If ‘Share Everything’ Is The Future Of Mobile Plans, Then Count Me Out

Terry currently has a Nexus 4G from Verizon which is less than a year old. But he’s already looking to the future of mobile plans, and for longtime Verizon customers like him, that means a choice. He can pay full retail price for his next phone, or surrender his beloved unlimited data plan and switch to one of Verizon’s new “share everything” plans. He doesn’t like either option, and will have to leave Verizon.

I’m writing you today to express my outrage over Verizon’s recent
implementation of “Share Everything” plans, and their incredible
impact on my wallet.

I’ve been a Verizon Customer for nearly a decade, and have always
been on the cutting-edge of wireless data technology—I recall the
era of paying by-the-minute for 120kbs “1xRTT” service with my
Sierra Wireless modem. Flash-forward to 2012.

I managed to upgrade phones in December, 2011 to the Samsung Galaxy
Nexus, a “4G” device, and remain on my grandfathered unlimited
data plan. I purchased my Nexus for well below retail price from
Amazon, a dealer for Verizon, with subsidized pricing and a new 2-year
contract extension.

I am not an abuser of Verizon’s data network, and consistently use
2-4 gigabytes of data monthly, and am on the lowest 450-minute bundle,
with no text messaging plan (I use Google Voice for my text messages,
which uses the data network). I pay $40 for my voice minutes, and $30
for unlimited data, plus taxes and fees—let’s just call it $70 per
month.

According to Verizon’s website, if I am to receive the same
subsidized 2-year contract pricing I, and most every customer, have
come to expect since the dawn of wireless contracts, I will have to
forfeit my unlimited data plan and choose a “Share Everything”
plan. The problem lies therein—under no scenario do I benefit as a
customer from this new change, and under every possible scenario short
of clinging to my Nexus smartphone forever, I will be forced to pay
more—a lot more.

Let’s say I decide to purchase a handset at retail price so as to
keep my unlimited data and 450-minute plan. BAM—the price of new
high-end smartphones is $500-700, a price I’ve never had to pay
before. That’s a large pill many are unable to swallow—

Enter the new contract:

What if, on the other hand, I decide to receive the subsidized
pricing, and accept a “Share Everything” plan for me by my
lonesome with a comfortable and certainly un-abusable 4Gb of data like
Verizon is wanting so desperately for me to do? BAM—my monthly
service increases 57% overnight, nearly $1000 over the two-year term,
from $70, to $110 per month, plus tax. While I would be receiving the
added “benefits” of unlimited voice and text messages, these are
features I neither asked for nor wanted, and there’s no way around
it.

After speaking with several Verizon representatives over the phone, I
was told outright that those were my two options. And they didn’t
just agree, but one “[S]” actually came to the conclusion aloud
that “…the plans don’t appear to benefit you, in this case, but
rather customers who, as a growing trend we’ve seen, are adding more
devices and family members to their account. It may save them money,
but it will cost you more money as an individual with only one line of
service.”

I’ve no inclination, nor have I ever, to add a tablet (a novelty
toy) or Wi-Fi “Hotspot” (a feature most any Android smartphone can
handle on its own) to my plan at an even higher cost than the already
exorbitant $110 plus tax for one person, one line.

So my question is this: if “Share Everything” plans are the future
for wireless, why don’t I see myself in it?

Well, there’s always Sprint. Offering a precious spot on that “family” plan to a trusted friend or family member could increase Terry’s total data allowance, but still wouldn’t bring things back up to all-you-can-download levels. Plus, who knows what we’ll be downloading from the mobile internets in 2013?

Comments

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  1. Nobby says:

    A lot of folks won’t buy it because to them, “Share Everything” sounds too much like a gubmint program. They’ll be blaming the president for dropped calls.

    • Chmeeee says:

      What?

    • vizsladog says:

      I think the purpose of this plan was to get family memebers using multiple carriers to consodate using Verizon.

      By porting my wife and daughter’s T-Mobile plans and my son’s AT&T plan over to the Verizon “Share Everything” plan I am going to save nearly $170.00 per month. As far as I’m concerned, it is a great way to get people to switch from other carriers to Verizon.

      Now give me a cookie!

      • rdaex says:

        But you can say that same thing for any family. If you were switching to Tmobile, or Sprint, or ATT… youd save a buttload over a bunch of individual plans. My theory is, you could have saved MORE by being on a different carrier.

      • Lisse24 says:

        Which is great for you – but the point of this article is that this guy, like a growing number of people, is single.

        And it seems like forcing everyone – whether or not they have a family to share with – onto family sharing plans is saving you money by soaking single people.

      • drtrmiller says:

        If you’re using basic feature phones that require little in the area of data usage, then such a switch to getting unlimited talk and text for $30/mo per line, plus $10 for 300 Mb of data would be fantastic.

