Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo, spoke to a Goldman Sachs investor conference yesterday about a range of issues for the U.S. carrier. The most interesting portion relates to his views on the new Share Everything data plans that the company introduced recently and the death of unlimited data. He actually said:

“So what customers are understanding and through our good sales routine is once you explain to a customer their usage on a monthly basis, unlimited is just a word, it doesn’t really mean anything and that people don’t really — I think a lot of consumers think they consume a lot more data than they really do. So that whole unlimited thing I think is going by the wayside and they see the benefit of going to the shared.”

We’re sick of this argument that consumers think they use loads of data, but actually hardly use any. If that’s really true then why are carriers like Verizon switching to metered data plans? The reason most people come in below their data allowance each month is fear of overage charges. We discussed this issue yesterday when we asked when are carriers going to offer a data only plan?

Obviously T-Mobile and Sprint would disagree with Shammo’s comments since both carriers are offering truly unlimited data plans. Shammo also expressed surprise that a lot of customers left unlimited plans to sign up to the new shared data. Could that have anything to do with the fact that they’ll need to pay full price if they want to keep their unlimited data and pick up a new phone? Or is it because they are seeing the benefits of paying more monthly fees to Verizon?

What unlimited actually means to most of us is peace of mind – freedom from the worry of extortionate overage charges.

We’ll find out what the general public thinks in the next few months. Will Verizon customers make the switch to T-Mobile or Sprint for unlimited data? Post a comment and let us know what you think.