Apr 18 AT 3:40 PM Taylor Wimberly 28 Comments

Petition against Verizon wireless contracts nears 100k signatures

Rule-your-wallet-VERIZON

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently said it would be “pretty easy” to eliminate wireless contracts if consumers started asking for it, so a Verizon customer and blogger from Wichita, Kansas, started a Change.org petition to get the ball rolling. In his petition, Mike Beauchamp says that “this has the potential to change the entire wireless industry” and he asks others to join his movement.

“I’ve been a long-time Verizon customer and I don’t see myself ever leaving, but I want that choice myself,” said Beauchamp. “I don’t want them making it for me and imposing stiff penalties if I do decide to leave.”

Pre-paid plans are already available on Verizon, but Beauchamp says that is not enough. “Pricing phones so high, sometimes 600 dollars or more, doesn’t really make it a true option for most people,” he told Change.org on the phone. “The second call to action on my petition is for Verizon to come up with better ways for customers to purchase devices affordably. Whether that’s with a payment plan or by some other means, they can do better.”

Beaucamp will get his wish on his second call to action because Verizon recently said their device payment plan will be expanded to smartphones later this year.

Part of me finds online petitions kind of silly when customers can just vote with their wallet and switch to a no-contract carrier. T-Mobile recently dropped contracts and started offering installment plans for devices, so there are options available. Verizon customers can also take their devices to Page Plus Cellular and sign up for a no-contract plan on Verizon’s network.

Yesterday the petition had 60k signatures, and it quickly jumped to 90k today after it was posted to several tech blogs. That’s a small portion of Verizon’s 93 million customers, but at least it’s a start. If you would like to join the growing list of customers against wireless contracts, then hit up the source link and add your name.

Source: Change.org

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • swauger

    Verizon will break and “give in” and say they are listening to their customers. Then they’ll say there are no longer any contracts, you’ll have to buy the phone outright with a large upfront fee and the best part, they won’t lower the monthly rates. They’ll spin it like they are helping the customer and then laugh all the way to the bank when they make more money.

    • David R

      You couldn’t be more right – this is exactly what Verizon will do. Everyone should be prepared to spend $100/mo for one line with 2GB of data.

      Because pretty much *everyone* uses less than 2GB per month (especially if you force them!)…
      And *obviously* Verizon’s network is enough better that the extra $30 per month over T-mobile is warranted…even though you have unlimited data with them.
      /s

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Exactly, and I have my doubt that how many of those 100k people actually fully understand what getting rid of contracts mean.

      First of all, call me anything you want, but I suspect some of them are thinking that getting rid of contracts mean they can get out of a contract WITH a subsidized phones w/o paying anything — not even the remaining amount they own on the phones. To those people, “IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

      Some of them may think that no contract means lower monthly bill — again, if you follow how Verizon works, this is also a “NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

      To folks like us who know fully well how Verizon works, chances are it will end up with another scheme for Verizon to squeeze more money from our pocket, in the name of fulfilling what customers want, but at the end, we won’t get anything really beneficial.

      What we really should ask for is to get rid of device approval. Make the market more competitive and favorable for phone makers to manufacture phones that support multiple carriers, and sell w/o carrier branding. This will eventually drive down phone prices, which will in turn make us join a carrier w/o contract (NOTE: you can do that now with Verizon if you don’t own a subsidized phones.) Without a contract, and with a phone that’s capable of working on multiple carriers, you can leave a carrier at any moment, which will in turn increase competition among the carriers. THAT is what will drive down the price of mobile plan fee.

  • redraider133

    Unless they lower the plan prices these “no contracts” aren’t really a smart idea. If they do like tmo and lower prices then I am all for it, but seeing how it is verizon I could see them charging the same price they charge now even while making you pay full price for the phone.

  • alexanderharri3

    Well, with shared data, we wanted that….and see what that gave us….a bigger bill.

    • NasLAU

      I didn’t want shared days but you’re 100% correct. Higher prices came along with that “feature”.

  • Brian

    Taylor,

    As much as I would love to agree with your closing sentiment, I don’t think that some people can really vote with their wallets on this issue. In spite of T-Mobile’s recent network improvements, their coverage still wanes in certain areas. The trick is, you never know where that area might be, and you never know when you’ll really need a phone.

    This concern is precisely why Verizon invested the way that it did. It still maintains a virtual coverage monopoly in some areas, and once the monopoly runs out, their contract structure shores up retention.

    That’s why I can buy a brand new phone, have it develop a catastrophic error in less than a month, and have VZW customer service tell me tough luck, since it usually fixes itself on reboot, it’s not a real problem. Between coverage and contract termination costs I have no practical options.