        The point of the OP was that single-line smartphone users that use their phones at all for what they were originally purposed–data–are out left in the cold.

        I want you to have your cookie, but I’d also some be left on the plate for the rest of us.

  2. Rogersda76 says:

    This is the reason I will probably be dropping my iPhone and getting a pay-as-you-go plan from someone else. I have an iPad and find myself not using the iPhone.

    • Kabusted says:

      85% of people using iPhones, though paying for it, don’t even use their mobile data AT ALL!!

      • Rogersda76 says:

        That would be my wife..

        Still not sure why she wanted an iPhone. It’s great, and it works, but not worth it for her. The only thing I find useful is to follow her during her commute home using the Find iPhone app. She drives 45 miles, and daughter likes to know how far mom is from home. And yes – mom knows we are tracking her every movement!

      • nishioka says:

        78% of statistics are made up ON THE SPOT!!

        • The Colonel says:

          But even 83% of those are accurate within 55%.

        • drtrmiller says:

          Exactly. You can’t say that the greater majority of iPhone users have never pulled up a web page on their phones.

          With old feature phones, you try opening the web browser and instantly your alerted to the fact that you’re probably going to be charged money for getting a lot of nothing.

          There’s no evidence to support that the over 50% of cell users in the U.S. that now have smartphones, of which the iPhone is one of the larger contenders, don’t use data “AT ALL.”

  3. Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

    I can’t wait until the day when I’m not dependent on being connected wirelessly at all times. I’m only depend on being connected all the time because of my job. :-/

    • SabreDC says:

      It’s nice. I don’t have a cell phone and somehow, I am still able to live my life. The world won’t end if I don’t respond to an email or accept an incoming phone call instantly.

      Hopefully you can be disconnected some day soon. It’s wonderful.

      • Nobby says:

        Next you’ll tell us you don’t use Facebook, right?

        • Costner says:

          Usually the people who don’t use facebook are the most vocal about the fact they don’t use facebook.

        • SabreDC says:

          Unfortunately, that is not the case. I use Facebook to keep in touch with family, which sadly means I have a Newsfeed filled with pictures of babies, descriptions of illnesses/bodily functions, and stupid secular and non-secular memes.

  4. incident_man says:

    There’s three big problems with recommending Sprint to soon-to-be former Verizon customers:

    1. The coverage with Sprint is nowhere close to what Verizon offers.
    2. The data speeds are way slower than Verizon (or anyone else for that matter), and
    3. Sprint only offers “unlimited” data while using their towers. Sprint customers have a 300 MB roaming data cap.

    I’d suggest Straight Talk to the OP before I’d suggest Sprint, If the OP could deal with ST’s lack of high-end phone choices.

    • theblackdog says:

      That’s a big problem for us in DC. When Verizon Wireless was created, they got the company that originally built the cell repeaters for the DC Metro subways, and they’ve had an exclusive contract with them for years. There was a new repeater system being built that would support Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile, but that seems to have stalled, so if you’re a Sprint customer, you’re likely roaming on Verizon every time you’re riding underground on the DC Metro.

      I really wanted to tell Verizon to pound sand and switch to Sprint, but your reasons above, and this one is the reason why I did a last-minute upgrade on my smartphone, and I will use my unlimited data plan like crazy to make them hate me.

      • jvanbrecht says:

        Currently all of the stations are setup for all of the carriers, Verizon still is the only provider within the tunnels outside of the station areas. No idea when that will be resolved.

      • incident_man says:

        What’s worse is all the newer Sprint phones (approx 2010 and later) will not change over to roaming unless the user is way outside the range of a Sprint tower. You can have zero bars and not be able to actually use your phone, and as long as the Sprint tower can “see” your phone, the phone won’t switch to roaming.

        Android users can root their phones and buy a roaming control app which would force the phone into roaming, but I can’t imagine a whole lot of people would want to have to go through the trouble.

    • dks64 says:

      I live in Southern California and Sprint is a joke to many people here. The coverage sucks, I couldn’t get service 80% of the time when I had it. The data was soooo slow too (it wasn’t my phone, my friend with a new smart phone had the same problem). It’s crap here. Verizon has the best coverage overall, I’ve had 2 dropped calls in the 9 months I’ve been back with Verizon. 2. I had 2 a day with Sprint.

    • HSVhockey says:

      I agree Sprint is garbage. The only reason I have them is I have a very good friend who is a VP at Sprint and they have a ridiculously cheap plan for friends and family. So cheap that I’ve been able to deal with the terrible service (though it doesn’t hurt that my company phone is on Verizon and I can use it as a backup). The roaming data cap of 300mb is not really a cap, but if you continually go over it Sprint will cancel your service. Also I’m told that it only roams on 1x not 3g (though there is a hack to get around this). Some people see that as a good way to get out of the contract without an etf.

