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Verizon Confirms Plan To Switch Away From Unlimited Data Plans

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the but-the-wireless-tubes-are-infinite dept.

Cellphones 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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Sucks to be You... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691470)

Es... A

FP?

What's the deal with tiny white penises? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691870)

What is the deal with white guys having such tiny dicks? I want to date white guys cause many of them are nice, but their dicks are usually so tiny so I have to go to black guys. Does anyone have any advice for a attractive white female who wants both a nice white guy but for him to also have an adult size dick?

Re:What's the deal with tiny white penises? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692092)

No advice there, but I do have advice for angry, conflicted, basement-dwelling trolls: go get counselling. Get help. Go become a better person.

Re:What's the deal with tiny white penises? (-1, Offtopic)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692146)

Yeah..give me a call and we can "talk" it over.

Bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691486)

Only an idiot didn't see this development coming sooner or later.

Still, I'm kind of surprised it happened this soon.

Re:Bait and switch (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691510)

I don't see a problem so long as Verizon charges per kilobyte [blogspot.com] .

Re:Bait and switch (4, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691570)

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.

Re:Bait and switch (2, Interesting)

rogabean (741411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691632)

Same with T-Mobile. They say unlimited, but they really mean 5GB. I suppose one could argue it's still unlimited as they cut you down to below Edge speeds after that without extra charges, but at that point I'd say you're pretty much cut off as it's not really good for anything. I'm curious what does Verizon do after the cap? Is it a cut-off, extra charges, or throttle you down to next to nothing?

Re:Bait and switch (2, Insightful)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Bait and switch (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691994)

That has been the case with AT&T too (at least for the iPhone), until recently. They gave you what was labelled an "unlimited" plan, but the cap was really 5GB.

Now, my choices are 200MB (!!!) for $15/month (going over gives you another 200MB for another $15), or 2GB for $25/month (going over gives you another 1GB for another $10, up to 3 additional GB).

Even worse, they charge $20 just to enable tethering, and in doing so you get exactly zero additional data.

Re:Bait and switch (1)

dave024 (1204956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692064)

Not true about 5 GB limit. The old iPhone plans are unlimited. The 5 GB cap applies to another plan.

Re:Bait and switch (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692278)

The old "unlimited" data plan contract included language which would allow them to take action if they decided too many customers used more than 5GB. To paraphrase the legalese they used, they basically said "we *could* consider 5GB to be 'too much' if we decided to."

Regardless of whether 5GB was the actual number, the fact is their "unlimited" data plan contract did permit AT&T to impose actual data transfer limits.

Re:Bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691616)

Only an idiot would be surprised it happened this soon. Still, I'm surprised T-Mobile didn't announce anything.

Re:Bait and switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691874)

Only and idiot would be surprised T-Mobile didn't announce anything. Still, I'm surprised that ... er wait

Re:Bait and switch (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692418)

Only... your and idiot.

Re:Bait and switch (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692370)

Yeah, business pretty much always works like this - a company introduces a new tech, or new companies enter the market, and you get some (relatively) good deals (sometimes - I'm still not convinced that at close to $100/mo for one phone, the 'unlimited' plans were much of a good deal - just not AS BAD a deal as their *other* offerings.

In the end, when you see good deals (or at least deals you can live with), take advantage of them while you can. Yes, it won't last forever.

Take for example, Hulu.com - when it first launched it was pretty awesome. They had a number of relatively good movies and a great back catalog of TV shows. I knew it wouldn't last, but I enjoyed it while it did. Now, of course, they've yanked something like 75% of their library and made it part of the Hulu+ subscription service. I knew it'd happen someday (when I was watching streams on Hulu, I got *way* too many ads for non-profits and environmental groups, etc - low-rate ads which they hardly make any money on, so I knew their free model was failing), but it didn't make it any less good while it lasted.

Come on... (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691516)

...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

Re:Come on... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691548)

Meant to add an "etc" on the end of that....

Re:Come on... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691620)

Huh?

If your /etc directory is 2 gigs, I think you're doing something wrong.

Re:Come on... (0, Redundant)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691678)

Come on, folks...I know he's an AC, but give him a +funny!

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691714)

He has a LOT of sites redirected to 127.0.0.1 Everything except /.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692070)

Oh gawd... you're trying to summon the APK idiot, aren't you?

Re:Come on... (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691558)

That's AT&T's tiered policy. Verizon hasn't announced their tiered pricing structure yet.

