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Google Reduces Its Nexus One Termination Fee

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the get-out-for-less dept.

Cellphones 56

CWmike writes "The only smartphone Linus Torvalds doesn't hate is that much less unlikable now that Google has quietly chopped $200 off its early termination fee on the Nexus One. Customers who cancel the service had been on the hook for $550, including a $350 Google cancellation charge. Google has reduced their fee to $150 — but users are still liable for a $200 ETF from T-Mobile. Users have a 14-day grace period during which they do not have to pay either charge, although they may be hit with a restocking fee. The $350 total fee matches one of the highest in the industry, charged by Verizon. Google did not announce the change but simply altered its online terms-of-service document." The price cut could add momentum to a phone that, by one reckoning, costs only $49 unlocked.

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Yuck. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069498)

There's a pubic hair on my keyboard. What the fuck?? I "mow the lawn" so it's not mine. Gross.

Re:Yuck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069882)


my bad

Slashvertisement at its best (4, Insightful)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069510)

Linking to an article mentioning Linus and an older advertisement, with a tiny bit of new information (a 200$ cut because of an about-to-be ruling by the FCC), that overall shows Google in a positive light. With clumsy maths at the end.

Slashdot at its best!

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069542)

Slashdot at its best!

I've been reading that for at least a decade. At least you can't fault them on editorial style inconsistencies...

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069558)

No, I don't think you get it at all.

If it's Mobile, Apple, Your Rights or Idle, we're supposed to be angry.

Everything else has the potential to still be up to rational debate.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (3, Interesting)

Xiph (723935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069594)

Parent is not a troll, Korbeau is merely stating the obvious.

The $49 price is not the real price, but the difference between doing it one way, and doing it a different way, both with HORRIBLE subscription prices by european standards.

Early termination fees are a JOKE, especially with a size like that.
This whole story reeks of someone lacking their sense of judgement or deliberately ignoring it.

Yes, teH Nexus One is a nice phone, but
A: it's not that cheap
B: it's not a jesus phone (neither was the iPhone)
C: this is neither the first or second story about it these last few days.

anyway. imo, parent is not a troll

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069932)

Subscription prices are crazy not just by European standards, also by Asian standards. Those prices are very high for basically any non-American mobile phone user.

The discount of USD 20 mentioned is about as much as my monthly fee. And then I have a 3G plan now, plan to change back to some 2G plan which starts at less than USD 4.50 per month - including about 800 minutes air time, voice mail, etc.

Getting a USD 20 per month discount for your phone is virtually impossible in Hong Kong, simply because most people don't even pay that much for their mobile phone.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071926)

Yeah... but how densely populated is Hong Kong vs USA? how dense is Europe vs USA?

One of the biggest problems I would assume is the fact that the USA is *HUGE*. To properly cover it requires magnitudes of more towers = more costs = more bill. Plus each tower, on average, covers fewer users.

Hong Kong? Same amount of towers covers *ALOT* more people at once. More people paying = Less charge per person to cover the 'bills'.


Population density of the continents:

        * North America - 32 people per square mile
        * South America - 73 people per square mile
        * Europe - 134 people per square mile
        * Asia - 203 people per square mile
        * Africa - 65 people per square mile
        * Australia - 6.4 people per square mile

So as of 2005 (When above written) Asia has 6x more people per mile than the US, making each tower split between many more people. Europe 4x. Australia is alot less per mile, but I figure that overall they have alot more empty space... so I'd like to know what their bills are compared to USA.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072938)

As AT&T recently found out in NYC and other big cities, more people means you need MORE towers, not less. It's like trying to serve 1000 people from a single WiFi AP. Sure, your signal can reach them, but the throughput sucks. It also doesn't take into account the fact that in large cities in the US, we have population density that can rival even Asian cities. Yet those areas are not nearly so well served as similar areas in Asia or Europe.

If you're going to use population density you need to use a smaller scale than whole countries. We don't even provide cellular 911 service to the entire land mass of the US. Only major metro areas and interstate highways have good coverage.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073446)

Number of towers or people/area are both red herrings. Really, it is just area by itself and the main problem is installation and transit. You can have lots of towers in a small region and not need as much digging and cables as the same size network over a whole state.

