Discussion: Is AT&T the only evil carrier?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by geoffreak, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    After watching the news coming in since the announcement of the iPhone, there has been a lot of bashing of AT&T, but the truth of the matter is that it isn't the only wireless carrier with problems.
    I just wrote up an article on my take on the situation (read here) that can be summed up with the following quote from it:
    I can't say for certain for other countries, but at least here in the US, all the major carriers play by the same greedy, monopolistic rules.

    What I would like to hear is your take on the matter. Do you believe this is the case in other countries too, or is this just a problem here in the US?
  2. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2009
    I have yet to see a carrier with anything close to what I would consider reasonable rates with sufficient plan options.

    Of course people have problems with all carriers. Remember that people usually only post when they have problems, not when everything is going well.

    They also catch a lot of grief because if you want an iPhone in the US, you're stuck with them. And that doesn't sit well with people who perhaps have bad AT&T coverage, or have had past problems with them.
  3. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Yeah, AT&T needs to get off its high horse. I can't wait til when the iPhone is on more than one carrier and AT&T loses its customers. But by then the iPhone market might be saturated. :mad:
  4. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    nope, not the only one, I believe O2 have raised their prices for the Pay&go version, while the two italian companies that will be selling iPhones have raised the prepaid versions from 499€/569€ to 612€/712€ keeping the old 3g (both 8gb and 16gb until stocks last) at their old prices. All of this, I suppose, to push people into contracts, which is not at all practical in Italy. It is not called monopoly around here, it's "bipoly", not to mention the two companies had a meeting yesterday and announced the prices just a few hours ago, even though the launch is the 19th just like in the US.
  5. coolwater macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2009
    AT&T being evil or not, I'd like to see multiple carriers for iPhone and let each choose one that suits.
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    If they ever make locked-in contracts and exclusive phones illegal, then some carriers might be less evil than others.

    But as long as both of those exist, they can all get away with a lot...and they all do.
  7. deimos256 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2008
    See while im quite miffed about AT&T dropping the ball on MMS, im pretty happy with them. I happen to live in an area where Verizon doesnt work and even the larger towns by me get lackluster service with every carrier aside from AT&T
  8. eezing macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2008
    No, they all suck from a consumer stand point. Some just suck more than others.

    They know they suck (from a consumer stand point) too. It's called "price fixing", simple as that. If it we're competition, I'd be happy with the amount I pay per month.
  9. geoffreak thread starter macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    I my article, I focus what the exclusivity deals do to a consumer. It is no different from Comcast trying to slow down internet streaming because it competes with their television service. That move was downright corrupt and they got sued for it, yet they still do this! How is what AT&T and other carriers doing any less corrupt?
  10. TheMBC macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2008
    I would much rather Apple switch to T-Mobile. Less expensive plans, and I know the coverage isn't great all over the US but here it's fantastic, even 3G!
  11. geoffreak thread starter macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    It's not the lock-in contracts that are corrupt, but the way to get out of them. Exclusive phones are completely corrupt though.
  12. Kadman macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2007
    Reviewing a list of telco providers is like walking the halls of a maximum security prison. You can talk about which scenario is worse, but at the end of the day, these are the worst category of criminals (companies) you can shake a stick at.
  13. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I guess, to be more specific, the fact that they're often required is the problem.

    My cable TV company has lock-in contracts, but you get something for them. Maybe free HBO or something like that. So, you know, it's up to you to take it or leave it. Your choice.

    Likewise, with cheap cell phones you often don't need lock-in contracts. Get the phone free or pay $100 for it. Your choice.

    But with most of the smart phones you usually have no choice. THAT's the problem.

    So unlike with cable TV deals, you're not getting anything in return for being locked in, nor do you even have a choice in the matter.
  14. geoffreak thread starter macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    What you should get from a lock-in contract is a subsidized phone (I mentioned this in my article). Forcing a lock-in contract when this isn't the case should be illegal.

    Another article from PC World says that the Commerce Committee will be meeting Wednesday (assumed tomorrow).
  15. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003

    - 3 year contracts (vs. 2 in the States or less internationally)
    - extra charges for standard features (eg. caller ID, voicemail)
    - monthly system access fee (ie. complete cash grab)
    - per-minute billing (though you can get per second on Fido)
    - no rollover minutes
    - ridiculous in-Canada long distance charges (no such thing as standard nationwide calling)
    - unpredictable fee changes
    - price-fixing with other carriers

    but on the other hand...

