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Thread: Very confusing

  1. #16
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    I think you're probably right. It is a complex world with many choices and options in everything we do.

    Like when I used to go to the grocery store and tried to pick the right cereal or box of crackers. Used to be simple to do that, now they have eighteen different types of the same cereal or crackers. Complexity or confusion or just plain marketing strategy?

    But cell phone carrier's should, at least in my mind, be a tad simpler. There's just way too many things to consider when purchasing a cell phone and a plan. And then the same phone and plan are totally different if you do this or that or buy here or there. Really? Unless the planets align with the stars and moon you may not be able to connect here or there. Instead of using Confusing in my title I probably should have used "Crazy".

    Zapjb posted that about 95% of the folks outside of HOFO are clueless, well I imagine I fall into that group.

    Hey, we can't all be HOFO gurus. LOL......

  2. #17
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    It used to be simple when all you had was a choice of the big 4. Phone was locked to the carrier and you had to pay whatever they wanted to charge you.

    But now, you have other choices to save money.... On phones and plans. Takes some research to decipher what's out there but the savings are great. Fortunately, websites like hofo exist that provides a wealth of information.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app

  3. #18
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    OP you know a lot now.
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  4. #19
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    If there was more competition they would offer simple plans with real unlimited.

    They make the plans complex so it looks like you have a lot to choose from.

    The mvno carriers are dependent on the 3 large carriers so can't offer much lower prices.

    The locked phones are because there was not enough competition so they could get away with doing that. You don't have locked computers for desktops or laptops.

  5. #20
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    Subsidized phones should be locked. But when terms are met or phone paid off they should be unlocked as in factory unlocked not just carrier unlocked.

  6. #21
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    Locking a phone is very anti-consumer in my opinion and they only get away with it because there is not enough competition.

    Why would anyone want to buy hardware locked to a service unless they have to.

    They can subsidize hardware without locking it. For example, AT&T DSL can say we will sell you a Windows PC at a discount if you agree to use our service for 1 year. There is no requirement that it has to be locked to offer a subsidy.

    Also phones are inexpensive to manufacture, at least today, so the cost does not require subsidies to buy one. My current unlocked moto e4 cost $123. There are some phones that cost more like the iphone but I doubt they cost a lot more to manufacture.

    Also boost does not make unlocking the phone easy. I had a phone on their service that was eligible to unlock but I did not bother because it is was too much trouble.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    I think you're probably right. It is a complex world with many choices and options in everything we do.

    Like when I used to go to the grocery store and tried to pick the right cereal or box of crackers. Used to be simple to do that, now they have eighteen different types of the same cereal or crackers. Complexity or confusion or just plain marketing strategy?

    But cell phone carrier's should, at least in my mind, be a tad simpler. There's just way too many things to consider when purchasing a cell phone and a plan. And then the same phone and plan are totally different if you do this or that or buy here or there. Really? Unless the planets align with the stars and moon you may not be able to connect here or there. Instead of using Confusing in my title I probably should have used "Crazy".

    Zapjb posted that about 95% of the folks outside of HOFO are clueless, well I imagine I fall into that group.

    Hey, we can't all be HOFO gurus. LOL......
    You’re right on all counts. Whether confusing , complex, or befuddling .... the learning curve is not too steep.
    I found this thread helpful - https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...Verizon-Sprint

    For many users, a prepaid / mvno provider works just fine. “PrePaidcompare.net” web site works well to determine a good fit if you know your usage pattern.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    Subsidized phones should be locked. But when terms are met or phone paid off they should be unlocked as in factory unlocked not just carrier unlocked.
    Subsidized locked phones also prevents handset trafficking to other markets. Carriers have to recover the cost of the handset through service. And yes, an unlocked handset missing VOLTE kinda sucks.



    Sent from my moto e5 play using HoFo mobile app

  9. #24
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    One of the most confusing aspects for me is where to purchase a phone and do I purchase a factory unlocked or a carrier branded phone.

    As an example, I bought a phone from Bestbuy that was supposedly unlocked and opened an account with AT&T prepaid which was a fine service only they would not provide wifi calling or VoLTE since the phone wasn't purchased from them. At that time, AT&T prepaid had no phones that interested me.

    So, I decide to purchase a Cricket branded phone and was then able to use wifi calling and VoLTE. Although you couldn't get the phone unlocked for six months. So, it's been over six months and the phone is unlocked and I'd like to try the Visible service but lo and behold, Visible claims that phone can't be used on their service even though they sell the exact same phone. Different cores or bands or some other excuse I'm hearing.

    So here's my thoughts, it gets confusing because most people aren't aware of all the gotcha's and requirements and whether or not your phone is factory unlocked or SIM unlocked or if it has the right bands and inner core and so on and so on.

    Gotta admit, to the general population, it's quite confusing.

    Visible seems to be the simplest one I've found, but moving a phone to them was quite confusing and it never did happen. I think they're trying to sell their own phones and that's understandable. No problem there.

    But buying and then moving phones to different carriers is very confusing as my title indicates.

