Should I put on a tinfoil hat?

rvhighway

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Apr 16, 2011
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Does anyone else see a long-term stick-it-to the consumer attitude, and maybe conspiracy, from Verizon?

On the one hand Verizon is ending their $30 unlimited data and coating it with the supposed benefit of "shared data." They know that phones won't last forever and that the vast majority of people won't pay more for a new phone than the subsidized prices they've been enjoying for years. As a result, people will be migrated into tiered data where they get slammed with higher charges when they exceed it. To get the same price of $30 they had been paying, they will only get 2GB of data that they have to share with all the other devices in the family.

On the other hand, data that used to be resident on the phones is now being migrated into "the cloud." For example, music that people have purchased is being kept on services istead of being kept on the phones and/or data is being maintained on things like Dropbox and their competitors. "Streaming" of the data is now being pushed as the latest, greatest and neatest thing. It ultimately adds to the data use since it's no longer resident on the phone.

It's also obvious that the phones are getting bigger and more capable and therefore more pleasant to use for viewing videos or movies. It used to be that screens were only 3.5" (iPhone) or smaller (Blackberry). Then 4" showed-up, 4.3 became the big thing, and now they're getting even bigger - up to the 5.3" of the Note offered by another provider. It seems to me that a more pleasant, viewable and capable phone will make for increased data streaming use.

Then, the entire quantity of devices using the shared data is also exploding. It used to be just a dumb-phone and texting, then smart phones came along with internet browsing and email. Once they got entrenched, the number smart phones in the house increased and they began to be supplemented by tablets and e-readers. Combine that with any other connectable item that's being developed for the consumer's use, and you end up with a lot of devices pushing the data use up and up and up. It's and explosive situation.

Is it just me or does it look like Verizon has used these trends to stick it to the consumer? It's like a narcotic with Verizon as the dope dealer and their customers as the junkies. Verizon provided them with cheap data, got them hooked, and will now take them for everything they can get just as the technology is maturing. They know junkies will do whatever they have to do, including spending everything they have, to get their data fix.

There's something in me that just finds Verizon's actions deplorable. I understand that they're in the business to make money, but there's also the issue of integirty. It appears to me it doesn't exist.

The bottom line to me is that they're a business built on employing a medium that doesn't belong to them. It belongs to the citizens. I speak of the radio frequencies. They don't own them, we do. It just seems to me that if a company displays behaviors that run counter to the welfare of the citizens, it's time for them to be reigned-in. That's just my feeling.

Of course it would be easy to just say, go to the competition. That's the easy answer and would be valid if there truely was competition in the market. However, it appears from many comments that any competition will go the way of Verizon in short order. If that's true, then there really is no competition. In fact, it appears more like a situation of collusion and "price-fixing" than competition.

So, do you think there's a problem here, or should I just get a tinfoil hat? :p
 
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Super_Mario

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Apr 26, 2010
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I believe the change in cost for data started with the increase in options for data usage and increase in customers using smartphones. The increase of bandwidth used now strains the mobile network since people use hotspots, media streaming and other data heavy applications. To control and profit from this, these changes were bound to happen. Is it good for the consumer? No. But we wanted all these features and we use them, they're just trying to control the usage. Data is the money maker now, not calls and texts. Their biggest deceat was getting us hooked, then nickel and diming it.
 

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