Re:Come on... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692072)

That's AT&T's tiered policy.

Not really. AT&T gives you these choices:

200MB ($15)
400MB ($30) (by going over your 200 and getting another 200)
-
2GB ($25)
3GB ($35) (by going over 2GB and getting another 1GB)
4GB ($45) (same)
5GB ($55) (same)

Not only is there a rather absurd gap between 400MB and 2GB, but 400MB is more expensive than 2GB!

Re:Come on... (1)

idobi (820896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691564)

Seriously? There's a $10 difference between 200M and 2Gb and you want verizon to get that glandular with their plans?

Re:Come on... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691604)

Nit picking, I know...but you don't say "We offer tiered data plans! Get the one that fits your needs!" and then offer only two options. That is literally one option enough to add an "s" on the end of "plans".

Re:Come on... (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691860)

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.

Re:Come on... (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691672)

That's the whole point. Why does the 200MB plan cost $15, if an additional 1.8 gigs only costs another $10. At that scale of economies, they really should just offer unlimited plans.

So what's the deal? 200mb is enough for people that don't use the web much. But anyone that does daily work on their phone would nearly have to get the 2gb plan for fear of going over and getting gouged. This really is price gouging.

Re:Come on... (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691706)

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.

Re:Come on... (1)

emag (4640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691902)

I plan to just use more data. Or rather, I would, if I got a decent signal everywhere. No network seems to work well where I live, although AT&T seems better (FSVO) than most.

Re:Come on... (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691848)

For the fools who believe they will not use more then 200mb.

Then the overage charges kick in and the extra dollars roll in.

I used to make the same mistakes with voice plans constantly. Finally, I decided it would be more economical if I went with a very large plan and just gave them cash up front. The illusion of savings in a lower tiered plan just need to be smashed to bits to see the light.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692188)

My fiancee and are are on the same account. She has the 200MB plan because she only uses about 50MB a month. If she ever gets close to using 200MB it's easy to switch her up to the 2GB plan. I'm sure there are a lot of people like her. FWIW, I'm still on the unlimited plan. I don't need it, but I use more than 200MB a month and the 2G plan would only save me $5. If they had a $20 1GB I would take that in a heartbeat.

Re:Come on... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692332)

You can pretty easily look at your current usage and see how much you will use. My billing cycle ends in a week,and I've used 99MB. It's probably worth it to me to just get the 200MB plan when it comes out.

Of course, if they change my contract, I'll get a new phone while I'm at it.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691998)

That's the whole point. Why does the 200MB plan cost $15, if an additional 1.8 gigs only costs another $10. At that scale of economies, they really should just offer unlimited plans.

So what's the deal? 200mb is enough for people that don't use the web much. But anyone that does daily work on their phone would nearly have to get the 2gb plan for fear of going over and getting gouged. This really is price gouging.

So you don't think there are any fixed costs running a cell phone network? Maybe they are just stupid, and you should start your own. Let me know how you pay for equipment and salaries of the people twho maintain the network. Or, you could admit that you are an idiot.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691786)

Furthermore, you'll have to sign up for a plan at a given tier. They won't charge you less if you happen to use 200MB one month. And you can bet you won't get a $10 increase if you're on a 200MB plan and use 1.9GB, there's going to be literally a ton of overage costs instead.

Re:Come on... (1)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691916)

I just joined AT&T because I wanted to pay $15/200MB rather than $25.

According to what I saw on their website, if I go over 200MB, I get charged another $15, up to another 200MB.

So I don't think you're right, at least not with AT&T.

My SO and I keep our data counts down by using WiFi wherever we can - which is surprisingly easy, even away from our house....

Re:Come on... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692142)

You're correct; if you go over your 200MB, you get charged another $15 for another 200MB.

So instead of paying $25 for 2GB, you're paying $30 for 400MB. Yes, AT&T is being quite generous by not charging overages... *eye roll*

My SO and I keep our data counts down by using WiFi wherever we can

I only dropped from the old $30 "unlimited" (read: 5GB) plan to the $15 200MB plan because they added wifi access points for our mobile devices at work, so generally the only time I'm out of wifi range is during my commute.

I'm still super-nervous about going over the 200MB though, because of the pricing I mentioned above: if I'm going to go over, I may as well switch to the 2GB plan and save $5. (You could probably do this manually yourself in the middle of a billing cycle...)

