Cox Challenges Telcos With Money-Back Offer On New Wireless Service

Cox Communications started out the weekend with a challenge to the telcos: The cable operator launched its long-awaited wireless service with a money-back offer.

The MSO has been expected to jump into the mobile-service fray for some time; and now that it has, its hoping to lure subscribers who would like to get up to $20 back per month for any unused minutes. Coxs major rivals, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, offer nothing of the sort. AT&T does have a rollover program, but that doesnt mean consumers use those remaining minutes.

Cox on Friday launched its wireless service in three markets: Hampton Roads, Va.; Omaha, Neb.; and Orange County, Calif. Cox is charging $40 for 450 voice minutes. However, its willing to pay up to 5 cents per unused minute, with a $20 cap for family plans. Cox handsets include several Android-based smartphones, including the Motorola Milestone, the LG Axis, the Samsung Profile and the HTC Desire.

Cox further is hoping to avoid an overages debacle, as well as, perhaps, FCC scrutiny the operator says itll send free text messages to alert users when theyre getting close to their monthly voice and data thresholds. 

Cox tested its wireless network for about a year, although it was originally supposed to launch service this past March. 

The question now is whether Verizon and AT&T will feel pressure to match a money-back guarantee.

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