Based on what you read here, all telecommunications companies are money vacuums that exist solely to find excuses to kick customers off perfectly good plans and extract as much money as possible. Right? Well…maybe not. Stephen doesn’t use his phone much, and is perfectly happy buying one $100 prepaid card per year to keep it activated, paying 35 cents per minute to make actual calls. Verizon has had a few opportunities over the years to take this plan away from him, but they never do. And he appreciates it.
Verizon gets a ton of flak on this site, so let me give them their due for once.
I don’t need to use my cell phone very much, so I’m completely satisfied with my ancient (like 10 years) pre-paid calling plan : $.35 per minute, triple minutes on the weekend. I can live without being able to send pix from my clunky flip phone. I don’t need data. Verizon would love to bump me up to a plan less useful to me and more lucrative to them, but every year they are happy to sell me a $100 card (only available by phone, not on their site), which is good for a year and is pretty much exactly what I spend.
For the first few years with the phone I didn’t know the $100 card existed, so I was buying $30 cards good for two months on their site, which led to me building up a huge balance. I’ve been working it down year by year until now stands at around $250.
Well, I recently forgot to buy my new card, which of course wiped out my balance and knocked me off my ideal plan. I called up a day after my old one expired, fully expecting them to chortle evilly and say, “Now we have you at last!” But no. The customer service rep said this was no problem, she restored my balance, sold me a new card and sent me happily on my way. Seeing as my cell needs won’t change any time soon, it means they’ve kept me a customer for many more years.
I should add, a few years ago, my phone was stolen, which I thought would again kill my balance and plan. But Verizon happily transferred it all to my new clunky flip phone. Maybe this is normal for phone plans. But given all the flack they get, I didn’t think it would be normal for me.
Lest you think I’m their flack, I did give up my landline service for Vonage, which costs less and fits my calling habits better.
It’s not exactly an “above and beyond” story, but it is nice to hear about a company passing up an opportunity to hold a customer upside down until money falls out of his pickets.