Verizon shakes up wireless pricing
The 'phone company' era ends as the carrier ditches its voice plans in favor of a new sharing model that encourages subscribers to hook up tablets, laptops and more.
The age of "phone companies" is officially over.
The wireless arm of Verizon (VZ) has long understood the mobile revolution. And as a result, it is dropping nearly all of its voice plans and shifting to data-focused subscriptions that allow multiple devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets.
It's a wise move for the nation's largest cellphone company -- if you can even call Verizon that anymore -- and a change that competitor AT&T (T) likely will replicate very soon.
Here are the details on the Verizon changes, which take effect June 28:
Pricing schemes focus on data usage and allow consumers to share bandwidth across up to 10 gadgets. Dubbed Share Everything, the plans will include unlimited phone calls and texting and start at $90 per month for just one smartphone and 1 gigabyte of data, with additional charges for devices and usage as consumers do more with their electronics.
Verizon is billing the Share Everything prices as a boon to consumers who don’t use a lot of data, as they are cheaper than current plans with unlimited calling and texting.
However, those of you who still use an old phone primarily for voice will see some sticker shock if you opt into this plan.
A very basic $40-per-month plan will remain in place for users of "dumb" phones who don’t consume any data. But other than that, it’s the $90 data plan and up.
Obviously, the new pricing is a huge plus to folks with multiple devices, since the fees for getting separate data plans for every tablet or laptop can really add up.
AT&T has already said it's looking at introducing shared-data plans soon. Just a few days ago, it called data-only plans inevitable, so while Verizon seems to have beat AT&T to the punch, you can expect its top rival to follow suit.
This is a huge change for the major telecom companies, and it closely follows a move in the past year to end unlimited data plans as superusers of mobile devices have clogged up networks.
So what does this mean for consumers? The good news is folks with a lot of personal electronics are going to get a break -- both in the logistics of billing, with a shared account for all their gadgets, and on pricing. For instance, Verizon will stop charging extra to allow you to use your smartphone as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
And just paying for the data instead of footing a fee for access to Verizon networks might finally encourage folks to get their Kindle Fire or iPad hooked up anywhere instead of relying only on Wi-Fi. That ultimately could place much more stress on Verizon's network, so capacity is key if demand does rise sharply.
But more importantly, this move is a signal that the old era of phones as we know it is officially over. These days, mobile devices can do so much more than just allow you to talk to someone, so Verizon is smart to evolve with the electronics industry and focus on data first.
It's amazing to think that 15 years ago less than 5% of people in the world had a cell phone. Now mobile conversations have become all but an afterthought.
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These guys owe me over $4,000. in unused minutes, plus junk fees they couldn't explain, after years of use with them. Even when they had a 9.95 program and phone card option, they refused to tell me when I asked them on three different occasions. I discovered their true greediness through a friend at 'ClearWire'... a longer story, but I dumped these guys immediately. Now have a TracPhone ... double minuites ... love it !! Thanks for your post. ~ Disillusioned
Well, I've only been happy with Verizon. I started with them many years ago and one of my main concerns with any company is accessibility and professional help with tech support and any kind of issues. the tech support at Verizon is phenomenal. Day or night-very helpful and the customer service always gives me results also. Also our local Verizon store is extremely helpful also. Before Verizon I was with AT&T and that was not pleasant -many mistakes on my bills.
When i was first with Verizon many many years ago, they mistakenly charged me for 2 internet services. It did take a few months, but the results were that i was not only credited but given extra credits for my trouble. My main concerns are the tech support-and they have helped me immensely many times setting up phones and wireless, helping me with my smart phone, etc.
Well , seeing that my home internet is packaged with my cable and im mostly home using wifi , this will help me and my wife bill drastically , we both have data plans for our iphones so sharing one complete plan is gonna save us money . The 1 gig isnt a concern because we dont use 3G much , we use our wifi at home . Away from home we barely use our internet
Even if I am grandfathered, I will be switching to a carrier without these plans when my contract is up. This is the final straw for me with these greedy a$$holes
I hIave a jocular but sad story to tell about C&P, Bell Atlantic and Verizon. Some yearss back I was seperated, paying over $1,300 a month in child support and was receiving bills from Verizon cell--at least that is the company I mailed the check to for more than I could afford. I called their Customer Service-or should it be Customer Disservice? and told them I wanted to cancel my usage of their cell phone. I spent 30 minutes listening to some young woman trying to get me to change my mind. I finally convinced her to put her supervisor on the phone. The supervisor said the same thing and we argued for another 15-20 minutes. She wanted me to try and get someone in my family to take over the account and only after I told her I was born in an orphanage and had no family as far as I knew did she relent. I was lying but it worked.
Try it should you have trouble with disposing of your Verizon contract.
Verizon staff will codename this new plan the "Grab Your Ankles" plan...
Verizon is out to rip off as many people as they can. There's a similar article today on MacWorld that has a link to a Verizon plan calculator. Go there and try it out.
I did and if I switched to their plan, the same service I get now will cost a minimum of $30 more a month. If my wife and I both have smartphones, it's $50 more, plus taxes. Personally, I think anyone who pays $200 or more for their phone service is a moron, but I guess there's a lot of them, otherwise Verizon wouldn't be in business.
Don't believe a word of this con-artist of an author. He knows it's is a rip-off too, but is avoiding telling you all the truth.
BTW, every one of these devices is totally dependent on rare earth elements to function. These elements are currently in short supply and unless new sources are found within the next few years, this will all begin to collapse. This is fact. Check it out for yourself if you like. I know many of you have bought into the fallacy we can go on forever with our earths resources. You're all in for a very big shock and it will slap you in the face sooner rather than later. It's expected to happen before the end of this decade.
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