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
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
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
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
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?