Monthly mobile data rollovers for Verizon Wireless customers isn't going to happen, according to the company, even though rivals T-Mobile and AT&T have recently unveiled such benefits for their customers.
In a Jan. 27 email reply to eWEEK, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman confirmed that the company has no plans to make such a move that would allow customers to keep any unused data allotments for future data needs.
The issue surfaced earlier in January when Verizon's chief financial officer, Fran Shammo, said during a media interview that the company will not react to T-Mobile's recent rollover "data stash" program and a similar move from AT&T, according to a Jan. 25 report by Forbes. Verizon is not planning to add such a program in an attempt to maintain its customer base, Shammo said.
"We did not go to places where we did not financially want to go to save a customer," he said. "And there's going to be certain customers who leave us for price, and we are just not going to compete with that because it doesn't make financial sense for us to do that."
The company's attitude follows its latest financial report, which was announced on Jan. 22. Verizon gained 2 million new wireless customers in the fourth quarter of 2014 ended Dec. 31, 2014, but the company lost $2.2 billion in the quarter, largely due to the cost of non-operational expenses including benefits and pension payments. Verizon brought in revenue of $33.2 billion for the period, which was a 6.8 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, when revenue came in at $31.07 billion, according to an earlier eWEEK report. Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the United States.
The $2.2 billion Q4 loss was a $10 billion shift from one year ago, when the company posted $7.9 billion in profits for that quarter, according to the company's figures. The company's per share loss for the quarter was 54 cents, compared with a $1.77 gain per share in the same quarter one year ago.
Verizon did, however, lose more customers in the last quarter than it has in the recent past. Postpaid retail customer churn for the quarter was 1.14 percent, a slight increase from a churn rate of 0.96 percent for the same period one year ago.
The question for the company in the future will be whether it loses more customers who move to competitors in search of such perks as data rollover.
Verizon does, meanwhile, offer a limited data rollover benefit to some of its prepaid customers through a new program that allows users to roll over unused data under prepaid plans for up to 90 days. Prepaid plans with 500GB of data allow data rollover for 30 days, while prepaid plans with 1GB or 3GB of data can be rolled over for 90 days, according to the new benefit.
The T-Mobile data rollover perk allows customers to roll over data for as long as 12 months with no limit to the amount that they have available during that period of time.