Getting wireless providers to compete for your business
With custom ringtones, custom cell-phone wraps and custom apps, it stands to reason that people should be able to customize their cell phone plans by paying only for the services they want at a price they can afford.
Until now, that's been a fantasy for disempowered wireless users, but now MyCellMyTerms, or MCMT, is putting consumers back in the driver's seat by encouraging them to design their ideal wireless packages and then shopping those proposals to dealers eager to compete for consumers' business.
A year ago, Toronto-based consultant Ali Seraji was paying about $150 a month to use his BlackBerry. After signing on to MCMT's website in October, he put together his wireless wish list and landed an offer he couldn't refuse. These days, he has "unlimited everything" -- data, text and incoming calls -- for only $52 a month.
"It's a huge difference," says Seraji, who heard about the company after watching the owners successfully pitch the idea on CBC's popular TV show, "Dragons' Den." "It's convenient and cost effective."
One-stop wireless shopping
Paul Peic, co-founder and vice-president of marketing of the Toronto-based MCMT, says his company is answering the call of frustrated consumers by offering a one-stop shop for their wireless needs. He likens it to a cell-phone matchmaking service that addresses two common user questions: where can I find the best cell phone deal, and what is the best cell phone deal?
MCMT aims to do away with these headaches by enabling consumers to create a proposal outlining their ideal terms and the price they're willing to pay. The company's website prompts you with questions about which features you use regularly, but if you aren't sure what you're after, MCMT can create a proposal-based questionnaire that assesses your lifestyle needs.
MCMT then shops the proposal to its "handpicked exclusive wireless dealer network," which represents all the major brands across Canada. The independent company isn't owned or operated by any of the wireless carriers; therefore, it is not at the mercy of any one provider.
Dealers get an e-mail notification every time a customer submits a proposal. Those interested will respond with an offer. MCMT aims to get each customer an average of three deals within 48 hours, and offers can start pouring in within minutes. "We save people time -- it's also very value-driven," says Peic.
Dealers sweeten their offers
Customers sign into their account to review what's on the table. MCMT helps make sense of it all by ranking the offers in terms of value and highlighting in green the parts of the offer that differ from the proposal for the better and in red those that are for the worse.
Customers can review their options and make counter proposals or reject the offers outright. You only make a move when you find an offer you like. "I did some back and forth, and I did a counter offer," says Seraji. "In the end, I got more than I asked for."