Verizon: Don’t worry about unlimited plans


(John Spink, jspink@ajc.com)

(John Spink, jspink@ajc.com)

(Updated 3:31 p.m.)

Verizon scrambled this week to clarify a top official’s suggestion that a new data plan option would lead to phasing out unlimited data plans that were grandfathered in 2010.

Sometime this year, Verizon will allow customers to add multiple smartphones and tablets to a “shared data plan,” and on an LTE network that allows faster video streaming and media downloads.

Verizon expects the combination of  shared plan and  faster network will lure customers into committing to more expensive data packages.

There were reports that Verizon would be dropping the unlimited plans when the shared data plans make their debut based on comments by Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo.

At an investor conference this week, Shammo was quoted as saying,“A lot of our 3G base is unlimited. As they start to migrate into 4G, they will have to come off of unlimited and go into the data share plan.”

Instead, Verizon customers who currently have a grandfathered $30-a-month unlimited data plan but want to upgrade to a shared plan will be able to do so without losing the unlimited feature – if you pay full price for upgraded devices, like the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx.

If you buy a device at a discount when renewing your two-year contract, however, you’ll lose the unlimited feature.

As PC World surmises:

Truth be told … chances are most of you will end up surrendering your unlimited plans the next time you pick up a new Verizon smartphone. Unless you have at least $400 handy to spend on a new phone, that is.

AT&T, which also grandfathered in unlimited data plans, also is expected to introduce a shared plan sometime this year.

32 comments Add your comment

jd

May 18th, 2012
7:38 pm

I wish I could give there smart phone and data plan back. Service is terrible.

C-Dizzle

May 18th, 2012
7:51 pm

Man, that sucks!!!! Now that more people use more data than talk time they have decided to hold us Data users hostage! Might be time for me to jump ship away from Verizon if they are going to do this. :(

David Green

May 18th, 2012
7:52 pm

Without an unlimited data plan this Verizon customer will never upgrade to a smart phone.

Who Cares?

May 18th, 2012
8:07 pm

Wow, and I’m considering dumping AT&T for Verizon! Maybe I’ll hold up a little longer. I have unlimited data on my AT&T plan,so maybe I should stay there. I currently have a Blackberry 9700, which is terrible. I am for sure going the iphone route, and I was going with Verizon, but maybe I should stay. My biggest beef with AT&T has been poor cellular service in remote areas. I understand that Verizon has the best coverage in the more rural areas. No problems with AT&T dropping calls or downloading data, just spotted reception in rural areas. Am I wrong? Chime in, please,

Mr. Not suprised

May 18th, 2012
8:20 pm

This is just another way to nickel and dime you to death since most smartphone users won’t go back to a “regular” phone. I have the unlimited plan now and don’t want to constantly monitor my usage. Maybe they should consider charging long distance fees like its 1985 all over again. I hate Sprint but they are starting to look better after this decision!

JESS

May 18th, 2012
8:42 pm

As a Verizon customer (yes even in all the previous incarnations) as far back as 1974 I find their telephone service peerless, nationwide. However, since upgrading to 3G 2 years ago, I’m not a huge fan, nor devotee of data service or useage on a cell phone. Sure it’s handy once or twice per month when shopping and wishing to compare prices without physically leaving one merchant to visit another, but that’ about the greatest use I have for data via cell phone. Data via hardwired desktop internet connection is my choice for data download. Let ‘em charge, I’ll revert to a flip phone and no 3G or 4G. Their loss, not mine.

fed up

May 18th, 2012
9:04 pm

F*&*&^&* you Verizon and all other cell companies. Go to europe to see how cheap cellular communications can be. we are getting screwed people. If india and nepal can provide cheap cell why can’t the usa???

berh

May 18th, 2012
9:48 pm

Left
vzn & went to t-mobile after 10 yrs with. vnz

berh

May 18th, 2012
9:55 pm

Go to t-mobile after 10th yr with vzn got tired of botched cs

Dee

May 18th, 2012
10:29 pm

What a stupid idea…how will anyone be able to afford paying full price for a smartphone or any phone in order to continue with their unlimited data plan especially in this economy…Goodbye Verizon…hello MetroPCS…

stefan

May 18th, 2012
10:32 pm

i’m dumping nickel and dime verizon in 3 months when my contract runs out. I’ve had enough—I’ll go with a basic plan with some other company.

another comment

May 18th, 2012
11:01 pm

I stupidly changed to verizon when my 17 year old got drunk and got her i-phone stolen at a party. At&t wouldn’t let me get a new phone for her until November. I had two I-phones on unlimited data, and another with 2 G. for $249 month. Now I got 2 months bill for 3 i-phones with Verizon and our Bill was over $850 dollars. We went over our 1,400 minutes, because we don’t have any roll over minutes, and all of our friends have AT&T, and one daughter used 3 G, so we exceeded the 2G. She kept getting overage messages starting 2 weeks into the month. So now we are stuck having to go up to a 2,000 month plan, and try to keep to 2G. Easy for me but not a 17 year old. She claims uses the phone to take notes and look things up in school.

This and my $250 month Cable, Internet and Home Phone bill. I do not have HBO or any special packages either.

james408

May 19th, 2012
3:18 am

SO IF I BUY A PHONE AT FULL PRICE I WON’T BE STUCK IN A 2 YEAR CONTRACT,since getting a phone at a subsidized price required a 2 year contract right…

Banker Bob

May 19th, 2012
9:57 am

Come on back to T-mobile folks……. Seven years, and no issues here. As long as they don’t sell out to another company…… and I am so happy not to be with the worst company in the world, AT&T.

bobby

May 19th, 2012
10:21 am

Mu contract expires next May so I am good until then. I will have to review my options then.

