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

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On Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:53:31 -0700, Ann Marie Brest wrote:

I am 81 and even I realise than when firms advertise the size of the capacity of mobile phones etc. it is the total capacity of which the operating system and other pre-installed items have taken a share. When just a little common sense is needed why do people find problems?
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Neil
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On 04/09/2014 04:56 AM, Neil Ellwood wrote:

It comes from being "protected" from our own folly far too much. If you're never allowed to stumble, you don't develop the ability to avoid stumbling.
TJ
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On 04/09/2014 01:56 AM, Neil Ellwood wrote:

So you'd be OK with it if the 4GB of internal memory were completely consumed by the OS and permanent apps such that you couldn't download ANY additional apps or store any additional photos/email/whatever? Wouldn't you expect some sort of warning? At what point does the warning become not-misleading?
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On Sat, 5 Apr 2014 18:45:02 +0000 (UTC), Danny D. wrote:

UPDATE on the first 4GB phone gift: T-Mobile sent this Google LG Nexus 5 to replace (what I characterize as the nearly useless) LG Optimus F3 (with me paying the difference):
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/13754583623_cd5359ed83.jpg
Out of the box, the Android 4.4.2 OS "reports" 12.28GB of the original 16GB of internal flash memory as being "available".
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2918/13755579524_05bd07a0ed_b.jpg
I'm not sure if that's an accurate report, as I'm not familiar with this newer OS, but that's what it says out of the box.
As for the second 4GB gift, I'm preparing to root the T-Mobile LG Optimus L9, and take my chances on seeing what I can free up of the puny amount of memory available.
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On Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:46:52 -0400, TJ wrote:

Indeed!
The (stupid) assumption I made was that the 4GB would be enough, when, after it's filled up with the OS & bloatware, isn't close to enough.
Luckily, (a) I'm learning, with your help & advice, and (b) I now have a lot of phones now to give away as gifts! :)
Here are the ones just in my hands at the moment:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7029/13776014483_c3e10a2362_b.jpg
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On Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:35:10 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I don't disagree.
I tested a score of supposed memory analyzers, where many reported different information for the same phone, all of it being wrong:
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5474/11229218254_5daa12cc23.jpg
In fact, simply changing operating systems on the same phone:
https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2888/11271563134_d782b45a2b_c.jpg
Reported drastically different memory, on the same phone (changing nothing else!):
https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7387/11282708365_3f67414c1a_c.jpg
So, until someone who knows way more than I do about Android tells me what's going on, I'm going to tentatively conclude I can't believe anything coming out of these memory reporting programs!
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On Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:56:34 -0700, Danny DiAmico wrote:

BTW, does anyone know how to reference a FLICKR photo so that it is the same size as that which I uploaded?
I had uploaded a full-size picture (something like 2Kx2K), but, viewing page source, this is the only photo reference I could find.
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/13754583623_cd5359ed83.jpg
How do we get FLICKR to report the link to the photo full size?
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On Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:43:01 -0400, TJ wrote:

TJ - I like it. Well put.
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Neil
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:31:53 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I think T-Mobile knows that they lied because, otherwise, why would they have given me full face value (the entire $240) that I had paid, months ago, for the LG Optimus F3?
Of course, I also paid full face value ($400) for the Google Nexus 5 from T-Mobile, which, we all know would have gotten me on the open market a 32GB phone instead of a 16GB phone, but, I had wanted so badly to get rid of the LG Optimus F3 that I went for it.
My gift recipient has been notified, and they are happy to get rid of the F3. I just have to find a case now for the Google Nexus 5 that will handle the brutal teen environment.
Any suggestions on cases? I'm not too good at those either.
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On 04/11/2014 08:04 PM, Danny D. wrote:

TJ
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On Wed, 09 Apr 2014 06:44:55 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I am glad you pointed this out.
Only belatedly, did I realize the (correct) point that it's not "ROM" in any correct sense of the word.
It's FLASH memory, in the most correct sense. So, I do apologize if any of my earlier comments didn't make sense, as I had not understood what you were trying to tell me.
Now, I think I do, and I am sorry for calling it ROM when it's clearly not ROM at all.
The funny thing is, as you noted, that T-Mobile calls it ROM. In this comparison of the two gift phones, there is something else that they talk about: http://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Google-Nexus-5,LG-Optimus-F3/phones/8148%2C7862
Notice they call it "Built-in Storage"; but also notice the line AFTER the built-in storage. It says "Maximum User Storage", which, for the LG Optimus F3, is listed as 1.24GB.
So, that's interesting because that 1.24GB must be *before* T-Mobile loads its bloatware, which drops the /real/ user storage to just half that.
But, at least phonearena seems to understand that it's an important figure. In fact, it's WAY more important than the amount of FLASH that the phone had at the factory (which is all T-Mobile tells you).
I think they know they goofed; otherwise, why did they give me full value for the phone?
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of memory? Do you think that you really have 8 gigs of usable memory. Or get a 500 gig hard drive & expect 500 gig of space actually available to use? There is always "overhead" on the hard disk as in file allocation tables, cluster sizes, etc.
That's the reason that the ability to use an external drive should be considered as part of the criteria when buying.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:21:32 -0700, The Real Bev wrote:

