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"Get More!"? How about a company does "Get what you want!"? (not a shot at T-mobile)

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by pfp, Nov 14, 2002.

  1. pfp

    pfp Senior Member
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    "Get More!"? How about a company does "Get what you want!"? (not a shot at T-mobile)

    Maybe I'm just tweaking from unemployment, but this idea for something a cellphone service could do as a permanent "promotion" dawned on me last night.

    The "Get What You Want Plan

    Why don't companies make available ALL the options that people want, but at an additional cost. Let's look at Cingular for an easy example(since I know their plans), I'm going to use Cingular Home 400/3000 for 39.99 w/Rollover minutes, as this is basically what they're offering in my area.

    Now, let's take out the 3000 N&W and the Rollover minutes, and reduce the price to 34.99. Offer lumps of 1000 N&W, for an additional 1.00/month, and rollover minutes for an additional 2.00. So effectively, the people who don't need N&W or rollover are saving a bit of money and those who do aren't paying more.

    Now, here's where it gets tricky. Nearly every insane feature that has been offered in the past that people want, is additionally offered, at a cost related to it's value.

    So, as stated, 1000 N&W minutes is 1.00. Let's say once you buy 3000, you can't buy any more but for $6.00 you can get unlimited.

    For a certain amount (probably $7-10) you can make nights start at 8:00, for a bit more (probably $15-20) you can bring them down to 7:00.

    I'd guess $10 would be enough for free mobile to mobile.

    Free incoming calls would probably not be an option, but maybe $3 could get you "free incoming first minute".

    I don't think unlimited SMS should cost more than $7.

    $3.99 is the price for wireless internet (Cingular), raise it to 8-10 and get it separated from your minutes.



    Now, the only catch with this is your assuming that the influx of customers is worth more than overage fees that would be lost in situations like unlimited minutes, 7:00 N&W, because if a bunch of people ended up doing this, and it turned out non-profitable, it could really bite the company in the *ss.

    The question I pose to you, other wireless enthusiasts, is WHY THE HECK ISN'T SOMEONE DOING THIS ALREADY? Seems reasonable, seems very profitable, seems like it would make all the users happy, and I'm damned sure some marketing brain that's a good bit smarter than I am has already come up with this. My question is: What's the flaw?

    In case there's any value to all of this, the idea for a Get What You Want offering is Copyright 2002 by Patrick Purcell.
     
  2. woot

    woot New Member

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    The billing would be a nightmare!
     
  3. ronin

    ronin Junior Member
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    Often, ala carte not as good a value as a package deal, not to mention the billing headaches.
     
  4. IdiOTeQnoLogY

    IdiOTeQnoLogY Bronze Senior Member
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    not only would the billing be chaos but people just dont get complex plans. when spcs rolled out vision and had a three tiered data plan many people and reviewers were complaining that it was too complex. i mean these were options like 6MB for $10, or 18mb for $20 more....let alone all the options like you mention.
     
  5. rebguy1

    rebguy1 Member

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    When I was in the Marine Corps, we used to use the acronym "KISS" all the time when planning, it stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Basically, it just means the simpler and less complex something is, the better. Offering packages and keeping the choices limited saves time and resources, and therefore saves money. If you offer a customer a lot of choices, it would take longer for a new plan to be activated; thereby causing the cell phone company to either activate less plans, which would reduce income, or to hire more employees to handle the demand, which would increase labor costs. You would be more likely to have billing problems, as was already mentioned, which also would cost money; and you would have to hire more customer service reps to handle the angry customers whose bills were botched and to change plans when people decided they didn't need something they originally thought they would need or decided to add something they found they could use. So in the long run it would cost more to offer each feature separately than it does to offer them in packages. But there's nothing wrong with thinking outside the box, and the idea you have definitely looks good from a pure customer service standpoint; I just don't think it would fly from an economic standpoint.
     
  6. ATLguy

    ATLguy Junior Member
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    Sticking with your Cingular example...

    When I signed up for service with Cingular two years ago, I opted for the $40/month Home Plan with a promotion that offered unlimited N&W after 8:00 p.m.

    When the first bill arrived, they had me down as having selected unlimited mobile-to-mobile and were charging me for individual services that I hadn't ordered (3-way calling, caller-id, etc.)

    I absolutely love the idea of having a "get what you want" plan ... it's what I've been dreaming of for years. But it would never work. Not because the customer is an idiot and couldn't figure it out. But because the company running the promo would probably screw the whole thing up and lose track of who signed up for what...

    It's a great idea. If you decide to start your own wireless phone company, I'll sign the first contract. [​IMG] Unfortunately, I think these companies have enough trouble with their current promos that something this "complicated" would really throw them off track. [​IMG]

    ATLguy
     
  7. pfp

    pfp Senior Member
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    So basically, if computers weren't inept, it would work. What's funny is, I'm pretty sure I could write a fairly solid program in BASIC to process this (please note I take this approach due to the fact that I haven't played w/ programming for some time and it's the only language I ever knew)

    Sad, because it would be really great for both customers and for sorting out where the industry should be.