What the cell networks need is a way to get power to widely spread towers without cable. If all those towers in the middle of nowhere could have rectennas for power and then use directed wireless or optical methods to connect between towers instead of cable, costs would be much lower.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31073554)

GSM service may only have good coverage of the major metro areas, and interstate highways, (T-mobile once published a coverage map that showed a blob for each city, and a highlight along each interstate highway, and that was it). But CDMA services definitely do cover nearly all of the landmass. Now there are exceptions. Some literally backwoods locations don't have coverage, along with parts of the western but non-coastal United States where the population density can be extremely sparse. But on the coasts and in the midwest it is rare to find spots that have no coverage.

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072912)

Early termination fees are a JOKE, especially with a size like that.

i guess you should explain that comment. should a consumer be allowed to pay $180 + $80 for a contract, then cancel with no ETF thereby getting a $530 nexus one phone for $260?

if the provider is subsidizing the price of the phone, a pro-rated ETF based on the retail price of the phone is fair. in this case, you pay $180 for the subsidized phone and an ETF of $350. $350+$180 = $530 ... and surprise, that's the price of the unsubsidized phone. in other words, if you decide to cancel your contract, you pay the unsubsidized fee that you would have paid in the first place if you hadn't gotten a contract.

how is that not fair?

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (1)

shri (17709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069952)

Not to mention, it got Computer World their link for the day. Wish we could ignore by submitter. Low quality garbage that passes for news...

Re:Slashvertisement at its best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070654)

One of the reasons that I don't subscribe to /. anymore. It certainly isn't w/o advertisements and too lame these days for the cost..


Unbelievable (0)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069512)

First post!

I find it hard to believe the population of the US puts up with this utter crap called early termination fees. In much of the rest of the civilized world, this is likely illegal. Here in Finland, such fees would have to be clearly indicated to the consumer in the final price of the device, and cannot be hidden deep in contract terms.

Once again, US consumers are getting screwed over by their corporate overlords while the government sits by and does nothing.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069598)

Once again, US consumers are getting screwed over by their corporate overlords while the government sits by and does nothing.

You seem to be misinformed. These days, government is run by corporations and special interests. (And don't even get me started on that recent Supreme Court decision [npr.org].)

Re:Unbelievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070830)

So, are corporations also subject to same taxes as people? Progressive depending on size, etc...

Re:Unbelievable (2, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069974)

How else do you expect it to work? If you want subsidised phones, early termination fees are a necessary evil. If you could just cancel your contract one month in with no penalty, then everyone would just sign up, get the phone, and cancel.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070202)

Are you trying to defend a consumer-unfriendly business model that should not need to exist in the first place? Of course, consumers *should* understand that you don't get something (cheap subsidized phone) without paying for it somehow (early termination fees). But that doesn't seem to be the case now, does it?

Subsidized phones have only recently been available here in Finland, but they are the rare exception rather than the rule. As an educated consumer, I would rather buy a phone and have the freedom to do what I want with it, rather than be locked into a long-term contract with termination fees. It's why I can buy my phone from *anyone* I want, and use it with *any* service provider I choose. At any time. Without termination fees. Without contracts. Just swap the SIM card. Easy, simple, convenient.

This idea has not caught on in the US yet. Unfortunately, US consumers are not protected like they are in many other countries. The lack of any real news sources in the US compounds the issue, many Americans do not know what happens outside the US and could care less. I should know, as an American living abroad for 10 years. I'm glad I live in the EU where at least there is some sanity and common sense in protecting consumers from abuse by large corps. Agreements and contracts have to be written in easy-to-understand language that is clearly understood by the average consumer. Hiding fees deep in contracts or deliberately obscuring them in legalese is illegal here. All fees have to be presented up front, and clearly, to the consumer.

Consumers must stand up for themselves, rather than letting the corps run the show. They are only working in their own interest to line their pockets with your money. If you, as consumers, let them that is. Stand up for your rights and don't let them run over you.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070278)

I'm in the UK, and here you can buy pretty much any phone you want either unlocked at full price, or subsidised with a contract. Sometimes you pay less on a subsidised contract than you would just for the phone, if you understand the fact you are buying in for a time, why shouldn't you have the option of doing it that way? Sometimes it's a better deal for the customer.
I agree that people should always have the unlocked option, but people should be allowed to do it other ways if they want.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070450)

The market has shown that many people actually want the option of giving up some freedom in exchange for a few hundred dollars. it's a tradeoff you're not willing to make, and I'm not willing to make, but some people are, and we should respect their choice. It's not corporate oppression, the customers signed up willingly, they're getting exactly what they want.

