Mobile communications companies share the collective animosity of their customers. It does not matter if you are an AT & T subscriber, T-Mobile, Verizon or any other provider. The customers that stay with you are choosing you for one of two reasons – 1) it’s the only option they have, 2) they have not found a better option.
For those people who are unaware, Verizon decided to cancel its policy http://bit.ly/uTG2Fw of charging a $2 “convenience fee” for bill payments made over the phone and online. The policy had been intended to go into effect as of January 15, 2012. Within 24 hours of announcing the new rule, Verizon did an about-face and completely squelched the idea.
It’s score one for the little guys right? Let’s face it – it’s altogether too rare for a company to actually listen to its customers (well the customers were yelling pretty loudly) and then act by rescinding a new rule based on the collective outcry of their customers. Of course critics note that Verizon’s 4G LTE network went down last week for the third time in a month which also served to infuriate its customers.
I am wondering about the meeting that occurred at Verizon where the concept of a $2 customer “convenience fee” was not only unveiled, but voted on positively by the powers that be. Perhaps there wasn’t a meeting or a vote after all? I mean, who could sit there and listen to this plan and not think that Verizon’s customers would do a total freak-out?
What if Verizon intended on floating this idea out there with the distinct knowledge that they would pull back once the customer outcry reached fever pitch (this took less than 24 hours BTW)? I know that’s cynical but it is possible right? And if that were to have been the case Verizon would have been able to close out 2011 on a somewhat positive note as a company that listened to its customers concerns (outrage?) and acted upon it.
The alternative is that the brass at Verizon is so clueless that they put out a rule change that stands out as being one of the dumbest business moves of 2011.
I don’t think Verizon reached a market cap of more than $113 billion because they do dumb things do you?