Blame the Plans

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Blame the Plans

Want to find out why so many people hate carriers? Look no further than the plans. Most of them are hard to understand, and even those who have a single device can expect to pay as much as $100 a month just for service. In a world where budgets are tight, that’s just plain wrong.

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Where's the Diversity?

It's hard to find too much diversity in the product lineups available across the mobile space. For the most part, customers will find the same devices like the iPhone, Samsung smartphones and BlackBerry devices at all carrier stores. Carriers are only selling certain products. All others are ignored.

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The Early Termination Fees

Early termination is one of the dreaded results of signing a two-year contract with a carrier. If a customer wants out of a contract early, they'll need to pay a few hundred dollars just to escape. Carriers say they need to charge such fees because they discount the price of devices customers buy. But for those customers, it's just bullying business practices.

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Prices Are Too Similar

Looking at the plans available across all carrier networks, it's hard to find too many differences in price. In fact, depending on the amount of data customers want, they can expect to pay about the same at Verizon as they would at AT&T. Only Sprint has been able to break away from the price war to some degree. Still, for the most part, customers can expect to pay about the same, no matter which carrier they use. Does that sound fair to you?

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An End to Unlimited Data

Unlimited data is now all but gone. Customers at the biggest carriers in the U.S., including Verizon and AT&T, are now forced into limited data plans. If they go over the arbitrary cap, they need to pay significant sums for just a little more data. It's sad, but true.

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Service Problems

Depending on where a person lives, coverage can be spotty on any carrier's network. In some areas, AT&T might be delivering strong coverage, while in others the company's service is subpar. The same holds true for T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. It's frustrating when service is spotty. In far too many instances, none of the carriers is doing much to address it.

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Contract Lock-Ins

When customers decide that they want to buy a new smartphone and pick up a handset at a reduced price, they're signing away their lives for two years. During that period, they're stuck with the same device. And if they want to buy a new device on the same network, they'll need to pay full price. If that doesn't annoy customers, what will?

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Customer Service Support Is Subpar

As countless studies from prominent research groups, including J.D. Power and Associates, have found, carriers just don't cut it when it comes to customer service. Trying to get questions answered is difficult, to say the least, and it feels like they just don't care about informing customers. It's a real issue.

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They Seem Cut Off From Customers

Oddly, carriers seem to make decisions as if they're operating in a vacuum. When they decided to cap data, they didn't consider the user outcry. When they offered up the latest “Share Everything” plans, they didn't seem to care how that would affect big families. At what point will carriers start to reconnect with customers before making decisions that negatively affect them?

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They Continue to Grow

In most industries, treating customers badly would eventually reduce sales, revenue and profits. But that's not the case in the mobile phone business. Verizon and AT&T are growing rapidly. Even T-Mobile and Sprint are seeing some positive metrics in postpaid subscriber growth and engagement. All mobile phone carriers seem to act egregiously, which means customers really can't go to any carrier that makes them feel like anything more than a cash cow. Seeing these carriers tallying strong growth in return for poor treatment is just another bitter pill customers have to swallow.

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