Re:Unbelievable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070104)

Well, we have a saying for things like that: "You can't rape the willing."

Now, they can cry rape after the fact. But, that's a wholly different psychological game.

Wow, brilliant math strikes again (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069564)

The price cut could add momentum to a phone that, by one reckoning, costs only $49 unlocked.

Is this a new form of slashvertisement?

Re:Wow, brilliant math strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069654)

No, it's a tried and true form of slashvertisement.

Get Real (3, Insightful)

honkycat (249849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069750)

The price cut could add momentum to a phone that, by one reckoning, costs only $49 unlocked.

And, by another reckoning, it actually saves you $5,000 and rescues your cat from a tree. Incidentally, both reckonings are fallacious.

Re:Get Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070876)

Incidentally, both reckonings are fallacious.

Hey, we don't tolerate that kind of language. Wash your mouth soap. Oh, wait, that is not how you spell that? Ok, never mind.

Stop saying it costs $49. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069754)

That (1) makes you look stupid, and (2) repeats advertising.

Of course, this is pretty much the default with kdawson.

Dont be... (4, Interesting)

Johnny Fusion (658094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069800)

Evil? Well with these fees maybe just a little bit evil. But seriously this is google, how much more money do they need?
Personally, I am waiting for the phone that is subsidized by non-obtrusive, relevant advertising.

Re:Dont be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069872)

non-obtrusive, relevant advertising

I hope you don't find having your every move monitored as being 'obtrusive'... That's the only way advertising has any hope of being 'relevant'.

Re:Dont be... (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069992)

Personally, I am waiting for the phone that is subsidized by non-obtrusive, relevant advertising.

It will be interesting. I am waiting for the phone that pauses my call to tell me that I am about to pass best buy who is having sales! sales! sales!

I better keep it away from my wife who bases how well she does shopping by how much she "saves" thanks to deals (whether or not it is something she needs - or really even wants.)

Horay for the don't be evil company! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069816)

When they screw us they use lube!

Re:Horay for the don't be evil company! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31069884)

I came a little, when they were raping me.

Does that make them not-evil?

Similar ETFs on Verizon (2, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069842)

So I just upgraded my phone on Verizon over the weekend, and though everyone is making a big deal about having 2 ETFs with the N1 (one on from Google, the other from T-Mobile), I believe the same thing is in place for ATT & VZW. See, you can upgrade your phones through a few 3rd party services (one being Amazon). In the fine print you have 6 months that you cannot change which plan a phone is on. If you do, Amazon will charge you the full device price for the phone. This is Amazon now, not VZW. If you also canceled your contract, VZW would also charge you an ETF, even though you paid Amazon for your phone. There you go, 2 ETFs. ATT, Sprint, and even TMobile all say the same thing when you upgrade through 3rd parties (of which Google would be one)

Will you please stop the dishonest shilling? (5, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31069850)

It's one thing to have a story/advertisement, it's another to blatantly lie in it.

The bullshit statistic of the $49 dollar unlocked version was ably debunked in the comments of the last story where this was claimed.

Please stop doing it. When you're caught in a blatant lie, you don't repeat it unless you are also an idiot.

Re:Will you please stop the dishonest shilling? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071462)

Story posted by kdawson, nuff said.

Re:Will you please stop the dishonest shilling? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072176)

Here: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=296b01a23fd9f37289b4c61d63fa8519 [yahoo.com]

It's a RSS feed for Slashdot without kdawson's submissions.

Now can we please move on?

Re:Will you please stop the dishonest shilling? (1)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31079120)

You could more easily just uncheck kdawson in the list of authors in your /. preferences. But the problem is that not all of his posts are ignorable. Some selections of a submission to post are obvious even to someone of his, shall we say, limited compatibilities with the community.

Jon Katz was the only author I blocked here because he only posted his own stuff and didn't approve submissions. :)
hah. I was verifying it was Jon and not John and noticed he was criticized just as much by the dog folks for his lack of knowledge in that field as he was by we geeks for his lack of tech knowledge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Katz#Controversy [wikipedia.org]

Linus chose wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070000)

The Nokia N900 is better. It's got penguins. With laser beams [nokia.com].

