Over 94,000 Consumers Want Verizon To Drop Contracts

    April 19, 2013
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

Wireless carrier contracts are just a way of life. Well, they used to be until T-Mobile rebranded itself as the unCarrier by getting rid of two-year contracts entirely. This led to some consumers demanding that Verizon do the same, and those consumers now number in the thousands.

A petition on Change.org asking Verizon to drop contracts has reached over 94,000 signatures. Its next milestone will be to reach 150,000 signatures, but just reaching 100,000 signatures should send a strong signal to the higher ups at Verizon that its consumer base wants a system where they’re not tied down to expensive contracts for two years, but are rather allowed to come and go as they please.

The movement definitely has support, but the hard part is convincing Verizon to do away with its expensive, and highly lucrative, contracts. Thankfully, the company at least seems willing to do so as its CEO, Lowell McAdam, said earlier this month that he would be ok with following T-Mobile’s lead into canceling contracts if there was enough consumer demand.

If Verizon did follow T-Mobile’s lead, it’s not like contracts would just magically disappear. They would replaced with what T-Mobile calls the “Simple Choice” plan which essentially replaces the contract with small monthly payments. The smartphone is still subsidized and you will still pay the same for data as you did before. The only difference is that you can leave the carrier at any time. Granted, you will have to pay the balance left on the phone if it’s not completely paid off.

Still, supporters say Verizon adopting a T-Mobile-like contract-less plan would be good for consumers on all carriers, not just Verizon and T-Mobile. With the backing of a major carrier like Verizon, other carriers like AT&T and Sprint would have no choice but to adopt a no contract policy as well. It could also possibly lead to all the wireless carriers agreeing on phone unlocking, an issue that the government hasn’t had much luck in regulating.

[h/t: Wireless Week]
  • http://www.quantisoft.com Howard Deutsch

    I agree, Verizon and all other cariers should eliminate contracts that lock customers in. They should be competing based on their total offerings including service levels, features, pricing, coverage, etc.

    This should apply to all phone and cable companies.

  • Eric

    People dont get it. There is no difference in contracts and no contracts. With contracts the equipment is subsidized and you pay a prorated term fee to leave early to cover the cost the company lost on the equipment. With no contracts the equipment is still subsidized and if you leave then you pay the retail price of the phone. You still pay money either way. The term contract just makes people think they have to stay whereas if they would just wise up they would realize the term fee is less than paying retail for the phone. Getting rid of contracts will hurt in the long run because it will attract more fraudulant customers who activate service to get the phones cheap and then sell them on ebay for a 200%+ increase and destroy their credit by never paying the bill. This in return costs the carrier money and guess who will get stuck with paying for it in the long run? The customer.

  • Kat

    It’s not just that there is a contract – it’s also that Verizon and the other big carriers are too expensive, and the contract reinforces that extra expense. I was with Verizon for 10 years – my last plan was for 400 minutes and 250 texts a month with no data for $60 a month plus sales tax, surcharge tax, and other taxes that made no sense to me. They would not allow me to have a smart phone on that plan. Now I am with Straight Talk. No contract, inexpensive ($150) smart phone (though you can get a more expensive phone if you want), and unlimited talk, text and data. It is $45 a month plus sales tax, without all the other taxes that Verizon charged. Yes, Verizon has a comparable plan to what I’m getting with Straight Talk, but it is $85 a month, plus all those taxes when I checked three months ago. All the big carriers like Verizon need to wise up!

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