    And then they really confuse you with postpaid and prepaid.

    I mean unless you're one of the 5% that frequent this forum or other phone tech forums, this is way over most folks heads especially when they want to make any changes either in phones or plans.

    Grand ma and grand pa should be able to do this and not need a Philadelphia lawyer to help them buy a phone and a plan that gets the services they need. Problem is, they probably don't realize all the services and which ones they need.

    Someone call attorney Smithmeyer from Philly..........

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    ...Grand ma and grand pa should be able to do this and not need a Philadelphia lawyer to help them buy a phone and a plan that gets the services they need...
    Why? Capitalism is advertising not facts.

  11. #26
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    If the carriers and mvnos had a choice, they would sell you the phone and service together as it would limit their tech support headaches. And lock you in to a 2 year contract. They'll even throw in a free/subsidized phone to entice you. Understandably, They don't want to make it easy for you to switch to a competitor.

    But for mvnos that don't sell phones, they have to rely on byod/used phone market which can be a mixed bag. . Plus emerging technologies like wifi calling are not available universally but that could be a contract thing versus a technology issue.

    In a case like Visible, I think their phones have custom firmware or specific compatibility restrictions to work on their services. Similar issue with Google Fi.

    You could just buy an iPhone as it's the most common denominator phone out there. However there's a cost to getting all that technology. Fortunately there are new unlocked phones for sale from non carrier aligned brands.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    Gotta admit, to the general population, it's quite confusing.

    I mean unless you're one of the 5% that frequent this forum or other phone tech forums, this is way over most folks heads especially when they want to make any changes either in phones or plans.
    You pretty much answered your own question. Its really not confusing to the general public because they don't care or even want to know.

    Unlike the 5%..(actually less) of folks that frequent forums, the general public doesn't need or want to jump from carrier to carrier, try out all kinds of different phones, or need every bell and whistle. They will upgrade their phone with the same carrier when a deal pops up, they don't care about wifi calling, popping in a sim for every carrier or saving a couple bucks for an new plan. They just want to make calls, texts, listen to pandora and take a picture.

  13. #28
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    Well... in my opinion... carrier branded phones should be eliminated. That's ultimately where the problem lies.

    But I guess people really can't afford a $300 new cell phone, and instead have to opt for paying the carrier $20/mo for 2 years ($480 total) for a cell phone that is then 2 years old at the end of the commitment when you paid them $480 for it. Carriers love it, because they can make a killing off of it.

    Eliminating carrier-branded phones would also help Google (and Apple... although it's less of an issue with Apple) maintain security updates across their eco-system of Android-based phones. As it stands now, when Google released an update to Android or a security update - you don't get that immediately. You have to wait for Samsung to patch "their" copy of Android with the update. Then you have to wait for AT&T to patch their copy of the Samsung copy of the Android OS with their update. There's too many levels to this.

    If there was just Android and every single phone out there - Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HTC, etc - used that same Android OS. Then when Google releases an Android update or security update... they all get them at the same time.

    If carrier branding is absolutely required, then it needs to be done at the app level - not at the OS level.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    ...If there was just Android and every single phone out there - Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HTC, etc - used that same Android OS. Then when Google releases an Android update or security update... they all get them at the same time...
    They'd at least all have to have the same hardware. No way Google cares about updating 2-3 year old Motos Samys LGs etc. like their Pixels.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesfinley View Post
    Well... in my opinion... carrier branded phones should be eliminated. That's ultimately where the problem lies.

    But I guess people really can't afford a $300 new cell phone, and instead have to opt for paying the carrier $20/mo for 2 years ($480 total) for a cell phone that is then 2 years old at the end of the commitment when you paid them $480 for it. Carriers love it, because they can make a killing off of it.

    Eliminating carrier-branded phones would also help Google (and Apple... although it's less of an issue with Apple) maintain security updates across their eco-system of Android-based phones. As it stands now, when Google released an update to Android or a security update - you don't get that immediately. You have to wait for Samsung to patch "their" copy of Android with the update. Then you have to wait for AT&T to patch their copy of the Samsung copy of the Android OS with their update. There's too many levels to this.

    If there was just Android and every single phone out there - Samsung, Sony, Motorola, HTC, etc - used that same Android OS. Then when Google releases an Android update or security update... they all get them at the same time.

    If carrier branding is absolutely required, then it needs to be done at the app level - not at the OS level.
    i agree you describe an ideal world, but i do not believe there is any legal framework to move things in that direction at least not in the United States.

    the one thing that could steer the industry in that direction would be some sort of FTC or Consumer protection order that would prohibit wholesalers from dealing in both handsets and service plans. that would allow cell phone stores(the retail side) to continue to exist selling both handsets and service but if the handsets were to be sourced separately it would be unlikely they would be carrier locked or branded.

    an additional impact would be that the carriers no longer able to compete with discounted/subsidized handsets would be forced to start competing on service quality/reliability and plan pricing. this would make service both more dependable and likely much less expensive.

    if you look at places like parts of Europe where unlocked phones dominate the market you see exactly that(cheaper plans on more reliable networks)

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