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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… here we are, in the beginning of a new chapter in our mobile phone saga. We are adventurers, on a never ending quest to find the perfect smartphone that landed on the perfect carrier; pioneers of the future! Recently on our journey we've discovered that one of the four great wizards, T-Mobile the Pink, has turned from his evil ways and sought refuge within the light by breaking free of the dreaded "Contract" curse. The other three wizards watched carefully as the peasants of the town celebrated T-Mobile the Pink's renunciation, but remained unheard from in the tower on top of the hill as they refused to comment, although rumor has it from the gatekeeper that he could have sworn he heard the familiar voice of AT&T the Blue mumble, "Whatever."

Meanwhile, in the village, the townsfolk celebrated by ditching their shackles and happily joining in the ranks of freedom within T-Mobile the Pink's liberation, swearing allegiance to the new self-proclaimed "Uncarrier". The celebration could be heard for miles, and although Sprint the Yellow and AT&T the Blue continued to ignore the joyous proclaims from the town below, Verizon the Red, the mightiest great wizard of them all, sat in his window and pondered. As he carefully watched the village below celebrate this new and strange phenomenon for days, he began to wonder how it would feel for the townspeople to willingly give him a warm embrace instead of forcing them with the strong blessings of 4G LTE and fantastic coverage - but with all good comes the bad, and these blessings can only come to those who are willing to sign a contract that forcefully bind them to his expensive and evil ways for two years.

With one last glance down the hill, Verizon the Red saw a flicker from the gate that closed off the pathway to the Wizards’ Castle; a torch - lots of torches in fact. Torches, pitchforks, and other blunt objects followed in the hands of the angry townspeople who didn't have the gold to cancel their contracts early. At this point Verizon the Red knew what he must do, and swiftly he walked past the cowering Sprint the Yellow and AT&T the Blue who also saw the angry villagers, but decided to scuffle away out the back door until they decided to leave. Verizon the Red opened the large doors leading into the secret tower to meet the angry villagers, who yelled and cried at Verizon the Red to change his ways or else!

"I would be happy to change my ways if enough of my customers demand it," Verizon the Red replied.

The villagers put down their torches and pitchforks, feeling an emotional mix of confusion and underwhelming accomplishment. Everybody shrugged and Verizon the Red gave the angry villagers convenient customer service survey forms to fill out their request. Will Verizon the Red keep his promise, or does talk come as cheap as they say and the cries of the villagers locked into their contracts go unheard until the end of time?

Alright, so maybe it's Friday and maybe I'm a little bored, and I might have just gotten through watching a Lord of the Rings marathon.

For the real story, according to BGR and CNet, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told reporters "I'm happy when I see something different tried," referring to T-Mobile's new "Uncarrier" plans. "We can react quickly to consumers" shifting needs." He continued by saying that Verizon Wireless is open to the concept if enough consumers expressed interest in contract-free plans.

So basically, Verizon's decided to react to the whole T-Mobile ditching contracts thing and basically tells everybody else "Hey, we're one of you guys! We'll ditch our contracts if you guys actually ask us for it." Yeah, it looks kind of sleazy considering if you ask anyone whether they'd rather be bound by contract to something for two years OR get a better deal without being bound by contract any sane person would say they'd take the latter. But I guess they've decided to make the customers look like the bad guys and say hey, nobody has ever brought this up to me before; this is news to us.

I can't really complain because at least they are responding, and they are giving customers a chance to voice their opinions for something if they want the change. Also, it's nice coming from Verizon because they are the top wireless carrier in the U.S. and aren't really in a position where they have to do this if they don’t want to – while I joke that they lure us in with 4G LTE and great coverage, it’s also true. What’s a cell phone worth if it gets no coverage? People are willing to bind themselves by contract for a feature like that.

T-Mobile was in a bad place and they’ve figure out a way to turn it around. Whether Verizon sees that as a threat or not (there is still that whole coverage thing that T-Mobile needs to work on) this was a very quick reply and I’m interested to see if Sprint and AT&T will also follow. While AT&T has a lot of other things going for it besides just wireless services and classifies as one of the carriers that doesn’t need to respond as quickly, Sprint is almost in direct competition with T-Mobile and perhaps the whole “Unlimited Data” thing is starting to wear out its welcome in lieu of bigger and better things.

