Verizon Hits Peak Midlife Crisis

John Legere
President and Chief Executive Officer
As a 50-something man, I’ve heard a thing or two about midlife crises and I can spot them a mile away…. trust me, there’s no doubt that Verizon midlife crisis is peaking!  It’s epic.  And it ain’t pretty. 
All the tell-tale signs are there:
  1. It’s got a new look.
    1. New logo. New spokesperson. New streaming service.
  2. It’s trying to reinvent itself & throwing money around like the end is near
    1. AOL, Yahoo!, Hearst, Fleetmatics, et al. Rumors of buying Comcast
  3. It’s obsessed with youth
    1. Go90, Complex, AwesomenessTV = Millennials, millennials, millennials!
  4. It’s questioning its sense of self
    1. Finally eliminated contracts!!  Finally made Safety Mode free!!
  5. And now, a fifth sign that Verizon’s hitting peak midlife crisis:  They’re totally idealizing the past.

In a fit of nostalgia for their better days, Verizon last week introduced a new limited plan, and they’re spending millions advertising that their network is perfect for people who accept data limits.  I couldn’t agree more.  Verizon’s network is perfect for limits.  T-Mobile’s network is built for people who want to be unlimited.
The ship has sailed on this one.  Limits suck.  Asking someone how much Internet they want each month is ridiculous.  We’re pushing the industry past this outdated practice.
But if that wasn’t enough nostalgia, Verizon (and AT&T) are jacking up fees on their customers, just as T-Mobile is eliminating taxes and monthly fees on T-Mobile ONE. You can almost hear the suits in Basking Ridge opining about “the good ole days” when they could screw over their customers who had no choice but to suck it up.
Look, Verizon’s always been the carrier’s carrier, and they’ve always held tight to the industry’s most-hated conventions and they’ve been the last to change.  Why should it be any different as this industry evolves past data limits and fee-laden bills?
What’s next, Verizon?  How else can you bring back the good ole days?  Night and weekend minutes?  Toupees and sports cars?
I may call them Dumb and/or Dumber, but even I can’t stand by and watch this sad scene anymore. So, let’s band together to help Verizon. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Tomorrow, on Verizon’s earnings conference call, keep this checklist handy and watch for the signs. Then, share it on Twitter with @Verizon. Together, we can help prevent the “toupees and sports cars” phase.
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