It seems like just yesterday that Cox took the wraps off of its Wireless service, which offered "Unbelievably Fair" plans alongside a number of dumb phones and Android-powered smartphones. Apparently the decision to enter the wireless biz may not have gone as swimmingly as Cox had hoped, though, as an email sent to Engadget has revealed that the company has made the decision to drop its Cox Wireless business. The memo explains that the company will no longer sell its services effective tomorrow, November 16th, but that existing customers will continue to have service and support through March 30th, 2012. Reasons given for the shutdown include Cox's lack of scale necessary to compete, the rise of 4G, and "the inability to access iconic wireless devices."
Although the rate plans and devices that Cox Wireless currently offers aren't anything terribly special, its Unbelievably Fair plans did offer a unique feature called Moneyback Minutes, which "paid back" its customers up to $20 per month for minutes that they didn't use. Plus, it's always kind of a bummer to see a competitor leave the marketplace. Obviously this is all is still unofficial at this point, but we'll be sure to keep our ears to the ground for more details, which shouldn't be far off if Cox is indeed planning to stop sales tomorrow. Do any of you use Cox Wireless or know someone that does?
UPDATE: Cox has issued a press release confirming the news. Sales of its wireless service will cease on November 16th, and service for current customers will run through March 30th. Cox says that "special offers" will be made to current Cox Wireless customers to help make the switch to a different carrier easier. The company says that all Cox Wireless customers have other Cox services and will receive a $150 credit on their bill for every line disconnected. Additionally, customers can keep their phones, and ETFs will be waived. Finally, wireless customers will continue to receive their Bundle Benefit for two years. The full press release from Cox is below.
Cox Communications to Discontinue Cox Wireless Service, Effective March 30, 2012
Cox Easing Customers’ Transition to Alternate Wireless Service Providers
ATLANTA – November 15, 2011 – Cox Communications announced that it will discontinue selling Cox Wireless, its wireless phone service, effective November 16, 2011. Cox will continue providing service for its wireless customers through March 30, 2012, and special offers will be available to Cox Wireless customers to ease their transition to another wireless provider.
“Cox is working to make this transition as seamless and easy as possible for our customers,” said Len Barlik, executive vice president of product development and management. “We are proud of our employees’ dedication to delivering the excellent customer service that Cox is known for, and we will continue to keep our wireless customers’ satisfaction a top priority during this transition period.”
All Cox Wireless customers have multiple Cox services, and will receive a $150 credit on their bill for every line of wireless phone service disconnected. Customers can keep their wireless devices and all early termination fees will be waived. Also, wireless customers will continue to receive their Bundle Benefit™ for two years.
“We understand the importance of wireless to the customer experience,” said Barlik. “Cox is looking at several options to continuously increase the value of our bundle of services.”
Cox’s decision to no longer sell its 3G wireless service was based on the lack of wireless scale necessary to compete in the marketplace, the acceleration of competitive 4G networks as well as the inability to access iconic wireless devices. Cox had launched wireless service in less than 50 percent of its footprint, including: Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Northern Virginia; Orange County, San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; Omaha, Nebraska; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; and Rhode Island and Cox communities we serve in Connecticut and Cleveland, Ohio.
Cox’s television, high speed Internet, residential phone and commercial services will be unaffected by the change.
About Cox Communications:
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, and telephone services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable TV company, Cox serves more than 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and new media advertising. Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For seven years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; for six years, Cox has ranked among DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity, and the company holds a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.