The wireless carriers are not your friend. Their goal is to hook you so they don't have to worry about losing you to their competition. One of my colleagues wrote an interesting article explaining the best and worst ways of doing business with your wireless carrier. Here are my thoughts on the four common ways to purchase SmartPhones...
The Lease Model
I could not agree more that the leasing option is like a wolf in sheep's clothing. The only good thing about leasing is there is absolutely no up front costs. That is attractive for large companies that can justify monthly charges, but not large equipment expenditures. These "lease" deals also make it easy to move into newer models. The carriers love these deals because they are binding and deliver a high average revenue per user (ARPU). I'm an advocate of Unified Communications as a Service but not when it comes to SmartPhones. The two biggest problems with leasing are the following. You have absolutely nothing to show after 24 months of service. What the carriers don't disclose is that the resale value of a 2 year old iPhone can be as much as $400. If you had to replace a lost or stolen iPhone 7, and happen to have an unused iPhone 6s laying around, forget it! The carriers will make you replace the device with the same exact model or better. That means the small savings you get from leasing versus buying is given back because you really need insurance to avoid having to pay full retail for a replacement device. Anyone who has ever dealt with insurance companies, $175 deductibles, and getting refurbished replacement models knows all of this. That means the worse deals out there are AT&T's "Next" and Verizon's " EDGE" Early Upgrade/Lease programs.
The Two Year Contract
Today, only Sprint and Verizon still offer 2 year contracts. While they still do offer a $450 up front subsidy, unless you do an upgrade as soon as eligible (month 25), you're paying an equipment subsidy on your two year old+ phone. These carriers generally bump up the monthly rate an extra $20 to offset the $450 subsidy. They also sneakily charge activation fees which most people don't factor in.
While easy to manage, these plans often don't offer the "meat and potatoes" of the postpaid plans. I just had a buddy who had a prepaid T-Mobile plan get hammered for Mexico roaming. Apparently only post paid plans get that FREE Mexico, along with Mobile Hotspots and other goodies.
Zero interest Financing
You may still be on the hook for 24 months but with all carriers, as soon as you pay off the device, the carrier will unlock it and let you take it to another carrier. While all four major carriers offer this model, they are not the same. Only T-Mobile allows their users to accelerate the payment scheduling by increasing payments to shorten the term. The other carriers require you to make the monthly minimum payment or pay it off in full. If you choose the right carrier, this is not a bad way to go.
Buying Your Phone Outright and or Independent of your Wireless Carrier
If you can afford to, this is the smartest way to buy a new device. That's because you can move from carrier to carrier and they know it. This gives subscribers the ability to price shop plans and change any time another carrier comes out with a better deal. No wonder the best option for consumers happens to be the worst for the carriers. Why, you ask? Because they now have to put up, or shut up. If their service is less than great, or their rates become higher than their competitors, switching has never been so easy. The carriers don't want you to know that switching does not even require wiping or resetting the device. Simply replace the SIM card and all of the content remains on the device except for the carrier settings. You can thank APPLE for getting tired of building different models for different markets. Now, one size fits all. Apple smartly builds in all of the world frequencies so their devices support all wireless carriers.
To learn how to get the absolute best deal, Visit our Robin Hood page.
Funny, for a carrier that professed to be the "Un-Carrier", they've certainly turned 180 degrees. Maybe it was last year's $435 million purchase of 700mHS band spectrum. Maybe it was winning $8 billion worth of 600mHZ band spectrum. Whatever the cause, T-Mobile has all of a sudden become very "Carrier-Like" and here's why...
Earlier this year, CEO John Legere called out the other carriers for "Bullshit charges" like activation fees. Today, T-Mobile now charges $25 per SIM card.
-In the past, it used to be T-Mobile that included great features while the other carriers charged extra to add them. Today, Verizon exclusively offers 1080p Hi Definition and 10GB of mobile hotspot per line on all of their Unlimited Plans. If you want this with T-Mobile, you must add $10 per line to their standard Unlimited (low resolution) One plan. That makes T-Mobile more expensive than even Verizon for anyone getting 4 or more Unlimited lines.
Unless you travel globally frequently, paying more to get T-Mobile over Verizon does not make a lot of sense. I'm already hearing ads that they have at least one market up and running with their newest 600mHZ bandwidth. I have not heard anyone mention that Apple has no plans to introduce this bandwidth in their soon-to-be released new iPhones. That means it could be May of 2018 before Apple even supports this. Don't hold your breath!
This is the calm before the storm. It appears that T-Mobile and Verizon are trying to move Android devices while AT&T and Sprint are using their leftover iPhone 7 stock to attract new users. T-Mobile's Samsung S8 BOGO ends in a week. They just announced a similar BOGO for the latest LG models. These are great times for Android users.
For iPhone enthusiasts. There is never a better time to buy a new iPhone between now and the end of the year. That's because the iPhone 7 models should all drop a minimum of $100. We're hoping the remaining iPhone 6s stock will drop even further as well. With all new models starting at 32GB, most people will do fine. We anticipate their 7s/32GB model to replace the current $650 ($27.09 x 24 months) price point of the iPhone 7/32GB model. If this is true, the 7s+/32GB should be $100 more. There are rumors that the iPhone 8 will be the first four figure smartphone.
