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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 22 2022, @04:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the fat-cats-get-fatter dept.

Bloomberg and other outlets are reporting Verizon Communications Inc. will raise prices on its wireless bills for the first time in two years as the largest US wireless carrier grapples with higher costs.

Millions of consumers will see a $1.35 increase in administrative charges for each voice line starting in their June phone bill. And business customers will see a new "economic adjustment charge" beginning June 16, with mobile phone data plans increasing by $2.20 a month and basic service plans going up by 98 cents, according to Verizon representatives.

New York City-based Verizon started notifying customers Monday and has been contacting some of its larger corporate clients in recent days to tell them of the coming increases.

The move rallied Verizon's shares, vaulting them ahead of the broader market to their highest close in three weeks. At 4 p.m. in New York, Verizon rose 1.8% to end the regular session at $49.04, while the S&P 500 declined 0.4%.


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Related Stories

Big Three Carriers Pay $10M to Settle Claims of False “Unlimited” Advertising 46 comments

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/05/big-three-carriers-pay-10m-to-settle-claims-of-false-unlimited-advertising/

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T will pay a combined $10.2 million in a settlement with US states that alleged the carriers falsely advertised wireless plans as "unlimited" and phones as "free." The deal was announced yesterday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"A multistate investigation found that the companies made false claims in advertisements in New York and across the nation, including misrepresentations about 'unlimited' data plans that were in fact limited and had reduced quality and speed after a certain limit was reached by the user," the announcement said.

T-Mobile and Verizon agreed to pay $4.1 million each while AT&T agreed to pay a little over $2 million. The settlement includes AT&T subsidiary Cricket Wireless and Verizon subsidiary TracFone.
[...]
The carriers denied any illegal conduct despite agreeing to the settlement. In addition to payments to each state, the carriers agreed to changes in their advertising practices. It's unclear whether consumers will get any refunds out of the settlement, however.
[...]
The three carriers agreed that all advertisements to consumers must be "truthful, accurate and non-misleading." They also agreed to the following changes, the NY attorney general's office said:

  • "Unlimited" mobile data plans can only be marketed if there are no limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle.
  • Offers to pay for consumers to switch to a different wireless carrier must clearly disclose how much a consumer will be paid, how consumers will be paid, when consumers can expect payment, and any additional requirements consumers have to meet to get paid.
  • Offers of "free" wireless devices or services must clearly state everything a consumer must do to receive the "free" devices or services.
  • Offers to lease wireless devices must clearly state that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement.
  • All "savings" claims must have a reasonable basis. If a wireless carrier claims that consumers will save using its services compared to another wireless carrier, the claim must be based on similar goods or services or differences must be clearly explained to the consumer.

The advertising restrictions are to be in place for five years.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @05:03AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @05:03AM (#1246982)

    But for what it's worth, verizon wireless service, despite their premium price, was* worth the price for their decent quality coverage, especially compared to AT&T, the evil scumbag of telco.

    * "Was" because I don't know how it is now. I now use an old nokia flipphone on prepaid service.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @06:45AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @06:45AM (#1246988)

      Is your Nokia phone still going to get service soon?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @06:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @06:48AM (#1246989)

        Good question. I think it's a GSM phone, and who knows how long that service will last?

    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:20AM

      by RS3 (6367) on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:20AM (#1247007)

      Which network is it on? I'm surmising T-Mobile, which will drop 3G soon, I think in June.

  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:17AM (6 children)

    by stretch611 (6199) on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:17AM (#1246997)

    The move rallied Verizon's shares, vaulting them ahead of the broader market...

    Now watch AT&T as well as T-mobile/Sprint do the same.

    As soon as the next contact is up, expect the prices charged to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to increase as well which will drive up the prices of all the companies that lease airtime from the other companies.

    --
    Now with 5 covid vaccine shots/boosters altering my DNA :P
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RS3 on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:39AM (3 children)

      by RS3 (6367) on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:39AM (#1247009)

      Wut? I thought competition brought prices down.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by captain normal on Sunday May 22 2022, @03:44PM (2 children)

        by captain normal (2205) on Sunday May 22 2022, @03:44PM (#1247034)

        Competition? Ha...the XXOs of all these companies and the board members all play golf together every week. They are all in the same gang.

        --
        Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts"- --Daniel Patrick Moynihan--
        • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:45PM (1 child)

          by RS3 (6367) on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:45PM (#1247099)

          No, no no! That breaks the paradigm!

          Yeah, my sarcasm aside, economic theory is great. Reality isn't. Economics says someone will enter the market with a cheaper plan. Reality says: 1) huge investment needed, cross-coupled with 2) nobody wants to invest in a lower profit-margin company.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23 2022, @05:31AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23 2022, @05:31AM (#1247151)

            In Times Like These,

            No one should question,

            Why khallow is silent.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @07:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @07:13PM (#1247075)

      Now watch AT&T as well as T-mobile/Sprint do the same.

