Tag Archives: price

2013-03-24

Not much happened today. Chris stopped by for a few hours. T-Mobile also rolled out their new plans, but I don’t think there will be much of a price difference. I also noted they didn’t remove a feature I asked them too, so I will have to contact them tomorrow. My bill is slightly lower than I expected, so I will make the savings to the phone’s EIP payment on Monday.

I also made a phone call, but there was no real results. I will give a reminder call on Tuesday. I done some calculations to make sure the accounting for next month is accurate. Otherwise, not much else is happening. I did wrote a blog posting on why LTE sucks. I have no problem with the speed, but I do have the problem that LTE will kill the global phone.

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Why I can’t buy my Nexus 4 from T-Mobile!

Currently, I have a LG/T-Mobile G2x which has been more of a failure than a success. To make matters worse, T-Mobile told me they will provide updates when I bought this phone with almost nothing for 2 years. To make matters worse, this phone has been treated as the unwanted step child of T-Mobile even though 2 years ago, it was a flagship phone.

So, now with this failure of a phone, I obviously want to get it out of the use of a primary cellular phone. However, I will not get rid of it completely. On Gazelle, it is worth less than $80. So, instead it will be replacing my home phone since I no longer have one that is working properly. Rather than having a cellular account on it, it will just have a SIP app installed.

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Addressing Cuts with Verizon

I had Verizon’s FiOS bundle package for a while. This included Internet service, Telephone, and Television service. I had tried to find an appropriate value in having all three services. However, it came to the point where I couldn’t get the value at a price I could afford. So, I had to make some decisions as noted further.

First, let’s look at the last pricing. I had 15/5MBPS, “Prime TV” which was missing some basic channels that influenced my decision greatly, and FiOS phone which included unlimited domestic calling, voice mail, Caller ID, and a few other features one should expect from a digital phone service. The Internet, and Phone was both about $30 each as a bundle. The TV was about $55. A set top box would have been $10, but I had been paying $6 more for a DVR. Taxes were about $15. All together once the discounts would have expired, I will be looking at $140 per month – and this is with the lowest TV package.

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Verizon Fiber Optic Services

So, I decided to join 1990, and get premium television service along with my Internet. It also became about the same price to have a landline phone which has already helped. So, what exactly do I have, and what are the good and bad? Well that’s what this post is for. First, let’s find what I have. I have a 25/25MBPS Fiber Optic Line. Going to 15/5MBPS would have only saved $5/month. I also have 190 285 channels, although this isn’t as impressive as it sounds. In addition, I have telephone service with unlimited domestic calling, and incoming calls. So, here is what I think of everything.

Internet

The internet service in my opinion is the best value. Of course, you are speaking to someone who is not really big into television, but I will get to that later. I have a 25MBPS internet connection, and this is wonderful. According to the federal government, broadband starts at 5MBPS, and this will seem as if this is the first time in my life, I have actually hit that mark. Currently, not a lot of devices uses it. My PC uses it a lot of course. My home phone uses it for most calls. My cell phone uses it with wifi calling. However, keep in mind that I do not make nor receive many phone calls. I however probably could eat up about 1GB per day which is a big amount. The Internet service is well worth the cost, and may even be able to reduce my cellular phone plan when Andie moves off of my account.

Telephone

Telephone is the least needed service, however the price difference didn’t justify the removing of it. I have unlimited calling to anywhere in the US. I also have Caller ID, Anonymous Call Rejection, Simul-Ring, and Call forwarding. I can also control a few of the services via an Android app (will discuss later). However, the only thing truly impressive is the bundled price. Once all of the long term promotions end, it may not be worth keeping. There are a few reasons why. First, no matter how much I will beg and plea, I don’t see Verizon changing my CID to show my Google Voice number. This means that I will not likely ever use it as my primary line. At best, it would serve as a fail safe line (when SIP services is down). However, if someone calls my Google Voice number from home, or an N11 number – it will use the Verizon line. 611 for some reason will not work, although I know that the old style POTS supported 611. All telephone services run through the Fiber Optic line, even though it still connects with RJ11 jack.

Television

Television felt as if it was the most misleading. Why. At first, they noted that I can have 190 channels. However, this includes 16 local channels, 7 HD channels that are showing the same content as the 16 channels, 5 channels that are split channels (such as what would be 13.1 in OTA), about 15 local access / public / government channels that seem to almost never have anything on it – therefore useless. It also includes 45 audio music channels which I am sure anyone that has Comcast or Satellite will know these stations. There are 42 channels that have 2 stations (one standard definition, and another high definition). Like the local channels, this is counted as 2 channels. There are about 37 channels that are in standard definition only. So in reality, the 190 channels are actually less than 100. Let’s face it, if two stations have the exact same content on it, this should be counted as the same number of stations.

To make matters worse, channels you would expect to be included in the base package with 190 channels aren’t included. One example was the National Geographic channel. I would get Syfy (formally known as SciFi), however I didn’t find many other channels that would be worth the extra cost. This essentially forced me to upgrade which will give me almost “100” extra channels, but we see how Verizon counts these channels.

Hardware

There are two pieces of hardware that is required. The first is the router. It is a wifi-N router which is good. It has a non-functioning USB port which I wished Verizon would have activated it so I could use an external hard drive on it. It does support 4 LAN ports which is good. This means I can plug in computers, NAS, and of course my phone. This router is the center point of the FiOS, and seems to be used even for television service to some degree. If I want to use the TV remote app, it needs to use the FiOS router.

