August 22, 2014

Tears for Tiers: A Look Inside Verizon's Imminent Tiered Data Pricing

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about Verizon’s plan to adopt tiered data pricing. The blogs have been buzzing about it, readers have been flaming about it, and trolls… well… they’ve been trolling about it. I can’t say I’m surprised about the move, considering I’ve been a guinea pig to corporate greed for many years now. I’m often asking myself: “Why do I allow these companies to continually rip me off?” And, like most people, I just sit there and take it. Sure, we’ll complain about it, but do we ever do anything about it? I mean, if Verizon is such a bastardization of a company, why don’t we just switch carriers? The answer usually ends up being “where would we go?” I find this to be the ultimate truth when complaining about my favorite @#$%^#$ companies (Comcast). Usually there aren’t many options for us consumers, or should I say there aren’t any “good” options. Chances are, if there are any comparable competitors, they will be just as expensive and shitty or they’ll just be plain old crappy.

The corporate greed boat seems to be growing uncontrollably and with the recent Verizon literature confirming the tiered data pricing, I am once again forced to rethink my priorities. Having a mobile plan alone has become a dumbfounding expense and while technology makes these services easier and more accessible, the expense for said services only seems to go up. Let’s take a look at some of the Verizon training material to get a feel at where things are headed.

This pretty much confirms the pricing model we brought to you earlier along with the date in which these prices will take effect. With the latest tech movement of cloud based services I can’t help but wonder why providers are essentially putting up virtual brick walls to deter possible users/consumers of ever having the ability to enjoy said technology. Lately things seem to be a mess when it comes to pricing and the fantastical illusions that companies have of what consumers can actually afford to pay (I’m still trying to wrap my head around tablet pricing).

So where do we go from here? One thing is for sure, tough decisions will have to be made for households on a budget. Let’s start with the “good” news. According to the Verizon training documentation, current customers with “unlimited” data plans will be grandfathered in and allowed to keep their current pricing when renewing or upgrading. This goes for those of you wishing to upgrade to a 4G device as well as anyone wishing to purchase a data plan before July 7th. Now for the bad news. Starting July 7th, any new customer or current customer wishing to add a line to his/her account will fall into the new tiered data pricing. This includes customers who try to upgrade from a “dumb” phone with no data plan to a smartphone. This mean if you have any kids nearing the age when they start begging for a smartphone, you’ll have to pony up an exuberant amount of cash. You could argue that the $30 2GB data plan is more than enough, but you will most likely end up being wrong (especially if it’s a teenager).

While I am one of those Verizon customers who will be grandfathered in, I am still not happy. I wasn’t happy when every phone I purchased for my family required a data plan. I wasn’t happy when Verizon started blocking some of the data that I was required to pay for. And I’m still not happy that my family mobile bill is in excess of $200, especially since I don’t even get service in my house! Where is the damn family share data plan!? Why do I have to pay $30 dollars per phone, per family member!? Kids are already expensive enough! My internet provider doesn’t charge me $30 per device in my house that connects to the internet, so why the hell is it different for mobile data?

I’ll end this rant against “the system” by allowing you all to ponder the implications of Verizon’s new tiered data pricing and praying that someday we’ll all have the guts to stand up to such blatant criminal extortion. But for now, you’ll find me gleefully using my Android device while apprehensively handing Big Red my first born child. /tears

Big shout-out to Android Central for all this lovely documentation.

As of this morning we have been given the green light to start training on the data changes Verizon Wireless is making effective 7/7/11.

$29.99 unlimited data will be discontinued effective 7/7/11

EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That have our $29.99 unlimited data plan WILL BE GRANDFATHERED IN, they will keep their unlimited plan after 7/7/11

EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That current have the unlimited data WILL BE ABLE TO UPGRADE AND KEEP the unlimited data feature (No known end date on this as of this moment)

EXISTING CUSTOMERS- That add lines post 7/7/2011, will NOT be able to choose the $29.99 unlimited data feature

NEW CUSTOMERS- Any customer that sets up service from now, until 7/7/2011 WILL BE ON, AND WILL BE GRANDFATHERED into our $29.99 unlimited data package

NEW CUSTOMERS- Any new customer that set up service AFTER 7/7/2011, WILL NOT be able to choose the $29.99 unlimited plan

BUSINESS DISCOUNTS- Currently our business discounts apply to the $29.99 data plan on the primary line only. Most discounts are 20% despite whatever monthly access discount they have

BUSINESS DISCOUNTS- After 7/7/2011 data discounts will only apply to the $50 and higher data packages on the primary line.

Discount break down ex. of customers with a 20% feature discount on their primary line. ($50-20%=$40/month for 5GB and includes the business e-mail feature)

– ($20/GB vs. $40/GB+ Business e-mail )

New data pricing for smart phones is as follows:

$30 for 2GB with $10/GB overage

$50 for 5GB (this also includes business e-mail at no additional charge) with $10/GB overage

$80 for 10GB (this also includes business e-mail at no additional charge) with $10/GB overage

So all changes effective July 7th, 2011.

Existing customer KEEP their $29.99 unlimited data plan

If an existing customer upgrades from a feature phone to a smart phone after 7/7/11, they will NOT be able to add on the unlimited data package. They must choose from the new data plans.

Anyone who sets up new service with unlimited data, upgrades from a feature phone to a smart phone with unlimited data, or customer currently on the $29.99 before July, 7, 2011 will be grandfathered in.

These changes also apply to employee plans as well (personal accounts w/work discounts applied)

SO, This is a huge time for us to set our customers up with the right package for them! We only have 14 DAYS remaining for unlimited data, and until the new data pricing takes effect. (14 days to setup new customers w/unlimited data, and customers upgrading from a feature phone to a smart phone)

PLEASE, PLEASE make sure we take advantage of this heads up and get our heavy data users set up on these unlimited plans before they change.

Please call, text or e-mail me any questions or concerns you might have.