    In any case, I’d like to see this petition gain some steam.

    –My Droid DNA can’t find its SIM card because the inside of the phone scratches the card. If you’re giving away any Ones I’ll take one off your hands and switch to TMobile, even if I can’t use the phone while visiting family.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      There are always other options. Pretty much every carrier offers a no-contract or pre-paid plan. There are also MVNOs that operate on each carrier’s network.

      • Brian

        Limited to EVDO. Sadly that’s a dealbreaker.

    • mojeda

      I couldn’t agree more, I have had verizon for the past 5 years at least, and I’ve been testing T-Mobile and a Nexus 4 for a week and T-Mobile’s coverage is spotty at best in my area.

      Too frequently I get the “No T-Mobile Coverage” error. Until they can get more coverage in my area I will be sticking with verizon, where my contract has been done since 2010 and I’m holding onto my grandfathered unlimited data.

  • Nathan D.

    I got this email from change.org and I think this is a good chance for people to be heard who are from Verizon.

  • NasLAU

    I was just in Augusta, Kentucky for work. AT&T and T-mobile didn’t even give me a signal. Only Verizon works according to the locals I spoke to. That’s why some people can’t vote with their wallets.

  • snowbdr89

    Contracts or not just make cell plans affordable 100$ a month to use a dam cell phone is a joke!! If a person is willing to pay full price on a phone then at least give them more affordable options..

  • Doan

    $600 for a phone is his argument against pre-paid plans? You’re not entitled to the best of everything at low cost. If you don’t want to spend $600 on a phone, spend $350 on a mid-range device that does everything the $600 phones do, but a little slower, with less storage (8+ GB is plenty), and without an HD screen.

  • donger

    Verizon has good 4G LTE and that’s about it.

  • Odie

    Just a quick note Taylor, T-Mobile has been offering plans on their phones for at least 3 years. When I first went in to see if they carried the Nexus One, and after being told no, the employee offered up some other phones and said that the way that their contracts worked was that you would pay, for example, $65/month for the service and $20/month for the phone. So you’d pay $85/month for 2 years and after that period, if you decided to stay with the phone you already had, your bill would drop to $65. It’s funny that they’re marketing it as this radical change in the way they do things.

  • Nate B.

    This would be cool & all but big red isn’t gsm meaning I couldn’t just bring any phone to them. That’s the beauty of having a gsm carrier with no contracts. Plus big red always gets the phone late & calls it their own.

    • mojeda

      You can bring in your own phone but it has to be a “Verizon” phone compatible with CDMA and LTE. You then just either walk into your verizon store and say you want to replace X phone with Y. They will either give or charge you for a sim card ($30).

  • This is a terrible idea for cost

    I hope people understand the economics of how these plans work.

    Data is dirt cheap and lucrative to them. Phones are very expensive. The only way to make up for subsidizing the phones is to make huge margins on the plan. That’s why they do it on a contractual basis – you’re essentially financing the cost of the phone and paying for continual usage.

    No contract = no guaranteed revenue = no incentive to lower phone cost = no subsidized phone.

  • Chuck J.

    I just spent $400 on a refurbished S-III “no-contract” phone for Verizon. Not knowing until too late that there is a huge difference between no-contract and “pre-paid”. Verizon’s website is less than clear on the subject. I thought it would be $70/month with 2 gigs. I simply can’t afford $80/month, with just 1 gig. Now I’m looking into getting my phone flashed for Page Plus, another unexpected expense. But the monthly difference will ultimately be worth it. I just wish Verizon would bring their prices closer to Page Plus. If I could get no-contract, 4G service, with a couple gigs of data for $65-70 a month I would be Verizon’s biggest salesman.

    • SouthernBell928

      I have Page Plus and I love it. It will be worth switching.

  • shanna page

    Verizon is ridiculous! I am tired of the contracts and cost. There is no sense in telling customers that to upgrade phones they MUST give up unlimited data. There are tooo many companies offering unlimited data at a low price. do they want to lose 10 and 15 yr customers. I will NOT NOT NOT renew my contract. My bill w/ 5 phones and 1 line suspended is 200 + dollars a month

    • shanna page

      Ps I totally agree w/ myself LOL

      • SouthernBell928

        I agree. I will NOT NOT NOT sign a contract ever again!

  • rob

    Verizon is turning smartphones into dumbphones with their data fees ..what good is a smartphone if u can’t use it..they are filling their pockets and laughing the whole way to the bank.

    • SouthernBell928

      That’s why I love my Page Plus. I don’t have to have a separate data plan. I use Wi-fi most all of the time, but my $29.99/month plan comes with 250 MB data.

