Bell Canada to charge $10 tariff for HSPA+ access?

By on October 18, 2010 at 8:31 AM.

Bell Canada to charge $10 tariff for HSPA+ access?

We’re not sure if we should blame U.S. wireless carrier Sprint for coming up with this idea, or Bell Canada for running with it. BGR has just obtained a memo that indicates Bell customers will have to fork over a $10 per month premium for access to the company’s HSPA+ wireless network. The memo seems to indicate that the first set of devices to succumb to this fate will be a “Turbo Stick” and “Turbo Hub”; the memo is vague enough (mentioning “high speed devices”) that it could include smartphones. This may be the unfortunate reality we’re all going to have to deal with as carriers go to 4G; or in this case “4G.” If you’re a Bell customer, feel free to sound off and let us know what you think.

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Verizon loses class action ETF appeal, will pay $21 million settlement

By on July 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM.

Verizon loses class action ETF appeal, will pay $21 million settlement

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A California appeals court has ruled that Verizon Wireless is to pay some 175,000 customers current and former customers $21 million as a settlement in a class action lawsuit over early termination fees. The class action suit was filed in California on the behalf of customers who were upset that Verizon asked they pay a flat ETF of $175 regardless of how many months were left on their contract. Each customer is expected to receive $87.50 as a result of the ruling. Too bad history is bound to repeat itself now that Verizon’s ETF for “advanced devices” (i.e. smartphones) is set at $350. More →

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FCC questions Verizon Wireless about its new $350 early termination fee

By on December 4, 2009 at 4:17 PM.

FCC questions Verizon Wireless about its new $350 early termination fee

fcc-logoThe FCC has taken notice of Verizon Wireless’ new $350 early termination fee that applies to all advanced devices purchased after November 15th, 2009. The governmental agency sent an inquiry letter to Verizon Wireless asking them answer several questions regarding this increased fee. The questionnaire focuses on Verizon Wireless’ disclosure of the ETF to customers and the rationale behind the increase. The FCC also does the math and calculates that a customer with a $350 ETF will still have $120 fee remaining  after 23 months into a 24 month contract. It then asks the loaded question, “If the ETF is meant to recoup the wholesale cost of the phone over the life of the contract, why does a $120 ETF apply?” Verizon also gets hit up about the $1.99 fee it charges customers for inadvertently accessing the Mobile Web, and is asked to explain the terms and conditions of such access. Naughty, naughty Verizon has until December 17th to provide its answers.

[Via WSJ] More →

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T-Mobile sees the light, withdraws paper billing fee

By on September 11, 2009 at 5:38 PM.

T-Mobile sees the light, withdraws paper billing fee

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Early last month we reported on a policy change at T-Mobile that we weren’t exactly happy with. In a nutshell, T-Mobile decided it would force its subscribers to enroll in paperless billing lest they wish to pay an additional fee for hard copies each month. While the move was somewhat admirable on an environmental level, we were far more concerned with the ramifications this new policy would have on those without the aptitude, or financial means or equipment necessary to make use of online billing (yes, there are many people who do not own a computer). We were pretty firm with our stance and it looks like we weren’t the only ones — T-Mobile announced today that it is reversing its decision on the matter:

Since the announcement we’ve heard everything from kudos to concerns about the move to paperless – especially from our customers who today are receiving paper bills at no charge.

So, we’ve decided to not charge our customers a paper bill fee for now. Instead, we’ll be taking more time to determine the fairest way possible to encourage people to go paperless.

Kudos, T-Mobile. As we said in our last post; if you want to encourage customers to go paperless, offer them an incentive to do so. There are a variety of reasons why a customer might choose to stick with paper billing and many of them are extremely valid. To penalize these customers with a fee is just plain wrong.

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T-Mobile to penalize tech-inept with BS paper billing fee

By on August 8, 2009 at 5:00 PM.

T-Mobile to penalize tech-inept with BS paper billing fee

As fully immersed in technology as younger generations in the US are these days, we sometimes forget that there are still generations and demographics in this country who simply haven’t latched on to tech the way we have. The spunky bunch above who have gathered around a laptop to check out BGR simply aren’t representative of older generations and let us not forget the countless people in this country who cannot afford computers. The simple truth is that there are a magnitude of reasons why someone might not own, use or even know how to use a computer. Apparently however, T-Mobile thinks its poor and elderly postpaid subscribers should be penalized for being unwilling or unable to embrace a digital lifestyle.

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Verizon Wireless says “text messaging not going up to $1,000,000 per text”

By on October 11, 2008 at 2:10 PM.

Verizon Wireless says “text messaging not going up to $1,000,000 per text”

Verizon hit us up yesterday to let us know that what we reported the other day was just something being tossed around internally. It was not final. They’ve clarified their position on raising text messaging fees for content providers for us.

As Verizon Wireless continues to review the competitive marketplace, we constantly work to provide additional value to our customers, employees and other stakeholders.

We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and, importantly, our friends in the non-profit and public policy arenas.

To that end, we recently notified text messaging aggregators – those for-profit companies that provide services to content providers to aggregate and bill for their text messaging programs -  that we are exploring ways to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.

Specific information in one proposal, which would impose a small per-message fee on for-profit content aggregators for commercial messages, has been mistakenly characterized as a final decision to implement.  We don’t envision this type of change to in any way affect non-profit organizations or political and advocacy organizations.

We have not increased the per-message cost to aggregators since our messaging service began in 2003, and we have never envisioned a cost to consumers or content companies, but rather on content aggregators themselves.  That draft was intended to stimulate internal business discussions and in no way should have been been released to the public and represented as a final document.

At Verizon Wireless, we strive to provide our messaging customers with maximum value, and work to implement business decisions that encourage the use of messaging between individuals and organizations in both the marketplace of ideas and the commercial marketplace, and we will continue to strongly encourage the use of our services by charitable organizations as they perform their good works.

Couldn’t make it through all that? No problem, we will summarize it for you, “This document was not for the public. It was meant for internal business discussion in regards to content aggregators. (Think sports scores, constant text updates, etc.) This is only a proposal and not a final decision to implement. We secretly love BGR.” Hey, maybe they forgot about that leaked Storm thing already…

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Verizon Wireless to levy new fee for sending text messages to VZW customers

By on October 10, 2008 at 2:37 AM.

Verizon Wireless to levy new fee for sending text messages to VZW customers

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In a move sure to rock the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless announced yesterday that they will start charging content and messaging companies a fee for sending text messages to Verizon Wireless customers. Beginning November 1st, Verizon will charge a 3 cent per message fee for each Mobile Terminated message processed by its network. This fee will be levied on top of the current MT messaging fees (usually a fraction of a cent) already paid by companies. Talk about stifling a booming industry. These new fees will affect a whole range of text messaging services, including search results (Google), sports updates (ESPN), news alerts (CNN), auction alerts (eBay), bank account balance alerts, credit card transaction alerts, and any other company or service that want to use text messaging alerts as a value added service for their customers. Verizon claims the new fee is necessary to cover their overhead in delivering these MT messages. Sounds more like Verizon has found the ultimate cash cow and is looking to “double dip” even further. We can only hope this new practice is met with widespread rebellion and not with widespread adoption by other wireless carriers. Heck, we were even looking at doing SMS updates for BGR. Anyone interested in that?

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