      • incident_man says:

        Their SERO and Advantage Club accounts aren’t worth the SLOW data speeds, lack of coverage and lack of customer support. Those 3 reasons are why I ditched my SERO plan, even though it would cost me more.

    • kethryvis says:

      For the record, i’m on Sprint and downloaded a speed test app out of curiosity, because my speeds are so ridiculously slow. On 3G, i get 0.12mbps down, and around 0.06 up. Notice those decimal points, those are NOT typos. On 4G i get 7.8 mbps down and 1.3 up… but my wifi is still better (6mbps up and down on the phone). i don’t live in the middle of nowhere… i live in the middle of Silicon Valley.

      Just as soon as i’m able, i’m jumping Sprint and running… somewhere else. Obviously not Verizon; as a single person, apparently Verizon doesn’t want my money. But someone with decent data and iPhones, because i’ve also had it with Android.

      • HSVhockey says:

        That (3g) is about what I get speed wise on my iphone 4s. I don’t live in a major metropolis, but Huntsville isn’t all that small.

      • incident_man says:

        2 Questions:

        1. Do you travel outside of Silicon Valley, or any other major cities much?
        2. Have you ever thought about buying a Windows Phone?

        If you can answer “yes” to number 1, then T-Mobile might work for you. They don’t have iPhones, but they do have Windows Phones. The current crop of Windows Phones is NOTHING like Windows Mobile (6.5 and earlier used to be); it’s way way better. I’m a recent convert from Android to Windows Phone 7 and am very happy with my decision.

        Granted there aren’t as many apps available for Windows Phone 7; about 75,000 compared to 500,000+ for Android, but I’ve found, on average, the apps for WP7 are better quality. The phone itself is much more intuitive, easier to use, and much less glitchy than a typical Android device. I’ve had my WP7 for 8 months and haven’t had a single glitch, problem, or freeze-up episode. My wife, on the other hand, uses a Nexus S 4G and has to pull the battery and/or reset the phone fairly often. She’s seriously contemplating a WP7 device as replacement for her Nexus because she ends up using mine quite a bit when hers acts up and she likes the way it works.

        • incident_man says:

          sorry the first line after my question should read, “If you can answer “no,” to question 1….”

          /hating that we still have no “edit” button.

  5. apple420 says:

    I think there is some confusion. He won’t be forced to a share everything plan if he upgrades with a subsidy, he will just have to switch to a limited plan (2 GB for $30). I think the representatives she spoke with are mistaken.

    • drtrmiller says:

      If you go to the Verizon website, the only plans available to new customers appear to be Pre-Paid and “Share Everything.” While it may be possible for current customers to modify their current plan based on the old plan options, these seem set to sunset just like the unlimited data.

      Think of what could happen in two years as quickly as these changes are rolling out.

      Who would have guessed two years ago that VZW would force even current customers out of unlimited data by forfeiture of their subsidized pricing. They know and are capitalizing on the fact that most customers can’t afford retail pricing for smartphones.

      • alseen says:

        You may have to call in to get the Family plan now. Their responses in the forums all say that you can keep the Family plans, you just will be moved to the 2gig instead of unlimited data.

  6. alseen says:

    You aren’t forced to the Share Everything. You are just forced off the unlimited data. You can still do their standard plan.

    Yes, I have verified this with Verizon.

    • BradC says:

      Not sure what site you’re looking at but there are no standard plans there anymore. They might let you keep a standard plan for a while, but it’ll end up as another grandfathered item they want to force people away from.

      • alseen says:

        I actually called in and asked. I explicitly asked if new users would be able to do the old style Family plans and the tiered data and they said yes.

        I would guess you just won’t be able to do it through their website. They want to get as many people as possible on the Shared plan.

      • drtrmiller says:

        Exactly.

        And what’s to say that after people’s two-year grandfathered unlimited data contracts are up that Verizon won’t change the person’s plan unilaterally–retail price handset or not?

        After all, the only reason they are allowing grandfathered unlimited data plans to hang on even now is that same legal agreement.

  7. scoutermac says:

    Verizon publicly stated that this change was to increase revenues.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      And, of course, to increase the multi-million dollar bonuses that go to the top executives. They need the extra revenue for bonuses, not to improve service or coverage.

  8. TuxMan says:

    The problem lies therein—under no scenario do I benefit as a
    customer from this new change.

    Do you really think they don’t know this? Did I miss the part that you are a stock holder?

    or are you just a bitchy consumer? If you don’t like, don’t buy.

    • drtrmiller says:

      I disagree. Companies should reward loyalty, not punish it. A decade in and this is what I get?

      Anyone can get a new customer. But to keep a customer, you don’t implement changes like this.

      • carlogesualdo says:

        Is there an echo in here? Amen! I am in exactly the same boat. My bill is going to rise considerably when I get forced into the new share-everything plan. I am very displeased and planning to jump ship when I can.

