Verizon continues trying to rid themselves of all customers with unlimited data plans

by: William Neilson JrAugust 11, 2014

Phone-verizon-money WGGB

Verizon has tried a number of different tactics to kick off customers on unlimited data plans and push those customers onto shared data plans. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, Verizon has been the best at ridding themselves of customers with unlimited data plans.

According to the CIRP report, just 22% of Verizon users remain on grandfathered unlimited plans, compared to 44% for AT&T and 78% for both Sprint and T-Mobile (who both advertise unlimited as a differentiator). Verizon also leads at getting users to pay more: 51% of Verizon Wireless customers paying the company at least $100 per month, compared to 47% at Sprint, 46% at AT&T, and 33% at T-Mobile. – DSLReports

Verizon (like all other major wireless carriers) want customers on their metered data plans so that the carriers can raise data revenues.

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Previously, if a customer wanted to keep their unlimited data plan, they had to pay full retail prices for phones or use an upgrade on a separate line and then transfer that new phone over to the unlimited line.

Now, as notes, that last scenario is changing. On August 24, Verizon will begin to force customers who are upgrading a smartphone to keep data packages for the remainder of their contract.

Customer uses an upgrade on the feature phone line to buy a new smartphone at a discounted rate, even though they are locking that line in for another two years. Verizon makes them add a $30 2GB per month data plan to that line initially with the purchase of the smartphone. However, once that smartphone is moved over and activated on the unlimited data line, the $30 2GB data plan on the old feature phone line can be cancelled, taking that line’s monthly price back to $9.99. You could, in theory, also do this by adding a new line to buy a smartphone before transferring the phone over to your unlimited line and then canceling the data package on the new line. – Droid-Life

Therefore, when a customer is upgrading their feature phone line to a smartphone, they will be forced to keep at the least a minimum $30 2GB plan. This includes customers with a “legacy plan.”

Of course, Verizon has two options for those looking to pay more every month avoid this situation:

  • Switch to MORE Everything plans or;
  • Purchase a non-contracted smartphone

(Updated to include as the original source of the story)

  • David Gabel

    Not surprising. Granted it takes revenue to improve services and the like, but if the carriers actually gave a damn about their customers as people instead of about how much money they can squeeze out of them, we’d probably have far better service than we’re getting overall (including customer service).

    • monica thomas

      I agree , but it is a ‘for profit’ business. My problem with this sqeeze-play , is that the customers that made theese companies profitable , are told okay , we don’t need you anymore …move along !

      • David Gabel

        Right, and I agree that it is a ‘for profit’ business. I did not mean for it to sound otherwise. I am also in agreement about the squeeze-play of “you may be our customers and give us money, but guess what,we don’t care about you we only care about your bank account”.

      • They are a ‘for profit’ business that doesn’t want regulations….for themselves….but don’t mind pushing regulations onto others that are competing against Verizon.

        Make as much money as you want….but the notion of needing to take every last dime from customers is not how every business is operated

  • MasterMuffin

    If getting rid of customers is what they’re trying, they’re succeeding :D

    • Nunyur_Biznezz

      Apparently you don’t read quarterly reports. Who cares if unlimited data users leave? Let T-Mobile and Sprint have them.

      • MasterMuffin

        I bet Verizon cares if it loses customers.

        • PoisonApple31

          Unlimited users that’ll actually go to another carrier will only be a small percentage. Many will realize they can make do without unlimited data and will just give it up or don’t care enough to keep it.

          • MasterMuffin

            That seems to be the plan at least

          • PoisonApple31

            I think Verizon definitely cares when it loses customers, but it cares more when it loses limited data customers. ;)

          • Cole Raney

            Unlimited users will not get unlimited anymore. So, they can go where they can get the same or more for less money, which is EVERY carrier.

          • Guest

            + Windows phone users +… and eventually the numbers will get to big to swallow

      • dkbnyc

        I give Verizon a year before they are either jumping on the T-Mobile bandwagon or slowing falling to 2nd place. Their business model can’t last.

        • Rickrau5

          Yea.. Only thing they have going for them is their customer loyalty. Having worked for VZW and trying out every svc afterwards.. They do have the best customer svc. But that’s as far as it goes.

          • Nivan Mal

            I just moved to t-mobile and verizon did co-operate to help me port the number. But t mobile end is telling me its gonna take a while. I dont care bout verizons coverage as I very rarely move across cities and the place where I live has got excellent 4g speed as compared to verizons. Verizon had very good speed when I started but those greedy bastards have been throtling my unlimited grandfathered plan that I knew bout when tmobiles speed I tested was far ahead of them. I mean 30 meg downstream and 10 meg upstream….verizon gave me measely 9 megs up and 1 meg down.

          • Rickrau5

            If i t wasnt for my wife being a tmob store mgr I wouldn’t of ever switched. Glad I did. No difference in svc, actually Tmob is better in some spots.

        • androidude

          So tmobile’s business plan which doesn’t make money is somehow going to beat a competitor that is growing revenue per customer, as opposed to T-Mobile who’s arpu is decreasing over time, and it growing at a similar speed. If T-Mobile had the same size customer base, Verizon would still make a billion more dollars per month in revenue then them.

