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Should carriers stick with 2-year contracts or move to postpaid plan arrangements?

post #1 of 10
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Featured Debate 7

 

Do you think carriers should stick with phone subsidies (cheaper phones) supported with two-year contracts, or should they move to non-subsidized (more expensive phones), no-contract-term postpaid plan arrangements?

 

[This debate is brought to you by pgens - if any one has any other debate topics burning, just drop me a PM and we'll make sure to get it on here]

post #2 of 10

I think it would be wise to have both options. More choice certainly can't hurt the consumer.

post #3 of 10

I totally agree, just offer customers both options.  It's obvious that the carriers' biggest concern is maintaining subscribers, so they really want the 2-year commitment.  I wonder how well it serves the handset manufacturers though.  Nokia and Sony Ericsson have always been good about making handsets available for general sale to customers, I wish every phone was more readily available that way.  Probably never going to happen though.

post #4 of 10

I may be wrong, but I think that nearly every carrier already DOES offer both options. Off the top of my head, I can't think of one that doesn't. 

 

As much as I don't like them, I think the contracts make the most sense for both parties in nearly all the cases. The average consumer (read: not those of us on this site) isn't going to want to switch phones or carriers very often. He/she will happily accept a discount for doing something they're already going to do anyway (stay with the same carrier). Likewise, the carrier wants a predictable revenue stream, so they're happy to give the discount to get that.

 

post #5 of 10

For example, you cannot buy an iPhone 3G without a contract.  AT&T says eventually you'll be able to buy one and go postpaid, but you can't right now. 

post #6 of 10

OK, fair enough. I guess there are certain phones you can't buy without a contract. I think the Instinct (Sprint) is another one. But AT&T does offer no-contract plans for its standard phones.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by dordal:

OK, fair enough. I guess there are certain phones you can't buy without a contract. I think the Instinct (Sprint) is another one. But AT&T does offer no-contract plans for its standard phones.

Are you talking about the GoPhone plans?  As far as I know, none of those are really feasible if you talk a lot, text a lot, or use lots of data.

 

At any rate, I'd really like to see more non-subsidized options.  There are hundreds of great phones on the market, but since everyone pays the subsidized contract rate, it's only practical to select from the dozen each provider offers in-store for most people.

post #8 of 10

I don't believe Verizon has a no-contract option for their postpaid plans.  Six months ago I wanted to add a line for my Blackberry Pearl I received as a review unit.  It required a contract term.  I cancelled the line in under 30 days, but had I waited to cancel until day #31 I would have had to pay an ETF even though I had zero phone subsidy!  How fair is that lol


Edited by pgens - Fri, 29 Aug 2008 23:01:01 GMT


Edited by pgens - Sat, 30 Aug 2008 22:13:28 GMT
post #9 of 10

 AT&T actually has normal post-paid non-contract plans, but you have to go into the store to get them.


Edited by dordal - Tue, 09 Sep 2008 22:24:26 GMT
post #10 of 10

At this time and because of the economy, I think both options should be offered up front. For existing customers, it should (maybe) even be offered as an alternative to losing those customers who don't have jobs, presently.  I know, I know.  That's not what business is about.  I'm just saying, I'm not telling. 

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