Verizon Wireless Petition To End Phone Contracts Gaining Momentum; Others Next?

After a Verizon executive noted it would be easy to get rid of wireless contracts, a Verizon customer started an online petition to do just that. And, the petition is gaining momentum.

Mike Beauchamp, a Verizon customer and blogger from Wichita, Kansas, started a Change.org petition, on April 5 against having a wireless contract. The petition has already gained more than 90,000 signatures and hundreds of comments.

"I've been a long-time Verizon customer and I don't see myself ever leaving, but I want that choice myself. I don't want them making it for me and imposing stiff penalties if I do decide to leave," Beauchamp wrote on the petition.

Beauchamp says he started the petition after reading an article where Verizon's CEO, Lowell McAdam, said it would be easy to change the model and eliminate contracts. Beauchamp believes McAdam was even encouraging the general public to start asking major carriers to do away with contracts.

Although pre-paid plans are already available on Verizon and several other carriers, Beauchamp says the reason people want a change is simply affordability. By pricing new phones to be hundreds of dollars, people aren't able to purchase a plan from Verizon.

However, Verizon customers can take a phone or other device to smaller company Page Plus Cellular and sign up for a no-contract plan on Verizon's network.

"Verizon Wireless has for years offered many different choices for customers, including contract plans or month-to-month plans that do not require a contract," the company released in a statement.

Most carriers lock customers into a two or three year contract in order to offset the high costs of a smartphone. Switching to a different carrier or terminating the contract can usually incur a hefty fine. Some major carriers have changed their business model. T-Mobile recently stated it would start eliminating contracts with a different payment model.  

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