    P
     
  8. ATLguy

    ATLguy Junior Member
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    All jesting aside, I agree with you completely. This kind of plan makes perfect sense ... and I'm quite sure that there's a way to fiddle with the numbers enough to ensure a solid profit from the "promotion". I'm a perfect example of a customer who would pay for the lengthened N&W time-frame with the unlimited off-peak option ... not because I would use all of the minutes, but because these options would make my life easier (and, therefore, would be worth the extra $$$). Also, wireless internet makes it too hard to track usage right now; an unlimited option (even at a high price) would be worth it for some/most users simply because they wouldn't have to worry about tracking usage and/or limiting their usage.

    I think the way to sell a promotion like this is to convince customers that their life will be easier if they sign up for the added options. By adding unlimited N&W minutes, you don't have to keep track of your usage at night. By adding unlimited M2M, you convince all of your friends and family to join so you get to call them whenever it's convenient (and the company wins by getting a lot of new subscribers who are locked in not due to contract, but because that's where all their friends are ... kinda like AOL Instant Messenger ... lots of people are hesitant to leave just because they want to keep their active buddy lists). And by adding unlimited Messaging (even if it's just SMS), more people will try the wireless internet and perhaps content and/or ads will provide a new source of revenue for the companies.

    In any event, the computers aren't inept ... the users are. [​IMG] It's a great idea ... we'll just have to see if some wireless service provider is willing to take the gamble, properly train their CSRs and implement something like this on a grand scale. [​IMG]

    ATLguy
     
  9. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    This happens in Europe. Orange are famous for this in France. It is not the only choice - you can have a package plan if you so desire.

    The problem isn't even billing - I can tell you that it would be as easy to write a billing software in C++ for individual plans as for package plans - but the fact that Americans are totally habituated to all-you-can-eat plans with lots of 'freebies' thrown in. The idea of paying for Caller ID would drive people away from any company that tried it in droves, even if the minutes were substantially cheaper.
     
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  10. pfp

    pfp Senior Member
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    Zaph:

    I figured the stuff that's "normal" for the major providers, being long distance, caller ID, Voicemail, 3-way/callwaiting (even though they suck minutes), etc. would be included.

    It's the stuff people REALLY want that's no longer offered (or rarely offered) would cost...the 7:00/8:00 nights, the unlimited N&W, the unlimited msm/sms, etc. The stuff that the people who have plans with it won't let go of because it's just too sweet and they'll never get it again.

    It's done now, just most of it isn't done with stuff that effects minute usage. Things like detailed billing cost extra with some companies, and things like enhanced voicemail, some amounts of m2m minutes (or free m2m) etc. are available options. How different is adjusting the way one person's plan reads N&W minutes from changing how their plan reads a call to another user on their service. It's true that it'd confuse people, but that boils down to the job of the sales rep to explain it to them more thoroughly and work on their level of understanding.

    I'm heavily suggesting sending proposals of this idea to some of the major providers. If it's well-written, maybe at the very least they'll see some value to me and I can look at getting a new and better job. Whether they like the idea or not, they may like the way I think [​IMG]

    P
     
  11. mcf04581

    mcf04581 Senior Member
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    I believe another problem with this is that many cellular companies use the same rate plans in a large majority of their markets. If they were to do this, could you imagine the nightmare it would be if you had to call customer care or ask a sales rep for help. Right now, they can look at your plan and say, "oh, you have the America's Choice plan with xxx number of minutes and xxx night and weekend minutes with free caller id, voice mail..ect..ect..ect, all for $40.00. If you had it the have it your way plan, you would be hearing, "oh, you have the America's Choice plan with xxx minutes, and you added the extra N&W min for $5.00 more, and then you added the caller I.D for .50 cents, and then long distance for $3.00 and Call Waiting for .25cents... and im sure you get the picture. I think what you are saying makes a good point, but I think that it would just be to complicated for companies to deal with.
     
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  12. Mike

    Mike Senior Member
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    This sounds like a good idea but as mentioned above I don't think it would work. Yes, a simple computer program with the ability to check the desired options is simple. Problems -
    1. Human error in entering the data, ie. wrong item checked.
    2. With companies buying other companies and merging their computer systems are not compatable.
    3. Look at AT&T, their TDMA and GSM systems are on 2 seperate computer systems that do not talk to each other. If you change from TDMA to GSM, they cancel your TDMA contract and account, then they must set up a new account and contract for you on the GSM computer. Takes time, and for a certain amount of time your number if call will have the "The number you have call has been disconnected" message.
    4. We are spoiled to package deals, even if it is not all we want.
     
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  13. bobolito

    bobolito Diamond Senior Member
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    This is why it is easier to go to McDonald's an order a #2 instead of picking out exactly what you want.
     
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