How to complain to the FTC and/or FCC about deceptive advertising

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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:41:13 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

That's exactly what I've done for the other gift phone: Should I take T-Mobile's offer of swapping the $240 LG F3 with the Nexus 5 (+ $160) https://groups.google.com/forum /#!topic/comp.mobile.android/ExlUVakGkYA
In that thread, you will see that T-Mobile has agreed with me that the LG Optimus F3 (also bought as a gift) has the same problem as the LG Optimus L9, such that T-Mobile offered to trade the F3 in at its full $240 value for a 16GB Nexus 5 (at $400, plus tax).
So, my $240 gift has now turned into a $400 gift (each plus about 10% tax) simply because they lied to me when I asked how much usable memory was on the phone.
Since I bought the LG Optimus F3 from T-Mobile, they made good on it, even though it was returned to them six months after it was bought (albeit at additional cost to me); however, the T-Mobile locked LG Optimus F3 was not bought at a T-Mobile store.
Both phones were bought as gifts, but both are unusable as smart phones, simply because the available memory is less than a gigabyte.
T-Mobile knows this. They try to keep it from you for as long as they can; otherwise, you'd never buy these phones.
That's the whole point of the complaint to the FCC/FTC. All I want T-Mobile to do is tell the truth.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:41:13 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

We all agree on that, but we also must agree that PC operating systems and pre-installed apps take up roughly around 100MB of that 1TB hard disk, and so it's not in the same league as an Android OS and apps that take up 3.6GB of a 4GB ROM.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:41:13 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I must agree.
So maybe I should ask the FCC/FTC mandate that they state a minimum amount of usable memory to the consumer?
For example, like they do on potato chip bags or boxes of cereal or mass-produced items in bulk.
Something akin to: "Contains at least 600MB of available internal memory"
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Danny D. posted Sun, 6 Apr 2014 18:29:36 +0000 (UTC)

2 regions, and none of them can use all of free space.
Then it depends, what region spends its free space sooner.
--
Poutnik

There is a good reason, why writers/directors do not repeat
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 12:02:53 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Good points.
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wrote:

My instinct is to say it's a bit of both. Vendor A may have more pre-installed apps than vendor B. If the apps are set to run all the time, the one with more will use more memory. Each edition of Android will probably use a different amount of memory to operate. The difference may be negligible (how much change could there be between 4.2.1 and 4.2.2?), but then again, it could be great. I'm sure Kit Kat requires far more memory than Eclair. I must point out, I've done no research on the matter. I could be completely wrong on all counts.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 15:04:19 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Is the problem memory or storage? I presumed you meant memory (RAM), but your use of ROM suggests it's storage. If it's ROM, you can't do anything to it. Read Only Memory can't be changed once it is set.

Your storage was increased by 32GB. How is this not augmenting what's available out of the box?

I don't think it would be useless. You could claim it's not as useful as you may want it to be, but I'm certain you would still be able to use it.

It's likely to be mentioned in the accompanying documentation.

This could help you with your complaint. If you ask questions and are given fraudulent answers, then there is a problem.

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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 15:13:28 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

You've yet to show that the carrier lied. What does the included documentation state about usable memory or space?
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 15:15:50 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Check with LG's site.

If that is the case, then they did lie.

Aside from the calls, there is nothing to suggest anyone lied.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 10:00:39 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

Let's make this clear that I own multiple PCs, and the operating system and pre-installed apps not only take up a puny amount of the total, but that the pre-installed apps can (in most cases) be deleted.
Also, you can easily add memory and hard disk space to almost any PC (either with a larger disc or a second disc drive).
Here, we're talking about an operating system and non-deletable pre-installed apps which take up 3.4GB of a 4GB permanent ROM, and which can't be augmented with an sdcard for app storage.
Totally different story.
Also be advised that I own a Samsung Galaxy S3 which starts with 16GB and we have a hugely detailed thread where no software tells the truth about how much storage space is on that phone even at the start...
How do we get Android to spit out the true memory & storage situation? https://groups.google.com/forum /#!topic/comp.mobile.android/e6svmGS1M-E
Long story short, both the apps and the carrier should just tell the truth. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:11:55 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

Ah, that is an interesting story.
The classic way to figure this out, as you intimated, would be to see what the OS reports. But, we all know that Android prior to 4.3 (and even then, after 4.3 on some devices) doesn't actually report correct answers for usable memory.
Note: Gory details for that sad statement are here: How do we get Android to spit out the true memory & storage situation? https://groups.google.com/forum /#!topic/comp.mobile.android/e6svmGS1M-E
What I actually did, *after* I had filed the FTC and FCC complaints, was call T-Mobile support supervisory staff back, and, after they returned my urgent message, I verbally provided them with the case ID's of both those cases.
Only then did they begin to take me seriously.
Hours later, and after about an hour on the phone, T-Mobile supervisory support staff finally (and for the first time!) actually grabbed a factory default LG Optimus F9, and, with my assistance (because they also gave me the wrong answer first of 1.8GB), confirmed that, out of the box, there is only 600 MB of space, in toto, for user apps. Period.
So, in a way, T-Mobile finally did tell the truth, but, you can imagine (if you don't know me already) that I'm more persistent than your average grandfather figure.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:11:55 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

True. T-Mobile told me the same thing. To which I answered that they only had about a score of phones, and they all get the same software, so, it's not all that difficult a task.
It would take a technician about an hour to compile, for the twenty odd phones that T-Mobile owns, for example.
Anyway, what T-Mobile told me was that there are twice as many of those specs as I would have thought, simply because they said a pre-paid phone has different software than a post-paid phone.
So, in toto, how many phones does T-Mobile sell at any one time? I'm guessing about 20. So that's 40 numbers.
All in all, it's not all that onerous to tell the customer the truth.
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On 04/06/2014 02:30 PM, Danny D. wrote:

They sell only a few "pre-paid" phones. Low end. I put the pre-paid T-Mobile SIM from my previous Nokia flipphone into the unlocked BLU Dash 4.5 smartphone and it worked right off the bat. I'm willing to buy T-Mobile $10/year prepaid service, but not a locked-in T-Mobile branded phone.

