As a business traveler my plans often change, and changing to an earlier flight used to be simple. Not anymore. Now Southwest charges an exorbitant amount if you want to take an earlier flight on the same day. Along with me, fellow travelers I talked with are also unhappy with this new policy and also now reconsidering other airlines to fly. Poor business practices are what kill companies.
I emailed Southwest about this last week, and they did not respond (although they claim they respond to all emails that request a response). So apparently that is a lie.
This is not a new policy. When you change flights you get full credit for any money you paid but you pay whatever the walk up price is. Those who buy deeply discounted tickets can not change without paying now the walk up fare. There is no change fee just you pay now the walk up price difference. This has always been how it is. It looks like you bought a discounted fare and now want to use it whenever it is convenient without any charge. That isn't how it works. It's understandable people would say but if there is an empty seat why can't I take it, but the flip side is if anyone could take any flight on any fare why would anyone buy a full fare ticket. As for replies, that takes time. I am sure you will hear back.
"I emailed Southwest about this last week, and they did not respond (although they claim they respond to all emails that request a response). So apparently that is a lie."
But later on in this thread you tell us that Southwest DID give you a written reply - one that you didn't like. In that post you also are offended that they didn't call you. But in your original post you said nothing about asking them to call you.
So apparently, everything you have written is in all likelihood a lie -- isn't it?
I think the policy is: any change that costs more than the one you already have you pay the difference. If you cancel the original flight you can use all of the money. You have to cancel before the flight. So if you want an earlier one it's no trouble if the amount of the flight is the same. IF not you pay the difference with no penalty. I fly alot and I'm not an employee. The only change I can see is that you must cancel a reservation before the plane takes off. That's not a problem and it gives them a chance to sell the seat.