Rant: Rich Uncle Verizon

Ok, this has been bugging me for quite some time now. As I look over Verizon’s website and see all these leaks on Engadget, one thing keeps popping up that I’m not sure people have noticed. What happened to subsidizing prices? Sure they still do it on phones, but with every new tablet coming out prices go up for both the extra 3G/4G radio and having a contract. Take the newly announced Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s 10.1″ (obviously) and the same Tegra 2 + Android 3.1 as most every other tablet out there (but in a much more svelte package). It’s $500 if you want just the WiFi version and that has no monthly obligation, you can use it as you please. But for only $30 more you can tie yourself to Verizon and shell out another $720 over two years to get 4G LTE speeds wherever you go. Wait what? Yes, you’re paying more to buy a device with a contract. The whole point of me signing a contract to get my phone is that I’m not paying the $600 MSRP for my Droid 2. That’s why I got it for only $100 because I’m paying Verizon even more than that $720 over the next two years. So what’s changed?

Verizon is getting greedy, and they’re just cranking up the heat on how much they’re screwing their customers. They’ve already gotten us into the highest bills for our smartphones and now they’re going after our tablets and other devices. I just don’t see any other way. You can buy a 3G enabled laptop from them for only $250. Not a netbook, like a real decent laptop that has a contract attached to it so you don’t pay so much up front. That’s how the contract system is supposed to work. You promise that Verizon gets your money for the next two years guaranteed and they give you a discount at the register to entice you into that contract. This new approach is more encouraging me to stay away from another contract with Verizon and actually save money. Sure 4G speeds are great and cost money to expand its coverage, I get that. But that does not justify actually charging more on contract. I’ll just add mobile hotspot to my already lengthy contract with Big Red and end up saving myself that $720 for a tablet. And I hope you’ll do the same. Thanks for listening, and if you’ve got any rebuttals or anything to add, please feel free to let me know in the comments or even on Twitter.

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

P.S. I’m sure there’s some kind of copyright on the images used, so who ever you are I’m going to count this sentence as crediting you.

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