As expected, the FCC ruled Friday that Verizon can’t solicit its soon-to-be ex customers with special deals after they’ve already requested to switch their phone service to a cable provider. As the WSJ ($) reminds us, this is a win for the cable companies that pushed this one through the FCC, including Comcast (CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (TWC).
What’s the problem? Verizon (VZ) is alerted when one of its subscribers has requested to move their phone number over to a cable company; the telco was using this as an opportunity to try to pursuade the subscriber not to leave. Now that the FCC has ruled, Verizon can’t do that anymore, and will have to sign those departing customers back the same way they sign up any new customer.
When we criticised this move Friday, commenters suggested that this wasn’t a bad thing: they argued that this might force Verizon to offer all of its customers awesome deals on phone service, not just those that have already decided to leave. We won’t hold our breath on that — though we think pricing will continue to go down on its own as more people switch to mobile phone-only calling or cable/Internet phone service. And we still think the FCC’s move screws consumers out of one more potential discount on phone service. Remind us again why we need this agency?
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