Tech blogger wants Verizon to scrap wireless service contracts

April 22, 2013

Business, Technology

verizonMike Beauchamp wants mega-telecom Verizon to get rid of contracts for their wireless services.

The freelance blogger and self-described techie has started an online petition at Change.org claiming that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, “has already expressed his willingness to do away with” wireless service contracts.

Beauchamp writes:

Getting rid of carrier contracts is a win for customers. Verizon’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, has already expressed his willingness to do away with them if consumers speak loud enough about it.

So here’s your chance: sign this petition to tell Verizon to end carrier contracts and create an affordable way for consumers to purchase their devices. If you’re a current customer, you don’t have to switch carriers or have plans to switch carriers. I’ve been a long-time Verizon customer and I don’t see myself ever leaving; but I want that choice myself; I don’t want them making it for me and imposing stiff penalties if I do decide to leave.

We all know how quickly technology changes in this day and age. Carriers originally introduced contracts as a way to lower the up-front cost of mobile phones at a time when the technology wasn’t advancing as quickly. It was also a time when most of us didn’t rely on our phones for as much as we do now. 

Let’s face it; phones aren’t really phones anymore. They’re data devices for accessing the Internet and everything connected to it, that happen to also make calls. Carriers (including Verizon) have already given up trying to charge for “minutes” — a shift towards that verifies this trend. Instead, they’ve created a business model where most of their revenue comes from data.

So why would anyone want to be tied into a contract for two years? The major handset manufacturers all release updated, newer, faster, more powerful devices much more frequently. Apple and Samsung, the two dominant players in mobile, release a new flagship phone every year like clockwork. Most other OEMs do, as well.

Verizon’s corporate response to the petition was noted last week by CNN.

“Verizon Wireless has for years offered many different choices for customers, including contract plans or month-to-month plans that do not require a contract,” said spokeswoman Debra Lewis in a prepared statement.

As more customers on a budget do look for contract-free plans, Verizon’s recently announced prepaid basic monthly option was recently detailed on their website. Simply input your service area zip code and browse their devices.

 

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About Stephen McDill

Stephen McDill joined the Mississippi Business Journal in 2008 after working in radio and television. He is a graduate of Belhaven University and has won awards for his writing and photojournalism from the Associated Press and Mississippi Press Association.

View all posts by Stephen McDill

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