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

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On Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:30:32 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

I'd buy it. I just bought a similar phone for $100. That included 4 months of free service with no contract. I've put maybe 100 - 200MB of total apps on it and don't need anything more, at least at the moment. The fact Tmobile and other carriers have plenty of customers buying similar entry level Android phones, says that the above is not even close to true. You expect high-end features out of an entry level phone? You've taken a point that has some merit and gone totally off the rails.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:22:03 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I'm sorry you feel that way. I bought a whole bunch of $200 phones, as gifts.
Here are just two of them next to my main phone, the Moto G and the LG Optimus L9 which is the topic of this conversation:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3797/13679007273_70ed52f737_b.jpg
My personal phone is a Samsung Galaxy S3, which has 12GB of usable memory, of which I am using up more than half with apps and their data (in addition to having moved apps to the 32 GB SD card, since it has Android 4.3 which allows "some" apps to be moved to the card).
And, the Moto G is a perfectly fine phone.
It has 16GB, of which about 12GB are usable. The fact it has no external SD card slot is less onerous than you might think, once you realize you can't move apps to the card anyway.
One of the older gifts was an LG Optimus F3, which, from another recent thread, you see that T-Mobile offered to swap out for full value for a Nexus 5 (which also comes with 12GB of usable memory). Of course, that Nexus 5 cost me $400 + tax, as opposed to the $240 + tax of the LG Optimus F3, but I took T-Mobile up on their offer - and that phone is currently being shipped to me (since it can't be shipped directly to the person whom I gave the phone to).
The gift phone I'm currently working on is the $200 LG Optimus L9, which is branded and locked by T-Mobile, but which wasn't sold "by" T-Mobile. So they told me they'd only give me $15 trade in value for this phone, which is unacceptable even though it is in perfect condition.
It was handed back to me, as unusable, and I agree with that assessment, simply because it only has 600MB of storage for apps, and that isn't enough for any typical user (bearing in mind the varying definition of a typical user).
If you use far less than 600MB, then the phone would be usable to you, but, I don't anyone that I've given phones to (and I've handed out a lot) that would be happy with only 600MB of app storage space.
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On Sunday, April 6, 2014 6:51:43 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

Sell it on Ebay.

Your problem isn't the phone. It's that you gave it to an ingrate.

So, they all gave them back? Good grief. BTW, I'm still waiting for the list of apps for a typical user of an entry level Android that exceeds 600MB, making it unusable. I'm using mine and I have maybe 1/3 that on there. I used it for a few weeks without putting anything else on it at all and I was happy with it. I think the problem here is that for some unknown reason the Tmobile load is a lot larger than it needs to be and you're expecting too much out of an entry level Android phone. Seems like buying a $300 PC and then complaining that it won't adequately support the latest high-end games.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:27:24 -0500, K Wills wrote:

Here is the Motorola spec page which the Motorola support constantly refer to when they answer my question of the "usable" memory: https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-5777
Bear in mind, I am very clear when I ask the question that I want the *USABLE* memory, available to the user (not the total memory available from the manufacturer): http://www.lg.com/us/cell-phones/lg-P769-optimus-l9/technical-specifications
Also bear in mind, that I know the answer, and they have *never* ever provided the correct answer (until *after* I gave them the case ID's of my FTC & FCC complaint).
I am very clear on this. Every single time I called them to ask, they gave me the wrong answer, except after I had filed my complaints and notified them of those complaints.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 08:43:36 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

If you *ask* them how much space is left over *after* the pre-installed apps and operating system, and they consistently give you the wrong answer, then, yes, they're not telling the truth.
All I'm asking is for the carriers to tell the truth when a consumer asks the question.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:22:03 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

Take a look at this screenshot of "my" personal phone, and notice how many dashcam apps I have installed, as just one example of how I use "my" phone:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3803/13679650094_13c7a032d9_b.jpg
I have installed all known offline map apps (and the record will show I have written tutorials on how to use them), and I've tested hundreds of Android apps, over the past few years.
For just one example, please see: My personal test of 20 free offline Android gps map routing applications . https://groups.google.com/forum /#!topic/alt.home.repair/JF3w37zLH0w
Given I'm likely a heavy user of ROM, for you to assume that I would find a 4GB phone usable for myself, is patently absurd, as even the Samsung Galaxy S3 leaves something to be desired by way of performance.
However, you're welcome to take exception that a "typical" user would need more than 600MB of storage space for their apps.
It's a topic of a different thread what a typical user needs. My "assumption" is that 600MB would not cut it for a typical user ... but I'll let the typical users out there say what *they* need.
Certainly my gift recipient found it useless, or I wouldn't have the phone back in my hands to fix as a small appliance repair task.
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On 04/06/2014 07:12 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Wow. I can't imagine being that cruel and inconsiderate to someone who had given me a gift. Goes against every bit of my upbringing. I would *never* return such a gift. Doing so would be insulting the gift-giver.
Even if it was incapable of doing what I wanted, I'd find another way to make it "usable." And I'd do it with a smile.
TJ
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On Sunday, April 6, 2014 7:12:05 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

