Any legal peeps here?

rtc1036

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Feb 23, 2011
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I just went to my local VZW store and confirmed if I bought my Xoom through them, there.would be no requirement for a data plan if I paid full price. I also spoke to the BB that my preorder is at and they said no matter what VZW said I would have to activate and buy at least one month of data if I buy from them.

Now my question is, is that legal in the realm of consumer law because the carrier is not making it a requirement. So in essence, BB is charging a fee (which prolly benefits them on an activation kick back) and VZW gets 20 bucks on the one month of data. VZW knows the vast majority of peeps with buy them 3rd party so they silently require the data / activation of 3rd parties, but claim plausible deniability by saying its not a requirement of theirs. So even though its known upfront, its really a hidden and completely unnecessary fee designed to increase the $ going into both VZW and BB's pockets.

I only ask because there are a lot of class action suits right now against cell carriers for a number of reasons, excessive fees, locked phones, unfair business practices, etc. I'm just wondering if a phone call or two to the state's department of consumer affairs would provide some insight. I know its my choice to buy at BB, but its wrong on face value. Any thoughts, am I way off base in my thinking?
 

Menno

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As a reseller best buy can put any additional requirements they want. This is entirely legal. Its less the kickback (you need to maintain service for 6 months for that) and more to make sure activation is locked to their store so you can't buy it there and then activate it at another retailer. Some smaller stores encourage people to do this on items they can't stock, offering free or discounted accessories to compensate for buying retail. Retailers only have minimums they have to meet with product requirements, if they want more they can try and get it.

If you don't want data, buy straight from verizon, or someone who doesn't require this. The only thing wrong is best buy trying to say verizon requires this instead of accepting the blame themselves.
 

rtc1036

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Cool, thanks for the replies, I was unaware of the fact they could make their own purchase requirements. I'm stuck with BB cause I have about $100 bucks in BB rewards to spend and not to mention a shiny new $50 gift card.
 

erzhik

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Thats interesting. Every Verizon store I called said it was required, no matter if you paid full price.

That's what pisses me off with this launch. Neither BB nor Verizon know every detail. They sort of guess. I went to BB today, and the guy told me that 3 months data plan is required. When asked about WiFi only, he didn't even know they were making one. Seems like only managers know the details.
 

naldiian

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Cool, thanks for the replies, I was unaware of the fact they could make their own purchase requirements

How could they not be allowed to require whatever they want? It is their store and their decision to stock or sell the item as they see fit. The only people that can dictate how they want to handle that process is the manufacturer, whom could basically deny the retailer the authority to purchase, market or sell the product if they did not comply with specific sales requirements - like not forcing add-ons or setting a max price to sell at.

AS for this launch pissing you off - it goes on sale tomorrow morning for the first time. Until that occurs, nobody needs to, much less has to, know any details at all because it isn't for sale. If they try to actually sell the thing tomorrow and cannot figure out how to complete the sale because they don't have the details yet, then you should be pissed.
 

rtc1036

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So let me ask this of you? If VZW does not charge data / activation fees for WiFi only and BB does, who benefits and why would BB and other 3rd party vendors require it? It was put in place by VZW in an effort to dissuade customers from buying anywhere other than vzw, essentially trying to eliminate competition.

VZW has played their trump card, buy from us and save, buy elsewhere and you'll pay. Sounds like VZW is threading the line of antitrust by putting a 3rd party fee in effect to minimize competition.

VZW isn't the only one, buy a any 3G tab from anyone other than the carrier and you'll pay extra fees. It's a punitive fee. I can understand a retailer setting its prices at market value, that's not the issue at hand. It's backdoor agreements and controls put in place by the carriers to try and get us to buy directly.

How many people were on the fence when they heard of the allegedly mandatory data plan only to jump off when they found out the Xoom would be sans data plan if bought directly. VZW just gained an in store customer and a 3rd party reseller lost one.
 

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