Verizon and AT&T Face Off: You Lose

Disclaimer: I am an AT&T customer and I own an iPhone.

In case you haven’t noticed, Verizon and AT&T are back at it fighting it out on the airwaves. On one side, we have Verizon boasting about their 3G coverage. On the other side, AT&T is back on its heals talking about their coverage and roll over minutes propped up by Apple’s efforts with the iPhone. Take a look at one of Verizon’s commercials:

As a marketing professional, I am having a blast watching this play out. We’ve got two companies, both with deep pockets, going after one another. I am sure Verizon’s decision to do this was based on what is happening with the iPhone. People love is and it is dominating the smart phone market. AT&T has a virtual monopoly on the iPhone and there’s a lot of phone envy going on.

But at the end of the day, who wins in this contest? My guess is that the consumer is the biggest loser. We’re paying for this expensive war and to what end? Are our monthly rates going to go down? Will either company actually do something to improve their service or level of innovation?

What if one or both of these companies invested the time and resources to become as innovative as Apple and offered the type of service that Zappos has mastered? What if they invested the time and effort to build faster networks that actually cost their customers less?

There’s little evidence of any innovation since Apple released the iPhone. The competition has been quick to react – they’ve done a great trying to copy the iPhone. “Me too!” “Me too!” Just listen to all the competitors trying to sound and act like iPhone. Come on guys, the opportunities are wide open.

If you could get your cell company to listen to you, what would you like to see it do?


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