Verizon rewards prepaid customers who stay

Verizon is giving customers who switch to its Verizon-branded prepaid service another reason to stay: They can save $5 after three months and another $5 after nine months.

Verizon’s new prepaid unlimited plan starts at $65 per month and can get as low as $50 after nine months with discounts. It’s also offering $5 off for customers who sign up for auto pay. Talk, text and data in Mexico and Canada are now included in the unlimited plan.

According to Verizon, it’s breaking the mold in the prepaid industry with the “longer you stay, the more you save” type of offer. “We don’t see anybody in the market really doing this,” said Angie Klein, VP of Consumer Marketing at Verizon. “It’s new and innovative pricing in the U.S. market for prepaid.”

Generally, during a recession the market will shift to more prepaid than postpaid, but the market has changed since the last recession in the 2008 timeframe, so it’s hard to say what’s going to happen this year.

“Our goal, whether it’s in a boom economy or if there’s a recession, is to have solutions for everyone based on their needs, and our prepaid and postpaid line-ups do that,” she said.

Better, but... 

Without question, the new pricing from Verizon is better than what it’s offered in the past, but there are simpler and better alternatives, a popular one being MVNO Straight Talk’s $45 monthly plan that provides 25 GB of data, said Jeff Moore, principal of Wave7 Research.

“That said, this is a significant improvement and it is likely to force the hand of some direct competitors,” he told Fierce. “I will be surprised if AT&T Prepaid does not revise its plans in response.”

According to Wave7, Verizon lost 84,000 prepaid subscribers in the first quarter of this year, after having lost 121,000 in the fourth quarter and reporting a total of 1.7 million losses over the past 10 quarters, with fewer than 4 million remaining.

Besides corporate stores, Verizon prepaid is sold at Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Dollar General, Family Dollar and Meijer. According to Wave7, Verizon prepaid was sold by 10 out of 30 dealers in its most recent dealer survey.

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