Just for the record, I admit I was a total moron for even THINKING that a 4GB phone would be usable as a gift to a teen.
Now, I know, that, pretty much, 4MB is a TINY amount of flash, and, that the greedy carrier will suck up every last bit with their unnecessary bloatware (some are almost double that bloat, if you can imagine that), which can't easily be removed.
So, having been burned twice, I realize that the "promise" of the external SD card is a hollow promise, and, it's made with malice of thought by the carrier, because they never tell you in all their advertisements that you can't actually use the SD card for app storage.
I realize now, that if they actually told the truth, that nobody would buy their phones. This I now know.
However, moving forward, "my" recommendations for the best inexpensive phone, would be to still aim for the $200 mark, but, don't ever consider any phone with less than about 16GB of "stated" flash "internal memory", of which you'll likely end up with less than 12GB of usable storage space for apps.
If it has an external SD card, that's not a negative; it's a good thing - but - my advice would be that the sd card is only marginally useful because it can't be used for app storage.
The key point, that I had not realized (and nobody had told me), is that you can't rely on the SD card augmenting the flash memory. Period.
That's the key takeaway, and the lesson learned, the hard way.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:52:06 +0000 (UTC), Danny D. wrote:

I hope I'm wrong, but my impression is FLICKR will never let you have a true copy of what you uploaded back -- only an assortment of variously reduced quasi-thumbnails. I'd be overjoyed to be proved wrong :-) . -- tlvp
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:15:48 -0700, The Real Bev wrote:

I don't disagree!
You listed two problems that cause reviewers to NOT give the consumer the information we need.
1. They have to kowtow to their advertisers, and, 2. They don't test what is really important.
I think *both* of the above is why both CNET and PC Magazine failed to warn the users of this problem.
If they said the LG Optimus F3 and LG Optimus L9 were unusable because they had almost no space left for app storage, the advertisers might object to that strong statement (of truth).
And, they didn't test what REALLY matters. Instead of going on and on about the fact that it's a "dual core" phone, they could have said that you can't install more than a few apps, period, over the life of the phone.
So, the reviewers failed. The carrier failed us too.
I lost money (a lot of money) on these two phones, so, I have been hurt by idiotically believing that the SD card could augment the lack of flash memory - and by the carrier bloating up what little was left of the flash memory - and by that carrier making that bloat non removable.
Luckily, I have a remedy: a) I have already traded in the LG Optimus F3 for the Nexus 5
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7029/13776014483_c3e10a2362_b.jpg
b) I am studying how to root & cyanogenmod the LG Optimus L9 http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t#69055
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On Friday, April 11, 2014 10:37:08 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

Maybe. On the other hand, I've seen many reviews over the years where they've reviewed all kinds of products and point out disadvantages to ones where the manufacturers may be advertisers or potential advertisers

Did they even review the Tmobile phone? How about if it came from a different carrier, or maybe from LG themselves, with a minimal software load? How do you know how much memory was available on the phone they did review? Maybe it was 2X what was on your Tmobile phone.

You're exaggerating again. I put about a dozen apps on my phone and it took just 100 - 200MB. The typical app I loaded was 5MB - 20MB. Your list of apps that you expect to go on to an entry level Android is unrealistic. I seriously doubt many entry level users have that kind of expectatio, eg multiple different mapping apps, having maps pre-loaded and available offline, etc.

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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 22:28:33 -0400, tlvp wrote:

Don't tell anyone, but, what I've been doing (painfully), is looking at the "view source" of the displayed photo in order to reconstruct that URL.
For example, here is what I'm "supposed" to show you (I guess): https://www.flickr.com/photos/98287134@N02/13754583623/
But, what I "want" to show you is just this picture:
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2825/13754583623_e6849b4ff3_h.jpg
I get that URL, painstakingly, from the source code of Flickr that I can get by doing a certain few (unstated) things to my about:config in my browser - and then when I view the photo, I can see the source code.
If you have a BETTER way for me to point to a photo for you guys, please let me know as you all know I try to show you what I'm doing.
As an aside ...
Interestingly, Flickr advertises for programmers in that source! Here is a snippet ... <!DOCTYPE html> <html xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns #" lang="en-us" class="no-js html-photo-page-view"> <head> <!-- _ . - ` : ` '.' `` . - '` ` . ' ,gi$@$q pggq pggq . ' pggq + j@@@P*\7 @@@@ @@@@ _ : @@@@ ! ._ , . _ - . . . @@@K @@@@ ; -` `_,_ ` . @@@@ ;/ ` _,,_ ` ; pgg@@@@gggq @@@@ @@@@ .' ,iS@@@@@Si @@@@ .6@@@P' !!!! j!!!!7 ; @@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@@ ` j@@@P*"*+Y7 @@@@ .6@@@P !!!!47*"*+; `_ @@@@ @@@@ @@@@ .@@@7 . ` @@@@.6@@@P ` !!!!; . ' . @@@@ ' @@@@ @@@@ :@@@! !: @@@@7@@@K `; !!!! ' ` ' @@@@ . @@@@ @@@@ `%@@@. . @@@@`7@@@b . !!!! : ! @@@@ @@@@ @@@@ \@@@$+,,+4b @@@@ `7@@@b !!!! @@@@ : @@@@ @@@@ `7%S@@hX!P' @@@@ `7@@@b !!!! . : """" """" """" :. `^"^` """" `""""" '''' ` - . . _._ ` _._ _ . - , ` ,glllllllllg, `-: ' .~ . . . ~. ` ,jlllllllllllllllp, .!' .+. . . . . . .+. `. ` jllllllllllllllllllll ` +. . . . . . . . .+ . . jllllllllllllllllllllll . . . . . . . . . . . .l@@@@@@@lllllllllllllll. j. . . . . . . :::::::l ` ; ;@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@lllll :. . :::::::::::::::::: ; :l@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@l; ::::::::::::::::::::::; ` Y@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@P ::::::::::::::::::::: ' - Y@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@P . ::::::::::::::::::: . `*@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@*` ` ` `:::::::::::::::` `. `*%@@@@@@@%*` . ` `+:::::::::+` ' . ``` _ ' - . ``` - ` ' ` ' `
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On Sat, 12 Apr 2014 01:52:16 +0000, lew wrote:

I think you missed the entire point since you gave that example. To make that example make sense, it's as if you bought a computer that "said" it had 8GB of RAM, but, in the end, it had only a half of a GB of RAM that was actually usable by your programs.
The "lie" is in the hugeness of the disparity.

Again. This example would only make sense if, out of that 500GB hard drive, you only had about 100MB of usable storage.
The deception is in the hugeness of the disparity.

I think you missed the entire point. Nobody is complaining (in this thread) about the loss of 4GB in a 16GB phone (in fact, the SOLUTION was to replace the phone with a 16GB phone which turned into a 12GB phone).
The problem is in the hugeness of the disparity when a 4GB phone turns, essentially, into a 0GB phone.
That will never happen in the examples you've provided. Those examples have been provided so many times in this thread that I'm sorry to have to break it to you, but, you missed the entire point.
The point isn't that "some" memory is lost; the problem is that ALL of the memory (essentially) is lost!
Big difference between that, and round-off error or formatting errors or base-2 differences. h

Again, I'm sorry to say, you missed the point. The external SD card is USELESS. Get that into your head! It can NOT be used to augment the missing flash memory! The reason is not technical (so much) as business.
They made it so that you can't store APPS on the external memory. This thread was, is, and always was about storing APPS.
The external sdcard is absolutely useless for storing apps. That's the whole point of this thread.
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On Friday, April 11, 2014 11:06:17 PM UTC-4, Danny D. wrote:

The funny thing here is how you do exactly what you complain about Tmobile doing. You're exaggerating and going totally off the rails. You bought a 4GB phone that winds up with 600MB of free space. That's 15%. So, using the above analogy, that would be like buying a PC with a 500GB hard drive and finding out that only 75GB is free space. 100MB is an exaggeration, three orders of magnitude worse.

And you just did it again. An entry level Android phone with 600MB of free storage is not "essentially a 0GB phone". As I've said many times, I've put about a dozen apps on my 4GB phone and they took only 100 - 200MB. Typical sizes were 5 - 20MB. I could put ~5X that on your 600MB phone. It's not close to a 0GB phone and certainly not useless.

And there you go again.

It's false that an SD card can't be used to augment the internal storage. It's just that it can't be used to store apps. You can still put videos, pics, user data there.

That could be true, but I've seen no evidence to show why they did it. I don't see any competitive advantage to Google to do it and piss off their customers.

You have a valid point. But I think it's funny that you're just as far or farther off the rails than Tmobile. The big disconnect here is between what you expect an entry level phone to do and what I think most people buying such a product are looking for. You gave us a list of apps that I'd say you'd find in some advanced users, not an entry level user. If all those entry level buyers or even a large segment of them had similar expectations, Tmobile would have a huge problem. Their stores would be full of customers complaining about "useless" phones, demanding to swap them out or get refunds, etc.
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:38:37 -0700, The Real Bev wrote:

I think it's even worse than that, because, in some cases, what is reported by the Android OS seems to be totally wrong (long gory thread on that, with many confusing datapoints).
But, even if the Android phone told the truth, that still doesn't tell you that the SD card turns out to be USELESS for storing apps!
And, it doesn't tell you that the phone company made all their bloatware non removable.
So, they let you "think" that the SD card can augment the memory (and any reasonable person would think it would); but, the SD card turns out to be USELESS for augmenting the internal memory for storage of apps.
But they don't tell you that! Neither do almost all the reviews.
I only know that the SD card is useless because I found out the hard way.
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