I think we're getting closer to the source of the problem. Is that what you think a typical entry level Android user does and expects from an entry level phone?

Good grief. I didn't say an entry level Android phone was usable for someone who wants to load 20 map apps. I said 600MB doesn't seem unusable to me for a *typical entry level Android user*. There is a difference between a $150 phone and a $600 phone.

I'll bet you there are plenty of people out there who are satisfied. If not, you should be able to direct us to some reviewers, say CNET for example, that say a 4GB Android is an unusable piece of junk, because a typical entry level user won't be able to load enough apps.

Apparently not, because you keep claiming the Tmobile phone is unusable right out of the box and that they lied to you. I'd say whether it's unusable and unfit for sale is dependent on what the target market consumer is going to use it for.
My "assumption" is that 600MB would not cut it

It's quite possible that it just wasn't cool enough and the person is an ingrate. But it does show why I prefer to give Ebay gift certificates, iTunes gift certificates, VISA card gift certificates, etc. Then you avoid this kind of problem.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 15:28:01 -0500, K Wills wrote:

I did better than that. I called LG directly, at 800-243-0000.
But here's what LG has to say on their web site: http://www.lg.com/us/cell-phones/lg-P769-optimus-l9/technical-specifications
As noted in another thread, LG pointed fingers when I spoke to their experts, just as T-Mobile had when I asked for the technical support supervisors' opinions.
LG Mobile Communications Support told me that they don't install *any* software.
This is odd because clearly there is LG-branded software on the phone, e.g., Accessibility /system/app/LGSettingsAccessibility.apk 655KB Alarm/clock /system/app/LGAlarmClock.apk 13.66MB Browser /system/app/LGBrowser.apk 9.86MB Calculator /system/app/LGCalculator.apk 1.69MB Calendar /system/app/LGCalendar.apk 5.65MB Calendar Storage /system/app/LGCalendarProvider.apk 690KB Contacts /system/app/LGContacts3.apk 13.38MB Contacts Storage /system/app/LGContactsProviders3.apk 2.14MB Downloads /system/app/LGDownloadProviderUi.apk 161KB Download Manager /system/app/LGDownloadProvider.apk 438KB Email /system/app/LGEmail.apk 9.27MB etc.
In addition, LG personnel blamed *Google* for the inability for moving the unwanted apps to the sd card.
And, they blamed T-Mobile for the inability of deleting the pre-installed apps that T-Mobile puts on the phone.
In essence, LG says they hand a phone with 4GB of internal memory to the carrier, and it's the carrier who loads up that 4GB of ROM with 3.4GB of non-removable stuff.
Hence, my FCC/FTC complaint is against the carrier, and not against LG.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 19:47:43 -0400, TJ wrote:

The gifts were to relatives who were being honest with me, which I appreciate and encourage.
In fact, they *thought* I would quickly *fix* the problem, so they had assumed it would be an hour or two turnaround time.
In the case of the LG Optimus F3, the "fix" is that T-Mobile gave us the full value of the phone in trade for me paying the full value for a 16 GB LG Nexus 5 (which has not arrived yet).
In the case of the LG Optimus L9, the "fix" is to root the phone, since T-Mobile won't give me the full value for the phone (even though it's in perfect condition) since it wasn't bought through them directly (even though it's locked and branded by them).
Luckily, the Moto G phones that I had bought for upcoming gifts are coming in handy as borrowed phones.
Meanwhile, I'm doing my homework to learn how to root the otherwise useless LG Optimus L9 to see if I can get some of the missing ROM back: http://theunlockr.com/2012/12/28/how-to-root-the-lg-optimus-l9-p769/
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Danny D. posted Sun, 6 Apr 2014 22:16:30 +0000 (UTC)