    - able to get iPhone without data plan (or used to be able to)
    - tiered data plans
    - able to get good plans through retentions department
    - good reception & coverage (never had a dropped call)

    overall... no, AT&T is not the only "evil" carrier
  16. bobsentell macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    A contract is a contract. You sign it, you agree to it. When you signed it you knew what the cancellation penalties were. If you didn't, then that's your problem. No one forces you into those contracts.

    And exclusive phones are not corrupt. A Verizon iPhone would require different hardware than an AT&T iPhone. There's no reason for Apple to make a new one. As for T-mobile, if they want to outbid AT&T, they are free to do so. But in the end it is a business decision.

    Some of you want the government to investigate. Using your logic, what good is having a corrupt organization looking into a corrupt organization?

    But if you really don't like the way AT&T and Apple does business, go here: http://www.myownbusiness.org/
  17. coolwater macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2009
    Oh, I liked the good old days--AT&T and MCI each competing like crazy and sending my parents $100 checks to switch (back) to them with no contracts whatsoever. Of course this was for long-distance landline.. I believe in mid 90's.

    I remember my family getting $100 checks a few times from both AT&T and MCI and some $50 checks as well. Once you deposit the check, your long-distance provider is automatically switched to the check issuer. Funny thing is that my family didn't even make long-distance calls THAT much... above average maybe. So, our house's long-distance provider was switched almost every month for a while. We really could care less because their rates were basically the same.
  18. Farfooz macrumors member


    Jan 20, 2009
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Wow you really have never been to UAE then. Etisalat sells the iphone for 2560 dhs with a 6 month contract so thats about 620 dollars and they say its *subsidized*. Oh and with that contract you get 250 MB a month! If you want a real real plan then you buy the phone for 199 dhs about 50 dollars and you pay approximately 300 bucks a month for 2GB of data, 500 Texts and 500 minutes for 12 months. There is no such thing as unlimited there. Please, AT&T would be ROYALTY with the rates you recieve, compared to what some of us have to deal with now. ;)
  19. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    AT&T has the second cheapest iphone rate plans in the G7 (UK is the cheapest), offers the largest regular data allowance in the world (5 GB) and offers the 3rd fastest 3G iphone speed in the world (wired.com survey).

    The only reason why you can getting such a good deal is because there is a strong competitor (Verizon) who was strong enough to say no to Apple's demand.

    All the other countries have separate MMS rates (O2 is like 1 MMS = 4 SMS), AT&T counts 1 MMS = 1 SMS.

    Expensive to cancell contracts? Tell that to the other countries where they don't even have ETF's. You want to get out of O2's iphone contract, you have to pay out the rest of the contract (and you still end up with a simlocked iphone).

    All the carriers around the world are going to charge extra money for iphone tethering. O2 announced it last week. Optus in Australia just announced it today --- that's in a country where 3 different carriers sell the iphone. You want the most regulated iphone country in the world --- France where they forced Apple to end the exclusive contract with Orange, guess how much they are charging for tethering? 10 euro for 200 MB.


    AT&T and T-Mobile both offer unlocking codes for all their cell phones (iphone being the exception) for FREE --- without any government regulation.
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Can we dial back the hyperbole? AT&T is not "evil" - they are a public corporation with shareholders, and their goal is to make money. Evil would be making money by killing puppies and blinding orphans.

    Moreover, there is no cell phone "monopoly" in the US. More like an oligarchy (but applied to an industry, not government - not sure if there's a word for that), but not even really that.

    Blanketing the US with high speed data service is expensive. Really expensive. And those shiny new smart phones? Yeah, they're basically the computers of less than a decade ago shrunk down to something that can fit in your pocket and run for the entire day. Not exactly cheap to develop. Shocking, I know. And oh yeah - then there are those shareholders who want to actually (gasp!) make money when they buy shares of the telecoms.

    But listen, if $80/month is too much for nationwide coverage with a pocket computer, then go with a simple cell phone on a regional carrier or a pay-as-you-go phone.

    People seem to think they're entitled to the best phones on fantastic networks with upgrades every year and $50/month unlimited everything. Well it ain't gonna happen, and there's nothing "evil" about that.
  21. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    It's amazing. People are expecting everything to always be affordable and available to them, unconditionally. It can't be too much fun living with those expectations.

    In my experience with several carriers, they all are equally good or bad depending on your point of view and expectations. And no, they aren't evil.

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