HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » We are being looted by th...

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:58 PM

We are being looted by the cellphone companies .... robbed ...

I am here in India on a vacation .... and as my own t-mobile's roaming charge for data is $10.00/ MB .. I bought an Indian SIM card for my phone here .. and I had the chance to do some comparisons ..

here incoming calls and sms messages are free .. FOR ALL carriers - apparently this rule was imposed by the government.
The monthly all inclusive plans ( voice data & text ) runs about $15...
The cost per minute for prepaid plans is about 35 paise (that is roughly 0.35 cents ) we pay about 50 -100 times that amount depending on the carrier.

USA cellular customer pay about $0.08/ MB .. while Indian customers pay about $0.0004/MB ...while they dont have 4G yet .. the speeds are not terrible .. DU page loads up ok )



Why are we getting so badly screwed? I thought it was just healthcare we were getting screwed over .. why the fuck do we tolerate this?

46 replies, 2840 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply We are being looted by the cellphone companies .... robbed ... (Original post)
srican69 Feb 2013 OP
Leslie Valley Feb 2013 #1
starroute Feb 2013 #2
starroute Feb 2013 #4
starroute Feb 2013 #6
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #31
libtodeath Feb 2013 #3
robinlynne Feb 2013 #7
msongs Feb 2013 #5
go west young man Feb 2013 #8
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #42
nadinbrzezinski Feb 2013 #9
Demonaut Feb 2013 #10
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #18
Demonaut Feb 2013 #22
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #34
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #11
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #17
redqueen Feb 2013 #32
unblock Feb 2013 #26
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #36
unblock Feb 2013 #38
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #40
unblock Feb 2013 #41
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #43
unblock Feb 2013 #44
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #45
JCMach1 Feb 2013 #12
SmileyRose Feb 2013 #13
Skidmore Feb 2013 #14
SoCalDem Feb 2013 #19
littlewolf Feb 2013 #20
rgbecker Feb 2013 #24
JCMach1 Feb 2013 #25
jambo101 Feb 2013 #15
RebelOne Feb 2013 #46
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #16
Safetykitten Feb 2013 #21
dembotoz Feb 2013 #23
tridim Feb 2013 #27
ParkieDem Feb 2013 #28
ParkieDem Feb 2013 #30
Grammy23 Feb 2013 #29
Motown_Johnny Feb 2013 #33
Bake Feb 2013 #35
Autumn Feb 2013 #37
Avalux Feb 2013 #39

Response to srican69 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:22 PM

1. Maybe it isn't as expensive to do business in India

 

They're certainly closer to the call centers when a customer needs help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:27 PM

2. Blame the Telecommunications Act of 1996

It was supposed to give up more competition and lower prices. Instead we ended up with near-monopolies and higher prices for less service.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to starroute (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:31 PM

4. Here's one recent article -- there have been others

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to starroute (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:41 AM

31. ^^^^^^^This

And TA96 was *never* supposed to increase competition and lower prices; that's just the line they used to sell it in congress and to the public...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:30 PM

3. Because here there is nothing to prevent them from gouging.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libtodeath (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:53 PM

7. bingo. that would be government regulation. oh no!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:33 PM

5. you buy politicians, you can get some cheaper rates :-) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:53 AM

8. Last I heard texting was free in Eastern Europe and Russia as well.

As it takes up no bandwidth cellular carriers gave it for free. There you just pay for your phone and then buy minutes for it. The nice phones are expensive but no contracts where in the end it costs you a grand in the USA.

