Five years ago, I was lucky enough to be “grandfathered” into an unlimited data plan with my cell phone carrier, Verizon Wireless. There were provisos, of course – I had to purchase my cell phones at full retail price; I had to stay out of contract (going month-to-month), and if I made any changes to my cell phone plan, I’d have to accept new terms regarding data.
Of course, once Verizon made this maneuver, it discovered that people who had unlimited data plans were using every unlimited megabyte of that data plan. Yep. You could watch Netflix and chill on your cell phone if you wanted to. You could binge-watch and live-stream whatever your heart desired.
Hey, I’ve got unlimited data, too. And it’s handy for watching YouTube clips now and again.
But now comes the news that Verizon is once again taking away what it promised. Ever since they’ve offered the unlimited data plan, they’ve tried to scale it back. They’ve raised the monthly charge for unlimited data. They’ve throttled download speeds of unlimited data users. And they’ve tried – at nearly every possible opportunity – to convince unlimited data users like me to switch our plans. “You’re only using a very small amount of data, Mr. Miller, you really should sign up for this deal.” Yeah, right. Not until I get an electron-microscope to read the fine print in that contract.
Ars Technica has reported that if you are a Verizon customer who uses at least 100GB of data per month on an unlimited data plan, Verizon will drop you from their phone service after August 31.
That’s right. Verizon offered you an unlimited data plan, and now they’re punishing you because you’ve actually USED it.
Verizon, being the kind and benevolent telecommunications company that it is, says that those users can return to Verizon’s services after they agree to sign up for a new contract that includes surcharges for data overages. Oh, and Verizon does offer a 100GB/month plan… it’s only $450/month.
Wow. Talk about your strong-arm tactics.
This really concerns me. It’s the same tactics as when your electric services provider suggests you conserve energy to lower your bill, and you do just that, to the point where the electric services provider jacks up the rates to make up for the loss in revenue.
And maybe I’d be okay with Verizon doing something like this … but I’m not. Because we don’t know what Verizon constitutes “data.” If I use my cell phone’s GPS functions to drive from the 518 somewhere, should I be concerned that the GPS is siphoning tons of data from the Internet, and therefore adding overages to my life?
I quickly checked my BlackBerry PRIV to see how much data usage I’ve incurred. Hmm… 7GB/month at the most. So I shouldn’t be affected by this new Verizon muscle tactic.
At least I hope they don’t target me.
But yeah, I know Verizon has been itching to get rid of its unlimited data customers. We’re the ones that saw the sweetheart deal Verizon offered and we took it. And for Verizon to turn around and threaten us for actually taking the deal… that’s just evil. Shame on you, Red Check.
What’s next, Verizon? You gonna tell me that I can’t own a BlackBerry on your network?
Honestly, at this point I’m tempted to start my own cell phone company. I’m going to call it “Two Soup Cans and String,” and it will cost whatever it takes to string a fishing line between two tin cans. Hmm… on second thought, maybe I don’t want to get tangled up in that idea.
Just another day, another moment with the Big Bad Red Check.
Can you hear me now, Verizon?
Oh wait … they only listen to me when I send them their “pound of flesh” tribute every month.