There is a very long list of business practices that consumer telecom partakes in that are shady and shiesty. I am just going to touch on a couple right here. Please note that most of these practices happen industry-wide in consumer telecom.
Firstly, the pricing models for usage throughout the industry are absolutely insane. If there was any actual competition in the marketplace then it would not stand to have these ridiculous tiered pricing systems. However, the cost of entry is so prohibitive and the providers in any given area have some sort of unspoken collusion thing going on that THERE IS NO TRUE COMPETITION.
Secondly, the model for obtaining and retaining customers should be illegal. Prohibitive pricing on hardware, deep discounts with contracts and huge cancellation fees. Proprietary hardware fuels this system. There is no competition on hardware because each provider esstentially controls the retail market. Again, NO TRUE COMPETITION in the marketplace allows what amounts to monopoly behavior. The industry incurs the dead weight loss associated with lack of competition and in practice violates the essence of anti-trust laws but (most likely through lawyers and lobbyists) keeps from exposing themselves legally.
And finally, they have annoying and invasive practices. I got a call from Verizon that I did not pick up (I do not pick up calls from unrecognized numbers). A message was left thanking me for activating a Blackberry and asking me to call back and answer some questions. I did not activate a Blackberry and was concerned that somebody made an account in my name (which is 100% unique, I am the only one with my name in the world at the moment). I called back and explained that I wanted to check if there was an active account in my name (I used to have an account with Verizon but not for the last couple years). I gave my name and state and then the rep wanted my other information. I was hesitant and asked him why they need my address and social to simply let me know if there was an active account in my name. He stated that Verizon does not give out account information without completing the security procedure of taking all your personal information. I explained that I was sure that I was the only person with this name and just wanted to make sure no sort of fraudulent activity took place in my name. He again stated that without giving more personal information he would not tell me. I asked him his name, he said Chad. I asked him his last name and he said that he will not tell me. Then I asked him for his address and social security number and hung up. Afterwards I looked up their number online, 203 514 5000, and found out that they are Verizon telemarketers that call former customers. What really bugged me was that they entice you to call back by alarming you to possible fraud. So not cool. Then they called back again!!!!!!! I asked them to take me off their list and they would not without me giving them my old phone number (which I do not remember, it was 2 years ago). The rep told me he cannot do anything about taking me off the dialer without my old account information. I pointed out that all that *should* be needed is the number that they are calling me at and them not to call that number any more. Obviously, whomever set up the system intended to make it as difficult as possible to get off the system. Anyways, I called the rep a tool and hung up.
The point is that the telecom industry in America has some severe behavioral issues and ought to be effectively reformed.