Verizon Wireless is launching a loyalty program this week for its subscribers, though subscribers have to consent to have their movements tracked in order to earn earn points for the money they spend. The Smart Rewards is designed as a loyalty program, but the company is also using that to encourage enrollment in Verizon Selects. That program, launched in 2012, uses subscriber surfing and location data to better target ads they see on the phone.
Enrollment in Selects is mandatory for subscribers who want to start taking advantage of Smart Rewards, but they can then leave Selects and keep using Smart Rewards. Those who stay with Selects get additional Smart Rewards points every month.
Verizon Wireless says the Selects program doesn't give any personally identifiable information to advertisers.
Verizon's custmers will also earn points for every dollar spent on wireless service, as well as for upgrading to smartphones and recycling old phones, among other activities. The points can be used for discounts on hotel rooms and products from a Verizon catalog.