I do not mind paying a premium for a service when I actually receive premier service and support. But when either the service or support is lacking, I believe we consumers have a right to complain. So when one reads about how iPhone customers are suffering from a lack of 3G service in major cities, or that the new Google Nexus One comes with multiple ETFs [early termination fees], it makes one stop and think. Are the corporations we deal with giving us a fair shake?
In one article the writer complains about his service from AT&T, while he compliments his Apple iPhone:
Look, the phone is a terrific piece of hardware. The built-in capabilities, the new applications (and yeah, the instability that seems to come hand-in-hand with the iPhone 2.0 update)—I like it all (except for the instability part). But at the end of the day, the iPhone is primarily a phone, and for me, anyway, it’s coming up really short in that department. And I think it’s AT&T’s fault.
I regularly experience dropped calls, or calls that get garbled beyond my ability to understand what’s being said. And I know I’m not the only one. One of my closest friends lives and works west of Boston, in an area called “MetroWest”—a vast, densely- populated area of suburbs where people work, shop and live. And he experiences the exact same problem with his iPhone.
This is not an isolated case. Over the past few months there have been numerous articles about poor service from AT&T. The unfortunate things is that it was Apple who chose AT&T as the only carrier that could carry the iPhone network.
It now seems that Google is now facing a similar type of criticism for their policy of having two ETFs from Google and also from the carrier:
As a number of people have noticed, Google’s got its own Early Termination Fee (ETF) equivalent, here called the Equipment Recovery Fee, in the terms of sale, to the tune of $350 if you cancel within the first 120 days.
Here’s the kicker, though: this is in addition to any fees imposed by the carrier — not necessarily a problem on its own, but we just glanced at T-Mobile’s terms of sale, and sure enough, there’s an associated ETF up to $200. If we’re reading this right, Nexus One owners who decide to end their service after the 14-day trial period is over but before four months have passed will be hit with upwards of $550 in fees — more than if you bought the phone outright from the start, especially when you factor in the upfront $180.
On January 9th, 2009 I wrote about a new device from MagicJack that could allow free calls from one’s home, if it is legal to do so [See article here]. Reading about what Apple, AT&T, and Google are doing, it makes MagicJack look better and better. At least the cost is lower and if it doesn’t work, you are not out a bunch of big bucks! LOL
What do you think?