The weekend before last, I went shopping. I needed to get my Christmas shopping out of the way. I usually like to get it all done in one weekend before the crowds get too big. I ran into an old friend of mine, and was absolutely shocked with his exuberance and happiness. He is usually in kind of a sour mood. I asked him why he was so up and bouncy.
He proudly showed me his new mobile phone. I was impressed. It was the latest model, with all the latest gadgets. He beamed even further when he showed me all the functions. As I was watching him proudly show me his new toy, I remembered that he had always had very poor credit. I wondered how he could get such a wonderful phone with such lousy credit.
I asked him, and he told me he is on some pay as you go plan. There is a place in the mall where he can pay in cash (just like he has to do with everything else) and they just add minutes to his phone, and he’s pleased as punch. I don’t know why I never thought of that. It’s brilliant.
I started to think of all the advantages to this. No extra minutes at the end of the month. No charges for going over the minutes. No worries about violating any terms of the cell phone contract, usually famous for the small print.
The other thing that surprised me was that his phone had all the capabilities of a traditional plan. Email, text messages, Internet browsing, and even GPS. I was astonished. I can’t wait until my contract ends so I can one just like him.
I think this is a fantastic example of the type of service industry the mobile phone industry has evolved into. You can only guess what they will be like in five years or so.