Tuesday, August 23, 2005

WSJ.com - Verizon, Yahoo to Offer Discounted DSL Service

"Separately, Verizon and Yahoo Inc. are executing a deal announced in January that would allow all of Verizon's broadband customers to access premium Yahoo services, such as digital photo sharing, for free. SBC also has a similar arrangement with Yahoo, which allows subscribers a customized browser and photo storage, among other things."

Oh boy! Another bait and switch Yahoo promotion! I can hardly wait.

I have never signed up for any Yahoo service involving money that didn't rapidly transmogrify into something either significantly useless or significantly more expensive. Oh, that excludes the services that just mysteriously vanished without notice. Their free services, in some cases, are worth about what you pay for them.

The only good thing I can think to say about this is that it must be better than the deal that Verizon made with Microsoft a year or so ago that was amazingly bad from the very beginning. Being offered at a "discount" was an array of service already available for free on the Internet. Plus it had the added bonus that I, a Linux user, had to install Windows on a separate PC just long enough to get my userid and password set up, because that is the only way that was provided (no web interface, you HAD to run a Windows program, sort of obvious what you are up to here isn't it MS?).

What is the deal with these "deals"? Is Verizon too incompetent to provide some of these services so they must rely on some "pros"? Or is money exchanging hands, as in, it's all arranged between the two marketing departments?

Whichever it is, the people responsible at these companies don't have a clue from a technology perspective. From a marketing perspective, they are getting a quick fix to their bottom line (maybe) at the expense of their company's long-term brand association with quality. While I'm a customer of both of these companies (Yahoo and Verizon) it's only while I look for alternatives, and with any luck, those alternatives are coming along nicely.

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