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How Can Cell Phone Service Be So Expensive?

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How Can Cell Phone Service Be So Expensive?

Old 06-08-06, 06:19 AM
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you mean that can justify you paying those prices
Old 06-08-06, 08:56 AM
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shifrbv - just like with any 'hot' or 'in demand' item, you pay a price for it.

There is not enough cell phone bandwidth for EVERYONE in the United States to be able to have and use a cell phone all at the same time.

Remember some of those $10 kids toys that were selling for $1000 at Christmas time? Similar concept.

I will say though, if you start counting from the late 80's when cell phones were emerging to the general publc, they have gotten much cheaper to own. My first phone was in like 1991, it was mounted to my car, cost $300 + $30 month + 35 cents per EVERY minute used. Even if I never made a call, it was $30/month. At the time I was being re-imbursed for phone expense by my job, so I didn't really care about the $150-$200 month bills, not my problem
Old 06-08-06, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv

That gives me 500 minutes per month which is almost 17 minutes per day that I can talk without going over my minutes. (The next plan up gives 900 minutes, but that's $60 and only let's me talk 30 minutes a day which is hardly anything).


Not to mention, with my landline, I don't pay for long distance with my bill. I use the 10-10 numbers at 5 cents per minute when I need to call long distance. Even talking with friends and relatives for up to 3 hours at a time, I still average less than $10 in long distance per month as the cost goes down the longer you talk.
That's the problem right there. Cell phone service isn't made for people like you that talk on the phone constantly. It sounds like you need more of a business type plan but you'd just be using it to chit chat.
Old 06-08-06, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by twikoff
you mean that can justify you paying those prices
I agree. I mean, some people spend money on golf club memberships. Some people collect expensive antiques. Some people like to travel first class. I'm not interested in doing those things, or I can't personally afford to do those things, but that doesn't mean everyone who does is a spendthrift.

Just like because I don't watch cartoons, doesn't mean everyone who does is an idiot. Gee, I'm learning.
Old 06-08-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
Not to mention, with my landline, I don't pay for long distance with my bill. I use the 10-10 numbers at 5 cents per minute when I need to call long distance. Even talking with friends and relatives for up to 3 hours at a time, I still average less than $10 in long distance per month as the cost goes down the longer you talk.
Can you take your landline with you on the road? If you're perfectly content doing all of your talking from home then why even bother with the cell phone?

Regarding "justification" of these prices, it comes from the fact that people are willing to pay these rates. If there wasn't enough demand for cell phone service at those prices then the price would migrate downward. It's that simple.
Old 06-08-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
That gives me 500 minutes per month which is almost 17 minutes per day that I can talk without going over my minutes. (The next plan up gives 900 minutes, but that's $60 and only let's me talk 30 minutes a day which is hardly anything).
I pay $39.95 ($47 after taxes) and get 1000 any-time minutes a month with unlimited nights/weeknds and free long distance. I work during the day so I usually do all my cell phone calls/chatting at night so that's all unlimited.
Old 06-08-06, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
My first phone was in like 1991, it was mounted to my car, cost $300 + $30 month + 35 cents per EVERY minute used. Even if I never made a call, it was $30/month.

I remember that pricing...damn was it a screwing.

I think my plan is ~$60/mon (+some random taxes) and I get 900 minutes, free N/W, etc. I got most of my friends onto verizon, my folks are on it, etc.....so the majority of my time is covered by M2M. I consider that a very good deal to stay in touch for $60. I haven't had a landline for 3-4+ years. I got one for a few months for 'safety' (my mom told me it was safer in case I lost cell reception), but that never happened.....so I got rid of it. Even at $12-$15/mon, it was too much for something I used to order pizza from.

