Verizon Wireless announced the launch of a rewards program called Smart Rewards, which allows its customers to earn points for every dollar spent with the carrier. The catch? Verizon Wireless subscribers may have to allow the carrier to track their usage habits to reap the benefits of the program.
Verizon Wireless, a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), said the Smart Rewards program will be rolled out to postpaid account customers starting July 24, with 10,000 points awarded to customers upon registering for the service. Customers will be able to earn points such as paying bills, signing into the My Verizon account management tool using paperless billing and using the Verizon Trade In program will also generate points.
The points can then be used for various discounts and rewards on merchandise, hotel stays and travel discounts. The points could also be used for various auctions, sweepstakes and other offerings through the Smart Rewards program.
While the benefits may sound appealing, customers may have to share more information about their habits. To sign up for Smart Rewards, Verizon Wireless customers will also be required to sign up for Verizon Selects, a marketing program launched in 2012 that tracks user location, Web browsing, mobile app usage data and other demographic and interest data. Customers can leave the Selects program while keeping the Smart Rewards program after the initial signup.
Verizon said that while the Selects service does provide more information about its customer base to third-party marketers, Verizon doesn’t share personally identifiable customer information outside of the company.
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Verizon Selects is part of the company's larger Precision Market Insights program, which offers mobile advertising solutions for agencies and other marketing companies.