Why are American cellphone prices so expensive? And why are they so deceptively complex?
I have been attempting today to see if I could get a deal for my son. The least expensive smartphone I could find was a deal with AT&T. If I gotthe new Samsung Galaxy phone, I would pay an initial $199. Then we would pay $39.99 per month for the line rental, for 450 minutes. Plus $20 a month for internet (data) access at 300Mb per month. Then we would pay $20 a month for texts. Finally, there is an ACTIVATION fee of $36!!!! WHAT IS THAT FOR?
Let's compare that with an equivalent deal with O2 – the company I used to have acontract with in England. I could get a Samsung Galaxy from them for free, if I took out a 2-year contract! That contract would cost me £27 per month. That £27 would get me 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500Mb of data. There would be NO useless Activation Charge. A quick check of other UK companies suggests that the costs are pretty similar. So, in England I would pay the equivalent of about $40 per month, no charge for the phone, no activation charge, no extra charge for texts or for data. In America I would pay hidden costs of $80 per month after paying nearly $200 for the phone and a stupid, useless $36 connection fee. Do any employees of cellphone networks read this? How come, in this land of free enterprise, where most things are cheaper than in the UK, you are all prepared to pay such ridiculous, enormous costs for cellphones?
Right! Got that off my chest! What can I moan about next?