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Cellphones Handhelds Wireless Networking

Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans 207

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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  • Come on... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:19PM (#33691516) Homepage

    ...I have no problem with tiered pricing (I don't like it, but I accept that it was inevitable)...but what's with the huge gap, Verizon? I can get either 200 megs, or 2 GIGS????

    What I would rather see:

    200 megs
    500 megs
    1 gig
    2 gigs

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:27PM (#33691622)

    While having Unlimited seems nice. For average usage we actually use a lot less then we think we will need.

    On my phone I use about 200MB per month and I use my phone quite regularly. However I am on Wi-Fi for most of the time And if I am out of Wi-Fi Range Then is usually because I am driving and not really using my phone. So for people who use the phone for normal stuff it is actually probably a better deal, But people don't think it is because it is metered but they are probably saving money as a tradeoff of having the same bill every month

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

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:29PM (#33691638) Homepage

    What's wrong with something simple like bill=roundup(GBUsedInMonth)*$5 or something like that?

    The thing I don't like about cell plans is that they're designed to make you pay for average use based entirely on peak use, by putting absolutely hideous fees on going even the slightest bit over what you paid for.

    Imagine if your electricity bill was $100/month for 0-1000kWh, plus $5/kWh over. The next plan would be $200 for 0-2000kWh. If you own an air conditioner you'll be paying $200/month in the winter if you don't want a $5000 bill for three months in the summer.

    There simply isn't enough competition in cell phone providers, so more regulation is necessary to make things fair for consumers. There should be a monthly billing fee to cover the fixed costs, and then everything else should be pay-as-you-use, with customer-specified maximums (no surprise $5k bills).

    There is NO other industry that is as customer-unfriendly as the cell phone industry. You get better customer service at the local loan shark.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:33PM (#33691692)

    I have a problem with tiered pricing if it's based on irrelevant metrics like volume per month. It's just money-grabbing. It is not a way of making the networks better or being fair by treating different customers differently. That would require billing for something that's actually in short supply, which is peak bandwidth. Doesn't it strike you as peculiar that network operators between themselves never charge by volume but by bandwidth percentiles, yet they expect their customers to accept a completely different metric?

  • Re:Come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:34PM (#33691706) Homepage

    Exactly. I generally use between 300-350 megs per month. The highest I've ever gone was 450 megs. This means, just like described, I'd be forced to go with the 2 gig plan, even though I never come anywhere even close to that much data usage on my phone.

  • by saterdaies ( 842986 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:39PM (#33691766)

    The original post has made it sound like this will be a get out of contract free card. I'm guessing that Verizon will take a path similar to AT&T and grandfather in customers with a current unlimited data plan. Even if Verizon (or AT&T) want to get people off unlimited data plans, they can do it when people upgrade phones. In order to get a new device, they could require that you change plans - and that isn't grounds for termination of the contract (plus, usually you're pretty close to the end of your contract when you can upgrade). After two years, they could forcibly move anyone who didn't get a new device to the non-unlimited data plans and they'd be out of contract already.

    Carriers are usually pretty smart about not changing the terms on people currently under contract. Plus, the heaviest data users are probably going to be the ones who want to upgrade to new devices more often - and will be early adopters of 4G. Both of those are chances to get those customers onto non-unlimited data without invalidating the contract. If someone is on an unlimited plan and only using 1GB of data, the carrier is just getting additional money since they're paying for more than they're using. No reason to force those people to switch.

  • by whisper_jeff ( 680366 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:41PM (#33691794)

    ...but they are probably saving money...

    I'm willing to bet that's not true. They probably pay the same amount and the heavy users pay more. There's no way that a telco is going to _reduce_ their overall income unless they are forced to. If they are making a change because they want to, I assure you, they are going to make more money in doing so.

    People won't save money unless they are extremely light users and doubtfully even then...

  • So this confirms.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by microbee ( 682094 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:42PM (#33691804)

    iPhone on Verizon?

