from the tomato,-tomahto dept
For example, Verizon belatedly introduced a "Carryover" rollover data option. Under most implementations of this idea (as with T-Mobile), you're allowed to take any unused data at the end of the month and store it in the bank for future use. But under Verizon's implementation, this data only lasts one month -- and you have to burn through your existing allotment of data before it can even be used. This is Verizon's attempt to give the illusion of offering an innovative and competing service, but saddling it with caveats to make it incredibly less useful.
Not happy when the media quite correctly pointed out that its new data plans weren't much to write home about, Verizon issued a second, amusing press release clarifying the "myth v. reality" of what Verizon's offering versus what the media reported. As its opening salvo, Verizon repeats its claim that a 17% rate hike isn't a rate hike if you squint and look at the numbers in just the right way:
Myth: Verizon is raising prices with its new plans.This is, of course, not unlike the cable industry trying to claim you're not really paying too much for cable because you're now getting more amazing value per channel. In reality, usage caps are already arbitrary constructs with no ties to real-world costs, and Verizon's entire plan structure is carefully built to drive as many customers to the most expensive data plans. Plans they may not need, but sign up for simply because they have no idea what a megabyte even is, and want to avoid any risk of absurd $15 per gigabyte overage fees.
Reality: The price per GB is lower, across the board. The price went from $30 to $17.50 per GB on the S size plan and from $5.56 to $4.58 on XXL.
More amusing perhaps is Verizon's attempt to claim that the Carryover data plan outlined above isn't just copying a relatively good idea and making it worse (and charging more), it's Verizon's incredible delivery of "the entire package" and an "incredible value":
Myth: Verizon is copying the competition with introducing Carryover and Safety Mode; Verizon’s competitors offer the same type of plans, but for less money.Verizon's modus operandi in response to heightened competition from T-Mobile has been to pretend that the company's network is just so good, it doesn't have to compete on price. In fact, as T-Mobile has applied more and more pressure, Verizon has gone so far as to claim that "price sensitive" customers don't matter. But that's not how real competition works. You don't get to magically choose when you have to compete on price, though with a generation of being a government-pampered duopoly under its belt, Verizon executives clearly believe otherwise.
Reality: No other wireless company can offer the entire package. We bring together options customers tell us they want, in a new plan with incredible value - and a new My Verizon app that puts you in control - all on the best network.
Verizon's tactic of charging "premium pricing for a premium service" worked for a while, but as T-Mobile's network improves and the company has started hoovering up the sector's valuable postpaid subscribers, Verizon's been forced to take more serious notice. So far Verizon's response has been to try and pantomime competition, assuming that consumers and the media are too stupid to notice the difference. Verizon slowly but surely learning that you don't get to head fake real competitive pressure should prove interesting to watch.