Re:Come on... (1)

JDevers (83155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691808)

Did you mean granular?

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

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691950)

"Did you mean granular?"

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

Re:Come on... (1)

idobi (820896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691986)

yes

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

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691638)

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... (1)

jamesdood (468240) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692030)

Electric companies already do this, its called Time of Use [srpnet.com]
 

Re:Come on... (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692382)

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...

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

Mitreya (579078) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

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

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692268)

Well, in one sense, it does improve their networks, simply by attracting low-use customers from competitors, and repelling high-use customers to the same competitors -- I know it's not statistically proven without bad assumptions of independence, but it's almost certainly true that with more light users and fewer heavy users, peak demand will be reduced (though probably by less than aggregate demand). Of course, that assumes a competitive marketplace where people are free to switch plans -- the incompatibility of phones (CDMA2000 vs. GSM) and the ridiculous contracts people sign prevent competition from working, so you really shed more customers (free to leave, because change of terms breaks contract) than you gain (they're still stuck in a competitor's contract.)

Anyway, I agree that it's being done primarily as a moneygrab, but I still welcome it -- the sooner we get away from everyone trumpeting "unlimited" @ fixed price, the sooner it becomes plausible for even one of the networks to adopt a realistic pricing scheme.... Yeah, I know, I'm a bloody optimist.

Re:Come on... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691694)

And what about folks who want more than that?

Re:Come on... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691920)

Addressed that. [slashdot.org]

how about no blocks just $0.01 per MB (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691752)

how about no blocks just $0.01 per MB or big blocks with rollover.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691778)

I liked it better when they just cut your speed when you exceeded your limit for the month.

Re:Come on... (3, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691922)

They can do tiers the same way that (most - at least in the US) ISP's do - you base tiers on bandwidth (which inherently caps data usage). If you want the $15 a month data plan, you get say 75 KB/s, $25 a month will get you 150 KB/s, $35 gets you 300 KB/s, etc. It's fully workable, keeps people from ending up with no data / insane extra fees, and allows the phone companies to not use as much bandwidth.

Re:Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692216)

That would unnecessarily complicate things. The landline networks are set up to regulate traffic. With cell towers, you're either connected or not connected. They aren't set up for that sort of regulation.

Re:Come on... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692342)

Unless that's per day, it's not nearly enough.

Blammo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691528)

Sprint said the reason it's currently letting users have unlimited 4G data is because it doesn't want consumers to have to change their behavior--yet--and it also wants to attract new customers leery of 3G caps.

And once everyone has made the switch - BLAMMO - they hose you once again. So, Rest of the World, what's it like not being bent over and fondled by your cell providers?

Making room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691546)

So they're making room for someone else to dominate the market of ubiquitous internet access. Good riddance. Telcos are businesses with which I only deal because I have to. No exceptions. I will not be sorry to see any of them become irrelevant.

Re:Making room (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691770)

I certainly hope this is what happens, but in reality it probably just means that the race to the bottom continues apace. Watch for all the other carriers to jump to this model, now that AT&T and Verizon have shattered the barrier.

How many people, when the first airline announced a $25 per bag checkin fee, said "Good, this opens up competition, because the other airlines won't do this and I'll just stop flying XYZ Air from now on!"

How many people, when Verizon announced their increase in the ETF for smartphones, said "hey, here's a reason to go to [insert other carrier here]!"

When a company adds an innovative new way of making money, other companies will follow suit until that becomes the standard. The only way to resist this is to choose a company that doesn't do that, and the US doesn't have enough truly nationwide carriers with acceptable coverage to make that practical. If you want coverage here in Maine, your choices are AT&T and Verizon, and the choice between those two is often dependent upon where you live (which one has a tower closer to you). If you live within 5 miles of the highway south of Augusta, and maybe a few other scattered areas, Sprint may be an option for you.

And, of course, a lot of people are locked into multi-year plans thanks to the model that most cell carriers have adopted - locked phones with a contract. Unlocked phones don't save you a lot of money, often cost a lot upfront, and don't offer a real choice of carriers since pretty much all of the carriers use a different protocol or frequencies. My wife uses an unlocked phone, but I know that since it's a GSM phone my only real choice is AT&T if I want 3G. We only wanted unlocked because she wanted something with data access and we didn't want to have to pay AT&T $30 a month, so we got something with WiFi (and since it's an unlocked phone, AT&T can't turn off the WiFi or force us into a data plan).

