Verizon: Unlimited Data Plans are going out of Style

by Matt Klassen on September 21, 2012

Juxtaposed to the constant stream of opinion that unlimited data plans are far superior to their newly imposed tiered brethren, Verizon Chief Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo reported yesterday that Big Red’s new multi-device ‘Share Everything’ tiered data plan is more popular than even the carrier expected, with a steady influx of customers switching to the new tiered system. Surprisingly, a large segment of these customers switching to tiered data plans are those who previously had unlimited plans, foregoing the draw of unlimited data in favour of affordable multi-device connection.

The reason, according to Shammo, is simple, customers are only now discovering just how much data they actually use, meaning that many customers still enjoying Verizon’s unlimited data plan really have no use for it, and have found that the ‘Share Everything’ plan actually meets their multi-device data needs better.

In fact, Shammo explains, unlimited data plans are going out of style, so if you want to stay on the cutting edge of mobile technology, you’ll need a cutting edge tiered data plan like Verizon’s “Share Everything.” I hope no one falls for this garbage.

In what struck me as clearly an anti-unlimited plan rally, Shammo explained that as more people realize how much data they use, the more unlimited data plans become irrelevant. “Unlimited is just a word,” said Shammo, whose speech was broadcast via the Web. “It doesn’t really mean anything….The whole unlimited thing is going by the wayside.”

So despite the fact that many customers have decried the fact that both Verizon and AT&T have scuttled their respective unlimited plans and the fact that Sprint has enjoyed a steady influx of customers looking for unlimited data, Verizon’s CFO is telling us with a straight face that unlimited data plans are meaningless and going out of style.

While I will concede the point that there are likely some people signed up for unlimited data plans who use only a minuscule amount of data, I think a simpler explanation for this shocking migration of Verizon customers from unlimited to tiered data plans is the fact that Verizon ostensibly forces them too. Having grandfathered in the elimination of its unlimited data plans, Verizon has allowed the customers already signed up for the unlimited package to keep it…with several conditions attached.

In order to preserve their unlimited plan customers forgo any access to Verizon smartphone subsidies, meaning that if you want to upgrade your phone to a sterling new iPhone 5, for instance, you either have to give up your unlimited plan and pay the $199 subsidized fee on a two-year tiered contract, or shell out the full price ($649 for the cheapest iPhone 5 model) and retain your unlimited plan.

Truly as Shammo boasts about the surprising migration to Verizon’s tiered ‘Share Everything’ plan, it almost feels like a slap in the face to customers, as Verizon has many customers over a barrel. If customers want to utilize LTE access on a new iPhone 5 they basically have no choice but to sign up for Verizon’s ‘Share Everything’ plan, as those carriers who still offer unlimited (Sprint for instance) have yet to establish widespread LTE network infrastructure. So enough with the dog-and-pony show Verizon, quit acting like you’re doing customers a favour by forcing them out of unlimited plans, we all see through your propaganda.

In the end, if you’re one of the lucky few to still be holding a Verizon unlimited plan I’m not saying that the new tiered ‘Share Everything’ plan won’t serve your needs better, all I’m saying is don’t swallow Verizon’s tripe, figure it out for yourself, because once that unlimited is plan is gone you’ll never get it back.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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