Americans have been getting screwed for so long they have no idea they are being ripped off. Capitalism has proven a failure if you think about it. Collusion, gov't giveaways, prices through the roof, and the crap rises to the top.. not the cream. We need an educated non corrupt congress to unravel this mess and that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to go west young man (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:06 AM

42. Capitalism is a failure.

Bingo!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:02 AM

9. Partly ignorance

Nothing exists outside the US...and I wish I were kidding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:12 AM

10. economies of scale, what does the average worker make in India?

you cannot do apples to apples comparisons when you look at the complete picture

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demonaut (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:57 AM

18. If that is the case, perhaps you would like to explain Japan. n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:14 AM

22. japan? your point?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demonaut (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:26 PM

34. Higher standard of living, and better paid than us, similar prices to India.

 

The point is that the OP is quite right, we are being ripped off, severely and blatantly by the Telecon industry. There are a few places where the devices are almost as expensive as here, but the service here is worse and much more expensive.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:14 AM

11. For Pete's sake, it's called capitalism

They're free to charge whatever we're willing to pay. I suppose they've priced it to maximize profit in India and that price is a lot lower than it is here. Nobody is putting a gun to your head making you buy an all inclusive plan.

It's not healthcare, which I think should be non-profit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:56 AM

17. No, it's called collusion and before reagan it was illegal. n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

32. Exactly. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:45 AM

26. vigorous competition is a prerequisite of genuine capitalism.

and vigorous competition is something sorely lacking in many sectors of the american economy.

what we have is mostly a mix of economic anarchy and economic fascism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:04 PM

36. But there is certainly competition in the cell provider industry

Even vigorous competition is only going to drop prices a certain amount. What happens in the US is that most of us sign a 2 year contract with a provider in exchange for a free phone. If you're willing to provide your own phone, you can shop among carriers for the best deal and change at any time. You can go with a provider like Boost or Cricket.

I'm 56 so I remember the pre-cellular days when you had to rent your phone and long distance was so expensive it was really only for businesses and special occasions. International long distance that was affordable for regular folks? Forget it!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:45 PM

38. but the communications industry has long found ways to rip people off.

genuine competition means more than just having a limited choice of a few providers offering quite similar services with quite similar pricing structures.

genuine competition means that fly-by-night behavior quickly gets squashed out. back in the days of pay phones, there were unscrupulous vendors who would charge something like $10 a minute (surprise!) for collect or credit card charges, and this was a long-term highly profitable business. i know someone who did this for about 20 years. the telcom industry is rife with stories like this.

part of the problem is that the accepted practice is to have highly confusing billing statements and pricing plans, and often the cost incurred is not known easily until afterwards (holy crap, i went HOW MUCH over my minutes/data plan?)

part of the problem is that there's not enough strong companies out there willing and able to appropriately undercut the incumbents. there are very high barriers to entry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #38)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:33 AM

40. Well, telecoms are publically held companies

and they don't have a responsibility to offer services as cheap as possible. They have a responsibility to stockholders to maximize profits. Considering that we ship jobs like call centers to India, I've got to assume that labor costs less there. But I would hope that the people maintaining the cell towers and the networks here are well paid. Would you want their workers to be paid less? Would you want them to pay lower dividends if you had invested in them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #40)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:33 AM

41. the nature of the game is that individual companies to rotten, anti-competitive things

individual companies always try to work towards monopoly status, maximizing shareholder wealth while squeezing employees, supliers, and customers.

it's up to competitors, law enforcement, and regulators to keep the game fair and safe and ultimately work for the benefit of all involved, not just the owners.

sustained, outsized profits are of course exactly what individual companies seek, but it's evidence that competition isn't working. sustained, outsized profits should attract competition and lower prices and therefore bring profits down to a reasonable standard. anywhere this isn't happening it is quite likely the culprit is insufficient competition.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:11 AM

43. There is no economic anarchy here.

Anarchy is an economy theory of social relations and organization of Labor. It's anti-capitalist, and it is the natural order of things.

"Anarchy is order!" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (What is Property? - 1848)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:56 AM

44. sorry if i'm using the wrong terminology. what i mean is

companies get away with whatever they can get away with, with impunity.

this includes polluting, deceptive advertising, anti-competitive behavior, leveraging monopolistic/monopsonistic/trust power, flauting laws and regulations and then only maybe paying fines which amount to just a fraction of their ill-gotten gains. this sort of thing is economically inefficient and not what capitalism in theory is supposed to achieve.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #44)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:57 PM

45. I didn't mean to come off as harsh ...

There is a common misconception about anarchism - that it's "chaos" or "unruly" or other such nonsense. I just wanted to make sure, whenever I can, to correct that misconception.