Flash internal storage is not ROM. ROM stands for Read Only Memory. It is memory chip where its content is predefined by chip vendor and cannot be changed.
FIS is rather equivalent to SSD.
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On Sun, 06 Apr 2014 16:55:07 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I do fault the reviewers who don't mention the *usable* memory.
Almost all the reviewers didn't recognize the fact you can't easily move apps to the SD card, as described in this wiki: http://wikihow.com/Move-Applications-from-Internal-Memory-to-an-SD-Card-on-an-Android-Phone
Typing "Review lg optimus l9 p769" into google, I read this CNET review first to see what they said about the memory: http://cnet.com/products/lg-optimus-l9-t-mobile/
Oddly, there isn't a single mention of the word "memory", or GB or gigabyte, etc. This CNET review is a mere shill, more useless than even the phone itself.
Moving on to the next review found by google, we find the phonearena description at: http://phonearena.com/phones/LG-Optimus-L9-T-Mobile_id7526
All it talks about is the 4GB "built in storage" and the 32GB "storage expansion" capability, but there is a link to a review: http://phonearena.com/reviews/LG-Optimus-L9-Review_id3173
That review ominously (and erroneously) states: "4GB of internal storage. Over half of that is used for the system, but the user can easily increase storage capability with a microSD card"
Of course, we now know that to be a lie, because apps can't be moved to that microSD card. So, the review fails the user. The next so-called "review" is even worse. It's here: http://techulator.com/resources/7977-Compare-LG-Optimus-L9-P760-and-LG-Optimus-L9-P769.aspx
And, it says, just as idiotically, about the two LG Optimus L9s: "Both smartphones have same internal memory, 4 GB ... Also, both smartphones support external memory cards up to 32 GB. Both smartphones have enough memory to store data and enough memory to process data. These facilities are available in most of the smartphones"
Notwidthstanding the uselessness of that last sentence, the entire section on memory was not only incomplete, but highly misleading.
Moving on, we find the next review is a "PC Magazine" review: http://pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411883,00.asp
Interestingly, the PC Magazine review was the first to seem to actually *use* the phone, in real life, since they said: "The Optimus L9 has 1.69GB of free internal storage, along with an empty microSD card slot ... My 32 and 64GB SanDisk cards worked fine."
Unfortunately, they never tried to load any apps onto the phone, so, this, the best review, still failed the user. They also didn't explain that half that 1.69GB of available storage was already used up with apps that couldn't be moved or deleted, so, they didn't test what is important.
Phonescoop came much closer, with a byline of: http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/user_reviews.php?phone830 "Great phone ... limited memory" where the user comments admit to the problem: "I have one main concern ...the lack of memory. There is 4GB internal with only 1.8 available to the user. The problem is, LG doesnt allow you to move apps to external memory. Ive only had the phone for a week, and only have 400MB left to add additional apps. And the stock apps I know I wont use (ie Google Books) cant be deleted ..."
So, in summary, most (almost all) of the reviews were simply shills for the phone, and didn't even bother to test the phone properly. Only the users who had been burned noticed.
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On Monday, April 7, 2014 1:02:50 AM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

I agree they should change it to say that the card can be used to expand data, pic, memory storage, but not to store apps. If you tried to win a case in court that they lied however, I think you'd have a tough time, because the memory is expandable, just not for apps.

Good grief. I have a ZTE AWE, an entry level Android. It has 4GB of Flash. I'll say it again. It has the typical Android load, including Chrome, Maps, Search, etc. I put maybe a dozen more apps on it, they were typically 5MB - 20MB. It now has ~650MB *total* in apps and still shows 1.3GB free.
Assuming that what you say is true, that the Tmobile only has 600MB free out of the box, then it's not the phone's fault. It's that Tmobile screwed the pooch. The reviewers didn't review Tmobile's load, they reviewed the phone in general.

Note the 1.69GB free. That is very consistent with my experience. The similar Android sitting on my desk has the dozen or so apps that I've added and it still shows 1.3GB free. That's consistent with the above review. So, if Tmobile is filling it with some crapware, that reduces theirs to only 600MB, then it appears to be a Tmobile specific issue, not an issue with the LG phone itself.

Who says that half the 1.69GB is already used up? The similar Android here on my desk says it has 1.3GB free.

What exactly they mean by 1.8GB available to the user isn't clear. I sure sounds like they mean it's really available on the phones they are reviewing. To figure out what is available on each companies phone someone would have to buy each phone from each carrier, etc. And then change it once a week when apps get updated and the sizes change. Or, if it really is of critical importance to you, you could turn on the phone and check before you buy it.
The problem

Are you sure that's an LG issue? I thought it was an Android OS issue. In fact, wasn't it possible in the past and then they changed it? You may have a more legitimate FTC issue with Google, if you can show they did that for some nefarious restraint of trade issue, as opposed to for legitimate technical reasons.

