Is it just me, or does it seem like Verizon is sometimes the equivalent of a digital "snake oil salesman"? It seems as if they will try to find any way they can to score a quick buck or two from their customers. Here's a new case in point: the above video showcases a new "service" called Usage Controls from the Big Red. These usage controls help you manage and control how much data, text, downloads and minutes that is used on your account. You can actually monitor the usage and set limits on each of these individually, thus potentially saving yourself money by avoiding overages or to help monitor and protect your kids.
It's actually a brilliant idea, but what seems ridiculous to me is that Verizon wants to charge the customer $4.99 per line to use this concept. It seems to me that almost any other company would consider simply implementing this as a feature to support their customers. In fact, speaking of support, that adds another dimension to this that is easily overlooked. This new service actually helps reduce the number of support calls that Verizon may get regarding billing. It allows the customer to basically see and control nearly everything that is going on with their account. So, not only will Verizon save money by implementing this for their customers, but now they want to gouge the customer for an additional 5 bucks per line. It seems to push the envelope on greediness just a bit.
Don't get me wrong, Verizon is the top dog of the mobile universe food chain for a reason. They have good customer service, great coverage and awesome phones, and it's fantastic that they keep coming up with interesting innovations in their services to make things better for their customers. But, really... come on Verizon! Do you have to charge for every little thing?
I know that almost none of you guys will be surprised that they are doing this, but share what you think. Is this more profiteering or simply smart economics?