Fearing that Congress or the FCC would pass tougher federal regulation, carriers have been making several "voluntary" changes, including pro-rating ETFs [...]Don't worry, Sprint. Just as soon as enough $$$$$$$$$$$ gets shoveled into the appropriate politicians collective campaigns, you won't have to pay a dime because the Congress will be sure to protect your bottom line just like they did the telcos with retroactive immunity for breaking the law.
| |dvd536as Mr. Pink as they comePremium
said by baj475:your share: probably around 14 cents.
Quite some time ago Sprint told me that I owed them an ETF. I told Sprint to KMA and that if they wanted to try and collect they could meet me in a California court. To bad they never tried. I could have used the class representative's share of that $73M.
When I gez aju zavateh na nalechoo more new yonooz tonigh molinigh - Ken Lee
Re: What Grounds?
said by pnh102:I wouldn't be so sure that California doesn't have laws dealing with ETF-like fees - charges imposed by a business against a customer who breaches a contract. I haven't read the opinion so I'm not sure what it's based on, but in general CA leans heavier towards interjecting public policy into contract law that some other places - for better or worse.
I am not following. I am pretty sure CA does not have a law that states that ETFs cannot be less than whatever Sprint was charging.
| |pnh102Reptiles Are Cuddly And PrettyPremium
Mount Airy, MD
Re: What Grounds?
said by vpoko:Perhaps... this just seems to me like a decision based on the judge simply not liking the idea of ETFs.
I haven't read the opinion so I'm not sure what it's based on, but in general CA leans heavier towards interjecting public policy into contract law that some other places - for better or worse.
The only way I could see an ETF being ruled illegal is if the terms of the ETF are not spelled out clearly in the contract, or if Sprint violated those terms.
This isn't fair! I was only supposed to hate just ONE presidential candidate!
Re: What Grounds? California is hard-nosed when it comes to marketing practices - which is essentially what the carriers are hanging onto.
First, they lure you in with marketing pitches about free phones and cheap plans, then footnote it all with "*with two year agreement" in small print. Sure, customers should read, but such conditions really should be prominent, in California's eyes.
Then, once you're in the contract, you get 30 days to try it and cancel if something's not to your liking or you just are unable to pay it. That's all fine and good...but to my knowledge California had to fight to get that 14 day trial extended to 30 days.
After which, you're charged $200 for canceling a month before the end of your service - resulting in profit for the carriers. In fact, unless you're on the absolute cheapest plan, the carrier is making a profit after only a few months, and they're using it almost as a strongarm to get you to stay, artificially ramping true retention figures.
That's the problem. Had the ETF been prorated properly like any other, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. It just didn't make sense for the figure to stay the same regardless of length. It's no different than rental places who, if you break the lease, can charge you for the full price of the monthly rent for as long as the apartment stays empty and they must diligently put someone in there.
| |a333A hot cup of integrals pleaseReviews:
Rego Park, NY
·Verizon Online DSL
Re: ETF Sure, ETF's are valid, but ONLY when they're prorated. When a carrier is making at LEAST $40/month off of even the most basic subscriber, its hard to justify a constant ETF that doesn't get reduced along the length of the contract. Think of it... If Cindy consumer cancels after 31 days of service, while Joe cancels 15 days before his 2 yr contract's up, how can they BOTH pay the same ETF? It just doesn't make sense...
As a side note, prepaid services from many carriers, GoPhone for instance, offer phones that're pretty cheap, despite the lack of contract, so the point about subsidizing the price w/contracts is sorta moot here...
As proof, compare the two pages below (Both are descriptions of the same phone, a Nokia 2610):
(IE it's $149 w/o contract)
(IE it's only $49 even WITHOUT contract)
I wonder why........
| |a333A hot cup of integrals pleaseReviews:
Rego Park, NY
·Verizon Online DSL
Re: ETF Well, that was for selling them innit? And, actually, even if you buy the phone outright on postpaid, you still get a 'locked' device. Not much of a difference, really.
