T-Mobile’s ‘Un-carrier’ decision to separate device subsidies from the wireless service and its introduction of no-contract plans predictably agitated spirits in this lucrative industry. But Verizon Wireless, the top U.S. carrier, wouldn’t budge. In fact, the big red carrier responded rather autistically to T-Mobile by delaying phone upgrades from 20 to 24 months.
At the same time, Verizon is attempting to appease to users by offering smartphone financing program beginning April 21. That Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam refuses to clarify his company’s stance on monthly installments isn’t helping either.
Deciding enough is enough, one Verizon fanboy started a petition recently, urging the carrier to ditch wireless contracts. And guess what? Already 60,000+ disgruntled customers put their signature on it. Verizon, can you hear me now?
Mike Beauchamp, a Wichita, Kansas native, wants Verizon to end carrier contracts and create “an affordable way for consumers to purchase their devices.”
Himself a long time Verizon subscriber, Beauchamp doesn’t see himself ever leaving, but wants those pesky early termination fees removed because he feels these exist only to discourage people from jumping ship.
“I want that choice myself,” he writes. “I don’t want them making it for me and imposing stiff penalties if I do decide to leave.”
Here’s an excerpt from the petition:
T-Mobile, just this year, revamped their plans and pricing models to eliminate contracts. Customers pay “full price” for the phone with a small down payment and then monthly installment payments thereafter. If you want to leave T-Mobile at any time, you’re free to go (of course you have to pay the phone off).
This approach is less intimidating to customers and embraces our newer ways of thinking, as well as the speed at which the wireless industry (and related technology) is changing.
If you want the latest and greatest phone, great. If you break the one you’ve got and need a replacement, no problem. If you get a new job and your employer provides you a phone, you can cancel with no penalty. If you move to an area where T-Mobile doesn’t have coverage (or overseas, even), that’s not a problem either.
Under this model, you’re paying full MSRP for your device, so your carrier has no vested interest in making back that subsidy (discounted phone price they gave you up front) over the span of your contract.
If anything, they’re even more incentivized to continue maintaining and improving the quality of their network to keep you as a customer, instead of relying on the fact that you’re tied into a multi-year contract which forces you to say.
You may remember that Verizon’s top dog Lowell McAdam recently commented his company would consider eliminated contracts if consumers demanded it.
Well, the people have spoken so what’re you going to do, Verizon?
The ball is now in your court, Mr. McAdam.
The petition is available over at the Change.org web site.