As Verizon changes its policies for the worse with lengthier timeframes to upgrade, customers are fighting back and petitioning the company to drop contracts altogether. Using T-Mobile’s new Simple Choice approach as a basis for the argument, Mike Beauchamp is gathering signatures by the truckload.
In one sense, Verizon is already taking at least a step in the right direction even as they extend upgrade rules by allowing device payment plans on smartphones later this year.
Customers also have the option of purchasing a phone at full price at any point before their contract expires and beginning April 21, some devices will be available for purchase through the Verizon Wireless Device Payment Plan.
The bottom line in Beauchamp’s argument is exactly what you would expect, that contracts are the root of all evil. Ok so that’s only partially true, but Beauchamp does argue that as devices roll out faster than our two-year contracts end, we’re stuck with outdated equipment time and time again as we wait for two years to come up. As for how T-Mobile is handling their new Simple Choice plans, Beauchamp highlights:
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.
Beauchamp concludes that getting rid of contracts is a win for customers, something T-Mobile’s newly minted CEO John Legere has expressed, often in vulgar detail. “Getting rid of carrier contracts is a win for customers.” That’s very true and while I’m not thrilled about the idea that it takes 100,000+ signatures for a company to finally realize their customers deserve better, I’m glad to see Verizon customers take matters into their own hands.
So, if you’re asking why I’m posting this this morning, it’s because now T-Mobile has the advantage of being the only national carrier to attempt a paradigm shift away from the industry. Verizon customers, to date 94,110 of them which admittedly makes up less than 1% of Verizon’s total customer base see that T-Mobile is moving in the right direction. These are the customers T-Mobile needs to continue to work to gain. As Verizon is typically the most rigid and disciplined of all US carriers, the percentage likelihood they will give this petition any real consideration is somewhere in the single digits. Perhaps T-Mobile should focus on Verizon customers and highlight the next upgrade rules against T-Mobile’s upgrade when you pay off your device policy. T-Mobile has the advantage now and it’s clear that wireless customers deserve better and want better and now is the time for T-Mobile to strike, while the metaphorical iron is hot.