Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New Verizon Option: Pay More, For Less

Verizon Wireless just announced "Share Everything" data plans, going live on June 28th. Engadget has the details here or click on through directly to Verizon's website here.

The pricing is confusing, and really doesn't seem like any sort of a discount. I can't imagine anybody going for this. These plans are definitely not any sort of discount, from what I can see.

Let's do the math: I just paid $171 to Verizon for this month's access for two iPhones, with unlimited data, and 700 shared minutes. That includes about $10 for text messages (we found it cheaper to not have a text messaging plan and just pay when it happens) and $20/mo for tethering on one phone. It also includes a 10% discount that Verizon provides to employees of the company I work for, and about $20 of the bill is taxes and administrative fees. (Also, there's a "Nationwide - Line Access" fee of $9.99/month being charged for each phone that I don't quite understand. I need to call about that.)

So if I wanted one of these new shared plans, with a reasonable amount of data, here's what I'd be looking at: $40 per phone, so $80 per month, for unlimited voice minutes and text messages. (Great, it's unlimited, but who cares. We're not maxing out our voice minutes currently.) Then on top of that, I'd be paying, say, $70/mo for 4 gigabytes of data each month.

Four gigabytes is not a ton of data -- I am told that most people use between one and two gigabytes of data each month. Probably more if you're traveling a lot, and I do travel some. And iPhones have a lot of software and application updates, and unless you're careful only to run those only on wifi, they count against your usage. So basically, we have what amounts to a modest-to-average amount of data available for each phone, and we'd have to worry about overages.

So for not-really-a-win as far as data access goes, we'd pay $150/mo. And that is before tethering ($20/mo) and taxes (approx. $20/mo), so that brings us up to...$190/month.

It's like, for the privilege of paying extra, suddenly I get to worry about data overages.

Who would go for this kind of plan?

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