iPhone has been fortunate to survive a four year foray with clueless and incompetent AT&T. When a partner relationship becomes fodder for late night talkshows, and viral videos on YouTube – things gotta change. Now, with the addition of carrier Verizon – things have a chance to improve – but will they?
Here’s a shopping list for folks at Verizon. Things they should consider to avoid following in the stumbling footsteps of AT&T:
- It’s the network stupid. Don’t ever promise what you can’t deliver. ‘More bars in more places’ lost in court. Customers lost calls, data, and patience. Verizon needs to provide rock solid calls and data. And when you can’t – fix it, don’t make lame excuses.
- Better rates and plans. What good are roll-over AT&T minutes you can’t use because of a crappy network? Give us the ability to bundle minutes and data, and rational and reasonable family plans. And lose the expensive texting plans that cost a carrier nothing to provide.
- Stellar Customer Service. AT&T never understood owning and redressing their shortcomings. Their mantra was blame the customer. Remember AT&T’s Ralph De La Vega’s rant at ‘iPhone data hogs’ crashing his network? Verizon needs to be honest and up-front and gentle to those fleeing the abuses of AT&T. Help us feel that you care. AT&T’s care was only as deep as the monthly check.
- Sensible contracts and terms. None of the AT&T double-talk that promises one thing, and slyly changes terms while you’re in line for a new iPhone model at 7AM. Customers may be slow, but we do eventually catch on. And many of us carry grudges for years.
- Invest in the Future. Here Verizon has a chance to shine – their network is larger, and technically superior to anything on the AT&T drawing board. Maintain that vision and momentum of leadership. Again, don’t over-promise. That’s a sure way to anger customers – remember AT&T’s hollow promises about SMS and tethering.
- Honor Apple. Don’t trash your partner. As AT&T’s network melted, they blamed Apple not their own sketchy network. Don’t use the ‘oh you’re using an iPhone’ excuse as AT&T does.
In the end – Verizon needs to sharpen pencils and come out with voice and data plans that will be compelling enough to attract new users. Merely switching an existing Verizon Android or W7 phone user to an iPhone is not growth. Attracting new users to the Verizon Wireless network is the goal.
Trust me, the abused legions of AT&T users are low-hangin fruit. But beware, we are bruised, beaten and suspicious. To many of us – all carriers are evil. See what you can do to change that perception.
In the past four years, I have helped scores of folks switch to AT&T iPhones.
Verizon – if treat us right, maybe this time we’ll be recommending Verizon iPhones.
Verizon Wireless will be our special guests at the iPhone SIG meeting this Thursday, January 20th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at IHOP South Mopac. The event is free, and everyone is invited to attend.