Are you a Verizon wireless customer who has been enjoying unlimited data on your phone? Well unfortunately those days are soon coming to an end.
Verizon’s chief financial officer gave a speech this week where he said that during the next upgrade cycle everyone who is enjoying a grandfathered unlimited data plan will be forced to move to Verizon’s new “Family Share Plan”. That means that if you upgrade to that shiny new iPhone this Fall you will be forced to change your data plan and give up that unlimited goodness.
The “Family Share Plan” is a new idea from Verizon where you will basically pay for one bucket of data per month, and that bucket of data will be split up and shared amongst all your Verizon devices. So say you have three iPhones and a new iPad of the Verizon persuasion on your bill like I do. Instead of paying a separate data fee for all of those devices per month, you’ll instead pay one price for a certain amount of data and that data will be share by all of your devices.
Sounds pretty good, except for the forcibly losing your unlimited part. I personally switched to Verizon after being an AT&T customer for 11 years simply because they still offered the unlimited data plan when AT&T had stopped offering it. Now though I will seriously have to reconsider my options and decide if I want to stay with Verizon, and their limited 3G technology, or go back to AT&T, where you are allowed to talk and surf the web at the same time.
Here is the quote from the CFO:
“LTE is our anchor point for data share. So, as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go on to the data share plan. And moving away from, if you will, the unlimited world and moving everyone into a tiered structure data share plan.”
I can sum this up in one word: UGH.
UPDATE: Verizon sent out an email today to further clarify their new plans…
– Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
– When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
– Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
– The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones
(awesome image courtesy of Gizmodo)