Verizon: Where “Share Everything” Means “Share the Pain”
For the past 24 hours or so, the rumblings on the wireless airwaves have been all about Verizon’s new and “improved” pricing strategy, which they’ve dubbed the “Share Everything” plan. But really – who wants to share everything? Not all of us, that’s for sure.
Since the company – with 93 million subscribers – is apparently struggling to make ends meet, they’ve decided the best thing to do is essentially flip the current pricing and plan structure upside down and begin charging people more for the services they use most. That is to say, voice and text will become menially cheaper. For a pair of DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) sharing a plan, that means the non-data phone bill will most likely drop. But for a family with three teens and two parents on smart phones, the new monthly charge of $40 per line will come out to a base price of $200. And that’s before we even get to the data part. If you’re merely servicing something like a basic phone, that monthly charge drops to only $10. And all this includes now unlimited calling and texting for all subscribers – including your 80 year old grandmother who has never texted in her life. Because, ya know – Verizon just likes you that much.
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But wait until you hear about all the improvement to the data structure. Remember about two years ago when you could pay $30 for unlimited data usage on your second generation iPhone? And then it changed to where $30 only bought you 2 GB – oh, wait, but then Verizon generously bumped that up to 4 GB? Not confusing at all, right? Well now – wait for it – you can get 1GB for the bargain price of $50 a month. And as if that’s not enough, you get the privilege of sharing that 1 GB with every line on your plan. It is called “Share Everything,” after all. For families who currently have a $30 a month, 4 GB plan through Verizon’s network, they will now have to pay $70 in order to get the same amount of data, except it will be split between all the lines on their account. And that hypothetical family with the three text-happy teens – who might also love streaming YouTube – could now be looking at $300 or more for a phone bill. Back in the dark ages, $300 a month was a car payment.
The good news is that if you currently have a plan through Verizon and want to use the grandfathering route of staying on the plan and off the new bag of goods, you can. The bad news is that if you do, you’ll have to pay full price for the next phone you get on that unlimited data plan – and for loyal Apple fans, that could mean $600 or more for an iPhone.
Ultimately, other carriers may not be much of an improvement. The suits at AT&T are already clamoring in wonder at the brilliance of Verizon’s new plan. For those who do much of their work from a smart phone, things are about to get very interesting. For parents who need to keep track of older children and college age kids, things are about to get very interesting. As for me and my family, we’re considering going back to tin cans on a string. Memo to Verizon: It’s the economy, stupid!