Has Verizon Wireless made a Netflix blunder?
Verizon Wireless has either made a brilliant move with its “Share Everything” plan or torched itself.
Computerworld is saying the change that throws voice and data into one pricey pot is too radical, too expensive and is already creating a Netflix type reaction among customers.
Others, including Verizon Wireless itself, believe consumers will be willing to pay for simplicity and flexibility once they understand what the plan is about.
AT&T, which reportedly had been talking about a similar move before Verizon Wireless’ announcement, has now clammed up, waiting to see how things play out.
Big steps like [Share Everything], particularly when they come with sharp [price] increases, tend to scare the hell out of existing customers, and Verizon might actually lose a bunch as a result,” said Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group.
The widespread negative reaction by customers on various Web sites seen after Tuesday’s announcement “is similar to the Netflix mistake last year that almost sunk that company,” Enderle said.
The new Share Everything Plan includes unlimited calling and messaging bundled with a specific data allowance for as many as 10 Verizon Wireless phone lines. The offer will be available June 28 and apply to all new customers, according to a statement.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. has been readying a shared- data approach to billing to stop erosion of voice and text revenue and emphasize one big bucket of Internet data to split among multiple users. The move away from separate plans for each device is intended to encourage customers to use more data and buy larger monthly allotments.
“Today’s move by Verizon, while well telegraphed, is the most profound change to pricing the telecom industry has seen in 20 years,” Craig Moffett, a Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst in New York, wrote in a research note.
Here’s Verizon Wireless’ press release:
VERIZON WIRELESS UNVEILS NEW SHARE EVERYTHING PLANS FOR BASIC PHONES, SMARTPHONES, TABLETS AND MORE
Share Data with up to 10 Verizon Wireless Devices; Unlimited Minutes, Unlimited Messages and Mobile Hotspot Included in All Smartphone Plans
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless today announced Share Everything Plans that will forever change the way customers purchase wireless services. Share Everything Plans include unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text, video and picture messaging and a single data allowance for up to 10 Verizon Wireless devices. In addition, the Mobile Hotspot service on all the devices is included in the Share Everything Plans at no additional charge. The groundbreaking Share Everything Plans debut on June 28 and will be available to new, as well as existing, customers who may wish to move to the new plans.
“Customers asked, and Verizon Wireless delivered an industry first,” said Tami Erwin, vice president and chief marketing officer forVerizon Wireless. “Share Everything Plans are the new standard for wireless service. They are simple; customers no longer have to think about their voice and message plans, because both are unlimited. Share Everything Plans are convenient; customers purchase one data plan and they share it with up to 10 mobile devices. And, they are worry-free; customers can connect their 3G or 4G devices wherever and whenever they want on America’s most reliable network.”
How Share Everything Plans Work
To get started on a Share Everything Plan, customers first select the devices they want on their accounts. The next step is to choose a plan that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited messages and a shared data allowance that begins at 1 GB for $50. Customers adding a tablet on their Share Everything Plans can do so for an additional $10, with no long-term contract requirement. The following matrix shows pricing for an account with several different devices, such as a smartphone, a tablet and a basic phone, billed to the same individual.
“When developing these plans, we first asked customers what they wanted in a wireless service plan. We also looked at the technology and how customers were using it to manage their lives. And last, we took into consideration the evolution of the technology and how customers would use wireless in the future,” Erwin added. “Share Everything Plans are the outcome of that research. They cover every device Verizon Wireless offers, from basic phones to smartphones, from tablets to Jetpacks and more. Share Everything Plans represent a tremendous shift in how customers think about wireless service.”
Switch to a Share Everything Plan
Customers are free to keep their existing plans, but there is no fee or contract extension to move to the new Share Everything Plans. To help customers determine the best Share Everything Plan option, Verizon Wireless has created an easy to use online tool atwww.verizonwireless.com/ShareEverything.