Again, they were reviewing the entry level LG phone, not Tmobile's screwed implementation, assuming that what you say about Tmobile here is true. The phone is likely fine. I have an almost identical ZTE Awe, identical memory specs, the reviews of it were similar to what you see there and I'm very happy with it.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 22:16:30 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

You can't change ROM once it's been set.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 22:55:13 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Does Motorola make the LG phones?

From the page:
Memory 1 GB RAM, 4 GB ROM Supports up to 32 GB MicroSD card
Is any of that not accurate?

According to the specs linked above, you should have been told one GB.

If they gave false information, you may have a complaint.
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On Monday, April 7, 2014 4:10:50 AM UTC-4, K Wills wrote:

He's not talking about RAM. He's talking about what they call ROM. And actually calling it ROM is wrong. It's not ROM, it's Flash memory. That Flash is used to store the OS, whatever apps are included with the Android OS and whatever apps the particular carrier chooses to put on their phone. The problem is, most, maybe all of those, you can't delete. So, if they fill the 4GB up with crapware, you could wind up with only 600MB left, which is what he's claiming Tmobile did. As I've reported, I have a similar ZTE Awe entry level Android and it shows 1.3GB free and that's after I installed about a dozen apps of my own. Those apps were about 5 -20MB. So, even assuming what he says is correct, that you only have 600MB left on the Tmobile phone for apps, I don't see where that makes an entry level Android phone "unusable" for most customers.
I agree with him that Tmobile should add something that says that 4GB includes the OS, pre-loaded apps, etc and that expansion memory card can't be used for app storage.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 22:30:32 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

According to T-Mobile's web site, the LG phones in question (L9 and F3) comes with 4GB of ROM.
Memory 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM

I don't see where they've lied.

The site claims 1GB of memory, not four.

They didn't lie. No claims regarding the usable storage space are listed. What I find of greater interest are the comments from people going back several months. The most common complaint I saw was how they could only load three apps before the one GB was used up. Even if we presume T-Mobile lied on the site, which you've failed to show they did, all the comments would make a reasonably prudent person pause before buying.
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On Monday, April 7, 2014 4:12:20 AM UTC-4, K Wills wrote:

The way they spec these things is confusing. I'm not sure what exactly the 4GB of "ROM" means. I would guess that it's actually 4GB of flash memory which is used for storage of everything, ie OS, apps, user data/pics, etc. That is how Danny is interpreting it and I would too. But then they should say Flash, not call it ROM. Similar phones, like mine, are spec'd with "4GB of internal storage". Even that is misleading, because I assume a lot of that is taken up by the OS, the typical included apps that you can't remove, etc.

I agree it could be misleading for some people. They should probably add a note that says something like "4GB is the total physical memory, a substantial portion of which is used by the OS, included apps, etc."
The issue I have is where he's claiming it makes the phone "unusable". Assuming his numbers are correct, that you only have 600MB free for additional apps, it's not unusable, at least not for a typical entry level smartphone buyer. It's not a $600 phone.
And I don't know of any company that does what he wants, which is to state the amount of memory that is free, eg 622MB. That would be a marketing, advertising, nightmare because they would constantly have to track any changes made by LG, Android, Apps, etc. Change anything and the memory total can easily change and you have to update product specs, lit, websites, etc. And then, they could have a case where they got it wrong, eg they say it has 700MB and it turns out it only has 650MB and then you have people pissed off with something that in fact they have a provable case about.
What I find of greater interest are the comments from people

I'd like to know what those apps are. The apps I added are typically 5MB to 20MB. I could put a lot of those in 600MB. All the ones I've added are probably 100 - 200MB total.
Even if

I'm curious what all this software is that Tmobile loads. I have a similar Android, ZTE AWE with 4GB of internal flash. It has Android OS, plus all the Google stuff, eg Chrome, Hangouts, Search, etc. All the apps that came with it, plus what I've installed, it shows as totalling ~650MB and it shows 1.3GB free.
One other beef he has that may very well be very legitimate is why did Google take away the ability to put apps in external storage? They may have some legitimate technical reason for doing that. Or it could be some kind of possible unfair trade practice to force people into buying higher-end phones.
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You're wasting your time on this guy. He's a troll that is more interested in starting long contentious threads than solving problems or listening to reason. Take a look at his posting history.
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Looks like the real problem is the OP didn't do his homework before he bought the phones, so now he is trying to blame the seller.
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