As I anticipate covering tomorrow’s Wind Mobile launch, I wonder if the days of haggling over cell phone plans have finally come to an end. After escaping regulatory purgatory, Globalive will reveal its first set of product offerings (BlackBerrys and HTC devices) and the pricing plans that will go along with them. We know so far that the pricing plans will not require a contract, and if the rumoured pricing plans I’ve seen circulating the Web are true, then consumers will be given very clear description of what a cell phone will cost them.
Perhaps motivated by more competition coming to the market, the big three carriers have all moved to similarly simplify cell phone pricing plans. Telus has started marketing its “Clear Choice” plans, for example. All the carriers also offer value brands that don’t charge system access fees and come with less contractual baggage.
So I wonder if the days of haggling over a cell phone plan have come to an end.
It almost disappoints me. I felt I ‘d become quite good at it in my time as a cell phone owner – I’ve had one phone or another on my person for five years now. I was best at it when I had leverage. After one particular phone repeatedly malfunctioned on me (five times in one year), I was able to convince my carrier that I deserved a good deal on a BlackBerry and a good rate on a data plan.
But it seems those days are over. Plans are increasingly making costs more clear up front, and it’s what consumers want. It’s what consumers deserve.
I’ll just have to find something else to haggle over.