-p
Old 06-08-06, 09:33 AM
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I got rid of our cell phones a couple of months ago after being sick of paying $90 a month for 2 phones, especially when either was barely used. We had the cheapest family plan and shared minutes and we never used half of the minutes.
Old 06-08-06, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Cusm
I got rid of our cell phones a couple of months ago after being sick of paying $90 a month for 2 phones, especially when either was barely used. We had the cheapest family plan and shared minutes and we never used half of the minutes.
I don't always use mine either, but my plan rolls them over. It's nice to know I have them to spare if necessary.
Old 06-08-06, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
Let's see, 17 minutes per day vs. unlimited minutes and people are saying these cell phone deals are so amazing and it's feasible to replace a landline? I guess if you don't plan on actually using the phone much.

I still see alot of bias in this thread. People working for cell companies, people very proud of the fact that they can get this service for over $100 a month yet still have limited calling ability. Of course, people going for this have to find some way to rationalize the pricing. Nobody wants to think of themselves as a sucker. But I've still yet to see any compelling arguments and anyone coming close to a reasonable number of minutes or service level that could justify paying those prices.


Boy, you're REALLY not paying attention, are you?

Most of us have posted that we pay MUCH LESS than that. Most of us have posted that our phones are free nights and weekends, when we do most of our calling; any calls made on nights and weekends DO NOT count towards those "500 minutes per month" (or whatever you have). Heck, if I wanted, I could call my best friend back in Seattle (where I used to live) on Friday night and talk to her for about sixty (60) hours straight, and it would NOT cost me a penny in either phone minutes OR long distance. Plus, I could call her while lounging on the beach, while running errands, while out driving, and not be stuck at home.

When do you do most of your calling? The # of "anytime" or "daytime" minutes you get from your cell phone plan only matter if you do most of your calling during the weekday. If you're like most people, and you do most of your calling after 7pm or 9pm weekdays OR anytime on weekends, you can call anyone in the country for free, and those minutes do NOT count towards your minutes per month (honestly, I'm starting to think you don't understand this part? You keep ignoring that aspect in others' posts). No long distance, period, and you're not tied to your landline's location.

Who do you call the most? I switched to the same plan as my boyfriend because I call him the most, and it's FREE for us to call each other, 24/7, and again we're not tied to a landline, and again, those minutes do not count towards my monthly minutes. The other people I call the most, I call mostly on weekends or evenings, and thus it's also free to call them.

So you've "still yet to see any compelling arguments", huh? I can call from anywhere, you're stuck at home when calling. I can call anyone in the country in the evenings and all weekend for no long distance; I can call other cell phone users with the same carrier 24/7 for free, and not use any of my minutes for nights, weekends, or calling other cell phone users. None of those are compelling?

It doesn't matter to us if you get a cell phone, but you're being so bloody condescending about it... why? We made the smart choice for us, but you're calling us all "suckers" and "idiot consumers"... why? What cell-phone-user bit you in the butt?
Old 06-08-06, 01:50 PM
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Unlimited weekends = approx. 192 free minutes per month (8 days @ 24 hours)

Unlimited Nights = approx. 198 free minutes per month (22 days @ 9 hours)

So a 500 minute plan, is actually more like 900 minutes.

Personally, I cannot understand how anyone can use so much time. We have a family share account with 2 phones, with 500 anytime minutes w/ rollover (current balance of almost 3000), free nights and weekends, and free cingular to cingular calling, free long-distance and no roaming fees (we live in a more rural area where this could be very important as we change from provider to provider covered areas). We discontinued our home landline. Total cost with all taxes and fees (regulatory and 911 cost recovery) is $72 per month with excellent service (plus they paid us $50 when we got each phone). Our landline was almost $40 a month before we cancelled it, and according to my records, we end up using about 100 or less of our anytime minutes per month (most calls are on nights, weekends or to other Cingular phones).
Old 06-08-06, 02:03 PM
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even bigger than free nights and weekends, is the free mobile to mobile

I have never gotten close to using my minutes because most of my friends and family (including my wife of course) have the same cell provider.. so our calls to each other are always free

i have a landline.. but the chances or me answering it, are very small.

i prefer the cell, because i can be reached anywhere, i can call from anywhere, and all the extra services you have to pay for with a landline are included (such as caller id, call wait, etc...)