      • smo0 says:

        Tell me about it.
        This September is my 10 year anniversary with T-Mobile… and all of the perks I used to have, like discounted phones and plans – were all taken away.
        I even called them up to cancel and they said they’d put me on a cheaper plan (by like 40 bux) but I don’t have unlimited data anymore (not that I use much at all) and I don’t get discounted phones. Now, I didn’t especially care about that last one because if you look at the site, new users get a new, $600 smart phone for like 200 bux. I used to get that, now, I get that same phone, for about 450 bux. That’s not much of a discount, so I gave up the option all together. I saved money, but even before that – I felt punished as a loyal customer.

        • drtrmiller says:

          I would write a letter to T-Mobile’s Customer Relations team in New Mexico.

          Articulately state your case, certify your loyalty, and make your demands. You should receive a positive reply in 2-3 months.

          T-Mobile Customer Relations
          P.O. Box 37380
          Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380

  9. Warren - the Original Chocolate Cake with Eyes! says:

    I went to Verizon’s website yesterday. Even if I bought a phone outright, there’s a $30 a month line access fee or some bullshit, on top of whatever plan I choose. So for $10 a month, plus the $30, I could get 700 minutes and no texting (texts are $0.20 each or $0.25 each for a picture text). Data is like $1.75 a MB!!! So, $40 a month for 700 minutes and no text messages included. WTF?

    T-Mobile has a plan with 1500 minutes or text messages for $30 a month and it includes 30MB of data. How the hell is Verizon still in business?

  10. josephbloseph says:

    Last weekend I renewed my tmobile myfaves 300 minute account, and my unlimited android plan so I could get a subsidized galaxy S III. I have no texting plan, as I also use google voice, and while I may occasionally make phone calls, I do have free nights and weekends, as well as the whole “myfaves” 5 numbers I can make unlimited calls to. News like this sometimes makes my glad my parent’s house was a verizon dead zone. (literally just the house; you could go out to the mailbox and make calls just fine.)

    • Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

      I remember making my Google Voice number part of my My Faves when I had T-Mobile years ago….. Unlimited calls! I wonder if they’ve caught on to that yet…..

    • jvanbrecht says:

      Add your google voice number to your fav 5 and you can make calls for free.. unless they fixed that loophole..

  11. Scooter McGee says:

    Simple – Google is selling the Galaxy Nexus for $349.99, unlocked to work on any GSM network. All you need is a monthly SIM and you’re set. Probably for less than you’re paying Verizon now. That is, of course, assuming the GSM networks have a decent signal where you live.

  12. who? says:

    The companies will create plans that they think will make them the most money. It’s a balance between picking prices that are high enough that the company makes money, and low enough that enought people will buy the product. People will analyze the plans, and vote with their wallet for what they think will be the best combination of cost and service for their particular situation.

    The last time I renewed (a year ago?) I was prepared to leave Verizon, but I found that when I looked at my particular situation, Verizon was still the best. However, if Verizon sticks this out and forces everyone onto this type of plan, I’ll be leaving Verizon also when my contract is up.

  13. highfructosepornsyrup says:

    I wish I could get unlimited data for 30 bucks.

  14. BigDragon says:

    $70 a month? $110 a month? This is the reason I have a dumbphone. Smartphone prices and service contracts are astronomical. I pay about $15 a month for my old dumbphone. Verizon absolutely hates me. It’s 7 years old, but the battery still lasts for a week and call quality is perfectly fine. Can I afford a smartphone and it’s ridiculously expensive contract? Absolutely, but I won’t pay the prices carriers are demanding. Terry might want to start looking at Republic Wireless, Boost, or Virgin. There’s no point in continuing to feed Verizon’s insatiable appetite for profit.

  15. Tegan says:

    So he considers being on the “cutting edge” of wireless technology a priority, but he wants to switch to Sprint with Wimax. I know they’re planning on rolling out LTE, but who knows when coverage for that will actually reach a reasonable amount of penetration? Not to mention their coverage is horrendous compared to Verizon. And if he wants the fanciest phones at subsidized prices, it’s going to be either Sprint or AT&T. BAM, think about that one.

    I understand he’s irritated, I am too, but I’m pretty sure I’ll stick with Verizon. I don’t much care for the alternatives, and Verizon’s always treated me well. I haven’t decided what I’ll do once my upgrade is up. I would be paying more under the new plans as well, and I don’t exactly relish the idea of paying for a new phone outright to keep my old plan. My fiance and I will probably combine plans at some point, that may help, and on top of that we both get a 20% discount through work so we probably wouldn’t be too bad off, but we’ll see.

    • hawkeye101 says:

      Yeah, about that 20% employee discount. It now only applies if you are under a current contract. “If you are activating a Data-Only Plan or if you’re on a month-to-month term, you are not eligible for monthly access fee discounts.” I just lost my 20% discount and I haven’t done anything.

