AT&T is offering a nice little App on the iPhone App Store that helps families track each other on maps:
Now, most apps on the App Store are free and it would make a lot of sense for AT&T to just offer this app as a nice free service to it's loyal customers who pay at least $100 a month for their iPhone and if they're a family with more than one, then at least $200 a month (or $500 if they have a couple teenagers). So offering them a way to keep in contact, safely, is just good corporate policy. Making sure a customer's teenager isn't kidnapped is good PR.
Now, a lot of apps are offered for $.99 cents and if AT&T wanted to cover their development costs, no one would fault them for charging a buck for something so useful. And of course, really great apps cost as much as $9.99 to download, and if you really care about your kids, (or whether your husband is cheating on you) that doesn't seem too much to pay.
So what does AT&T charge for this nice little app?
They want $9.99 A MONTH. Do I need to say anymore? Do I really need to explain why AT&T doesn't get it? Why this is so wrong headed and greedy and stupid? Why AT&T will make far less money on this than they would if they charged 99 cents? Why if they don't change their corporate thinking they won't survive any iPhone carrier competition? No… you get my point.
No word yet on whether AT&T will eventually ask for tiered family map pricing in addition to the $9.99 a month. You see, if you daughter goes to a particularly dangerous party, you'll have to pay extra to map that, or if you grandchild hasn't called you recently, there will be service fee for locating her and… you get my point. After all, family map "data hogs" might needlessly clog up the system by actually using it.