Generally speaking, cellphone carriers
aren't looking out for consumers. In fact, many customers would argue that they're simply out to get them, tacking on as many fees as possible while offering lackluster service and coverage. Thus, it's quite surprising to see this. U.S. Cellular, a small, regional CDMA carrier in America, has just launched a new battery swap program that we can only hope the "big boys" learn from.
Put simply, the Battery Swap program enables its customers to simply come into any USCC store and change out a dead or dying battery for a fully-charged one, for free. As you've likely gleaned, U.S. Cellular is the first wireless company to offer this service. Jay Ellison, executive vice president and COO, noted that "our Battery Swap program is a convenience for people who depend on their wireless devices as their lifelines, such as business people, parents, not to mention heavy users who drain their battery daily."
We know you're wondering what kind of strings are attached, and we're happy to report that there really aren't many. Customers can only receive new batteries on handsets that were purchased through USCC within the last 18 months, but at least that read "within" and not "after." In other words, the program is designed to replace batteries that die prematurely (within the first 1.5 years of use), but folks who hang onto a phone for 4 years will obviously need to buy their own replacement (or just get a new phone). Too bad this type of service isn't everywhere, you know?