A petition asking Verizon to follow the lead of its smaller rival T-Mobile in cutting mobile contracts has gained significant momentum after it recorded over 30,000 signatures in one day. The Change.org petition — created on April 7th in an effort to force Verizon to "create an affordable way for consumers to purchase their devices" — currently sits just short of 100,000 signups and is believed to have garnered additional support following the announcement of the carrier's positive first-quarter financials.
The petition comes after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam called T-Mobile's plans "a great thing," noting that his company "could move to that very quickly" if customers were interested. T-Mobile introduced its new Uncarrier plans at the end of March, eliminating two-year subscriptions and separating costs to streamline pricing. While Verizon offers prepaid plans, petition organizer Mike Beauchamp told Change.org "pricing phones so high, sometimes 600 dollars or more, doesn't really make it a true option for most people." Beauchamp wants the company to adopt a similar position to T-Mobile so that long-time customers aren't forced to leave the carrier in order to get better smartphone deals.
"Pricing phones so high, sometimes 600 dollars or more, doesn't really make it a true option for most people."
The petition may be small relative to Verizon's 98.9 million retail subscriptions (including prepaid and postpaid) but it may force the carrier to acknowledge the request following the comments of its CEO earlier this year. Last week, the operator said it will lengthen the minimum period before early upgrade eligibility to 24 months, matching the duration of its two-year smartphone plans. However, Verizon did note that it will now allow customers to buy some devices through its Verizon Wireless Device Payment Plan, coming later this year.