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Old 10-27-2012, 07:10 AM
 
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Not trying to be combative or anything but my question is: why are some people fine with buying a smartphone without a contract and, in the process, fine with paying nearly (or in some cases more than) $600 (I just don't get it. I'm asking not to be contentious but because I really don't understand their thinking. Are they experts at tinkering with the phone after purchase or something?? thanks

Last edited by grimace8; 10-27-2012 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Some people tinker.
Some people do not have adequate credit to buy a subsidized phone and have to pay full price to get the device.
Some people just do not want to be tied to a contract, should they not have good coverage, need to move, etc.

The cost of a phone is a small amount, compared to the projected expense of signing a two year contract for $2400 or more total.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Some people tinker.
Some people do not have adequate credit to buy a subsidized phone and have to pay full price to get the device.
Some people just do not want to be tied to a contract, should they not have good coverage, need to move, etc.

The cost of a phone is a small amount, compared to the projected expense of signing a two year contract for $2400 or more total.
thanks for answering. i understand everything except your part i put in bold. if they don't get a contract, how do they get service i'm aware there are alternative providers such as straighttalk (based in florida) and whutnot, but it doesn't work with every phone. earlier in the year i saw people on ebay buying galaxy s3's for a lot - and i mean ALOT of money. those don't work with alternatives like straighttalk. and i see that even big/major carriers are selling the newly available galaxy note2 for around $600 without a contract. what type of service do those big carriers offer those buyers? i thought big carriers were all about contract contract contract. (and "to hell with you" is their thinking if you don't want to sign their nasty contract)

is it illegal for a carrier to refuse to provide service to someone who refuses to sign a long contract?
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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You get the same service as those with contracts. The difference is that you can leave any time you want to. That's almost worth it to me.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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The contract is the carriers' way of supporting the price subsidy.
When you get a phone for $99 or $199, the carrier is losing money on the phone cost, unless they can be assured that you will give them more money over the next couple of years.

When you pay the real cost of the phone plus some markup, the carrier can give you month to month service without being worried that you will lose them money if you move on.

Also, the number of subscribers is a key feature in carriers' financial reporting. Note this week, S lost a large number of subscribers in the last quarter while VZN and ATT showed gains.
So they will bait you with a subsidized phone to be able to report you as a subscriber to stockholders.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
You get the same service as those with contracts. The difference is that you can leave any time you want to. That's almost worth it to me.
Except that the subsidized price of the phone + the full early termination fee ($350 on Verizon) is less than what people are paying to buy their phones outright. And the ETF goes down by $10/month.

If someone is buying something like an iPhone or high end Android, this is simply an awful, financially irresponsible decision. Even if you think you might leave, it's still cheaper to get a contract and break it than it is to buy the phone outright.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Except that the subsidized price of the phone + the full early termination fee ($350 on Verizon) is less than what people are paying to buy their phones outright. And the ETF goes down by $10/month.

If someone is buying something like an iPhone or high end Android, this is simply an awful, financially irresponsible decision. Even if you think you might leave, it's still cheaper to get a contract and break it than it is to buy the phone outright.
dkf747, are you saying that when you're confronted with ETF goons harassing you, you simply don't pay ? Sorry if I'm failing to understand
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:41 AM
 
3,268 posts, read 5,215,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
Except that the subsidized price of the phone + the full early termination fee ($350 on Verizon) is less than what people are paying to buy their phones outright. And the ETF goes down by $10/month.

If someone is buying something like an iPhone or high end Android, this is simply an awful, financially irresponsible decision. Even if you think you might leave, it's still cheaper to get a contract and break it than it is to buy the phone outright.

Interesting.

But then as Mike J said some people don't have good credit to qualify
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
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Cell phones have for my demographic largely displaced cars as the most outwardly visible conspicuous consumption item. When I had car payments, they were right around $600 a month, and that was with 1/3 down.

To play devil's advocate: Roughly every 6-12 months there's a new phone out that's better enough than the one I have that I'd like to have it. At that point, I can sell my old phone for roughly $300 (maybe $200 at the lowest), and get the hot new phone, enjoy the new features, and show off what it can do. Considering I'm already spending $100 a month on the cell phone bill, another $300 every 6-12 months isn't that much more. Although the new Galaxy S3 is quite nice, I'm fine with my Galaxy Nexus.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
17,287 posts, read 19,327,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimace8 View Post
dkf747, are you saying that when you're confronted with ETF goons harassing you, you simply don't pay ? Sorry if I'm failing to understand
$200 (new phone on contract) + $350 is $550. $550 is less than $600. Each month, that goes down, but even in the worst-case scenario it's cheaper to buy on contract and pay the ETF. Personally, I wouldn't bother with breaking the contract. It's not worth it to me for $50-100. Just buy the phone at retail or buy if for a bit from someone who used their upgrade to get it at the discount intending to sell it and then sell the phone you have now.


As an addendum: Another reason to pay full-freight is to keep you current contract. Currently I'm paying $70 a month (employer discount whom I no longer work for) for 4GB of 4G, unlimited text, and something small like 400 minutes. With the new Verizon plans, my bill will go up by $40 a month, so I'm better off buying at full price and keeping my existing contract. More likely, I'll just keep my current phone until it breaks.
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