          You can disagree with these unlimited policies, that makes sense from a customer stand point. If you are looking at it from a business perspective, Verizon is doing way better then the competition.

        • ericj

          what sucks is they have the best service around they work inside buildings where AT&T have trouble with signal inside bulding


        Are you the CEO of Verizon disguised as Nunyur_Biznezz?

  • adamhs

    This move is completely retarded – carriers need to realize that most of the people on unlimited data plans are only staying with their current carrier BECAUSE they have a “grandfathered” unlimited data plan. If that taken away – time to start shopping around with their competitors. Good job.

    • Nunyur_Biznezz

      You do realize they are closing a loophole that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. You’re like the person who has been getting free HBO for years then the cable company finally notices and cuts you off and somehow the cable company is “evil” for doing that.

      Also as far as leaving, 1/4 of Verizon customers live in areas that do not have access to T-Mobile or Sprint. And At&t pricing and service are the SAME as Verizon. Ok so sure they’re leaving. But I hope they do frees up bandwidth for everyone else.

      • adamhs

        Except I’m paying for the unlimited data plan. How is that like getting “free HBO”?

        Try again.

        • Nunyur_Biznezz

          You do realize Verizon’s other option which they could still choose to do if the FCC and people keep whining is to simply kill off unlimited data? Is that what you want? Is that better? Enjoy your 2 GB and $10 per GB overage fee.
          Also READ the terms of service that you AGREED to. You’re not under contract so Verizon can change service features anytime they want

          • dkbnyc

            You act as if Verizon is doing you a favor by letting you use their service. If people keep whining? Really? This has to be the biggest kiss butt post for a bullcrap company I’ve seen i a while.Verizon is GLAD to has a customer like you. Sure sir! Hit me in the head with outrageous fees!? Why, yes! Can I have another!?! Cut my unlimited internet? Sure, I’m glad you closed that loophole! I love paying the same price for 1000% less service! Thank you sir! Thank you!!!!

          • Magnetic1

            I hear you and I don’t understand how this could happen if there were truly competition.

          • Rickrau5

            Isheep, vzw sheep, samsung sheep.. Whats the difference these days.

          • I HATE VERIZON

            Damn, do you own Verizon??! You’re WAY too supportive of these Corporate Criminals!

      • Cole Raney

        Your post is entirely wrong. it isn’t like getting a free service. They pay. Besides, Verizon is actually MUCH more expensive than AT&T for a variety of plans. They tie for the $160 a month for 4 lines deal.

      • kg2105

        It’s the opposite of what you are saying. Verizon should have never created a situation that required a loophole. People with unlimited should have been able to keep upgrading the normal way. And I am not saying that Verizon should do that out of the goodness of their hearts. They should do it because the subsidy cost of the phone is BUILT INTO THE PLAN, and it doesn’t change after the contract ends. When the contract ends the phone should be “paid off” but Verizon still charges the same monthly cost with the subsidy built in. So no it’s not like people stealing cable, then getting mad after being caught. It’s more like the cable company charging people for HBO whether they actually have HBO or not.

      • corona10

        Wrong. And no its not like getting ANYTHING free. Because you’re paying for it. You clearly have no idea how this really works.

    • PoisonApple31

      Losing a small percentage of customers like this, not a big deal in the slightest.

  • Mike

    Well, I’ll give credit where credit is due. Verizon did relieve themselves of my unlimited data plan, even though I rarely exceeded 2 GB in a month.

    Full disclosure: they also relieved themselves of my business, thanks to their high prices and heavy-handed tactics.

  • Foosa Noble

    F-you Verizon. I’m dropping you like the whore you are…

  • Anthony Castanza

    Grandfathered unlimited data is the only thing keeping me with AT&T, if they ever start pulling the same bullshit as Verizon, I’m jumping ship to T-Mobile without a second thought. Good luck to those of you stuck in areas with only one option.

  • Dan Zifling

    Wanting to terminate service on a cellular hotspot device with unlimited data, I just had a Verizon rep talk my ear off trying to get me to stay on the unlimited plan and transfer it to a new device. While Verizon may want to get rid of unlimited plans, this guy hadn’t heard the news. He tried so hard, and repeated himself so often, I was on the verge of being annoyed at the insistence.

  • Noah Kim

    If I have a flip phone will I have to pay for data

  • zayahv2

    Verizon did that whole forcing me to have a data plan on a non data phone in order to force me off my unlimited. Returned the upgrade and swapped all six lines to sprint for $100 a month and 20 gigs of data vs verizons miserable 2gb. Their coverage is excellent here so verizon lost a 10 year old customer. Their customer service reps are terrible and offer to escalate things with a call back that never happens and after you reach out and are like “whats up” they tell you the matter was settled but they never called you.

  • F. Ogletree

    I still have my unlimited data plan. I don’t mind paying the unsubsidized price for a new phone to keep it. It is very strange that I have never dropped my phone or anything but all of a sudden I have started to have problems with it. If cellphone companies can send out mass text messages I am sure that they can send out signals to individuals that are on grandfathered plans