Verizon recently introduced a rewards system, which acts just like the one you likely have for a credit card. The difference here is it’s via Verizon, and seems slightly more subversive than your “earn a point for every dollar you spend” credit card program. For those deeply entrenched in Verizon, this could be a boon. For those who just want to use a device on a carrier and not have them intrude on your life, it’s not going to sit well.

The Smart Rewards plan is oddly structured, but pretty straightforward. Choose to manage your account via the online portal or app? That’s a one-time 300 point gain. Have a connected tablet on your plan? That’s 1,000 points monthly. Purchase an accessory? You’ll get 2,000 points each time.

Unfortunately, by signing up for Smart Rewards, you are giving Verizon access to all of your data. How you use apps, location, and websites visited is just some of the info Verizon will gather. What you get in return may not be adequate enough to make up for the intrusion, but that’s subjective. To our minds, it’s a program entirely geared toward allowing Verizon to snoop, and offering goods (or simply the chance to get stuff) in return.

You can spend your earned points in auctions, which are a lot like the penny auctions you see on TV. Sweepstakes are there, but that’s also a risk/reward situation. Daily and Local deals seem decent enough, but that depends on what’s available, and asks retailers or other businesses to involve themselves with yet another program. Gift cards get you discounts on the regular price of one, with Merchandise and Travel rounding out the reasons to join the program.

Though we’d like to think this is just another way to reward customers, it’s hard to believe that’s the scope. If the goal were to give points for having a tablet connected to my plan, why does Verizon need access to apps used and where I’m at? We’re cautious of programs like this anyway, and the small print here is just too alarming for us.

VIA: Droid Life