Just the other day while doing my budget, I was lamenting with a family member on how I would love it if all utilities came with a la carte options and pricing. It really hurts the pocketbook to have to shell out exorbitant monthly expenditures to pay for a full menu of services when I only use a few. This is the case especially with my cable bill.
The computer retail market seemingly has resolved that problem. Prices have dropped because consumers can opt out of purchasing the souped up machines already pre-loaded with expensive software they won’t use and instead by a basic machine and install what they need. That way, they also maximize storage space and have a quicker and more efficient running system.
Mobile phone customers got a relief recently when Sprint and T-Mobile offered new price plans that save customers from going over their data allotment monthly.
I could relate because when my husband first got his smartphone a few years back, and we switched to a shared minutes plan, we used to bump up on our allocation all the time until we learned how to manage our bandwidth.
These new packages could also solve that problem considering we both use our smartphones for checking email, streaming music and accessing social media sites mostly.
With Sprint’s, for $12, subscribers can get a plan that connects just to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, for an additional $10 more. They can do all the surfing, uploading, pinning they want and stream unlimited music from any app they choice for just $5!
Perfect for long runs outside or at the gym or work commutes on public transportation.
T-Mobile offers a similar plan that caters to the way some users consume info and data on their smartphone. It lets customers listen to some of the most popular music services without it eating up their data.
Both these new options are clearly a reaction to competitors like Boost Mobile and Clear Wireless. Both companies burst on the wireless scene not too long ago and immediately gained popularity with their no-contract, pay as you go options, especially among customers who could not qualify for pre-paid plans or did not have the budget to manage mega bills with those plans.
For both, data usage charges do not apply when subscribers access sites covered by the plans.
There’s nothing like watching your customers walk off to a new carrier to cause you to think creatively. To no surprise, some of the net neutrality advocates managed to find fault in increased consumer choice and flexibility, pointing out how these new options permit ISPs to pick winners and losers among services and to discriminate against some.
Never mind that the consumer still ultimately has the option of picking the comprehensive plan and going with one of many plans that all ready exist. The new options do not take away existing options, just add on. Color me confused.
Consumer choice when users get to pay for what they consume most is a good thing for some people, not all but some.
Am I missing something here?
These options will be perfect for those on limited budgets like students, new wireless broadband users, the elderly and some low-income wireless phone users. Sounds like a winner.
Jay Jay Ghatt is also editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the JayJayGhatt.com and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!