So, in reality, Verizon jumping onboard with this pricing model means that the days of even acceptably large (if you consider 5GB a month acceptably large) data plans are over. It's good news for the very casual "get a few emails, check the weather a few times a week" user, and very bad news for people who do video conferencing on their handsets, or want to use data-heavy services like YouTube or streaming TV.

Re:Making room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691882)

That is why people fly southwest if they can, get TMobile if they can etc.

Re:Making room (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691960)

So they're making room for someone else to dominate the market of ubiquitous internet access.

Such as who, exactly?

Not one of their existing competitors, who have been even more eager to do exactly the same thing.

So who exactly is going to manage to set up a new competing mobile broadband network, and where are they going to get the massive sums of money required to pay for the kind of infrastructure that will be necessary?

Remember, we're not just talking about having wifi hotspots in the center of a single metropolis. We're talking about being able to access the internet pretty much anywhere where people live.

Re:Making room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692272)

I don't know yet. The point is that there is a vacancy which is going to be filled.

If you think that the future lies in volume limits, then you either haven't experienced the early years of the internet or you've forgotten what it was like when the web took the top of the bandwidth charts, when people warned that the network would not be able to deliver the increasing number of pictures on the web.

Right now Verizon is positioning itself as one of the companies which do not want to provide the future of internet access. If they do not focus on making the next bandwidth hog possible, they won't be providing the network. Someone else will.

jump ship! (1)

metageek (466836) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691568)

since I got my HTC Desire unlocked from them, this may well be a good time to jump ship to a better plan from others. They have good coverage, but their plans suck. I only got mine with them because they were the only ones with a Desire on the day I wanted to get it...

Re:jump ship! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691684)

Consumer advocates say you never go to a plan because of a phone. Buy the plan first, then the phone.

But nooooo, no one listens and they jump on the new and "cool" phones and then get screwed by the providers - *ahem* iPhone early adopters.

Re:jump ship! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691872)

Consumer advocates != tech people. Early adopters always get screwed in some form or another, but for a lot of people, they'd prefer to be screwed with a shiny product than to have a lessor product.

Sure, I could get a really reasonable plan, a really reliable cell phone and decent-enough service if I really wanted it. But most geeks don't want "reliable" we want cutting edge, we don't care if it is a bit unstable, we can fix it.

The thing is, consumer advocates advocate for the bottom of the barrel for consumers. For the rest of us, there are sites like /., Engadget, Gizmodo, etc.

Re:jump ship! (1)

IB4Student (1885914) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691698)

Why the hell would you jump ship? That'd be a stupid thing to do. You can stay on your current plan for as long as you want, and it might eventually be the only way to get unlimited data on your phone. Old customers can still keep their unlimited.

Re:jump ship! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691820)

Only for that device. Given the rate of advancement with smart phones that doesn't give you much time.

You know the consumer my actually win (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:You know the consumer my actually win (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691728)

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

Then it stands to reason that they do not need to drop the unlimited plans. They're making more money from it, right?

Personally I'd be less grumpy about it if the tiered plans had some advantage, like improved network coverage etc.

Re:You know the consumer my actually win (2, Interesting)

wolfgang_spangler (40539) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691772)

I use the most data while I'm driving. Pandora connected via bluetooth to the audio system of the truck. I'm sure I'm not the only one doing that, I think most average users would do that.

Re:You know the consumer my actually win (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692264)

I use the most data while I'm driving. Pandora connected via bluetooth to the audio system of the truck. I'm sure I'm not the only one doing that, I think most average users would do that.

I don't know anyone who does this - They just play the music thats already stored on their device...

Re:You know the consumer my actually win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691792)

All I need is a satellite connection for my car, and a linked wifi AP. Then I would never need a data or phone plan.

Re:You know the consumer my actually win (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 3 years ago | (#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...

Re:You know the consumer my actually win (1)

Batmunk2000 (1878016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692224)

It doesn't necessarily mean making more money on existing customers. Providing tiered services could increase their customer base. Lowering the cost of entry for a service is a great way to increase customers and gives competition points. It isn't as sinister as it seems... it is good business. Companies like this only make money when people get their service... there are choices.

Where is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691690)

Okay, where's the "Boo! Hiss!" button on Slashdot?

I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (5, Informative)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (2, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691906)

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.