I've been studying anarchism for about about 7 years now. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. were both inspired by Leo Tolstoy (who was an anarchist).

People have this idea that anarchism is some punk rockers causing riots (I am a punk rocker), but nothing can be further from the truth. Yes, there are violent anarchists, and there are peaceful ones, and everything in between, from the evolutionary to the revolutionary.

Anarchism is:

Solidarity
Anti-capitalist
Non-hierarchical
Compassionate
Pro-Labor
Community

Same famous anarchists include:

Howard Zinn
Noam Chomsky
Prince Peter Kropotkin
Ernest Hemingway
Walt Whitman
George Orwell
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Mikail Bakunin
William Godwin
Mary Shelley
Emma Goldman
Big Bill Haywood
Henry David Thoreau

I'm missing many, but I hope you get the idea.

A good primer for anarchism was written by Daniel Guerin entitled "Anarchism: From Theory to Practice" - available online for free.

Another resource, based on Proudhon's Mutualism (free-market socialism) is "Studies in Mutualism" by Kevin Carson, though many right-wing reactionaries very tenuously cite the theory of Mutualism as the basis for their economics - which is entirely wrong because they don't incorporate his Labor Theory of Value and that Proudhon was first and foremost a socialist (he didn't invent but developed "scientific socialism" from which Marx borrowed heavily).

Hope that helps!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:16 AM

12. Nairobi is 10$ for 1.5gb of data

That is on Safaricom. Airtel is even a bit cheaper. Data service here is better than in Florida.

That would.be at least 40 dollars a month in the states.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:24 AM

13. $15 a month for unlimited in India seems expensive

Here it's $40 50 minimum but folks in India make about a fourth of what we make, yes? Looks like the percentage of their income going to cell would be higher.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:40 AM

14. This is why I refuse to get more than a Tracfone to be used for

travelling. Most of the time it is off. I do not understand the need people have for being in touch all the time. Start turning those darned things off sometimes and make them come looking for you as a consumer. Refuse services until prices come down. Use your power as consumers to get what you want.

No one needs to be hooked into the universe 100% of the time.

BTW Texting is an abomination.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skidmore (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:05 AM

19. Same here.. I do not want to be trackable/phone-able 24/7

I know very few people these days, and have no interest in knowing what they had for lunch or to see their latest odd pictures..


I have Dish & Time warner internet..that's enough "per-month" stuff for me

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skidmore (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:49 AM

20. Trac fone here too ..

1000 minutes a year (the phone I have doubles the minutes automatically)
and 2k minutes is more then I use.
I do text usually just a line or two at a time. But the phone I have
does not have a keyboard so it is a pain.
and it is turned off unless I need to call someone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skidmore (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:46 AM

24. My Tracfone figures to way less than $.35/min

$35 phone (with keyboard) got me triple minutes for life. $120/yr gets 1200 minutes. Look into it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skidmore (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:27 AM

25. For many of us, the phone is our mobile computer system...

in the states though, there is a HUGE premium for data over 3G and 4G.

They try to hide the pain with their phone deals, but that is bogus too.

I will only ever own an unlocked phone and change to whichever service is the cheapest.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:53 AM

15. I just have a landline

I've always wanted a cell phone but have no idea what i'd do with it as no one ever calls me on my landline and i have no interest in calling people up just for the sake of talking. So cell phone charges are something i've never had to deal with.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jambo101 (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:43 PM

46. For a long time, I only had a land line,

but it was through Comcast. And every time, there was a power failure, I would lose phone, cable and Internet, Finally, I signed up with Great Call. I have cell phone service without all the bells and whistles for only $21 a month, and I have had to use it many times when the power went out. Also, I take it with me when I am in the car, should I have a breakdown.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:54 AM

16. William Jefferson Clinton in a series of bipartisan votes handed the nation over to the billionaires

 

In the case you mention, the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Senate voted passage 91 - 5. The only republican to vote against it was John McCain. 3 Senators did not vote. It was passed in the House 414-16.

