Thursday, January 14, 2010

Verizon and AT&T Agree on One Thing: Tiered Pricing

AT&T's PR problems have prevented it's flacks from getting out it's message that people need to get used to the idea of tiered pricing for the iPhone. So Verizon is taking up the banner:

How do you spell "collusion?" Take a look at the movie, The Informant, if you want to understand how big corporate collusion on price fixing works. The trick is, it's great for all the corporations to make a deal to fix prices and screw customers. But that's illegal. If you get caught. So what they do is all agree, without formally agreeing. (In the Informant they made the mistake of finally secretly meeting and actually agreeing in words.)

One way for them to agree, without secret meetings that might be taped, is to talk to each other in the press. So AT&T execs talk about how tiered pricing is needed, and then later Verizon execs nod their heads. Now there's absolutely no reason to piss off customers by floating around these toxic subjects in advance, but it's a great secret code for execs to talk to each other to agree on fixing prices.

The truth is, there is no technological reason for tiered pricing. It makes utterly no sense, other than as a quick fix to rip off customers and boost short term profits. In the long term, it's going to hurt these big telecom companies, but in the short term, it will help exec bonuses. Why should they worry about their customers? They only pay for their salaries.

No comments:

Post a Comment