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691908)

This is all very interesting given what happened to me. We were using well under the number of minutes provided by our plan (the smallest published family plan) and I got a letter from Verizon offering to switch us to a lower minute (and about 15% lower priced) non-published plan. When I called about it, the CSR was exceptionally helpful and got it set right up for us. I'm sure it reset our contract, but since we were just getting the same features cheaper, so what. We still don't use anywhere near the number of minutes in the plan, and since most of our mobile calls are to each other, we never will.

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

drodal (1285636) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692046)

I would have to agree that verizon is bad with customers. I used their FIOS for awhile, liked the FIOS but hated the customer support.

They have a robot answer the phone. YOU CANNOT GET PAST THE ROBOT to a human!! unless you do amazing things.

The first thing they ask for is a phone number, I don't have one, they then need a strange account number, that is on my bill. If I don't have the bill I can't talk to someone.

I have had to hang up sometimes because I don't have a bill in front of me.

Everyone else puts me through to an operator after hitting 0 about 3 to 8 times

Not verizon. I hate them and won't use them.

Even if their products are better.
Did I say I hate them....

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692394)

I had DSL from them a few years ago. Just moved into the apartment and apparently there were problems with the line. Must have spent a total of 4 hours over a couple of days trying to get online, bounced all over India. They determined it was an issue with the line and wanted to charge me $100 to fix it. So I just told them I'd like to cancel. They then decided to send someone out for free and fix the line, then sent me a bill for the $100. I had to get on the phone again to have that waived. My takeaway from the experience is that Verizon has run the numbers and determined that dicking around with you right up to the point of cancellation is in fact more lucrative than just helping you. And sadly this is probably the truth. Doesn't do much for their image, but apparently that just doesn't matter. We have only ourselves to blame really. Somewhere along the line consumers gave up self-respect for the convenience of not having a backbone.

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (2, Informative)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692234)

It's not just their customers they nickel and dime. A friend of mine just got a job managing a Verizon store. Not only is she surprised by reading up on all the fees they charge their customers at every turn, but she is also finding out that they will try and screw her out of everything they promised they'd pay her. She is still officially in training and not 3 weeks into the job but is being pressured into taking her final test now. Should have been taking it from the start they say. The results of this test determine whether or not she even gets paid her commission and apparently it's a pretty comprehensive test. She has talked with other store managers who themselves are looking for other jobs. But hey, with this job market they have you by the balls and they will give them a squeeze whenever they like. They are an honorless, greed hole of a company.

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692316)

I fail to see the logic. You don't have to use iphone on verizon, but how does it help iphone users if it's ATT exclusive?

Re:I don't want to see the iPhone go to Verizon (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692338)

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.

I hate to find myself in the position of arguing for the Devil... but Verizon has made some tentative steps away from being the lock-down kings. Their Android offerings lack much of the normal Verizon crap. The latest 2.2 build includes USB tethering (you can do Wifi tethering on your own - though the Droid 1 will only do AdHoc - not all devices like that). We'll see how long this behavior continues. I should note that the tethering is likely to come with a future surcharge but everyone seems to be wanting to do this.

This is good! (1)

mdvolm (68424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691742)

This is actually a good thing. Selling a limited "resource" as unlimited is not a sustainable system. Just ask AT&T...

Get Out of Contract Free Card (3, Insightful)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

They should fix the wi-fi on their phones first (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691802)

If the wi-fi on my Droid would work consistently, I wouldn't care about limited data plans. Since Verizon doesn't see fit to fix the problems (or from what I have seen, even acknowledge they exist) they should just leave their data plans alone.

Re:They should fix the wi-fi on their phones first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33691974)

Wifi on my Motorola Droid does work consistently. Try using "wifi analyzer" in the market to see the strength of the network you're using. I found that all of my neighbors' damned AT&T auto-configured routers were drowning out my Access Point. Buying a boosting antenna (which increased the TX power to 100+mw) fixed that problem quickly.

Re:They should fix the wi-fi on their phones first (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692350)

Thanks, I installed that some time ago. It doesn't seem to matter, I can be sitting right next to the hotspot (it's behind my monitor) and it will still stop communicating and require that I restart the wifi. I've had the same problem in many locations, hotels, coffee shops, my living room, it will work for some random length of time, and then just stop. If I need a reliable connection for email or something like that, I switch to 3G.

So this confirms.. (3, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691804)

iPhone on Verizon?

Re:So this confirms.. (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692158)

This was marked as funny, however i'm betting it's true.