      Of course, they have to. This is how the Wall Street bailouts are paid down. It is what drives the whole "inflation" gag.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23 2022, @04:41PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 23 2022, @04:41PM (#1247259)

      Exactly, in a functioning market wouldn't an announced price increase hurt the stock price instead of helping it?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @11:23AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @11:23AM (#1247010)

    ...that isn't raising prices? Are telecos somehow immune to the inflation that has caused prices to raise anywhere from 10% to 100% in the last year?

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @12:23PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @12:23PM (#1247012)

      If's simple: corporations are evil and any price increases they do is called gouging. It's Democrat Economics 101, as espoused by none other than Sleepy Joe himself.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @10:22PM (#1247111)

        If that is true, then why is it Republicans like Abbott and Deathsantis are the ones threatening businesses all the time, threatening to bring the punitive power of government on them, especially using unconstitutional methods?

        Business friendly, indeed.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @07:58PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @07:58PM (#1247087)

      no economics phd or anything here but methinks EVERYTHING leads back to energy.
      i don't see a carrot growing in the ownz backyard providing x calories to increase in price.
      however a carrot transported has energy added (tho not useful to the tummy). if the price for the energy added "somehow" or "another" increases the whole price increases.

      again, *sigh*, the modern world is dependant on fossile fuel. that carrot was prolly fertilized with methan-based-made fertilizer. methan up, carrot up. etc etc.

      any business further away from fossile energy can (!) be insulated from rising (fossile) energy prices.
      these are businesses that mainly used electricity (and i am not talking aluminium smelters) and provide a service, that has no real physical attributes, like, weight or height or such.
      again, *sigh*, electricity can be had without constant fossile input, so businesses can either shaft the dividends, try to insulate themselfs from rising fossile energy costs by using profits to getting a plug into he sun -or- keep the dividends and fossile fuel derived electricity dependancy and join the "inflation party", that is, shaft the customer with a more pricey service.

      ofc, mobile network operators don't only have expenses for electricity. the towers rust and need to be repainted every few weeks. the radio crystal making them Ghz and stuff degrade weekly and need to be replaced, the fiber optics cable get eaten by earth worms, the list of degradation and thus replacement of physical parts exposes them enormously to rising energy costs ... rly.

      on a more srsly side note: if you're planning on enabling renewable energy to power your factory, service, industry, i would recommend to follow this one inflation step. the "pay-out" will be at the next increase, when you don't have to follow suit, and everybody gets their stuff from you 'cause you're the cheapest at same cost for yourself like before (everybody else had to increase, like virizon did).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:09PM (#1247089)

        ah, i forgot to mention, the easy of getting a clubbermint permit to erect that big crane to lift that plug that goes into the sun might be a problem, so your mileage may vary ...

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by epitaxial on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:11PM

      by epitaxial (3165) on Sunday May 22 2022, @08:11PM (#1247090)

      Funny how inflation raises the cost of everything except labor.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @02:12PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @02:12PM (#1247016)

    I'm fine with them raising prices. What I'm not fine with is them hiding this price hike under 'fees' - it is not a fee, it's a price increase. They are deliberately making it hard for consumers to actually understand what it is that will be owed when the bill comes. The discussion will go something like this:

    • Customer: I saw an advert that you offer unlimited talk, text, and data for 1.99, is that correct?
    • Sales Drone: Absolutely, the service is 1.99 a month, sign here, but you gotta sign right now becaaauuuseeee... *thinks* prices are rising tomorrow... yeah, that's... that's it, that's why you gotta sign right now!
    • Customer: *signs*

    ...Honeymoon period ends...

    • Customer: I received my bill and was charged 1.99 for the service and then 99.99 in fees, the fuck is going on?
    • Sales Drone: Ah, yes, so we had to charge you fee X for Y, fee Z for A, *goes on for for fuckin' ever*
    • Customer: Why can't you just give me a "this is what you will pay at the end of the month, not more, not less?
    • Sales Drone: Simple, then you would understand how expensive this shit actually is and wouldn't shop with us. The law allows us to hoodwink you and so we do as much of that as we can. After all, I'm paid on commission. Everyone does it, so it's fine, amirite? If you'd like to cancel your service, there's a fee for that too which you agreed to when you signed the 26-page, 8pt font document I pressured you into signing on the spot, ... and you don't get to keep your number.

    Let me make something clear: this has got NOTHING to do with capitalism; this has got everything to do with predatory behavior of companies!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @03:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22 2022, @03:02PM (#1247025)

      Agreed: If they are burying ordinary revenue under the guise of "fees", that's fraud. There should be a clear dividing line between taxes and other government-mandated fees vs revenue.

      I would go farther and prevent any government "fees" from being buried in other costs. For example, I would require gas stations to post the actual cost of gasoline, and a separate amount for the taxes and other government fees. Make consumers well aware of just how much of what they pay at the pump is to pay for the government.

      I would also eliminate all government automatic deductions from one's paycheck. Let Joe Citizen get his/her gross pay, and then require them to explicitly make payments to the government. Too many people seem to thing that the government magically provides goods and services for free.

      Perhaps the voting public would decide that the no-longer hidden taxes are fair. But hiding the truth from them is prevents them from making informed decisions about who to vote for.

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