  16. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I bought a lowly Tracfone LG800g with 1500 minutes & triple minutes for life. No monthly fees, and the cost is what I make it. 3 texts = 1 airtime minute, and 2 minutes on the internet = 1 airtime minute. Calls, of course are 1 minute = 1 minute. The phone does what I need it to do – it makes and receives calls and texts, and allows me to look up info on the internet if I’m away from the house and need immediate info for some reason. I can even play games on it to amuse myself if I’m bored.

    I don’t need to be in touch 24/7, in fact it doesn’t work in my house very well, but neither did my Verizon phone.

    I feel for the OP, but in my mind it comes down to this: do you really need a data plan so you can be in touch all the time, or is it just a habit or compulsion to check your email or Facebook status every minute? Maybe the OP could evaluate the situation a little further, and go with a cheaper plan with another carrier.

    • little stripes says:

      What if his job requires he be connected all the time? Maybe he WANTS to be connected all the time? Maybe your life is not like everyone else’s life…?

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        That’s why I think he should evaluate his options. Maybe he does want to be connected all the time, so look for other options that don’t cost so much with another company. And if his job requires it, they probably are paying for the plan or subsidizing it in some way.

        I think sometimes people get addicted, although maybe that’s too strong, or so used to being able to be connected to every little detail they think they can’t live without it.

  17. PunditGuy says:

    Sprint Wimax is typically only in the 3-5 Mbps range here in Minneapolis, but it’s so damn convenient to be able to use as much of it as I want. I’m typically in the 4-7 GB range per month, and that’s mostly without tethering (which, with a rooted Nexus S, isn’t an issue for the few long car trips where the wife would rather surf on her Nook Color).

  18. whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

    Verizon has *repeatedly* stepped in it by downgrading data tiers and increasing per-byte prices without ever extending an olive branch to light users. Consumer annoyance over the share-everything tiers is compounded by the way they mishandled limited data. They simply reduced the utility of the existing price point. If they had just offered something a $15-for-1Gb tier a year ago, some people would have willingly taken the lower tier to save money, and fewer people would be angry with them.

    I also think they need to acknowledge the number of light-to-moderate users who have been alienated by these bungles. It’s one thing to say they’re better off without the heaviest users. But they’re losing light users, purely because of bad PR and pricing decisions.

    (And yeah, I upgraded two weeks ago to avoid all this tomfoolery. I’m angry with Verizon, but the fact remains that they focused on their network when everyone else was running around establishing brand identities that they aren’t even using anymore.)

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      “Something _like_ a $15-for-1Gb tier” Consumerist comments system FTL.

    • drtrmiller says:

      Where’s the +1 button? Your comments are spot on.

    • Totally does not work for Verizon says:

      These new plans are actually great for lite users. A family with 5 smart phones would be paying $150 just for their data with the normal 2g/$30 plan and on the new plan they can all share their data and can get off paying far less if they are the “lite” users you are referring to.

    • carlogesualdo says:

      Which is exactly what AT&T did. Everybody hated them at the time, but they sure handled it better than Verizon.

  19. necrosis says:

    I stopped reading at:

    “I am not an abuser of Verizon’s data network, and consistently use 2-4 gigabytes of data monthly,”

    Not an abuser? Really?

    • Scooter McGee says:

      2-4 gb is pretty middle of the road. Heavy users are generally those who use 10+GBs. I remember looking for forums of people trying to use as much data as they could when Verizon launched their 4G network with unlimited data. Some were over 200GBs.

      • Totally does not work for Verizon says:

        Most people I see use around 300mb per month. The most I’ve ever seen on a smartphone was 4g.

    • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

      Not seeing your point. Two to four gigabytes per month is probably above median, but it’s still moderate use.

      • necrosis says:

        I do not see how *ANYONE* (who does not tether) can use anywhere near 2-4GB a month.

        I am sorry. That much data on a non tethered phone is abuse.

        • Scooter McGee says:

          Depends on your use. I sometimes tether but still stay under 1gb most months. I could touch 2 or more if I streamed music over the data network, or If you listen to streaming music or watch a lot of videos, it will add up quickly. You can get there with other apps too, Just depends what all you do with your phone. It isn’t stated what all the OP does with his phone. Just because you can’t imagine using that much doesn’t mean nobody else does. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be data caps at 2gb, 5gb, etc.

        • drtrmiller says:

          I’m the OP and 2-4 Gb was an overestimation on my part. The most I’ve probably done is a little over 3 gigs one month, which would mean I’d need the 4 Gb plan if I switched, so as to not have to constantly monitor usage.

          The past 3 weeks, I’ve used 0.65 GB, with 0.19 of that being Google Play Store (app updates), 0.12 being the web browser, and .15 being a combination of VoIP (Skype), Internet Radio, and Remote Desktop apps.

