One of the best parts about the 3G iPad is the deal Apple made with AT&T surrounding service on the device: there’s no contract, no fees, no commitment. If you want a month of 3G access, you pay $15. You’re free to buy a month here and there, or buy service for every month. There’s no punishment for being inconsistent with your need for 3G.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab on Verizon, however, doesn’t appear like it will be so easy. The device, which only costs a little bit less than a 3G iPad (and much more than a WiFi one), doesn’t require a contract, but that won’t stop Verizon from nickel-and-diming you with unnecessary fees and charges.
A ZDNet post first brought these charges to light, and they don’t look pretty: Verizon is charging an activation fee, overage fees for your measly 1GB of bandwidth, and even cancellation fees in the case you want to not buy 3G service for a few months. Your $20 bill can quickly turn into $80.
Even though it’s advertised as “no contract,” Verizon Wireless will still hit you with a $35 reconnect fee if you stop and then want to re-start your broadband account. Thankfully, there’s a workaround. If instead of deactivating your account you “suspend” it, there’s a $15 fee for suspending, which my rep was kind enough to credit.
So a $35 activation fee, a $35 “reconnect” fee, and possible overage fees for only 1GB of bandwidth? It seems like Samsung and Verizon are just shooting themselves in the foot. If these companies want to take a legitimate shot at the iPad, they have to make billing less complicated and cheaper. With a device that makes streaming video, music and web surfing so fun, people will not want to be constantly checking their monthly bandwidth allotment.
We’re not sure if other carriers of the Tab are implementing such stringent billing policies, but Tab owners: be careful of hidden fees. You don’t want them to bite you in the butt.