Verizon Wireless looks to continue its perception of being a fee-happy company with consumers. What began with throttling users data access with a tiered data plan, followed by a $2 online payment fee that was repealed after customer outcry, is now turning into an additional $30 fee, as of April 22nd, in order to upgrade to the newest smartphone; a complete 180-degree turn from their current policy that offers a $30 credit toward your new smartphone purchase. While upgrade charges aren’t a foreign concept to cell phone providers, as Verizon’s three competitors have been charging for the privilege to upgrade, it no doubt comes as a stinging surprise to Verizon’s current and future subscribers. Regardless, Crimson Hexagon’s social media analysis found, not surprisingly, consumers aren’t finding it to be welcome news.
Crimson Hexagon analyzed over 4,000 reactions on Twitter, and while the reaction was (as expected) resoundingly negative at 51%, it’s interesting to identify what specifically those on Twitter were griping about (what’s driving the sentiment).
- 25% of the conversations skewed generally negative (general upset with Verizon but no other specific indications).
- 10% expressed their to desire to jump ship to another carrier or their commitment to not joining Verizon.
- 9% viewed this as another attempt by Verizon to take advantage of its customers by leveraging, “the level of service and support they’ve come to expect” as its vindication.
- 7% are feeling the sting and acknowledging the move as a “loyalty punishment” to its current subscribers.
The remainder of the conversation, at 39%, is neutral, with the conversation focused on sharing the news or asking others’ opinion.
What’s your take? Are you a Verizon customer waving goodbye to discounted upgrades or just watching the changing mobile landscape? Tweet us @crimsonhexagon and let us know your thoughts.
As always, we’ll continue analyzing the space for interesting trends. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to learn how your market, brand or product could benefit from leveraging the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform for social media analysis. Want to see the Crimson Hexagon platform in action? Request a Live Online Demo.
Andrew Brearton and Sean Finn also contributed to this post