          You must not use your phone very much, as a single Netflix movie on Android is 0.4 – 0.6 gigs.

        • drtrmiller says:

          I’m the OP and 2-4 Gb was an overestimation on my part. The most I’ve probably done is a little over 3 gigs one month, which would mean I’d need the 4 Gb plan if I switched, so as to not have to constantly monitor usage.

          The past 3 weeks, I’ve used 0.65 GB, with 0.19 of that being Google Play Store (app updates), 0.12 being the web browser, and .15 being a combination of VoIP (Skype), Internet Radio, and Remote Desktop apps.

          You must not use your phone very much, as a single Netflix movie on Android is 0.4 – 0.6 gigs.

        • whogots is "not computer knowledgeable" says:

          A picture per day, an Instructables or Youtube video once a week, maybe some This American Life while you mow the lawn, Webex into a meeting or two when you’re stuck away from the office … and bingo. Sorry, that’s use, not abuse. Especially considering that the carrier chooses to sell phones with 8MP cameras, and preloads them with all sorts of streaming apps.

          http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/datacalculatorPopup.jsp

        • Abradax says:

          Really?
          I work all day and stream Pandora.

          When I’m in the car with my family I stream Pandora through my BT receiver so my kids can listen to what they like.

          Netflix when waiting somewhere in line or something that will bore my kids to tears.

          5 gigs per month is CRAZY easy to hit if you use your phone and data plan in the method Verizon advertised you could when you bought the device.

        • who? says:

          I use 2GB pretty much every month. Being shocked at the amount, because “I do not see how *ANYONE* (who does not tether) can use anywhere near 2GB a month”, I checked into where all the bits were going.

          I listen to podcasts on the way to and from work. That uses about 1.9 GB per month. The rest is mostly the regular stuff. Email and such. Maybe the odd youtube video, if someone emails me a link, but I’m definitely *not* a heavy user.

        • rdaex says:

          I cant fathom you NOT understanding this amount of usage.
          Pandora
          Google Music/iCloud
          Email
          App downloads (infinity blade on iOS is almost a FULL GB!!)
          App UPDATES
          Fantasy Football
          Facebook
          Picture uploads/MMS
          Flipboard
          etc. etc. etc.
          If you use your phone for what its intended purpose is, 2-4 GB is the AVERAGE I would expect a user to experience

        • RayanneGraff says:

          So if I use 2-4 gigs out of the 5 that I pay for every month, I’m being abusive? I’m sorry too, because you’re a buffoon. Lemme guess, you’ve had the same no-frills flip phone since 2005 because smartphones are a waste of money and facebook is for idiots and you you don’t text because why text when you can just call someone, right?

    • scaper05 says:

      I disagree.

      Lets use an example.

      I realize that a week and a month are not the same, and this example won’t be perfect but bear with me.

      Your mom has a bag of chocolate chips (She pays the phone bill). She tells you that every week you can eat as many as you want. You eat 4 (4 gigs) that week.Your friend comes over, and eats 3 ( 3 gigs). Dad eats 2, and your mom has one after supper one night, making 10 for the week. Your friend Tim (he has his own phone, and plan) brings over a bag of chocolate chips one day, and while playing board games, he eats half of his bag. Who would you consider to be “hogging” the chocolate chips?

      Now, saying that I can only have 10 chocolate chips per week is crap, especially if I have to share them with Mom and Dad. What happens if I decide I want more one week? What if I wanted a cookie (a data intensive app like Pandora, or I downloaded a few cool new games) that week? What if I end up using 5 chocolate chips in a cookie that month? i get to eat the cookie, but is that fair to mom and dad? Is that fair to the friend that comes over that week? He can’t have a cookie.

      4 gigs is not a hog. but it does become one under a “data share” plan. It’s especially infuriating, because with 4G speeds being deployed, you would be able to make as many “cookies” as you wanted, because it’s like getting a better oven, and they cook faster. Saying that even though I can make the cookie faster, and have a whole bag of chocolate chip, I can still only use the same 10 chocolate chips per month is crap.

  20. kamelperez says:

    I think I’m part of a the group who benefit a lot from this these new plans.

    Currently I pay:
    $168 – For 2 lines, 1400minutes/unlimited texts/unlimited data. That includes my 22% discount and all taxes and fees

    In the last 6 months, my wife and I have never reached the 2GB cap. So i’d probably choose the 2GB plan

    With their new shared plans I would pay:
    $126 – For two lines, unlimited talk/text, 2GB data and tethering. This includes my discount too and all taxes and fees. I never come close to 2GB (we usually end at .8 -1.2GBs)

    That’s $42 savings per month, or $504 a year! Not bad at all. I’ll be switching right away.

    I get that those who have only 1 line, and don’t talk/text are getting a poor deal though. They really should have created a different plan for single line users.