We have several waiting lists. We have one for the new 7s and 7s+ models. We have one for the iPhone 8 and we have one for smoking price reductions on current models. If you are in need of an upgrade, now is the time to do it! Contact us for more information.
Today, people are buying security systems, appliances and other products that require a machine-to-machine connection. This is nothing new and our friends at Caltech Seismology have relied on this M2M type of technology for many, many years. What's new is the cool consumer applications that are sprouting up. Being able to remotely turn on and off your home lights, security system, or remotely water your plants is now possible Today's appliances are also capable of notifying you when your running out of eggs, or laundry detergent. T-Mobile just launched a new $5 per month unlimited plan to address M2M users and here it is...
On August 16, T-Mobile is adding a new transparent M2M plan to their @Work business and government lineup.
This is the calm before the storm. Everyone has been waiting for a new iPhone and there is at least three new ones coming. The iPhone 7s and 7s+ should be somewhat similar to the current iPhone 7 models. There have been rumors of a glass back for wireless charging and some other improvements. According to our friends at BGR and 9-5 Google, crack securities analyst and iPhone prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo, says that Apple is abandoning it's attempt to integrate an under the display finger print sensor.
It's the iPhone 8, the 10th anniversary edition, that looks like a game changer. With rumors of pricing starting at $1,100, it better be a game changer. If you recall, ten years ago, $650 was pretty pricey for a SmartPhone. The big difference this time around is without contracts, their are no $450 device subsidies. Financing an $1,100 device, even interest free, is over $45 per month, without a down payment.
Remember, Apple traditionally introduces the "s" models (improved versions) and the radically new models around May. This September, we expect both. I'm predicting some major delays on the iPhone 8 though. Now is a good time to be prepared to upgrade your device. There may be a brief flurry of great deals on the current 6S and 7 series models as the carriers clear out old inventory. Old to them maybe, but knew to you with a big discount!
If you haven't changed your wireless plan since last year to one of the new unlimited plans, contact me.
T-Mobile just enhanced their Name Display feature. I was able to eliminate all robocalls on my business line by switching to RingCentral. Even though my Smartphone is on a Do Not Call Government Registry, I still get multiple calls a day from these idiots. Hoping this new T-Mobile offering nips this in the bud.
Customers who pay for Name ID service will see one of seven new call categories when receiving a call from someone not stored in their contacts. Building on the enormous popularity of Scam ID, the incoming call screen will now alert customers to specific types of calls that many customers prefer not to answer. We are making this new enhancement available at no additional cost to customers with a paid Name ID feature.
Starting July 28, for a limited time, when customers purchase a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ on EIP and add a line on a qualifying rate plan, they can get a second one free (after rebate). As an extra bonus our customers can also get a free Samsung DeX Station when participating in the Samsung Galaxy S8 Buy One Get One Free offer (while supplies last).
To order yours, contact Dr Wireless today!
Pre-Order now and get a FREE Motorola Insta Share Projector Module!
I've been asked this question so many times over the years, yet I still don't have a good 20 second "elevator speech". Part of the reason is because I represent over 85 IT companies. To other IT industry professionals, I'm a UCASS (Unified Communications As A Service) specialist. The general public has no idea what UCASS is so I'm going to spell it out below and mention our other areas of expertise.
Ironically, in the old days of installed car phones, and portables so heavy that they could throw your back out, we were paid extremely well. The phones back then had the same features as your home phone and explaining how to use them was about as needed as a stewardess showing you how to buckle and unbuckle a seatbelt. Today, wireless services have become a commodity. The carriers now literally pay peanuts for activations, yet the SmartPhones have never been more sophisticated. This means that to get the most out of your device, there is some learning required. We now offer Nationwide SmartPhone training by live webinar for areas outside of Southern California.
More and more business people are finding they can do nearly everything with their iPhones and Androids remotely, that they previously were relegated to only accessing in their office. The reason for this is the cloud. Who needs computer memory these days when you can store documents in the cloud to be pulled down on any device, any where, as long as there is internet access.
What the heck is UCAAS?
UCAAS has done to Traditional Phone Companies what the internet has done to brick and mortar retail. Unified Communications As A Service has caused many of the incumbents (Avaya, Toshiba, etc...) to file chapter 11 or develop their own Hybrid/Cloud PBX Phone solutions. After all, who wants to still buy expensive servers, and maintenance contracts? Did I mention that the cloud does everything these expensive on Premises IP Phone systems do and a lot more at a fraction of the cost. Instead of buying and "owning" your Private Branch Exchange phone system, you pay for it as a monthly service as you do for your internet and cable TV. If something goes wrong, you call the company (or me) to fix it.
