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AT&T Mimics Verizon, Pushes Upgrades to 24 Months

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Arguments against for people who are not 12

by Rusty Shackleford    Jun 11, 2013, 1:27 AM

I think this is a bad idea, but I am not going to come at it from the attitude that I am an entitled 12 year old and Verizon and AT&T better gimme that infrastructure they spent billions upon otherwise I will stop my feet and call them "greedy" for "forcing" me to buy their services. Why? I am an adult. So for all the grown ups out there:

1) Matching your upgrade date and contract terminate dates eliminates loyalty and makes it easier for customers to leave. If my upgrade eligibility comes first then I am still punished for leaving due to my ETF, and I am tempted by newer phones to begin a new 2 year contract. Make the dates the same and there is no reason at all to remain with the carrier when the upgrade date hits.

2) Although technology has improved rapidly, there is one aspect has actually declined and that is reliability. Across the board, tech is significantly less stable, reliable, and durable than the tech of 20 years ago. Is it wise to extend the time customers are stuck with a phone that was probably designed to last 14-18 months tops? Customers are going to be livid when the clash between device life expectancy and upgrade cycle hit, and angry customers are not the kind of customers that stick around (see point 1)

3) Many customers will find this to be yet another hidden fee. A lot of people are willing to pay for services when the costs are out in the open, but the cellphone industry has earned a negative reputation for shifting the cost of products and services into hiding mandatory fees. With people becoming accustomed to upgrading at 20 months or so, this is going to come across as another hidden fee that will encourage them to leave once their upgrade comes around.

I think this will cause a lot of people to move onto the prepaid plans. Hopefully this will cause people to grow up and actually buy their phones when they buy them, because if you can't buy your little palm toy without the upgrade process crutch then you should be putting your money into more important things than some glitzy phone.

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