Why we hate our American cell carriers so much

Med_039cYou don’t have to look very far on the web to find story after story of customer abuse at the hands of the US carriers.  They lie, steal and otherwise do what they will to us their customers.  The sad thing is they do it to long-time customers just as quickly as to new customers, in fact they often treat new customers better so they can start the gravy train.

My experience today trying to buy the brand new T-Mobile G1 has brought to light that for the carrier it’s business as usual.  I watched the live press event pumping us up about the new G1 phone and listened very carefully as the company representative stated the price of the new phone.  He stated, and the event is recorded so that we can refer to it as I didn’t write down his exact words, that for existing T-Mobile customers the price of the G1 was $179.  I am certain that there was no mention of "qualifying" T-Mobile customers, as in those qualifying for a phone upgrade price.  He simply said the price was $179.  I’ve already recounted how my own price was $399 with a $100 "online discount" which is not even close to the price given at the press event.  I’ve heard from over a dozen other T-Mobile customers who were quoted the same high price online which means the pricing given at the press event is flat fraudulent in my book.

To make matters worse, the T-Mobile rep also touted the unlimited data plans.  Now we’ve all heard of these unlimited data plans that turn out to be capped in some way, that’s nothing unusual.  But T-Mobile is really outdoing themselves by globally touting the "unlimited" data plan while the very fine print about the plan paints a greatly different picture (click to go there):

Tmobile_unlimited_data_plan

In case you can’t read the tiny print at the bottom it states basically that if you exceed 1 GB of bandwidth in any given month then T-Mobile may throttle your unlimited 3G plan to 50 kbps.  Yes, you read that correctly.  If you exceed 1 GB of bandwidth in a month, something that is not hard to do if you just do the activities that T-Mobile lists in that same image above, then they can throttle your data usage to slow speeds worse than EDGE.  How is that not deceptive?  (NOTE: I found this on the T-Mobile G1 site but see now that Engadget also spotted this.)

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