Wireless customers petition Verizon to do away with contracts

By on April 19, 2013, 4:00 PM

Earlier this month Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam teased the idea of doing away with customer contracts. His words prompted a petition on Change.org from longtime Verizon subscriber Mike Beauchamp that has already received nearly 100,000 digital signatures.

Beauchamp makes some compelling arguments to try and convince others to sign the petition. He correctly points out that phones are no longer primarily used to make telephone calls. Instead, they are devices used to access the Internet – a business model that carriers have shifted towards as they have moved away from selling minutes and are now focused on pushing data packages.

T-Mobile debuted a contract-free, unlimited talk and text plan last month that includes 500MB of tetherable data for just $50 per month – a move that very well could end up changing the business models of wireless providers worldwide.

Beauchamp also points out that Google has been designing, marketing and selling their own devices completely unsubsidized to the public without contract for the past three years. Getting rid of carrier contracts is a win for customers, he concludes.

The petition, created earlier this month, already shows that the idea has resonated with thousands of wireless subscribers tired of being locked into long-term contracts and paying hefty phone subsidies. As of writing, it has just north of 96,000 signatures with a goal of 150,000 and over 800 comments. Beauchamp isn’t sure how many signatures it will take to get Verizon to comply but he is certain the petition has already caught their attention.

User Comments: 3

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Guest said:

Aren't contracts "optional" and only required if you want an expensive phone you can't afford outright? I never understand why people assume wireless carriers are obligated to give a customers $1000 phones. Here in Canada it works that way. You want an expensive phone? Don't want to pay for it?Then sign 3 year contact. Or buy a cheapy (or used smart phone) and throw an awesome deal on it. Here typically if you have your phone already, a typically $100/month drops to $60 a month and lower. All the big brands here have a sibling lesser brand, and its ALWAYS tit-for-tat pricing, I know I brought my own device to koodos and got unlimited nationwide talking, unlimited world text, and 2 gigs data for $51 month... was $56 but I brought my own phone so they -10% from bill. And ya, NO CONTRACT! :)

Guest said:

Except here the plans don't cost less or get cheaper when you don't sign a contract. How do you think these companies make their billions? They charge the same price whether you plan to have your phone subsidized or not.

windmill007 said:

Guest is right. That is where they milk you. After two years or if you BYOD you should be paying a lot less but you don't with this contract carriers. That's their secret and I hope it gets exposed and people revolt.

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