There are significant costs in terms of processing, administration, inventory management fulfillment, stocking, shipping and handling every time a phone is ordered.Unfortunately, this situation isn't hypothetical.
I wholeheartedly agree with businesses making money. I understand that everything mentioned above is not free. I even, somewhat, understand why these costs weren't stealthily sneaked into the monthly cost of service plans. What I don't understand is why it suddenly became necessary to demand additional payment from customers when such payments were not necessary previously.
A quick glance through the above-linked thread will reveal several theories on the matter. The predominant sentiment seems to be that our incumbents are starting to feel the financial effects of customer attrition caused by new entrants into the Canadian wireless marketplace. Personally, I think we're missing some theories involving aliens. And tin-foil hats. I like tin-foil. Some people, however, seem to be of the opinion that those of us who have retention plans deserve to pay a little extra when upgrading our hardware. Apparently, we don't pay enough for our wireless services for the carriers to make a profit.
I may be naive when it comes to economics and business practices, but isn't it safe to assume that our carriers wouldn't offer retention plans so readily if they weren't making substantial amounts of profit, despite the heavily-discounted prices?