its not just a matter of me needing it in case of an emergency.. car breaking down. etc...
its also good piece of mind to have it in case anyone else has an emergency and needs to be able to reach me... if corrie is broken down on the side of the road with my 6 year old and 1 year old kids, she needs to be able to get ahold of me immediately, regardless where i am.

and of course.. I also have to have it for my job.. our monitoring app automatically sends text messages to my cell phone anytime there is a problem with any of my servers.. and I need to be able to receive those at any time, anywhere, so I can take the appropriate actions.. although, my work does pay my cell bill too

Last edited by twikoff; 06-08-06 at 02:06 PM.
Old 06-08-06, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by wlmowery
Unlimited weekends = approx. 192 free minutes per month (8 days @ 24 hours)

Unlimited Nights = approx. 198 free minutes per month (22 days @ 9 hours)

So a 500 minute plan, is actually more like 900 minutes.
Please tell me your job doesn't involve math. It's more like 23,000 not counting mobile to mobile.

<hr>

As far as the OP and the rest of the thread...

To paraphrase X:

"I'm continually amazed how some people have absolutely no clue how multinational corporations work or even how to identify any bit of simple economic law. Not coincidentally, they also have no clue how individuals respond to these same effects.

It's so much like finding people who believe in witches and think they know what to do about them."
Old 06-08-06, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Please tell me your job doesn't involve math. It's more like 23,000 not counting mobile to mobile.


i knew those numbers didnt look right
Old 06-08-06, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wlmowery
Unlimited weekends = approx. 192 free minutes per month (8 days @ 24 hours)

Unlimited Nights = approx. 198 free minutes per month (22 days @ 9 hours)

So a 500 minute plan, is actually more like 900 minutes.
Uhhhh... I agree with most of your post, but the deal is even better than you describe: that's 192 free HOURS per month for the free weekends (8 days at 24 hours), and 198 free HOURS per month for the free nights. That's literally THOUSANDS of minutes free per month, not 900... even better.

Actually, for some plans, it's more: my plan has 9pm-7am as free nights, so that's 10 hours per day, but some plans are 7pm-7am free, so that's 12 free hours per day, for every single weekday.

Seriously, because of the free nights and weekends, I have a low amount of "anytime" minutes on my plan, and I never even run out of those. I've had to make a bucketload of calls recently during the day (because of a car accident a few months ago) and STILL don't use them up. That's why my cell phone is my only phone.


Edited to add: DANGIT, Bus, you beat me to it.
Old 06-08-06, 02:27 PM
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This thread is becoming downright bizarre. We're all either suckers or working for cell phone companies because we feel we pay a reasonable price for cell service? Who the heck stays home on weekdays and calls people for hours on end during the daytime?
Old 06-08-06, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
This thread is becoming downright bizarre. We're all either suckers or working for cell phone companies because we feel we pay a reasonable price for cell service? Who the heck stays home on weekdays and calls people for hours on end during the daytime?
or sits by their phone waiting for an important call
Old 06-08-06, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
This thread is becoming downright bizarre. We're all either suckers or working for cell phone companies because we feel we pay a reasonable price for cell service? Who the heck stays home on weekdays and calls people for hours on end during the daytime?
Only because I know what it's like to be in the OP's place (recall my thread about South Park and King of the Hill, which got me roundly trounced), I will say that I can understand the reluctance to buy into this particular 'hot trend.'

It reminds me of one of my sisters-in-law, who said during her first pregnancy that she would never, EVER use cloth diapers. They were expensive, inconvenient, stupid, etc. Several of her friends paid for six months of diaper service for her, and she's been preaching about their benefits ever since.

There are plenty of hot trends that I'm happy to sit out. I have no interest, for example, in driving an SUV or buying Starbucks coffee six days a week, no interest in getting tattooed or pierced or wearing midriff-baring clothes (for which all of you should be profoundly thankful ).

However, my cell phone is something I hesitated to get, but was glad I had. It's truly a convenience I wouldn't want to go without. All of us make choices. I'd be willing to bet that if the OP had someone pay for a month of cellular service, she'd be awfully hooked on it on that 30th day. (And no, I'm not volunteering. )

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