Let me say that I’m not picking on Virgin Mobile in particular here. All providers are to blame for this anti-competitive, “let’s agree not to compete in THAT way” nonsense. Hey , you over there, with the big fat wallet. Yeah, you. Want some new revenue, endless good karma and customer love while sticking it to those telecos that want to charge you more for being bigger than everyone else? All while still being able to say you’re not doing any “evil”? (coughgooglecough)
Link to original story that inspired this rant:
Summary: When the service goes live after this month you’ll be able to grab the Novatel Ovation MC760 USB dongle for $150 sans contract. Pay-as-you-go VM Top-Up cards can be purchased in the following increments: 100MB, 250MB, 500MB as well as 1GB.
First off, 150 bucks for a dongle? Radio Shack has netbooks for something like 99 bucks WITH a competitively $*)C# you in the 4$$ data plan to match. But that’s if you like paying about 1600 bucks for a 300 dollar netbook in the end. And I do mean IN THE END!
Just now, while you read the last paragraph, clueless parents of teenagers who don’t give a crap (or just ignore) what something costs their parents opened their mail to find a 480 dollar overage bill from their data provider of choice. And they all collectively messed themselves in the driveway, shocking thier neighbors with expletives and planning some kind of restrictive revenge on their **actually fairly clueless and mostly innocent when it comes to this** teenage sons/daughters.
This really happened. Stick your head outside and listen carefully. Hear that distant “fuuuuuuuuuu” sound? That’s them.
Kind of a hissing noise, but with a distinctively human/animal overtone.
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. This all reminds me of the early 90s. Give me UNLIMITED (at almost ANY price) or give me NO NETBOOK. All these providers will have to adapt the second one has the guts to provide unlimited accounts. Either that, or eventually just be an also-ran who dies further down the line like AOL. 60 bucks for a GIG??? What do they think this is, texting??*
(which is significantly more when not unlimited.. yeah, try something close to one million per gig with no plan, about 190 thousand per gig with a conservative plan, about 70 thousand per gig with a more liberal, realistic plan)
These prices really do hint at the idea coming from someone who asked “how much is data on the iphone.. let’s match that” and nothing more. How about some competitive pricing? How about 45 per gig? 50? On second thought, how about I just wait until someone you compete with gives me a 119.00 a month unlimited plan without caps? How does that sound?
(oh, you just re-think that for a second, it may sound bad, but try to remember the first time you went over on your minutes and come back to reality with me on this one . I worked in this industry for a long time and it was not unusual for me to talk down a parent with an 1800 dollar bill in front of them catching their tears while begging me to reduce it)
Oh good, because you should start getting really comfortable with the idea. It’ll happen. In the meantime, I would actually talk to my neighbors with wi-fi, make deals and visit places with free wi-fi. I can wait this out. I suggest as many of you as possible do the same until the providers figure out why it’s so dark where their head is and why customers seem to default on their contracts. (oh.. who knows?.. maybe they had to pay ALL of their bills that month instead of just yours?)
That’ll do, pigs, that’ll do.
Best advice I keep hearing from people who look into what they’re getting themselves into before buying? Go buy a cheap netbook with wi-fi and take your chances until things get truly competitive.
Lastly. Yeah, all that “de-regulation” really helped to ensure ongoing, healthy competition in the marketplace, huh?
“I was there when they killed the Internets and all I got was this stupid DMCA!”