Cell Phone Service Pricing

I think I want to start an electrical utility. After researching pricing plans, I like the following:

  • Pre-paid, flat-rate pricing, say $199.95 per month for 1,500 kWh of home electricity usage. If you exceed the monthly allotment you pay an additional $0.99 per kWh.1
  • $0.30 to recharge a AA battery. If you recharge a lot of AA batteries you can pay $9.95 per month for unlimited AA battery charging. Other sizes of batteries will have different rates.
  • $9.95 per month to connect a work laptop to your home electricity service.
  • $9.95 per month to use an extension cord to “tether” other devices to your home electricity service.

You may wonder why I would propose such a complicated pricing plan.2 Clearly, you don’t understand these charges are necessary to cover the costs of maintaining and upgrading the electricity infrastructure.

It makes total sense to me.3 After all, I just paid my cell phone bill.

1Maybe those who sign up first will get unlimited electricity per month and will be able to keep their plan as long as they don’t move. How about carryover-kWh’s? Or neighborhood plans where neighbors share kWh’s?
2You might note that it (1) has many customers bearing the cost for the few who use the most electricity, (2) doesn’t encourage conservation, (3) charges differently for different uses of the same electricity, and (4) has outrageously different pricing with no relationship to how much electricity is used.
3Most important, let’s not just charge by the kWh.

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4 Comments

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  1. Hmmm, sounds like somebody just spent a little quality time with his AT&T or Verizon bill. (Of course, are you sure you REALLY need that smart phone?) ;-)

  2. Actually, we’ve been shopping for smart phones. My daily carry is a six-year-old stupid phone.

    Cell companies charging for texting, tethering, and connecting to a work Exchange server is chafing me a bit. Hence, the rant… :-/

    (Taking literary license, “I just paid my cell phone bill” sounded a lot better than, “I just went shopping for a cell service plan.”)

  3. This is great Brent! I love it! I’m cracking up. I’ve just spent a bunch of time researching cell phone plans to get us all something cheaper than the Verizon family plan we’ve had for 10+ years. We finally settled on PagePlus. Primarily because they use the Verizon network and their coverage in eastern WA is much better than others. But the different plans across vendors is truly bewildering, and makes just about as much sense as your example!

  4. Art, I’m glad I made your day.

    Maybe I’ll just get a 4G hotspot and a small tablet. It’s not as though I really need to make voice calls that often… ;-)

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