The scourge of "Commitments"

I’m not talking about nuptials. I’m talking about these “service agreements” that are now seemingly all the rage in businesses. Cell phones. Land telephones. Every fucking thing in this fucking economy now requires a minimum yearlong commitment/contract in order to get even marginally competitive rates for service.
yes, I understand there’s a right-to-contract in a free society, and if I don’t like it I can magically take my money elsewhere and hope that the local telephone provider buckles under the oppressive weight of my singular decision not to utilize their services. Unfortunately, this effect is somewhat dampened by fucking morons who a) don’t even realize they’re entering into these contracts and b) don’t care that their power as a consumer is effectively castrated and sign up for these contracts anyway.

so, fuck you too, consumers :stuck_out_tongue:

One of the reasons it took me so long to get a cell phone. That’s why I like Tracfone. It doesn’t mind if see other service providers.

Well sure, why should it mind? It has been seeing a LOT of other customers.

c) think that committing to a company for a specified period is worth it to get the cheaper rate, are married and have no problem with commitment. :stuck_out_tongue:

Agreed. I don’t mind so much when I’m getting a heavy discount on a phone, but for something like high-speed internet where I a) get broke-ass old equipment and b) have to return it, why on earth do I need to make a commitment? Well, I know the answer, but it’s because they want to force people to stay even if they suck. Sorry, but as a consumer, I think that blows and I avoid it whenever possible.

DSL in my area is cheaper than cable, but I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. I’d be willing to try them out again as it’s been a long while, but the only way to get a decent rate is to sign up for a 2 year commitment. Uh, no.

I’ve even seen subscriptions where you get the promo rate for a year, but you are committed for 2 years. Who agrees to that?!

you would get these cheaper rates sans commitment if a & b weren’t true.

yep. I should’ve added a proviso for things like subsidized equipment where they are effectively making you pay off the subsidy over time. that stuff is fine, but it’s the infectious creep of these things to services that don’t operate on this model that is what bugs the shit out of me.

I paid almost $200 to liberate my mother from a 2-year “commitment” to Clear Internet service, despite having also (foolishly, in retrospect) paid $70 to purchase the wireless modem that now sits gathering dust, and despite the fact that the service didn’t work for shit during the three months she suffered with it.

So yes, fuck that senseless form of “commitment.” And fuck you long and hard, Clear. (Please, I beg all who read: don’t sign up for Clear. Even if it works, they deserve to die.)

I didn’t like the movie, either.

Tracfone is a slut?

I hate the cellphone market. The whole thing seems to be there to extract money from people who can’t multiply by 12 or 24. Wow, a free phone and only $50 a month for two years! What a deal! I don’t want to buy a new phone every two years and throw away a good phone. They should sell phones and sell service at honest prices and offer loans for the damn phones if they have to.

Recently I was thinking of getting a used smartphone to carry in my pocket so I could have one unit that had phone, music, and wifi Internet (when I’m near a Wifi spot) instead of carrying a phone and an Ipod Touch in the same pocket. It turns out Verizon won’t let you activate a smartphone for regular phone service (without data); you have to buy a $30/month data plan. I’d end up paying $60+/mo as opposed to my current grandfathered prepay plan which is $8.33/mo minimum. Apparently there’s a tiny, obscure, tiny prepay company in the midwest called Page Plus that will activate Verizon smartphones but now they’ve dropped some of them and it seems like a risky plan to use them.

Another enthusiastic agreement with the OP. I still don’t have a cell phone or cable, and that’s a big part of the reason why.

I’m in the clear, my husband and I both have Tracfones. I want a phone with full Internet access very very much, but to hell with signing a contract. Nope, won’t do it. Ever.

Another Tracfone user here.

You kids and your hair and cell phones, GET OFF MY NETWORK! Who cares about contracts, I just don’t want to be that accessible. No cell for me.

Tracfone prefers to think of it as being adventurous and free spirited and not being tied down by your old-fashioned, bourgeois mores…

but, yes.

If all phones were sold at their non-subsidized price, that would be a barrier to the market for a lot of people. An awful lot of people.

The problem isn’t that they subsidize the price of phones, it’s that you cannot get around it for a lot of carriers at all until it’s advantageous for the carrier and disadventageous for you, like when your phone is stolen, lost or broken outside of the warranty period.

Also, contracts should be straightforward. If I have to pay $50 a month over 2 years to pay for service and subsidize the additional cost of the phone that retails for $350 but for which I paid $50, then if I keep my phone at the end of those 2 years and don’t upgrade to another subsidized phone, then my bill should drop to $38.50. But that’ll never, ever happen.

As for the contracts that are 24 months but the introductory rate expires after 12, I was told by a friend who works for Comcast, which is pulling that now, that it’s because a lot of people had cottoned to the idea of calling at the end of a one year commitment and saying “I’ll stay, if you continue the introductory rate. If you won’t, I’ll cancel my service.” Now you don’t have that option. You’re locked into using Comcast for another 12 months and your bill **will **go up substantially or you will pay a penalty to get out of it, and too bad, so sad, that’s the only deal they offer now.

Heh…I thought that, too. “The Scourge of The Commitments, The Van, And That Other Irish Movie With Colm Meaney That I Needed Subtitles For”

Jaysus, jayjay.


One of the satellite TV companies works their deal that way: $20 per month (or $25; it varies) for the first year, $40 for the second for an average of $30 per month. Thing is, it’s $40 thereafter. If they’d offer it at $30 a month for the two year commitment and $30 thereafter, I’d take 'em up on it, but not the way it’s structured now.