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Google tried to disrupt the cell phone industry by bidding $4 billion on the old TV frequency auction but they were cockblocked by the shitty Bush-era FCC and collusion between ATT and Verizon. Makes you wonder how things would have been different, would Apple have sold the iPhone on the Google network?



So much glorious Schadenfreude at the thought of all the panic meetings at Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon today. And probably a lot of other places as well.

My experinces with all three of those companies have been horrendous. =====================================================================

1. It took a month of weekly calls to get a refund from Comcast for a "modem installation". My apartment already had a modem, they literally installed nothing and charged me $80 for it.

2. It took me four months to realize that I had an overdue AT&T bill. Despite having my phone number (obviously), my email, my credit card info, and my other phone number, they just sent paper snail mail to my summer internship apartment, where of course I no longer lived. I found out four months later when I finally did get a phone call---from a collections agency. The bill had swelled from $90 to $250 by this point.

3. Verizon sent a phone I ordered online to the wrong address. (They skipped the apt number, so the phone was returned to sender.) They then proceeded to refund the phone, but charge me monthly charges for the plan! This, too, took a month of weekly calls.

Every single time I called any of these three companies, I had to sit and listen to elevator music for 3 to 30 minutes. Every individual rep starts over from the beginning, asking you your "first and last name please", as if they had no CRM, no DB, no internal communication whatsover.

It is highly gratifying to see these companies get bitchslapped by the Invisible Hand. They have long deserved it.


"Every single time I called any of these three companies, I had to sit and listen to elevator music for 3 to 30 minutes. Every individual rep starts over from the beginning, asking you your "first and last name please", as if they had no CRM, no DB, no internal communication whatsover."

While this is a valid complaint, I hardly expect Google's "disruption" will result in anything except even _worse_ customer communication. I can just imagine Google expecting people to be perfectly OK with getting billing/service problems resolved on a crowdsourced community forum…


I'd guess that their customer service would take a different, 21st century approach. I'd never call customer support for a gmail or google calendar issue...maybe a similar approach will emerge with these plans


This is my only concern with Google taking the reigns as a ISP. Though perhaps with this they offer additional calling support, I wonder if anyone in Kansas can chime in.


As I recall they were simply outbid - and by a lot.

Refresh your memory:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iMbsPSv2vatAVvbz_8n0xU3M...

The FCC did everything google wanted, and there was no collusion.

Are we reading the same news articles?


Google wanted to lose that bid - that was a gamble to get free whitespace access and have verizon pay enough money for it. You can read more of the details in this book:http://www.amazon.com/In-The-Plex-Google-Thinks/dp/141659658...

Additionally Google did try to disrupt the cellular companies a little by selling their phones unlocked through their own webstore, but the American market didn't buy them. Yes there really is only one network that gave you a deal if you did this (T-Mobile), but Americans seem to prefer subsidized phones with absurd monthly plans rather than paying for the phone up front and being free to choose the network.


"Prefer" is a stretch. It's not like consumers were presented with a choice between two carriers that were similar in every way except that one went with the subsidized model and the other did not.

The choice consumers had was either a crappy carrier, or one which forced you to go with absurd monthly plans.


I always thought that was a feint to try to get whitespace access.


That's not what happened.

Personally, I think the indicator for a serious bid at disrupting the wireless industry will be when a tech company buys Sprint.


I thought I read that right after they were outbid they showed interest in TV whitespaces and Verizon was pissed. I guess nothing ever came of that.




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