  21. evilpete says:

    Quit crying and pay retail for your phone,

    • Chmeeee says:

      Why should you pay retail (with no subsidy) for the phone AND a monthly fee that has the subsidy built into it? Don’t tell me that you don’t think that $400 subsidy isn’t built into the $70/month plan. If I’m paying for it, then I’m going to get it.

  22. gedster314 says:

    I’m all for stopping this phone subsidy crap but if I am supplying my phone, the plan has got to be at least $400-$600 dollars cheaper over 2 years.

    This hole shared minutes thing is just a white washed raping of the customers. I find it hard to believe that 2-4 people can manage to keep data under 4GB. Especially since Apple and Google are pushing really hard to get all our media pushed from the cloud.

    You my friend need to start looking for a new carrier. Don’t let the stigma of prepaid turn you off, there are some really good plans out there.

    • drtrmiller says:

      Problem with pre-paid is that they own no towers, unlike the big boys.

      If too many people jump the post-pay bandwagon and go to mobile virtual network operators (i.e. pre-paid), then what’s to say the carriers won’t close the MVNO’s down or raise the rates so high that people are forced back into the original carrier’s arms?

      • Willow16 says:

        It won’t really matter because you would have saved money for the time you were on prepaid

      • Willow16 says:

        meant to say – since you’re not on a contract, you could move to another provider at any time.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      That’s what concerns me most about the dearth of the unlimited data plan. It’s getting pretty obvious that a major aspect of the future of mobile entertainment is data-intensive services like cloud storage, streaming media, and downloadable content, so it makes no sense to place such stingy limitations on the amount of data customers are allowed to consume. Between podcasts, youtube, netflix, and internet radio, it’s easy to breeze through 2gb in a matter of DAYS. Non-smartphones are becoming scarcer & scarcer too, so the argument of “Just don’t get a smartphone then” doesn’t really wash anymore. The carriers are the ones pushing these data-intensive phones to begin with, they can’t possibly expect people to buy what basically amounts to a mobile computer just to use it for calls, texts, and a few emails a day. I cant help but think that there’s a correlation between widespread smartphone use & the introduction of limited data plans. I can’t think of any reason why they’d start limiting data & pushing unlimited talk/text for devices whose main feature is data unless it’s some sort of underhanded effort to bilk customers out of even more money via overage fees.

  23. and_another_thing says:

    Virgin Mobile has just started selling the iPhone for USA customers. Basic service with all-you-can-eat data (with throttling after 2.5GB) is $35/month.

  24. dush says:

    I don’t understand why service prices aren’t lower for people who don’t get their device subsidized. It seems like there is something illegal going on with that pricing model.

    • drtrmiller says:

      Precise revenue projections mean everything to the wireless industry.

      Remember when Verizon started assessing a fee for anyone not enrolled in auto-pay?

      With a 2-year customer agreement, wireless companies are able to forecast, with increasing accuracy, how much hard revenue dollars are going to be coming in over the next 8 quarters or more.

      Love of money.

      • dush says:

        Yeah, commit to 2 years, get a discount. I get that’s what they are trying to do. But that should cover the cost of the service only. The calculation on the cost of the device should be separate.

  25. az123 says:

    OP here is on crack, I just upgrade my phone this morning, if you already have a plan the only thing you need to do is change from the unlimited data plan to a fixed limit plan. To keep my service at the same cost as the current you have to go to the 2GB plan, so that may add a bit more cost to the OP but you do not need the plan he is claiming….

    • drtrmiller says:

      We’ll see how long you like going from all-you-can-eat to barely enough.

      The part you mentioned was omitted from the article, but at the same time, is advertised nowhere on the Verizon site any longer. Plans without unlimited voice and text are being phased out as well, albeit more slowly.

      If you can find a Verizon page that advertises the plan you mention to new customers, post it here.

      • Totally does not work for Verizon says:

        New customers have to choose the Share Everything plans, the Nationwide 65+ or the Nationwide plus Mexico or Canada plans.

  26. mmoschella says:

    OP has it all wrong. He is the one who agreed to a two year extension just six months ago and purchased new smartphone at that time. Now he wants out of the deal that he agreed to and is blaming Verizon? Stick with your commitment or pay up. It’s not their fault, it’s your’s.

  27. ned4spd8874 says:

    Verizon is going to be hurting in a couple years when everyone who renewed at the last minute to keep their unlimited data leaves at the end of their contract for Sprint or another carrier for better pricing with unlimited data.

    Yes, I will most likely be taking my phone (+3 others) to another carrier because I don’t like the direction big red is heading.

