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Verizon Wireless has always given me great customer service in contrast with their land line brethren.

Last night, I went to a store to purchase a Motorola Q. This is a smartphone that would be useless without a data plan, so I was planning on signing up for a new contract with a new plan. I was ready to pay them $150, plus tax and double my cell phone bill each month without having to be convinced by a sales pitch. What commission-earning sales person wouldn’t jump at that?

Apparently those that work for Verizon Wireless.

Turns out I’m not eligible to sign up for a 2-year contract since I’m still in the middle of a previous contract with them. Nevermind that I can change my pricing plan any time I want during that 2-year period. So, while I’d get special pricing if I were to agree to pay money to Verizon Wireless for two more years of my life, Verizon Wireless doesn’t want anything to do with that and sent me on my way.

I know this makes sense in a strange, bureaucratic way of making people stick for the full two years of their contract before they extend it another two years. Still, why keep your customers from agreeing to remain customers for any amount of time? Sure, they’d lose out on a year of my current contract, but they gain at least a year of my money (at double the rate, remember) and breed customer loyalty. Now, they’ve lost my loyalty so they could get the last six months of my current contract.

There’s little stopping me from switching to Spring, Cingular/AT&T, or T-Mobile when my contract expires this November. They had their chance to keep their claws in me until 2009 (and probably much longer) and they blew it, for now.