  • SouthernBell928

    I use Page Plus and I am incredibly happy with it. I bought a refurbished Android on Ebay for $50 and I pay $29.99/month for 1200 minutes, 3000 texts and 250 MB data. I use wi-fi most of the time, so I don’t use my data much, but it’s there if I need to. I have no contract. I feel I’m getting a great deal and I can switch phones, plans or even companies whenever I like. Oh, and I don’t have to have a data plan just for having a smartphone. The coverage is great since Page Plus users Verizon. The big phone companies are getting rich off of people who have a contract!!!

  • lisa

    I pay 500 dollars a month ..no other carrier picks up where I live ..I recently got a bill for 2,890.70 dollars when I called em 2 days later my bill dropped. To 400.00 they crazy but what do you do if no other service works ¿

  1. Verizon will break and “give in” and say they are listening to their customers. Then they’ll say there are no longer any contracts, you’ll have to buy the phone outright with a large upfront fee and the best part, they won’t lower the monthly rates. They’ll spin it like they are helping the customer and then laugh all the way to the bank when they make more money.

    • David RGuest 2 years ago

      You couldn’t be more right – this is exactly what Verizon will do. Everyone should be prepared to spend $100/mo for one line with 2GB of data.

      Because pretty much *everyone* uses less than 2GB per month (especially if you force them!)…
      And *obviously* Verizon’s network is enough better that the extra $30 per month over T-mobile is warranted…even though you have unlimited data with them.
      /s

    • Exactly, and I have my doubt that how many of those 100k people actually fully understand what getting rid of contracts mean.

      First of all, call me anything you want, but I suspect some of them are thinking that getting rid of contracts mean they can get out of a contract WITH a subsidized phones w/o paying anything — not even the remaining amount they own on the phones. To those people, “IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

      Some of them may think that no contract means lower monthly bill — again, if you follow how Verizon works, this is also a “NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.”

      To folks like us who know fully well how Verizon works, chances are it will end up with another scheme for Verizon to squeeze more money from our pocket, in the name of fulfilling what customers want, but at the end, we won’t get anything really beneficial.

      What we really should ask for is to get rid of device approval. Make the market more competitive and favorable for phone makers to manufacture phones that support multiple carriers, and sell w/o carrier branding. This will eventually drive down phone prices, which will in turn make us join a carrier w/o contract (NOTE: you can do that now with Verizon if you don’t own a subsidized phones.) Without a contract, and with a phone that’s capable of working on multiple carriers, you can leave a carrier at any moment, which will in turn increase competition among the carriers. THAT is what will drive down the price of mobile plan fee.

  2. Unless they lower the plan prices these “no contracts” aren’t really a smart idea. If they do like tmo and lower prices then I am all for it, but seeing how it is verizon I could see them charging the same price they charge now even while making you pay full price for the phone.

  3. Well, with shared data, we wanted that….and see what that gave us….a bigger bill.

    • I didn’t want shared days but you’re 100% correct. Higher prices came along with that “feature”.

  4. BrianGuest 2 years ago

    Taylor,

    As much as I would love to agree with your closing sentiment, I don’t think that some people can really vote with their wallets on this issue. In spite of T-Mobile’s recent network improvements, their coverage still wanes in certain areas. The trick is, you never know where that area might be, and you never know when you’ll really need a phone.

    This concern is precisely why Verizon invested the way that it did. It still maintains a virtual coverage monopoly in some areas, and once the monopoly runs out, their contract structure shores up retention.

    That’s why I can buy a brand new phone, have it develop a catastrophic error in less than a month, and have VZW customer service tell me tough luck, since it usually fixes itself on reboot, it’s not a real problem. Between coverage and contract termination costs I have no practical options.

    In any case, I’d like to see this petition gain some steam.

    –My Droid DNA can’t find its SIM card because the inside of the phone scratches the card. If you’re giving away any Ones I’ll take one off your hands and switch to TMobile, even if I can’t use the phone while visiting family.

    • There are always other options. Pretty much every carrier offers a no-contract or pre-paid plan. There are also MVNOs that operate on each carrier’s network.

      • BrianGuest 2 years ago

        Limited to EVDO. Sadly that’s a dealbreaker.

    • I couldn’t agree more, I have had verizon for the past 5 years at least, and I’ve been testing T-Mobile and a Nexus 4 for a week and T-Mobile’s coverage is spotty at best in my area.

      Too frequently I get the “No T-Mobile Coverage” error. Until they can get more coverage in my area I will be sticking with verizon, where my contract has been done since 2010 and I’m holding onto my grandfathered unlimited data.

