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October 22, 2012

PSA: It’s often worth investigating business pricing, even for home use

by e1ven

Over the last few years, a lot of consumer facing services have become increasingly hostile.
ISPs have instituted data caps, and companies have complexified what ought to be very simple, in an attempt to make it easier for people who don’t understand the terminology.

For example, when setting up your home internet, the ISP may ask you run an App that goes through a step-by-step “Wizard”.. This is almost certainly easier for many, but becomes obstructionist if you’re trying to do things off of the beaten path. (Ex: If you don’t have a Windows/Mac machine, but want to activate your connection)

This is also reflected when you are first looking at services, and trying to understand their pricing.
For example, with Verizon Cellphones –
Before the site will tell you what the service even costs, it wants you to choose a model and quantity of phones, and enter your address/zip.

I can understand their reasoning, and I’m sure this fits a number of user stories internally.. But it also makes it very frustrating when you’re trying to compare multiple options.
If my needs are fluid (such as being interested in one or more lines, depending on price, or being agnostic on phones), then this does not work well :/

Verizon Consumer
Even after making best-guess answers, I’m given yet another wizard which tries to walk me through options :/
Verizon’s business offerings, on the other hand, are straight-forward, and easy to understand.
It’s a chart, and not a very big one 😉
Screen Shot 2012 09 13 at 11 49 52 AM

Screen Shot 2012 09 13 at 11 50 00 AM

The chart gives me all of the available options, very quickly and easily.
I can choose a number of lines, dataplans, and features. The pricing is straightforward and easy to follow.

This is sadly common

Unfortunately, this is see rather often.
Comcast obscures their pricing information behind time-limited deals, making it maddening to know what your actual pricing might be.
Screen Shot 2012 09 07 at 10 00 04 PM

The real pricing isn’t anywhere in the chart – There’s no asterisk to click on, no view at the bottom. You need to go to another section of the site entirely, and cross-reference by the plan name.
Contrast that with Comcast’s business page –
Screen Shot 2012 09 07 at 9 42 48 PM
They lay out the price, the size of the pipe, and the addons. Quick. Simple. Easy.

It’s straight-forward, no bullshit pricing – Fee for Service.

It’s kinda nuts that so many companies assume their corporate customers are the only ones without a head full of potatoes. :/

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