Can you hear me now: 60,000 disgruntled users urge Verizon to drop contracts

By , Apr 17, 2013

Verizon drop contracts petition

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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    This is great! I love Verizon but they have been pissing me off lately. T-mobile looks better than ever right now.

  • http://twitter.com/igno7um ignotum nomen

    This comment was deleted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/spolo Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    I want to switch to T-Mobile now that they have the iPhone and especially since of the two remaining carriers with unlimited data, they are by far the cheapest.

    Unfortunately I have that $350 ETF hanging over my head ($300 since i’m about 5 months in).

    Contracts suck and we end up paying way more at the end of 2 years than we would if we paid full price for the phone. What a mistake that was…

  • ap3604

    Not a chance I would EVER give a company like Verizon my $$$. They are just waaay too cocky with their prices. Ever since getting the iPhone they have changed policy after policy to give their customers the finger.

    If I absolutely needed Verizon’s network coverage based on where I lived, I would simply go with the prepaid mvno Page Plus (which uses the Verizon network).

    Unlimited Talk / Text + 2 gb of data = $55/mo
    1200 min / 3000 text + 250 mb of data = $30/mo

  • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J.

    I don’t quite get this. In the first two years, the plans are quite similar. Leave t-mobile, pay for the phone. Leave Verizon, pay a penalty that is pro-rated. Only diff I really see is at the end of two years. T-Mobile has a straight up mobile plan where Verizon still makes you pay subsidized prices. And assuming people change phones every couple years on average to another high end device, again not to different. What am I missing?

    • blu

      I agree. You can leave any carrier during the contract and pay the ETF, which basically covers the subsidy price of the phone.
      I don’t see t-mobile being any cheaper monthly for my needs than what I have on AT&T (2 iPhones, iPhone 5 with grandfathered unlimited (16 gig refurb cost me $99), iPhone 4s is 200mb (16 gig refurb, cost me $50), 1 dumb phone, 450 min, no texting, costs me $125/month).
      If I go to any other carrier, I am pretty much forced into getting texting, which I don’t want or a ton of minutes I don’t need for almost 2x the price.

      • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J.

        I’m on a t-mobile plan $30 a month for 100 minutes and unlimited texting and data for my iPhone 4. That’s the best value I found so far since I almost never use minutes.

      • blu

        is that a currently available plan? Also is it 4g/LTE (if you have an LTE phone)?
        My brother is on an old T-Mobile plan that is unlimited data for like $5 extra a month, but it is at 2g/edge speeds.

      • http://twitter.com/unbeliever008 Jae. Just J.

        get 5 Gigs at 4G, then 3G in my area. No LTE yet with that plan even though they offer in Phoenix area. They still offer it under their plans. Kinda gotta search for it in their plans. It’s not glaringly obvious.

      • blu

        Ahh, OK. not too bad then. I don’t use a lot of minutes myself, but my mom (she is on the dumbphone) uses most of the 450 I have (but with AT&T rollover minutes I tend to always havea reserve).

    • Matthew Agostino

      Finally someone intelligent that can read and understand! This whole thing from TMobile is just a PR move to make people think they are doing gem a favor. The only way you would save money is if after 2 years you stick with the same phone. I’d like to think most if not most people will be upgrading by that point, and then your right back where you starting adding another$20 a mont to your bill to pay off your new phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Power to the people… Lets hope they listen to the customer, without the customer they are worth nothing.

  • SotoXP

    The hell with contracts. I’ve been contract free since the i4 and i loving it with unlimited date and LTE with Boost Mobile. $55 a month is nice too.

  • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

    Can’t wait to see how AT&T responds to the madness!

  • Darek Slaby

    I signed the petition even though I’m not on Verizon. It’ll put more pressure on other carriers to do the same and will help create a better. thriving, mobile market instead of the money-hungry, stale, and completely uncompetitive one we currently have. Really hope they reach their goal!!

  • http://twitter.com/Kevinfest Kevin

    I have AT&T and T-Mobile does look a little more appealing right now.

  • Scott

    I came from AT&T to,Verizon and couldn’t be happier. Way better coverage. Better speed for data. And for me it turned out to be cheaper than what I was paying at AT&T by like $30.

    Plus AT&T does something weird with it’s data. I used to stream pandora at work and my wife would as well. With AT&T she would go through 2-3 GB of data each month. We have a shared 6 GB data plan at the moment between the two of us and we rarely use more than say 2 Gb now between the two of us. With AT&T she would use the 2-3 GB/mth and I would use about 1.5-2 GB/mth.

    Only reason we have the 6 GB plan is because I tether my ipad to my iphone sometimes to stream video content from netflix or from my computer at home over LTE.

    Don’t get me wrong more competition between the companies and more power in the hands of the customer is still a good thing but coming from paying more for less, I am happy with my Verizon iphone and service.

    Only thing I can hit on with Verizon is the lack of being able to talk and use data at the same time. Yes, a lot of people do not do that at the same time but if you are talking to someone and want to forward them an email or send them a text with an address so they can just click on it and it will open up in Maps, it can’t be done while talking on the phone, unless you are near wifi. All those people that say wifi is every where, not in the country. If that was true then you do not need a cell phone, just an iPod touch and you should be able to get by just fine without paying for cell service at all. Unless I am in town near a starbucks or mcdonalds wifi isn’t an option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julieacoope Julie Erickson Coope

    Not nice Verizon. You won’t stay the top U.S. carrier with a mightier than though attitude!

  • http://www.facebook.com/julieacoope Julie Erickson Coope

    Left Verizon 9 years ago because of too many problems. T-Mobile has treated us well ever since I have been with them. I don’t have any complaints what so ever! I have been so happy with them that I even stuck with them even though I couldn’t get the iphone. So happy to have an iphone now!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/pittsburgh.mike.1 Pittsburgh Mike

    T-mobile does look pretty good, but if T-mobile’s coverage is poor in your area, there are other alternatives: MVNOs.

    For example, I’ve moved my unlocked ex-AT&T iPhones to StraightTalk, which uses AT&T’s network. I pay 42.50 per month for each phone, with no contract (autorenews each month, but you can quit at the end of any month). Unlimited text, voice and data, and if you have a jailbroken iPhone, tetherme also works.

    One nice thing about T-Mobile — their tech support folks are an order of magnitude better than AT&T, VZ or ST’s.

  • chris125

    Unless they lower plan prices no thanks.

  • Eddie Morales

    AT&T needs to get inboard with this also!

  • John Merrimab

    where do we go to log complaints about verizon that will actually be heard?

  • Serenity Bonham

    Wow! It is good to see you started plans without contracts now. Especially when our soldiers overseas during the war didnt get that luxury.. This is a person who is now paying a whole months worth of a vacation into a possible verizon 2 line account scam.. It never gets easier:)

  • Mr Paul

    Sigh. Do these people actually think Verizon gives a damn about them? Of all companies and cell providers, Verizon could care less about it’s customers, give me a break. Don’t petition a company that’s raping your wallet to do something they’ll never do; just LEAVE!