It takes one tech (or maybe his 8-year-old kid) to read off the storage numbers for all the phones they sell. We have this nifty thing called 'communication' now. Sometimes paper, sometimes bits, but it really works. They really have no excuse for not having that information instantly available.
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On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 2:40:09 AM UTC-4, The Real Bev wrote:

It's not just reading off numbers. It's that you have to then maintain a current up to date list that has the actual memory available and keep it updated each and every time the software gets changed. And part of that change, they likely have no control over. For example, they have a current load that includes many apps. That load probably stays fixed for some number of months. But as soon as you buy the phone and turn it on, any day there is a change to any of those apps, it could and likely would change the amount of storage space the apps take. It could go from the phone having the claimed 600MB of free space to having 500MB of free space and then you'd have someone accusing them of lying. It looks to me like they'd have to update that list of free space for each phone every day to keep it accurate.
We have this nifty thing called

Try calling up Dell or HP and asking how much space is avaiable on their Model XPG-S hard drive after all the software is loaded. I'll bet they don't have the number either.
I agree they should at least put a note on the literature, something like:
"The 4GB of internal storage is also used for the OS and all pre-installed apps. This reduces the amount of memory available to the user."
They should also put in a disclaimer that says that additional memory that is added cannot be used to store apps.
I think if they did that, it's enough to put people fairly on notice.
But I don't agree that it makes the phone "unuseable" as Danny claims. Did you see that list of apps he expects an entry level, $150 Android phone to support? He bought an entry level phone and expects it to have the features of a $600 phone. This memory issue hits those entry level phones the hardest. If you move up from say 4GB of memory to 8GB, the phone would go from having 600MB free to having 4.6GB free.
Part of the problem here is also that apparently Tmobile has some software load on there that takes up a lot more space than is necessary. I have a similar 4GB Android. IDK how much free memory it originally had, but I haven't taken any apps off, have added apps that total maybe 100 - 200MB, and it still reports 1.3GB free.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:11:55 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

Hmmm... well, you saw *exactly* what you were supposed to see.
My only point in referencing that ground-breaking thread was to backup my rather unbelievable assertion that what you see reported by the OS, is not necessarily what you actually get.
In fact, I wouldn't believe that assertion that the OS isn't telling you the truth, unless I had verified it myself, and by the eyes of scores of others, who know far more than I do.
That's the only reason I referenced that thread.
That thread wasn't supposed to back up the assertion that the phone is unusable ... it was just to back up the point that what you see isn't necessarily what you actually get.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:02:53 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

You are 100% correct that the phone, out of the box, has 600MB of space for app storage.
Whether that's "usable" or not, is up to the user.
It's "my" characterization that 600MB isn't enough to do the things I think a typical user would want to do with a smartphone. But, the phone is a gift. It's not for me.
The L9 came back to me, as unusable, and only then, did I begin to explore the problem (which took me a while to figure out since it wasn't "my" phone).
The problem is we don't know what a "typical" user needs, by way of app storage space.
I do know that in "my" 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3, which has about 12GB of "usable" storage out of the box, I only have about 5GB of space left, and that's not counting any user content which is on the external 32GB microSD card (which, for my Android version, i.e., 4.3, DOES contain those apps which can be moved to the SD card, as allowed by developers).
So "I" use, about 7GB for my application data (admittedly I'm a heavy user), and, had I been on the earlier Android OS, it would have been even greater than that.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:27:04 -0500, K Wills wrote:

To be clear, we're ONLY talking about the ROM.
On a phone, for whatever reason, that's generally referred to as "internal memory".
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:27:04 -0500, K Wills wrote:

Ah, that's what I had thought too! Before I found out the truth.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 21:30:51 +0200, Poutnik wrote:

In my research, I have found that there are potential solutions, from swapping the SD card for the internal memory, to rooting, to formatting the SD card into three different types of partitions, etc.
It's still confusing to me, a layperson, so, I won't say anything other than I'm sure there is a technical solution that will work.
At the moment, I'm reading about bootloaders so that I can successfully replace the Android OS with cyanogenmod without bricking the phone.
But, that's a different topic altogether. http://androidforums.com/optimus-l9-all-things-root/736661-possibility-our-t-mobile-l9-cyanogen-10-1-stable-release-l9-p769.html
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:25:57 -0500, K Wills wrote:

Agreed.
I would think T-Mobile is taking the easy way out by simply publishing the manufacture's specs on total ROM.
If it wasn't an important number, especially for a 4GB phone, then I wouldn't be asking the FCC/FTC to force the carrier to tell the truth.
But, when are told you have 4GB of memory, but you only get 600MB for app storage, even with a 32GB sdcard, then you begin to realize why T-Mobile does not tell the truth.
If they did, nobody would buy the phone.
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