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Cellphones Handhelds Wireless Networking

Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans 207

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-the-wireless-tubes-are-infinite dept.
loafula writes "Looks like Verizon is going the way of AT&T by not offering new unlimited data plans and switching to a tiered-only plan within six months. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said the new plans would be different from what AT&T offers, but didn't provide further details. 'We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data.' Everybody take a good look at your contracts; this will be a nice opportunity to jump ship without the hefty fee."
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Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans

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  • Re:Bait and switch (Score:5, Informative)

    by clang_jangle (975789) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:23PM (#33691570) Journal
    Verizon doesn't have an "unlimited" (as in uncapped) data plan, at least not here in GA. You get to chose 250MB/month (!!!) or 5GB/month. I believe they do use the word "unlimited", but it's a lie -- the caps have been in place for at least the 30 months I've been with them.
  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:36PM (#33691730)

    People keep clamoring for a Verizon iPhone, but Verizon is the last company you would want to see get its hands on something like that.

    Verizon has good coverage, but their customer service is, by all accounts, absolutely atrocious. And now it has gotten to the point where a CSR can get in trouble for helping you save money:

    link [nytimes.com]

    "Effective this past month, all CSRs [customer-service reps} were versed on the usage of blocks. A new policy has gone into effect regarding how to handle Escalated Calls regarding data charges. Now, a representative can be reprimanded and even terminated for proactively offering to block any of the following:

    Web Access Blocks
    Data Blocks
    Premium SMS blocking
    Application download blocking
    Vcast Music or Vcast Video download blocks

    "Essentially, we are to upsell customers on the $9.99 25mb/month or $29.99 unlimited packages for customers. Customers are not to be credited for charges unless they ask for the credit. And in cases such as data or premium SMS, where the occurrences may have gone months without the consumer noticing, only an initial credit can be issued."

    Verizon has also shown time and time again that it will lock down phones to an extreme degree. If you think AT&T's reluctance to allow tethering is a problem, wait until Verizon gets to dictate terms.

    The company nickels-and-dimes its customers to a degree that is shameful even by U.S. cell phone company standards. I have my fingers crossed for an alliance between Apple and T-Mobile. Verizon is just a terrible company.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmMENCKENail.com minus author> on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:04PM (#33692112)
    What's wrong with something simple like bill=roundup(GBUsedInMonth)*$5 or something like that?

    Nothing wrong with that, except that it would reduce the company's income. You see, having a tiered account is a beatiful system where each customer gets screwed in their own unique way! Unless you are using exactly 200MB, you will pay extra. If you use less than 200MB, then you have paid for some bandwidth and didn't use it. If you go over 200MB, then you pay exorbitant extra fees for every MB. It's perfect. If everyone actually paid a fair price for what they used, Verizon would make a lot less money (same applies to cell phone minute plans, btw).

    Also, it is fair to point out that unlike electricity, bandwidth usage does not have much of a cost - the infrastructure is everything. If the networks were completely unused, the savings in maintenance would be negigible.

  • by Buelldozer (713671) <cliff@gind u l i s . n et> on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:08PM (#33692174)

    You posted the most sensational portion of the article and the most suspect. It's an unnamed "customer service rep" whose providing that information.

    On the other hand there's the REST of the article that you chose not to post. Gee, I wonder why...

    "First, she flatly denied that a customer service rep can be fired for suggesting a data block. "We train our representatives to solve our customers' problems. If a customer calls and indicates to a representative that a data block would solve his or her problem, the representatives can and should suggest a data block, and we train them to do that."

    Well, that's good. But she went on to say: "Many customers request data blocks to prevent children from downloading applications, music, etc., that could significantly affect their bills. We have been training and encouraging the representatives to step customers through the services that will be affected by data blocks to make sure customers really want a total block, or if they would be better served by going to My Verizon (the online free account portal) and customizing their usage themselves by removing features they don't need. We haven't helped the customer if we put a data block on their phone only to have them call back because they didn't realize it would stop them from downloading a ringtone, for example."

    How you got modded to +4 based on an unsourced and unproveable rumour is beyond me.

  • by IICV (652597) on Friday September 24, 2010 @06:01PM (#33692806)

    Umm you do realize that what the Verizon lady said doesn't contradict what the rep claims to have been told, right?

    She literally said, "if the customer tells you to block it, you're allowed to suggest that they block it" - in other words, if you know that blocks exist, the rep is allowed to talk about it.

    The rep said, "We are not allowed to suggest a block" - meaning, if the customer doesn't know that such blocks exist, you're not allowed to bring it up. Her statement does not at all contradict the rep's statement, it just seems to if you're not paying attention to the words.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kiuas (1084567) on Friday September 24, 2010 @06:11PM (#33692874)

    Not to brag or anything, but damn that's expensive. Here in northern europe, the prices are roughly as follows:

    4,90 euros = 6,6 dollars for unlimted data with a maxium speed of 321 kbit/s
    9,90 euros = 13,2 dollars for unlimited data with a maxium speed of 1 Mbit/s
    14,90 euros = 20,1 dollars for unlimited data with a maxium speed of 15 Mbit/s (with HSPA)

    Now, I understand that most mobile usres don't really have the need for unlimited data if they only browse the net and read emails, but it boggles my mind how the cheapest packet for merely 200 megs is twice the price of the cheapest unlimited packet here. Wtf?

  • by Vegeta99 (219501) <.rjlynn. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday September 24, 2010 @06:32PM (#33693096)

    I have AT&T with an unlimited data plan, and when I upgraded to the iPhone 4, they specifically ASKED if I'd like to keep my unlimited data plan.

  • Re:Bait and switch (Score:2, Informative)

    by Brian Feldman (350) <green@Fre e B S D .org> on Friday September 24, 2010 @08:35PM (#33693874)

    No, this is totally incorrect. T-Mobile and Sprint in the US both provide truly unlimited data. On Sprint, for example, I used 50GB a month for a few months on the 3G network before I bought a Clear 4G subscription.

  • Re:Bait and switch (Score:2, Informative)

    by izomiac (815208) on Friday September 24, 2010 @08:42PM (#33693930) Homepage
    Verizon requires a $30/month unlimited data plan [verizonwireless.com] with (some?) smartphones. This is distinct from the 5 GB/month data plan that you can buy separately [verizonwireless.com]. I would assume that so few smartphone users exceed 5 GB that they figure it's more profitable to advertise it as unlimited. Especially since people tend to greatly overestimate their data usage. OTOH, all tethering plans are limited.

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