Sunday, January 9, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Oh boy. Verizon Wireless wanted to know how likely I am to recommend them to a friend. So I clicked on their survey link and gave them a neutral rating, they asked me to expound. So I did. But I'm wondering if others share my opinion of Verizon Wireless and the industry in general. Here's what I wrote.
It's hard not to compare giant telecom companies in terms which is the least evil. Verizon is a terrifically efficient money extraction machine. Not that the others aren't, but despite the decent coverage in my area and better customer service than most, there absolutely no question that Verizon exists only to get my money.
If you want to foster brand loyalty, you gotta give a little. Take MiFi for example. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if you'd let me use my existing data plan, or at least cut me a good deal on the monthly expense. But when I'm already paying you $150 a month, there's no way I'm going to kick down another $50. Or they way you hold back technology. I remember when you were disabling bluetooth in phones (an exec at the time told the press your customers didn't want it), and holding the GPS chip in my old Blackberry hostage unless I paid $10/mo for VZ Navigator. And when I got my Droid a year ago, Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney stated that tethering would become available in 2010. I bought that phone largely because I wanted to show Verizon that many of your customers will pay for phones that aren't hobbled. Then, in August of 2010 the company announces a change of heart. Want to tether? Buy another phone.
It's all those little digs that undermine brand loyalty. Customers know where we stand. No wireless company has ever demonstrated a sense of loyalty to me, so it shouldn't be hard to understand why your industry can't seem to keep customers from jumping ship. I think it's naively sweet that you posted this survey, but I'm pretty sure Verizon's executive team and board of directors don't care what the customers think as long as we're still paying up.
Then they asked if I could use my comments in their marketing materials. So THAT'S what this was about! They're going to scan the comments of the people who rated them highly and ignore the whiners like me. I've been suckered again.