  28. AntiNeutral says:

    VERIZON, like most of the biggest boys on the block, are dictating to customers; not trying to keep or get more. Walk into any of them: AT & T, VZW, any. They seem to be doing you a favor to speak with you, get frustrated when you don’t understand the changes to their plans and they really don’t care if you don’t like something. If you leave, it will cost you and if you stay they make money. LACK OF COMPETITION in wireless is killing the best interests of consumers. When VZW “rearranged” their tower configuration/locations in my SoCal neighborhood, we couldn’t get service inside our own home. They suggested I leave for another company unless I could live with it. There’s your sign.

  29. Patriot says:

    Simple. Don’t get a bleeding edge phone. Get a used one for the same price as a contract phone.

  30. Chiclet says:

    Doesn’t it seem a little early for the OP to worry about switching providers. With the current upgrade schedule, he’s got over a year before he’d be eligible for an upgrade. Who knows what Verizon’s pricing structure will be then? Who knows what their competitors will do in terms of pricing or network coverage?

  31. kaleberg says:

    According to the Apple Store, you can’t use an unlocked iPhone with Verizon, at least not one purchased from Apple.

  32. sebastian tombs says:

    This will cause alot of single device customers like myself to abandon Verizon – I am already looking at other providers – Eventually I think American carriers will follow the rest of the world with un-subsidized phones. I guess I will have to buy an new unlocked Iphone 5 off of ebay. Hopefully it will be cheaper then buying it from Apple or any other carrier. The good thing about the iphone is that it has a high resale value so you won’t lose all your money. Verizon is out to screw all their current single device customers because if you switch to the new plan single device customers will be paying alot more then they do now.

    • DonnaAlaska says:

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  33. sebastian tombs says:

    Straight Talk from Walmart has a $45 unlimited everything plan – they even sell a mico sim for the iphone but their service uses gsm sim cards so you will need a unlocked gsm capable phone – I also heard in some forums that their sim will work on locked iphones but verify that first – i heard they used verizon’s network in the past but am not sure anymore.

    • drtrmiller says:

      Straight Talk has both an extremely limited selection of data-ready hardware, and also a diminutive 20% or so coverage in the U.S. (basically metro areas and interstates) for Android smartphones.

      This entirely misses the point of the OP, which was that VZW now only offers two choices for new customers on their website’s “Plans” page: the exorbitant “Share Everything,” or the crippled pre-paid.

      There is no longer consumer choice within this one company, where previously, customers had 27 possible plan combinations (3 voice, 3 text, 3 data), customers now choose only which devices are on the plan, and how much data all devices on the account share.

      What’s worse, is that Verizon is charging a 300% over-charge on data overages, where the price difference between 2 GB and 4 GB is only $5 per GB. BUT, if you are on the 2 GB plan and go over by even one byte, you are assessed a $15 penalty.

      A much simpler and less controversial implementation would be a linear scale where customers are given, say, 1 GB for $20 per month, and then assessed a $5.00 for each additional gig used in that time period, rather than a use it or lose it model.

      If I go over by a single minute on an old-style voice plan, it’s $0.25 or $0.45, not $15.00. Who wants to be constantly worried about their data usage or else be faced with a $15.00 penalty for simply downloading one-too-many emails?

  34. steveliv says:

    I think i read that google will be selling unlocked phones directly from the play store. If they can get a verizon certified nexus phone, then you can buy it straight from google. I mean right now, you can purchase an unlocked galaxy nexus, gsm version, for $349 that can be activated at t-mobile or at&t. that isn’t too bad compared to the off contract price you would pay at any wireless provider.

    • steveliv says:

      that first sentence kind of didn’t make any sense, i meant to say that they will focus on developing the phones and selling them in the play store rather than getting involved with the carriers.

  35. oldthor says:

    My whole family will be leaving Verizon as soon as our contract is up. Enough is enough!!! Verizon has nickled and dimed us for years! These new so called shared plans are just highway robbery! As a private business they can charge whatever they want but I can also go elsewhere and that’s exactly what I plan on doing as soon as possible. In the long run this is the best thing Verizon could have done for me. I always thought their value was way over the top and this final money grab has been enough for me to finally say enough is enough! They’ll lose a lot of customers, but I expect they’ll make it up by just gouging those who are left. Same or more profits with less bandwidth to service. For me and my family we’ll save a bundle by just going back to pay as you go since for us it’s just a phone! Thanks Verizon you knuckleheads!

  36. RayanneGraff says:

    Was the condescending jab at tablets really necessary, dude? I have a tablet & it’s hardly a “novelty toy”. Its very useful for reading & watching movies, and I’ve used it for work purposes plenty of times.

  37. wkm001 says:

    Here is my take on all this. For $55 I get unlimited talk and text, along with 2GB of 3G data from Page Plus Cellular. At $55 both Verizon and Page Plus are still making money.

    If you buy directly from Verizon you pay $90 a month. Verizon Wireless is making money hand over fist. Same thing with AT&T and StraightTalk except that is $45 a month.