AT&T Pricing Plans: It’s About Time

As a heavy iPhone user, I was less than thrilled about AT&T’s plan to end “unlimited” data plans. Apparently, I consume over 3GB/month, despite doing most of my heavy lifting through WiFi. This means I will either need to reduce my network consumption, or pay more to AT&T. (I never hit the 5GB limit of the “Unlimited” Plan.)

Despite this inconvenience, it’s about time AT&T realized that a supply problem can be converted into a pricing problem. Also, pricing is much more flexible and flexible than most supply chains, especially those involving massive amounts of cellular infrastructure. So until network capacity is truly an unlimited commodity, too cheap to meter, it makes sense to charge heavy users more. (Note that AT&T also reduced prices on those who consumer relatively little data.) I wasn’t part of the conversation, but I can only assume that after AT&T ran scenarios for data usage, customer churn, and revenue, that the new plans came out ahead of the old plan.

This situation applies to other businesses, as well. Even if you’re not at 100% capacity across the board, bottlenecks in your business indicate areas you can expand, and/or increase prices. Is it hard to get an appointment with your service techs? Maybe they need to charge more. Do you bundle in rush delivery for your customers?  (I’ve seen companies that always express shipped very heavy goods, just because they never made their customers pay a premium for it. In that case, why wouldn’t ask for express delivery?)  Maybe it’s time to unbundle it.

p.s.  Verizon– can you please get the iPhone?

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