The other device is the cable box. This is the cheapest and most basic box set top box I have ever seen in my life. It has a power button on the front, but no display. At least old boxes would have 2 LED numbers with channels in the mid 80’s. Most will have the time and channel, but not this one. On the back is coaxial for older TVs, Analog, Composite, and HDMI. Since the HDMI port on my PC is out only, I had to pull the old 20” CRT television out. It seem to need to do a channel set, and Line, 2, and 3 were set. Channel 2 (what would be CBS) has no picture. 3 is the box, and Line is for the RCA for the DVD Player which is no good.

I was also given an RG6 cable, and HDMI which was good. The RG6 is for the current television while the HDMI should support new TVs. The installer was also kind enough to install a phone jack close the RG6 cable that comes into the apartment. This meant that I could keep the phone access point close to the router and the phone jack which was important to use it to full potential.

Software

Available on Android, and iOS platforms – Verizon offers a means to control the TV, and some of the phone settings from the cellular device, or PDA. Technically, I don’t even need to use the set top box remote nowadays, although it is still active. I could actually change a channel while in the back yard and have it affect the TV in the front room. The app seems half baked though – although serves as a good remote control. I just expected more such as show searching, or reading show info on the device rather than the relying on the TV.

The phone app is helpful if I forgot to turn call forwarding on or off, or if I wanted to turn on/off Do Not Disturb. It will also show a call log, and use the cellular phone’s contacts to give names. However, for the most part, this app has proven nearly useless to me. Again, I would have expected better. They offer Speed Dial, yet – I can’t seem to program that through this app. On a good note, I am able to see CID display show on the television. This is only good with Verizon phone services.

Price

Price is a big disappointment. The price is fair on paper, but as you may have noticed, I feel robbed on how they counted the channel line up. In addition, you are smacked with additional fees that should be included. Here is the cost for the service I currently have (with 285 channels).

  • $105 for the base service price with some price guarantee
  • $10 for wire maintenance (will fix basic jack issues)
  • $10 for the set top box (which should be included)
  • $15 for taxes and fees.

All of this will be an estimate of about $140 so the representative told me. Keep in mind that after you exclude the music channels, and double channels – you are looking about 125 channels rather than 285 channels. Internet only service is about $75 (including taxes). So in reality, it is a nominal fee extra for the extra services. However, I will be finding little justification for it if it rises dramatically. Because of the higher price, I will not be able to get a DVR any time soon (an extra $10), and I can forget the premium movie packages which will cost an extra $60 for the movies.

Justification of the price will include the removal of Clear Wireless ($30) which was the reason of setting Verizon FiOS to begin with. I am now able to use SIP which cost $60 per year, but will allow me to go to the cheapest voice plan with T-Mobile when Andie leaves my plan (which should happen soon). I also have 911 support, and since I now have television service, I can keep up with news, current events, and have no need to increase my Netflix service. In a matter of fact, if the time comes when my queue is reduced, I could actually go to the streaming only plan, and have something worthwhile. I will be reducing my eMusic subscription which will mean less songs per month, but will provide funds to the Verizon service.

Verdict

I am disappointed in the way they count channels. And with this severe factor where I am getting only half of what I would expect otherwise makes this a less of a value. This is especially true with the current 4:3 television, but in reality it’s not Verizon’s responsibility for giving me a 16:9 television. If there is no reasonable way to get a better TV (which I need any how for Television), I will get one when I can reduce the Fingerhut bill. So, for the price, it is still better than Verizon’s competitor here (Comcast). I seen Comcast’s services, and while Chris and Andie has more TV services, 1MBPS internet, and no POTS for $150 per month (or close to it) means I am getting more value for the money. It would be nice if Verizon did a little more ethical way of counting channels. At least you as the reader will know this ahead of time. It is better than Comcast, so therefore – the best choice if you can get FiOS service.

Valued Customer? Not in my Opinion!

I am interested in replacing my phone that has lately been more trouble than good. It is a smart phone running Android 2.2 and with just 192MB memory, and a 528Mhz CPU. Since no one at T-Mobile can tell me if the Samsung Galaxy S 2 coming out this year will be coming to T-Mobile, I am basing my efforts based on the Galaxy S 4G. So, I called T-Mobile, and informed them of my interests as well as well as what I would like. First, I have an in house credit of $600 for a non-Contract phone, and would assume that I have a $300 line for a contract phone.

Now, the way T-Mobile works with their line of credit is that you pay ¼ + Sales Tax (7% in PA) and ¼ for the next three months, or you pay 5% + Sales Tax + 5% for the next 19 months. The Galaxy S 4G is $250 + 2 years, or $500 without a contract. On a non contract plan, it would be $60 to take the phone, and $25 for the next 19 months. For that, my current monthly plan will remain the same since I am on their non contract plans. Now, based on my plan and services, I will normally be paying an additional $30 – $40 per month for services. However, their “Customer Loyalty” department offered to only add $5.00 per month if I got a contract with this plan. This will be $80 the first month, and $62.50 for the next three months. However, I will be paying an additional $120 over the two year period with this discount offering. This will effectively mean I will be paying $370 for the $250 phone which is only $130 less than if I didn’t have to pay the extra cost.

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Cheesy back plate, but better announcement date

RIM 9700 expected look

I like RIM devices because they are stable, and there is company experience. It has been around since 1984, and even being a phone developer specializing in such as small market for 25+ years shows they must be doing something right. However, as of now, the only reason this phone is so much ahead of all other choices I would have is UMA. As for the real details on specs, I can only presume things like CPU, and storage would be similar to 9630. There is still no information on pages related to the 9700, but according to Engadget, this would change October 21.

Continue reading Cheesy back plate, but better announcement date