Thursday, June 14, 2012
For Verizon Talk May Be Cheap But Data Isn’t
Reacting to the rise of data use over traditional voice, Verizon is introducing a new version of their pricing plan. The new plan – called “Share Everything” – will allow customers to link up to 10 devices to a single contract under the same data plan, and goes into effect on June 28th. Accompanying this change there’s good-and-bad news, bad news, and good news, depending upon what wireless features you use.
The good-and-bad news is that this is a really big paradigm shift for customers, one that forces them to consolidate service providers, not something that has come naturally. Just think about how long it took cable companies to get customers to bundle services.
The bad news is that the plan does away with unlimited data plans and replaces them with, for example, the cheapest version – $50 a month for one gigabyte. Then you pay $10 for the next additional gigabyte, and $10 for the next two additional gigabytes, which is OK if you use a lot of data, but not so much if you don’t.
The good news is that customers will pay $40 a month for unlimited voice and texting and can connect other devices -- $10 for a tablet and $20 for a laptop – which are cheaper rates than currently on offer.
But when it comes to the brand world, saying it, doing it, and doing it believably so customers are truly engaged are three entirely different things. You need to be both believed and meet customer expectations for the category if you expect to succeed.
According to our 2012 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index rankings, when it comes to voice and data plans, this is how the major brands in the category rate as compared to the Ideal provider (100%):
AT&T Wireless 95%
Verizon Wireless 92%
Sprint PCS 91%
The low, fixed-fee approach for all customers confirms a trend we commented upon nearly a year ago: providers no longer expect to make the big bucks from calls and texts, but intend to make up for it with the data plans and the connection of additional devices.
Just one of the other services provided by Brand Keys: Some advance notice so you can acclimate to the newest version of the digital world coming at you.