  • by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:49PM (#33691906) Journal

    What good is a phone if you can't use it? Verizon is the only one of the big four that doesn't suck here in my town. And by "doesn't suck", means I can actually make a call without having to move to a particular location so I can get a clear signal.

    I'm personally convinced that tiered pricing is designed to screw people. Here's how.

    They take everyone who uses data, and figure that MOST people use around 250-300 MB data / month. They create a Tier at 200MB and now they can charge MORE for their 2 GIG, than "unlimited" actually costs now.

    My smartphone usage was about to go way up (Droid), but now I'm reconsidering.

  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <.deviladv. .at.> on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:53PM (#33691938) Homepage

    I bought a pipe to the internet, I should be able to do what I want with it. If it's limited to 2 GB of data or whatever, then so be it, but that's different than saying "If you connect a phone it's $25, but if you connect a laptop, it's $15 more for the same exact data." It's price gouging people who use laptops just for the convenience of using a full size keyboard and monitor.

    It's also the way the big providers are trying to cash in on demand at the same time limiting demand for their own broke ass networks. If you really want it, you have to pay thru the nose, and we'll price it high enough that we won't get overloaded since we don't upgrade our networks fast enough.

  • Re:Come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @04:53PM (#33691950) Homepage Journal

    "Did you mean granular?"

    Naw, he meant glandular, as in, "Verizon wants to get you by the glands...."

  • Re:Bait and switch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cornelius the Great ( 555189 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:05PM (#33692122)
    So far, nothing- a coworker used over 10 GB one month (streaming world cup from his sling box at home). Not a peep from Verizon. Likewise AT&T hasn't said anything when I went over my 5 GB limit listening to internet radio (I'm grandfathered into the old plan).
  • Re:Come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:22PM (#33692358)

    Yep, that's precisely the meaning of "giving the customer choice". Take the worst of all possible options, segment it and get rid of all other options.

    That's true, but only because marketing Newspeak is so thoroughly tolerated.

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

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Friday September 24, 2010 @05:23PM (#33692382) Homepage

    I don't have a problem with Time of Use - it makes sense since it allows the consumer to structure their demand in a way that helps the actual infrastructure and save money while doing it (or pay more). It actually reflects the REAL cost of providing the service.

    Likewise, I have no problems with peak vs off-peak pricing on trains or whatever. The system has to be built to handle peak loads, and so usage that increases peak usage should be more expensive than off-peak usage.

    So, if the cell plan charges more between 9AM and 5PM M-F or whatever, I'm fine with that. It is only fair.

    What I don't like is pricing schemes where light users have to pay big prices, or medium users have to pay for heavy use or risk getting socked with massive fees, etc.

    I once got stuck with a text message bill from my kids use of their phones that would have paid for unlimited texting for a year. The issue was confusion on their part over what was in-network vs out-of-network. The problem was that it is often impossible to spot these kinds of problems before getting stuck with a bill, and if it is possible it usually involves paying even more money (paying money NOT to get a service you don't want - sounds like of like a "service" sold by the mafia), or watching my account daily online or something.

    Or how about getting charged when other people send you text messages? If you have teenagers you are almost compelled to buy a texting plan if you don't want to pay a fortune for texts sent by somebody else...

    Bottom line is the whole system is one big scam. The occasional reform is really just instituting something that should have been there in the first place. We don't need minor reforms - we need an overhaul...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 24, 2010 @08:20PM (#33693772)

    Go prepaid instead, pay as you go. boost, 50 bucks per month, unlimited talk minutes, texts, walkie talkie (to other guys on boost or sprint), plus FIVE gigs data. Or you can do minutes at ten cents per, and data at 35 cents a DAY. They have both Iden network and CDMA now (basically, if you can get a good sprint signal, it will work) There are now some other prepaid guys with similar deals. They have cheap phones to at least medium decent phones.

      Two year locked in plans with ripoff rates=lame. And there are no "deals" on those phones they use for teasers with the two year "plans", you are still paying full retail price for them.

    You want a much better deal, they exist..just stop looking at post paid. Pay the cash for the phone you want up front, then pay cheap to use it. Prepaid is where it is at now for the frugal minded.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.