The Walrus

May 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

Doesn’t Spring still have an unlimited plan? I’ve been a Verizon customer since 2000, but I will seriously consider moving to Sprint when my contract is up.

stew

May 20th, 2012
7:25 am

I download a bunch of movies and games and need an unlimited plan—if verizon dumps this option I’m going with sprint

David

May 20th, 2012
9:33 am

I’m amazed at how we want competition, and yet so many people want to stifle it. both AT&T and VZW, have the same challenge, it’s called spectrum (which means how much data/voice can travel across the networks), think of this as lanes of highway. The biggest companies (with the most subscribers, and data/voice usage), have and use the most lanes of highway. Sprint and T-Mobile are distant 3rd and 4th, so for now they really have no issues, since they have few customers. Also, keep in mind that T-Mobile tried to sell itself (due to limitations in spectrum, and the challenge to get it), and Sprint, according to many experts, will likely file bankruptcy, at some point in 2014, because they cannot sustain, their model (much like T-Mobile). This is all about usage the lanes of highway available to the majority of people that are using them. Wireless is not free, it’s limited. Two of the largest employers and investors in the United States are ATT and VZW, and they are the ones responsible for continuing to gain the spectrum needed to grow. Prices change, plans change, so that they can continue to invest in the technology cell sites etc. THis is the way the system works. And finally, do your research, the U.S. is the cheapest place on earth for cell phones/monthly plans. This is why it’s the number 1 market in the world now. The model works, we just need the outspoken minority to get the facts straight.

GibbinRTakin

May 20th, 2012
1:13 pm

Verizon will kill the smart phones or lose customers to others. My next one will be calls only. Email can wait until I return to my computer.

JudgeDawg

May 20th, 2012
9:42 pm

As soon as my contract is up ..I’m going back to using pigeons ….. I’d rather chop off my arm than resign with Verizon.

Jostalyn

May 20th, 2012
9:47 pm

Verizon just constantly seems to do more and more to screw over their customers to put more money in their pockets. I’m thinking it’s time for me to switch to a different carrier, if I have to pay an additional fee, I think I’d rather pay it to someone else other than Verizon.

Voice and Data Services

May 21st, 2012
2:56 am

voice and data services became very important for human life, we can say that its becoming part of his life..

R in Hi

May 21st, 2012
3:06 am

Aloha from Hawaii,

Having been a customer of many carriers here, including NextH*ll, Sprint, Pre T Moble carrier”VoiceStream”, ATT/Cingular, Hi Tel Com, Boost, and Mobi PCS, and Verizon (before they were GTE), and all I can say is that for over 20 years, Verizon has provided:
1) Best Customer Service: Expedient, Professional, and knowledgeable
2) No major billing problems
3) Good reception and coverage In Honolulu

There seems to me to have been a change within the past year, where their customer service seems not as good as it has been, but still no major issues.

I have had countless biling hassles from Cingular, Nexth*l (the worst), Voicestream, and moved from all of them to Verizon. I always had a line with V, and now I got many, more than one with unlimited Data. I will be checking our RepublicWireless, and maybe say bye bye to V if they change my unlimited (and save thousands a year).
Verizon’s image seems to be expensive and quality service and high caliber, but now ADD Greed to that.

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May 21st, 2012
3:14 am

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WithAGrainOfSalt

May 22nd, 2012
7:35 am

Who Cares: I too dumped AT&T in favor of network coverage with Verizon.. A little more $$, but why pay $200 for a familty plan to be able to use phone 30% of the time. The rollover minutes aren’t important since I email and my daughter talks 7 minutes a month, but texts to the tune of 9,000 per month (in & out). Bought a Droid Razr, should have bought the Maxx, but at least I can use my phone 100% of the time to use it when I need it. I don’t watch video or face chat with my phone $30/month for 4GB is plenty as last month I consumed a whole 2.0 GB as I watched one Netflix movie on a free trial just for grins one weekend. Too bad I live in a non-metro country as AT&T has not invested in infrastrucure here in LaGrange has had Verizon.

WithAGrainOfSalt

May 22nd, 2012
7:40 am

another comment: Looks like you are flush with cash. Bundle TV and internet and have daughter use wifi on her iphone to avoid sucking your dataplan dry. Perhaps fi she goes to private school you and other parents can convince the school to provide wifi in the library. Just saying…

WithAGrainOfSalt

May 22nd, 2012
7:42 am

another comment: If my underage daughter got drunk I would have taken her iphone and my high cell phone bill would have been reduced by itself.

WithAGrainOfSalt

May 22nd, 2012
7:44 am

One more thing. Ditch you phone for you movie watchers and gamers, subscribe to netflx and stay at home and play games and watch movies on your XBox 360.

GB

May 22nd, 2012
11:51 am

Interesting how greed will drive behavior of your customers… I love all this technology but not at $500+ a month for Cell, TV, Internet and Phone. I am getting overly sick of the greed with Comcast and Verizon (battling in our area). I plan to give up and go to basic on TV Cable and go with basic triple play for the house. As soon as my two children are finished with college (3 years) they will come off my cell phone plan and my wife and I will switch to one of the second tier Phone Companies for 50-75 per month…. The heck with the big players!

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