I suppose time will only tell if Verizon is serious about this change or not, or if other carriers will follow. Of course, it’s also up to the customers as well to provide the feedback.

Readers, do you think Verizon is better off without contracts, or do you think they’re doing just fine the way they are now? Do you think other carriers should follow T-Mobile’s lead?

Images via T-Mobile and Verizon


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36 Reactions to this post

"Do you think other carriers should follow suit with T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" movement?"


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Brett Embury @Kenneth you pay like $100 less for the phone a month and your only pay like $20 a month for the phone for 24 months so itf you pay it off before you still can get another phone with it being$50+ lower then att or verizon
Richard Allen Yarrell If other carriers were smart they to would become the uncarrier. What Tmobile is doing definitely changes the stale carrier game. Like it or not they will be following behind tmobile real soon.
Dan Tucker Only $120/month from $179.
Dan Tucker TMO customer for years. Bought a Nexus 4 a couple of months ago and gave my GS2 to my daughter. Yesterday I switched to non-contact. Two lines, unlimited voice, text and data
David DiPilla Ya if they bring down the prices
Eric Rogers As long as cost of service is a bit lower. I pay same price with an unlocked phone and monthly service.
Grant Kieser True, but with just a little planning you can save the money over the course of the year. $13/wk is not that much money to sock away, even on a min. wage job.
Chris Roberts But I guess your right you don't get anything out of it lol
Chris Roberts No nothing but an easier way to enjoy all the premium devices easier plus the monthly bill comes down by 20 dollars to help you when they add the 20.00 to pay towards your phone.....
Kenneth Li NO! I want to get a new latest phone like galaxy s4 199$ every 2 years instead of paying 600$ full price if I want a better phone in 2 years!
Mark Belkowski I have no need to move. Im happy with at&t.
George Millhouse great if you have the all the money at one time otherwise its not..and the s3 is more than 500 full retail
George Millhouse tmobile raised their plan prices there is no savings going on or off contract
George Millhouse so now you pay more for your phone..no difference. either way you are stuck with them and if you chose to leave you own a lot of money. in fact the early termination fee on the carriers is less than paying full price for the phones. You are not getting anything out of this. Nothing at all.
George Millhouse you wont, move on please
Crys Starling Nope, not a great idea. They will be losing money more then anything.
Joseph W Rodgers If tmobiles network was more reliable and 3g was in more f
Ricky Bonilla Why not?
Jeff Jones Yeah VZW might do it but they'll just double prices to compensate for it. Your $90 phone bill? It's now $180...Screw that.
Glenn Rubio Urrea @Vicente Reyes The reason you get the phone so cheap from Best Buy is because you're going to pay for the phone and then some by paying higher prices on your phone plan over the next two years which you're locked in for with the carrier. Want to leave your carrier early? No problem pay the ETF and boom you just paid for the phone full price anyway. Don't be blind.
Marcus Edwards I don't mind the current system.
Jesus E. Garcia And the $20/mo will be for the high end phones like SGS4 ect.... others will be cheaper
Herwin Torres Absolutely!
Adrian Salazar Jr. @ Vicente Reyes, reason there adding $20 per line per month is so that you can pay for the phone on top of your service. You can avoid this by buying the phone for the full purchase price.
Gary Bowling Not good.
Vicente Reyes Its still crap that when you get a new phone on contract with T-Mobile. They add on $20 a month per line on each new phone. Best buy gives you think devices with its listed prices, not an add on to your bill
Leonard Harrison Yes. Then they can compete with who has the best network and customer service
Josh Stanley Yea but on a prepaid carrier when the galaxy 3 comes to prepaid alot of contract customers might look there way you can get a great phone for less per month
Grant Kieser I've been buying my phones off contract for the last few years. The exception being my SGS3 (Black Friday). I used to expect a discount, but now, I don't see it as all that necessary. $500/yr is not really all that much for a handheld computer. ESPECIALLY if you use it.
Myron Black i think they should do that thing were u pa 99 up front and 20 a month so your not worring how can i but this all at once
Chris Northcutt I hope so.... Gives customers more options
Frank Porter Why would you oppose Mark?
Dane Walton Yes! They need to recognize the future of data-centric networks & T-Mobile seems to be headed towards progress, instead of turning away in the hopes of milking customers for extra messages or minute plans.
Mark Belkowski no although id like to see unlimited data back.




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