I've mentioned this situation several time here and elsewhere. Most of us don't seem to care.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:20 AM

21. The biggest killers of inovation and growth. The communication monopoly.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:25 AM

23. we are exceptional----exceptionally screwed that is

the world has left us behind while we believe the commercials on the tellie and internets

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:29 AM

27. Wasn't there a recent story about the US Government offering data service for low/no cost?

Or did I dream that?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:37 AM

28. I generally agree, but

for T-Mobile's international roaming charge, you can blame that on India's telecom for gouging T-mobile. International roaming on US carriers is expensive because the US carrier must use the foreign telecom's towers, network, etc., to deliver messages and calls. Foreign telecoms know that a large chunk of US cell users in their country are there on business, and therefore are likely to be reimbursed for calls, so the charge out the wazoo for US and European customers to use their networks.

As for domestic calls in India, India is known to have the most competitive wireless network system in the world. I don't know the framework or how this developed, but there is MASSIVE competition among Indian wireless carriers, which has driven prices way, way down. A lot if this is due to a large overbuild of the telecom infrastructure in the 1990s. In the last 90s, everybody thought that all Western companies were going to move call centers to India, so they invested billions in that telecom infrastructure. While the call center industry in India has exploded, it hasn't been near on the scale as expected (largely due to backlash from Western customers who hate having calls routed to India). So, you have an overbuilt IT infrastructure that has caused prices to plummet and the number of competitors to multiply. This will get you low, low prices.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ParkieDem (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:40 AM

30. Also,

Has anyone used Net10 Wireless? I hear their commercials and it seems like a good deal, I just haven't looked into the details.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:39 AM

29. We got tired of the robbery from our cell phone provider....


so bought a Tracfone and have been happy ever since. My husband had a simple Nokia phone but dropped it and kind of scrambled its innards and it quit ringing. He could call out but never got a ring so didn't know when someone was calling HIM. Kind of a drawback, no? So he is using my old Tracfone and I got a new one. I even got a touch screen phone that does messaging, FB, etc. (not a Smart phone, however) and spent way less than $250 for the year and still had tons of minutes left when I had to get new air time. Got double minutes for life of phone, too. So I pay for 400 and get 800 minutes.

I understand now that Tracfone makes a Smart Phone if that's your thing. There are alternatives to paying through the nose for a phone that I use mainly for calling people and occasionally texting, checking FB or looking for a map/weather.

I just laugh at my relatives who live and die by their phones....never let it out of their sight!! And pay huge monthly fees for that privilege. Kind of feel sorry for them but then....not really. They VOLUNTEERED to be robbed.

BTW: At a Family Gathering last year we were having a fairly solomn time of family remembrance, sharing memories, etc. We had to insist that some of our family members please put their phones aside and not consult them while we were trying to be serious. IF we had not asked for that, they would have been using FB, email, texting, etc. throughout a time when we needed to be paying attention and PRESENT. Sometimes, I hate iPhones......guess that's makes me an old fogie but I don't care.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:44 AM

33. Yes, we should pay workers here the same as those in India are paid!

Plus benefits should be the same. Also, real estate should cost the same!




The sad part is that you are actually serious about this. At first I thought you were joking, sadly not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:41 PM

35. The wages are getting close to being the same.

Thanks to the union-buster GOPers.

FREE MARKETS!!



Bake

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:10 PM

37. When politicians are bought, it's money well spent.

Profits abound as does greed. The voters get screwed, because we are only voters and only pandered to with words, at election time. Rest of the time we are just a bunch of whining pain in the asses and easily fooled.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to srican69 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:48 PM

39. It's not just that.....

it's the extra fees loaded on top of the service fee too. They suck but we're addicted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread