In the last 3 years their service has gotten steadily worse. I tried working with them, hence being a customer for so long, and gave them time to fix certain problems. However, about 3 months ago, I have finally had it and will discontinue my contract in December when it is set to end. I need 2 cell phones at the least, so canceling early and paying the fine and then paying for another service would not make sense. If they do away with the fine it would be much better for everyone. Maybe, instead of holding people hostage with high cancelation fees, they could improve their pricing, connections and services.
Now if they would work standardizing power connectors, headset connectors, computer connections and unlock phones from providers, then the consumer would be much better off.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Gotta love california judges CREATING AND WRITING laws. What law did Sprint break? What is the basis for the ruling? The courts are not the FTC or some governmental agency to look into things like this - they are supposed to simply interpret the law on the books, not make it into something they want it to be.

If they want to create laws they should run for Congress and have to deal with people electing them and have some accountability. Many judges are just folks who essentially have an obscene tenure and can do anything they want as it is typically eons before they come up for re-election or a new appointment.

Was the termination fee some how hidden in the contract? Were the customers tricked? Were the customers forced into using Sprint?
 
G

Guest

Guest
Just curious as to what people think what will happen to rates if the termination fee is eliminated? Suppose it will stay the same or go down? Would the same people crying about these fees be willing to pay an extra $5-10/month in exchange for no early termination fee?

The elimination of the termination fee will lead to greater volatility. Much like a stock option as volatility increases pricing goes UP. While I think there should be a determination of a reasonable cap on the termination fee amount and/or max length, companies should be free to structure contracts as they like.

Or perhaps the companies should be able to present a pricing option - one contract price with no early termination fee and one price without. This would give customers an option of choosing flexibility vs cost and perhaps stop some of the whining/entitlement culture that exists today. Of course then we will have people whining about why the contract with no early termination fee costs more on a monthly basis.
 

Luscious

Distinguished
Apr 5, 2006
197
0
18,630
0
These imbeciles in the USA should be doing what companies in Europe did 10 years ago - offer an unlocked brand-new phone at full price and let the user decide which carrier they go with. Yes, in Europe it is that much easier because every network across the continent uses the same GSM standard. Heck, you don't even buy phones there from the carriers. Only in the oh-so-great USA do you have conflicting device standards that make this practically impossible. Yeah it was a real smart guy that thought it would be cool erecting both GSM AND CDMA towers all across the country, both competing for the same coverage/consumer, wasting infrastructure resources and effectively creating a double-standard.

If you want regulation in the industry, then eliminate conflicting standards. Put every carrier/device on the same playing field, then you have a chance at offering the consumer a choice. If it can be done in Europe and other parts of the world, then corporate America has o excuse not to follow.

Oh, hang on, I forgot, corporate America is GREEDY. They don't look at how things work in other parts of the world. That perhaps things can be done better, smarter, more economically. That they can still make a profit AND keep consumer's best interests up front. No, they merely blindfold Americans and feed us BS while they stuff their pockets. Capitalism in America has become a crime!
 

nekatreven

Distinguished
Feb 20, 2007
246
0
18,830
0
@Luscious

Good lord you're stupid. You think our capitalism is so bad?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1574283/Waiting-times-target-'will-be-missed'.html

According to that page link...which is a co.uk page...in October of 2007 over 30,000 people waited more than 16 weeks for a CT scan. Over 16,000 waited over a year.

You know how long it would take me to get a CT scan if I fell over holding my guts right now? Maybe an hour...two, tops. You know why?

It’s our criminal capitalism...that damn competition makes our doctors worth a shit. Its cause we pay money for our healthcare, even if it is far from perfect (and it is); its still better than the UK.

Furthermore, the UK is 90-something thousand square miles and has 60-75 million people depending on your source. The US, has over 3 million square miles (~32 times bigger) and has over 300 million people (~at least 4 times larger).

So we have 32 times the area and 4 times the people and you know what? This one is great...our broadband penetration is only a few percentage points behind the UK! You want to try and guess why we can put you in our shadow and yet keep around the same percentages? It sure as hell isn’t your ridiculous “lets all have the same government issued cell phone and not bicker about making money” idea.

You can bitch about the US all you want…I know it isn’t perfect; but I personally will not be around to hear your crap until other countries are problem free. Until then, shut your pie hole and go complain to all the dial up users in line to get a free tooth brush.
 

nekatreven

Distinguished
Feb 20, 2007
246
0
18,830
0
btw...if you're from the UK it was not my intention to slam you directly. My only point is that all peoples have their own issues. Trust me, I could write twice as much bad about the US; and I live here. The difference is, I keep my mouth shut until morons like this guy spout off about how crappy my home and people are when everyone has problems. Sorry to anyone I may have offended (except the douche i was responding to). :)
 

jhansonxi

Distinguished
May 11, 2007
525
0
18,930
0
@Luscious:
Competing wireless standards is not a disadvantage as they use different frequency bands in the USA. Both GSM and CDMA carriers have pretty good coverage. Most manufacturers offer similar models for both technologies. There are trade-offs with channel utilization and power consumption but most consumers don't really care as it doesn't affect voice usage that much. Differences in data services are more significant. Whichever one wins is for the market to decide. Old analog and TDMA have already been eliminated. WiMax VoIP phones may kill all of them off.

@nekatreven (ignoring most of your off-topic rant):
The biggest problem with the USA wireless phone market is the network lock-in. Most of the time the buyer is forced to choose between a good phone with a bad carrier or a bad phone through a good carrier. The phones all support either GSM or CDMA so there isn't any compatibility problems (except with the pre-paid phone call accounting systems). The termination fees keep users stuck with a carrier even if they move out of the service area. The carriers basis for the fees is that they subsidize the phones to "make them affordable for everyone" and need to make the phone costs back. That is misleading because if the phones were available from many sources outside the carrier then a buyer could easily get it on an installment plan from any electronics store or mass retailer.

There is no reason while governments shouldn't set standards for widely-used communications technologies. They already do it for wired phones and television. Every major communication standard set by the FCC has had winners and losers including HDTV and the recently auctioned spectrum.

The telcos in the USA do compete but mostly at the congressional level.
 

fulle

Distinguished
May 31, 2008
391
0
18,930
0
^Neka
Luscious wasn't very good with the words he used to construct his point, but I don't think he was attacking the US as much as the "evil, greedy, capitalist companies" that make up the wireless providers.

The actual point he tried to make seemed to be iffy though. First of all, the reason why European customers are not tied to a provider is because GSM (the only choice in Europe) uses SIM cards to tie the phone to the provider. CDMA has a similar technology, a R-UIM card, but it is currently only available in Asia.

The inclusion of a CDMA in the states, however, creates a situation where we have competing standards. CDMA vs GSM, EVDO vs EDGE... and in the end that gives the customer more choice, and creates more competition between providers.

Luscious, your idea sounds similar to say that we should only use Cable internet providers, because DSL is slightly inferior, and limits the penetration of Cable internet.

My point is, having 2 standards isn't necessarily a bad thing. I do agree though, that it would be nice if carriers started allowing customers to purchase unlocked phones... since the technology is certainly there.

Neka... its probably not the best idea to start a post off with "Good lord you're stupid" if you want that person to actually take your opinion seriously. Also, heath care doesn't have ANYTHING to with this. Good points on how the US has nearly the same broadband penetration despite it being 32 times bigger with 4 times more people... it put things in perspective, and helps suggest the competing standards actually may improve broadband penetration.
 

nekatreven

Distinguished
Feb 20, 2007
246
0
18,830
0
I'm mostly off topic?

I wrote about health care to provide an example of working capitalism; just the same as the broadband example. Both are in response to a previous diversion.

...I was not however the one who brought the "greedy americans" and "criminal capitalism" into a discussion about cell phone service policies in the first place.

I can admit to responding to his off topic statements, but separate from that attempt you can't say I brought up new topics. Quite to the contrary, I ended my statement by connecting his moronic anti-capitalistic rant to a counter point that related back to telecommunications. If anything I was the first person after him to return the discussion to telecommunications.
 

martel80

Distinguished
Dec 8, 2006
123
0
18,630
0
Gotta love california judges CREATING AND WRITING laws. What law did Sprint break? What is the basis for the ruling?
It is called common law. And yeah, it sucks.
Try reading about it before complaining...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law
Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals, rather than through legislative statutes or executive action.
 

JonnyDough

Distinguished
Feb 24, 2007
496
0
18,940
3
While I think there should be a determination of a reasonable cap on the termination fee amount and/or max length, companies should be free to structure contracts as they like.
The problem I find with this is that the various cellular companies have done something which is basically illegal. They have set prices. See, it's one thing if a company goes ahead and lowers its prices to compete. It's another thing if 5 cell phone companies decide to implement a "screw the consumer" system.

In the end, you don't HAVE to buy a cell phone. There was a time that the cell was only for the wealthy.

I personally do not have a cell phone, and I get along fine.

Reasons not to have a cell.

1. They're costly.
2. They're annoying in public places.
3. Movie theaters. It's been years since I've been in one (a packed
one anyway) and not heard or seen a cellphone.
4. Electro-magnetic radiation.
5. Termination fees.
6. Hidden fees.
7. Difficult to understand contractual agreement.
8. Phone tapping.
9. Always-on big-brother-can-find-you service.
 

blackened144

Distinguished
Aug 17, 2006
509
0
18,930
0
[citation][nom]Luscious[/nom]These imbeciles in the USA should be doing what companies in Europe did 10 years ago - offer an unlocked brand-new phone at full price and let the user decide which carrier they go with. [/citation]

Sorry. Im buying the ATT Tilt through Amazon with a 2yr ATT contract for $49. Full retail price $449. You can keep your unlocked full price phones in Europe.
 

DXRick

Distinguished
Jun 9, 2006
117
0
18,640
1
Being that the monthly fee includes the service plus paying off the phone, how are they supposed to recoup the cost of the phone if the person decides to stop paying?

Verizon offers 1 and 2 year contracts. The monthly fee is the same, but you have to pay more up front for the phone for a 1 year contract. If you terminate the service early, you still owe them for the phone, no?
 

martel80

Distinguished
Dec 8, 2006
123
0
18,630
0
[citation][nom]blackened144[/nom]Sorry. Im buying the ATT Tilt through Amazon with a 2yr ATT contract for $49. Full retail price $449. You can keep your unlocked full price phones in Europe.[/citation]
Who says we don't have contracted phones? You may usually choose three options:
A) buy a full retail phone anywhere
B) hire-purchase a full retail phone anywhere
C) buy a carrier-contracted phone

Note that B) and C) are somewhat similar.
 

Cmhone

Distinguished
Feb 15, 2005
8
0
18,510
0
You agreed to pay early termination fees when you signed the contract, sorry. If you decide your carrier screwed you, like I did after dealing with Verizon. put away the phone and change your plan to the cheapest plan you can possibly get and ride out the contract.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
G Streaming Video & TVs 11
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 18
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 23
G Streaming Video & TVs 38
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 27
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 29
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 46
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 12
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 53
G Streaming Video & TVs 35
JMcEntegart Streaming Video & TVs 33
JMcEntegart Streaming Video & TVs 37
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 32
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 43
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 64
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 37
JMcEntegart Streaming Video & TVs 24
JMcEntegart Streaming Video & TVs 69
exfileme Streaming Video & TVs 68
Marcus Yam Streaming Video & TVs 45

ASK THE COMMUNITY