Whilst I am glad that this fee has been dropped and can readily understand the ire......
.........it generated I cannot help feeling that it is rather strange that US customers got so exercised over $2 (roughly a quid or so) when there are things about the mobile market on that side of the pond which surely must cost American mobile phone owners a great deal more than that. The fact that the carriers collectively in the US are a form of near monopoly gatekeeper with regard to *both* service provision *and* retail sales of mobile phones must surely cost the American customer far more in a year that this type of fee. The fact that buying your own phone and then buying a "plan" can actually end up costing you more over the lifetime of the contract is something that stinks of collusion between the carriers, with "phone-less" contracts being artificially over-priced. Oh no, not any kind of formal cartel - just a clear understanding of their common interests at the expense of millions of US customers. Verizon threaten a two dollar fee and there is outrage and the company has to back down. Yet US customers (apparently) accept this unholy alliance that in practice controls both access to services *and* to mobile phones in the large majority of cases, leading in turn to a situation where a mobile phone producer or a particular phone can in practice be shut out of the market unless he drops his pants for the carriers. Where is the outrage over that? I really do not understand the situation - anyone got an explanation that makes sense?
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