New Path Toward Customer Value?
Lately, much has been said of the trend toward new prepaid cellphone plans proffered by established players in the wireless industry. T-Mobile has recently altered its business model to offer solely prepaid service while Verzion and AT&T have reassessed their position in the no-contract area. AT&T’s new, contract-free Aio service seeks to offer a hassle free experience and may thus lend a friendlier face to the mobile phone plan landscape that many find characterized by complexity and confusion.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to examine the long term effects of the push toward prepaid plans. While ostensibly offering the customer greater flexibility and ease of use, companies may find that these same customers are harder to keep given a reduced level of inertia to overcome if they desire to switch carriers and are not bound by a contract. As a result, consumers may apply greater scrutiny to carrier performance as well as the economics of the prepaid plans to determine if they are really better off in all respects without a contract. If they find that value for their dollar regarding functional attributes of their experience is lacking, they may be even more likely to switch services, thus upping the ante for all carriers in the quest to deliver customer value.
Following the link below leads to a Brandchannel article about the introduction of the Aio service.