Not that bad. (2, Informative)

Myion (1662861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070034)

Initial ETF for iPhone 3G in my country (Latvia) is what would be around $570

Wow, an ETF that adds up (1)

irockash (1265506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070066)

Looking at the Google site [google.com], the phone costs $179 if you sign up with a T-Mobile plan. So if you cancel, you're out the $179 + $150 from Google, + $200 from T-Mobile... which brings the price to $529, which coincidentally, is the unlocked price of the phone. You are at a loss, however, of how many months you had the service before canceling (with T-Mobile's current discount for not subsidizing the device).

It's not the restocking fee that gets you... (1)

jafo (11982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31070146)

In November we got a bunch of G1s and then decided at the last minute we wanted to get the Droid instead. The restocking fee from T-Mobile was quite reasonable, I think around $10/phone. Then a few months later we got a bill for $50/line for the activation fee. I'm not really unhappy with the cost of canceling the service, we like the Droid much better than the G1 (it's just a much newer phone). It was just kind of surprising to get another $350 bill after I thought it was all taken care of.


Adding Momentum?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31070172)

If Google/HTC really wanted to 'add momentum' to the sales of this phone, they should make it available outside the restricted area they sell it at the moment (and for a reasonable exchange rate). As it stands, the Milestone/Droid is currently the only Android 2.x phone available in continental europe (ok, taking aside shady imports at exorbitant prices).

Early Termination Fee (1)

dtzitz (937838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071186)

I apologise in advance if this has already been discussed in previous stories: An early termination fee is for the early termination of a contract. Now I only skim the contract that I signed when I just bought my smart phone (HTC Eris) with Verizon a few months ago but I don't recall a contract with google or HTC. Only Verizon. How can Google charge an ETF when I don't have a contract with them?

Re:Early Termination Fee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31071446)

Because the Nexus One, unlike the HTC Droid Eris, is (technically) sold by Google and not by T-Mobile.

As has been said earlier, though, the subsidized phone is strictly for suckers anyway; T-Mobile's monthly plans are cheaper if you buy the phone upfront, and there's (obviously) no ETF that way either.

Re:Early Termination Fee (1)

dtzitz (937838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072240)

I was wrong, google is not billing this as an early termination fee. They are calling it an equipment recovery fee. I am set for my phone for the next two years (thank you $350 ETF from big red) but I would like to see someone challenge the new fee in court.

Great way to make money (1)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31071332)

Just buy a lot of Nexi Ones for 49$, and sell them for material price! I am going to be rich!

I didn't expect google of all companies to be braindead enough to subsidize unlocked phones...

You owe them something eitherway. (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072128)

You go into a T-Mobile store, you soak up half an hour of their employees time and then turn around and want ~all~ of your money back five days later, where you will then soak up another thirty minutes of their time. Not to mention paper, a device that now has to be cleared out, contacting headquarters so someone can cutoff your stuff, etc. And you want them to do this for "free?" This isn't Walmart, stop being selfish. If you cancel your service, you should owe them something, at least to cover their time and operating costs.

Who is kdawson? (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072292)

And why does he keep posting nonsense (like the $49 cost for the Nexus, seems kdawson uses the same accounting methods as wall-street) and gets approved for posting (two time in two days about the same nonsense)??? I know of lots of people (inc. myself) who proposed stories that were much less non-sensical than to claim that the phone costs $49 and these stories were not posted. Who is reviewing these stories? Is kdawson a slashdot insider? Hell, if nonsense stories get approved like this, please cancel my "subscription" to slashdot!!!!!!

Linus who? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31072958)

The only smartphone Linus Torvalds doesn't hate is that much less unlikable now that Google has quietly chopped $200 off its early termination fee on the Nexus One.

It'd be nice if the summary told us who Linus Torvalds is, rather than just assuming we know everyone in the tech world.

iphone vs. nexus one math (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073122)

iphone: $199 + $79 * 24 = $2095 (AT&T, subsidized iphone)
n1: $530 + $59 * 24 = $1946 (T-mo, no contract)

nexus one savings over 2 years: $2095 - $1946 = $149

not having a contract is a big plus, but i don't see where the nexus one is much cheaper.

Re:iphone vs. nexus one math (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31073176)

i should also note that if you plan on keeping your phone past the 2-year boundary, the savings for the nexus one would continue to grow. despite being out of contract, AT&T does not offer a no-contract discount.

termination fee on nexus phone (1)

suzieque (1740694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31090586)

Not to appealing to get a contract, that is still quite a lot of money for early termination. The unlocked version seems like the monkey to go for as it looks a better deal. (Or have I missed something here?).
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