Cloud companies generally offer real-time web based portals for all settings. This means that all changes can be made immediately simply by accessing the portal. We represent several dozen amazing UCAAS solutions. Currently, RingCentral is one of our favorite UCAAS products. Office 365 is another. If you are using DropBox, Box, OneShare, iCloud Drive, or any other online content storage platform, you are already using the cloud. One of the cool things about RingCentral is they offer an Apple application which is a "softPhone" that works great on iPhones, Androids and computers, just like the regular phone application. When placing calls from this "SoftPhone" application, your business office phone number, not your cellphone number will show on the caller ID.
What all of this means is it has never been more important to master your device and all of it's applications. Ask about our SmartPhone Training Seminars. Dr Wireless offers a basic and advanced tutorials.
Why You Need a Professional Negotiator
When was the last time your carrier contacted you to notify you they could save you money with their new, lower cost plans? I didn't think so! The reality is this... If you are dumb enough to keep paying for an over priced obsolete rate plan, your carrier is smart enough to keep banking your check. The big misconception is that when you sign up, you cannot make changes anytime. This is not true. In fact, if you have not changed your rate plan since last November, you are likely getting ripped off. On average, I save my Robin Hood program clients about $40+ per month. As 'Robin Hood' Dr Wireless uses all of our industry knowledge, resources and contacts to negotiate a better deal than offered to the public. We are aware of retention programs, discretionary fund programs and off-sheet rate plans that the carriers don't advertise because nobody gets paid for offering them. Well, Dr Wireless has found that we can "go by the book" and get paid peanuts by the carriers, or have our clients directly pay us "peanuts", for huge savings.
Who We Are...
Corporate Wireless Services, Inc. dba Dr Wireless was born and incorporated just over 20 years ago. At that time, we exclusively offered Los Angeles Cellular Telephone Company services and specialized in larger business and enterprise account management. Over the years, we became authorized dealers for all of the major wireless providers. Today, we specialize in seamless carrier changes. What Dr Wireless offers that is unavailable in the stores is unbiased, unvarnished advice and over 20 years of experience with all carriers. Best of all, it does not cost anymore to activate with us than directly with the carrier or retail stores. Our VIPs don't waste their time going to stores though. We have their new devices hand delivered by a federal employee to their home or office. Once received, our client calls Dr Wireless to take everything from A-Z.
If you have any questions about the above, please contact me.
Pleasure or Disaster Preparedness?
Does your business have a disaster solution in place? Dr Wireless has three FREE Satellite device offers.
1) Get a FREE GSP1700 (pictured above) package with GlobalStar's $99.99/mo Unlimited plan.
2) Get GlobalStar's fixed 2900 with 5 RJ11 ports for FREE with their $199.99 Unlimited Plan.
3)Get GlobalStar's SATFI Router that supports up to 8 users FREE with $199.99 Unlimited Plan.
If you have any questions about the above, please contact Dr Wireless.
As a carrier consultant, I'm a value-added reseller/partner for over 100 Best of Class IT companies and internet carriers. As an independent IT carrier consultant, I understand all of the complexities of doing business with each. When selecting an internet provider, PBX Cloud business phone system, or even SmartPhone carrier, you are not buying a sweater at Nordstrom. You are sharing valuable personal credit information. and forging a relationship. It's your choice of the quality of that relationship. Savvy wireless want their relationship with a human being they can contact for support when needed, not just a faceless (800) number or FAQ Help link. I read an interesting article from David Lazarus of the LA Times questioning Frontier's financial resolve. I've been wondering the same thing.
When Verizon started selling off their landline phone interests nationally, I thought that was a very logical thing to do for several reasons. First, with four major wireless carriers and dozens of Mobile Virtual Network operators (MVNOs), landlines are only good these days for electronic door entry and security systems. Even these applications are being replaced with wireless phones because that is where the competition is. The reason for this is there has been a mass migration of home phone users to cellular technology going on for over a decade. It's no wonder that all of the remaining wireline carriers keep raising prices. They would prefer you to switch to their more profitable voIP and wireless technologies. The other reason is state and federal regulations. The kiss of death may be getting defined as a "Carrier of Last Resort". That means that the state requires a minimum standard of reliable connectivity and 911 access, or else.
North Carolina's FairPoint Communications, a provider of local, and long distance services among others in 17 states eagerly bought Verizon's landline business and faced this same problem. They spent $2.7 billion for residential phone networks in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. They had difficulty dealing with Verizon's antiquated system, lost customers like crazy, and ended up filing for bankruptcy.
In California, the Public Utility Commission defines Frontier as "a carrier of last resort". What this does is saddle Frontier with the same obligations of meeting a variety of landline phone provider obligations that include the reliable connection and 911 access stipulations. The problem is this requirement is still valid, even though there are so few people using landlines these days.
I've heard from Frontier representatives (off the record) that Verizon left their FIOS network in need of major repair and that is why there are so many customer complaints. I certainly hope Frontier does not go the route that FairPoint did but am recommending all of our business customers to move their phone systems to Ring Central, Vonage for Business, or several other alternate solutions we represent. After all, if Frontier goes belly-up and your business phone system is with them, you are at their mercy. At best, your business will be sold to another company. At worst, your phone service may be interrupted and you may lose control. To avoid these potential headaches, contact Dr Wireless for a free consultation.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.