  5. I got this email from change.org and I think this is a good chance for people to be heard who are from Verizon.

  6. I was just in Augusta, Kentucky for work. AT&T and T-mobile didn’t even give me a signal. Only Verizon works according to the locals I spoke to. That’s why some people can’t vote with their wallets.

  7. snowbdr89Guest 2 years ago

    Contracts or not just make cell plans affordable 100$ a month to use a dam cell phone is a joke!! If a person is willing to pay full price on a phone then at least give them more affordable options..

  8. $600 for a phone is his argument against pre-paid plans? You’re not entitled to the best of everything at low cost. If you don’t want to spend $600 on a phone, spend $350 on a mid-range device that does everything the $600 phones do, but a little slower, with less storage (8+ GB is plenty), and without an HD screen.

  9. Verizon has good 4G LTE and that’s about it.

  10. OdieGuest 2 years ago

    Just a quick note Taylor, T-Mobile has been offering plans on their phones for at least 3 years. When I first went in to see if they carried the Nexus One, and after being told no, the employee offered up some other phones and said that the way that their contracts worked was that you would pay, for example, $65/month for the service and $20/month for the phone. So you’d pay $85/month for 2 years and after that period, if you decided to stay with the phone you already had, your bill would drop to $65. It’s funny that they’re marketing it as this radical change in the way they do things.

  11. This would be cool & all but big red isn’t gsm meaning I couldn’t just bring any phone to them. That’s the beauty of having a gsm carrier with no contracts. Plus big red always gets the phone late & calls it their own.

    • You can bring in your own phone but it has to be a “Verizon” phone compatible with CDMA and LTE. You then just either walk into your verizon store and say you want to replace X phone with Y. They will either give or charge you for a sim card ($30).

  12. This is a terrible idea for costGuest 2 years ago

    I hope people understand the economics of how these plans work.

    Data is dirt cheap and lucrative to them. Phones are very expensive. The only way to make up for subsidizing the phones is to make huge margins on the plan. That’s why they do it on a contractual basis – you’re essentially financing the cost of the phone and paying for continual usage.

    No contract = no guaranteed revenue = no incentive to lower phone cost = no subsidized phone.

  13. Chuck J.Guest 2 years ago

    I just spent $400 on a refurbished S-III “no-contract” phone for Verizon. Not knowing until too late that there is a huge difference between no-contract and “pre-paid”. Verizon’s website is less than clear on the subject. I thought it would be $70/month with 2 gigs. I simply can’t afford $80/month, with just 1 gig. Now I’m looking into getting my phone flashed for Page Plus, another unexpected expense. But the monthly difference will ultimately be worth it. I just wish Verizon would bring their prices closer to Page Plus. If I could get no-contract, 4G service, with a couple gigs of data for $65-70 a month I would be Verizon’s biggest salesman.

    • SouthernBell928Guest 2 years ago

      I have Page Plus and I love it. It will be worth switching.

  14. shanna pageGuest 2 years ago

    Verizon is ridiculous! I am tired of the contracts and cost. There is no sense in telling customers that to upgrade phones they MUST give up unlimited data. There are tooo many companies offering unlimited data at a low price. do they want to lose 10 and 15 yr customers. I will NOT NOT NOT renew my contract. My bill w/ 5 phones and 1 line suspended is 200 + dollars a month

    • shanna pageGuest 2 years ago

      Ps I totally agree w/ myself LOL

      • SouthernBell928Guest 2 years ago

        I agree. I will NOT NOT NOT sign a contract ever again!

  15. robGuest 2 years ago

    Verizon is turning smartphones into dumbphones with their data fees ..what good is a smartphone if u can’t use it..they are filling their pockets and laughing the whole way to the bank.

    • SouthernBell928Guest 2 years ago

      That’s why I love my Page Plus. I don’t have to have a separate data plan. I use Wi-fi most all of the time, but my $29.99/month plan comes with 250 MB data.

  16. SouthernBell928Guest 2 years ago

    I use Page Plus and I am incredibly happy with it. I bought a refurbished Android on Ebay for $50 and I pay $29.99/month for 1200 minutes, 3000 texts and 250 MB data. I use wi-fi most of the time, so I don’t use my data much, but it’s there if I need to. I have no contract. I feel I’m getting a great deal and I can switch phones, plans or even companies whenever I like. Oh, and I don’t have to have a data plan just for having a smartphone. The coverage is great since Page Plus users Verizon. The big phone companies are getting rich off of people who have a contract!!!

  17. lisaGuest 2 years ago

    I pay 500 dollars a month ..no other carrier picks up where I live ..I recently got a bill for 2,890.70 dollars when I called em 2 days later my bill dropped. To 400.00 they crazy but what do you do if no other service works ¿