BTW: ALL cell companies know that unlocking a phone is not much of a chore for the tech-savvy. Honestly, all the effort they put into branding a phone is really moot. All you need is either a software flash or even simpler, a PUK/SIM unlock. Heck, walk into chinatown and pay 30 bux, and they'll be more than glad to assist....
said by screenoscar :EFT's are valid but ONLY if they are based on the remaining term of the contract. The CellCo says that the phone subsidy is fully paid in 2 years. OK but after 1 year it has been 50% paid back so the EFT should only be 50% of the original amount (IOW: It should decline 1/24 each month).
I don't have a problem with ETFs. Most customers doesn't want to pay the retail price for a new phone or can't afford the retail price of a phone. In exchange for getting a free phone or a phone at a discounted price, they agree to a two-year contract (which is typical in the wireless industry. One-year contracts are an option but most people can't afford the price of a phone that has a one-year contract). They also agree to pay an ETF if they cancel the contract before it ends. What is so hard to understand about that. Also, when a carrier gives a customer a free phone, do you think the manufacturer gave the phone free to the wireless carrier? The reason contracts are required is that the costs of the phones are subsidized by the carrier.
For all the people whining about the ETF, no one forces anyone to sign the contract. It isn't as if the salesperson forced them to take a contract at gunpoint.
With the pro-business Supreme Court we have now, I hope at&t files an injunction in US District Court of Washington, DC against any meritless lawsuit regarding early termination fees. Hopefully this will go all the way to Supreme Court who will rule that based upon contract law and precedents, ETF(s) are valid.
As an alternative, an amortized schedule could apply by treating it as a 24 payment loan with the original EFT as the total payment amount (which includes the interest payment). This is a system where each month one month's interest on the remaining principle is removed and the remainder of the reduction pays off part of the principle. IOW: With an EFT of $240, this is a loan of some amount at some interest rate and the EFT owed is reduced by $10 a month but some of that goes towards the interest and the rest towards the principle so that after 1 year you owe more than $120 just like if you had pre-paid a loan with a total payment amount of $240.
A flat 1/24 reduction per month is simpler but so long as the contract DEFINES the EFT as a loan, the loan method can be used (but a loan prepayment table SHOULD/MUST be supplied).
said by MrFingers :California law makes mandatory binding arbitration null and void. For California residents, anyway.
Aaaahhh...If you read your contract any disputes regarding either party is subject to binding arbitration, you can't sue them in court and if you win a judgement against them for not showing up the telcos file a motion to vacate citing the valid contract you signed when you illegally sued them.
Bottom line is the lawyers will get most of the money and we'll get a coupon for a free text message.
| |highhatsizeNorm, The Basset For All TimePremium
| Formerly, a contract was deemed to be valid if both parties exchanged something of value. If you traded a gold coin for a Lima bean you were assumed to have exercised your "freedom to contract". The last Supremes to hold to this theory died in the Hoover Administration.|
Latterly, the question of why anyone in their right mind would trade a gold coin for a Lima bean caused questions of "informed consent" and "relative bargaining power" to take over as determinative of validity.
Was one of the parties a loonie, dumb as paste, or ignorant as Tom Cruise? Was the other party a multi-national corporation with a multi-billion dollar legal budget? Hmmm? Such contracts are now considered suspect. Implicitly unfair are the contracts wherein the multi-national corporation presents an average individual with a long, abstrusely worded contract and says, "Sign", since there is no actual bargaining. These are called, "adhesion contracts". Adhesion contracts for products or services wherein all the vendors offer precisely the same terms are considered the legal equivalent of ticker-tape.
Inevitably, all adhesion contracts that contain unfair terms that fall within the above parameters are held to be void by the courts. However, the Court$$$ do not take cognizance of the unfairness until it is pressed home to them by professionals, (i.e. Lawyer$$$), who wait until the millions of victims of the multi-nationals have accumulated a big enough pot of damage$$$ so that is worth the lawyers while to $$ue. Voila! Class-action suits.
If the government protected citizens against predatory multi-national corporations, class-action suits would not exist. But the last legislators seriously interested in that died in the Carter administration.