U.S. Cellular Offers Customers Fresh Batteries

US Cellular battery adThere are two things wireless telephone customers hate: not having a signal and running out of battery juice. With the industry often addressing the former concern (through advertisements that focus on expanding networks and dropped calls and such), regional telecom U.S. Cellular next week will launch a program that addresses the latter.

In a new "Battery Swap" program, U.S. Cellular customers will be able to exchange their dead or dying phone batteries for fully charged new ones in U.S. Cellular retail locations at no charge.

"We're all about the human connection with others," Alan Ferber, chief marketing officer of the company, tells Marketing Daily. "And for our customers, the cell phone is that connection."

The "Battery Swap" program will launch on Tuesday and will be supported with television, print and collateral advertising that targets both new and current customers, Ferber says. A "Phone Swap" dedicated television spot features a robot communicating the importance of always keeping an electronic device's battery charged.



Noting, however, that many telecom companies lure and keep customers by offering the latest in gadgetry and devices, Ferber says the program will only cover batteries for phones sold over any given 18-month period. Customers with phones older than 18 months will be encouraged to get a new phone and sign a new long-term contract, Ferber says.

The program, which is based on a test the company undertook last year, is the first of its kind for the wireless telecommunications industry. While it's possible that competitors might launch similar programs, Ferber says U.S. Cellular is not concerned. "We think our strategy is unique, and our program is built around customer service," he says. "We don't think that's high on our competitors' priority lists."

1 comment about "U.S. Cellular Offers Customers Fresh Batteries ".
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  1. Mickey Lonchar from Quisenberry, May 15, 2009 at 1:01 p.m.

    The Battery Swap represents a great way to provide meaningful customer service and shows a great understanding of the needs of customers. But why limit it to customers who've only purchased phones over a given period? If the idea is to create a great "story" from customers, why throw up road blocks that might put a kink in the hose? If customers see this as a veiled way to get them to upgrade, the goodwill that this program could generate could quickly evaporate.

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