I suspect there are a lot of people in the world who are disappointed by the disappearance of cell phone subsidizing. “WHAT, I HAVE TO PAY FOR MY PHONE NOW?” At the end of the day it kind of all comes out in the wash for me, I never did contracts anyway because I simply don’t like being tied to a phone company, on principle, and dating back to the days of being in Alaska Communication’s noose.
For the people who miss those subsidies, I have great news. Not only are they back, but they’re back with a vengeance.
Let’s rewind to the beginning-ish of March. I’ve been with Verizon ever since I moved to MN. I still maintain my AT&T line and number, but just for aesthetic reasons. The only phone I use is my Verizon phone. I also recently got into the smart watch market, albeit the cheap way with a secondhand Moto 360. I won’t say I’m elated with the smart watch, but now that I’ve had it for awhile I definitely feel naked without it. The problem has been that the constant jabber between smart watch and smart phone has caused my aging Motorola phone to have less than acceptable battery life. That’s fine, the Samsung Galaxy S7 was just announced and it’s almost an adequate flagship handset, so I’ll just spend a few bucks and we’ll fix our battery problem and take an upgrade at the same time.
I go into the Verizon store at MOA. Overall the service was satisfactory (personable that is), although it definitely took longer than I wanted to achieve the goal I was seeking. I was not necessarily planning on walking out of there with anything new, the phone was still a pre-order and I just didn’t have the watch in mind. The deal is though – buy yourself a Galaxy S7 and get this sweet deal on the Samsung Gear S2. The sales guy went into adequate detail regarding Tizen, but he was also wearing one and was able to show me the benefits of having a 3g watch. I figured what the F, I’ll try it. What the Verizon salesman was not particularly clear on was that in order to get this sweet deal I was going back to good ol’ subsidized price modeling. So here’s what the *deal* looks like:
The points to take away:
1) The device “only costs me $5.00/mo” according to Verizon staff.
2) The great deal is $150 (43%) off of full retail cost of $350.
Regarding point 1, only $5.00 a month sounds great, but the reality is that it’s over twice that. If you look at surcharges that are in their control combined with governmental charges outside of their control, it’s actually more than double of the “only $5.00 a month.” I called today to talk about canceling it – the early cancellation fee is $175. Less than paying the $11.37 for the term of the contract, but not by a lot.
Regarding point 2, you used to be able to get iPhones valued at $500+ free right? Or is that me imagining things? Either way, it was way better than paying 57% of full retail.
I don’t like being under contract, I don’t like sneaky sales practices, and I don’t like being taken to the cleaners. When the math is done I will be paying (at best) $404.19 to own this thing for a month. The best I can hope for in the resale market is about $300. This month Verizon not only took their normal $150 out of my pocket for the services they provide, but they’re also hosing me for $100 additional that I’ll see no benefit from.
So thanks assholes at Verizon. I was recently shopping around because T-Mobile claims their network is fixed. The only reason I didn’t jump ship is because I honestly had very few complaints about Verizon besides the cost. Fact is they’re all too expensive though, and T-Mobile doesn’t give me any corporate discount on service, so continuing with big red just made sense. I have a new complaint, and after tomorrow my contract with you will be terminated.
As an aside – if you’re considering going from a proper Android Wear device to a Tizen based device, save your money and your frustration. Tizen is garbage, and because I see no looming Wear support coming for the device you’ll find mine on eBay as soon as I’m clear of the bounty on the device, in case you don’t trust my advice…