If it makes tethering cheaper, I'm in (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691828)

If, at the same time as they institute tiered data plans, Verizon also brings the price of tethering down, then I am in.

They have been using the argument that "tethering costs more because tethered users use more data" to justify charging US$60 for tethering vs. US$30 for smartphone use. If they go tiered, then logically that argument should be mooted, and they should bring the cost of tethering down.

Of course, this being Verizon, to make that actually happen would require the use of a Bambleweeny 57 Sub-meson brain, an atomic vector plotter, and a cup of very hot tea - none of which I happen to have on me at this time.

There should be NO price of tethering! (5, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691938)

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:If it makes tethering cheaper, I'm in (1)

richardkelleher (1184251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691982)

If you are using an Android phone, check out easytether in the app market.

Re:If it makes tethering cheaper, I'm in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692292)

On my Nexus One, I simply click "Enable USB tethering" - there is no third party software required to tether. (For XP you need to have an INF file handy for installing the RNDIS driver for USB tethering, but for newer operating systems it's built in.)

Let's face it... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691942)

We all knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time before a carrier did that and as soon as it happened anyone with most of their brain active could tell the rest of the carriers would follow suit within 2 years. Someone might offer unlimited data, but it won't be a carrier that the majority of the world will care about. Having said that there's little reason to jump ship. However, you might be able to finagle an early upgrade date for your "New Every Two".

Google / Verizon's Wireless Internet Disclosure (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33691996)

I am beginning to wonder if this was the real reason for Google and Verizon saying that while net neutrality is fine and good for the wired internet, the wireless internet shouldn't be. You start to wonder after reading this.

Re:Google / Verizon's Wireless Internet Disclosure (1)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692180)

This has what to do with network neutrality?

People need to stop confusing the issues.

IP-based services need more spectrum (2, Interesting)

shoutingloudly (986897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692018)

I agree with jellomizer; most users won't hit their caps in a given period in the near term. We just switched from T-Mobile to VZ (I've gone from zero to 4 bars in parts of my building at work), but we seriously considered AT&T--which was off the table until they switched to cheaper but limited data. Price matters. My wife would be fine on 200 MB/mo, and with a little restraint I would be, too. I'd be comfortable with the 2 GB cap as much as 3-5 years out.

I think most consumers can rest assured that they won't outgrow these caps over the course of a 2-year contract, but this trend highlights the broader problem that spectrum is scarce and getting tighter. (I'm not an engineer, but my understanding is that AT&T can't possibly build enough towers under current constraints to fully service lower Manhattan on a Saturday night.) What happens when this year's 1 GHz Snapdragon processor seems like your old 486? Consumer demand for mobile bandwidth is going to keep growing exponentially.

If the mobile carriers don't increase caps at a corresponding (albeit halting) rate, they'll get some dissatisfied customers. The only solution is going to be more spectrum. I hope the unregulated TV white spaces ruling yesterday (yippee!!!) is just part of a continuing trend of freeing spectrum for IP-based (rather than dumb radio) uses, but at this rate, the mobile wireless industry is going to be hungry for more auctioned space soon.

I generally think telco lobbyists cry wolf at policymakers' doors all the time, but in this case, I think they're right.

GB = 1000 or 1024? (1)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692110)

This is going to start being a real issue that could amount to many dollars per month for many people. Will these new tiered plans warn you when you're about to get charged (which Verizon does when you attempt to tether, instead of using an implicit agreement)? Whether they do or not, 120MB is a lot of browsing that I don't get to do when I'm at the edge of my 5GB limit (the only higher tier available around here).

That was brief... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33692290)

I remember seeing the commercials just a few months ago where Verizon was bragging about reducing the rate for their "unlimited everything" plan.

Got to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33692328)

I'm wondering how this will affect Virgin Mobiles unlimited plan since they use Verizon? I just got one of their MiFi cards and I love it. The problem it's right now my main internet service since I'm moving around. I may find myself in an ipad like situation where you buy into a product based on an unlimited plan only to find shortly after you get it they drop the very plan that made you buy it. I have to wonder the logic if as they claim it's only a small number that exceed 2 gig and most use less than 200 meg. The point is if they throttle me I'll likely drop the service even though I probably don't exceed even a 2 gig cap. It's like unlimited cell. I may only exceed it a few times a year but I hate getting soaked so I'd rather pay for an unlimited plan so I don't have to worry. This golden age of on the go media is getting throttled to death.

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