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Why the share plan at Verizon Wireless is a bad deal anyway you slice it – VZW Share Plan Review

by The Review CrewSeptember 20, 2012

I’ve been wanting to dig into data plans and the new “Overage” scheme that the larger cell phone companies have been doing for awhile.  To be honest, the editor was a little hesitant to let me go on about it because I am so very berry opinionated that it might step on a few toes.  I’ll miss Mark Talbot, but the the new editor doesn’t worry about toes and well… I never have so we get along well.  My first article on this matter will be about Verizon Wireless and their so called share plan.  I’m going to say this because I believe it:  “For cell phone call quality and customer service, Verizon Wireless has everyone beat hands down.  This includes their data speed.”

I say that, and I stand by it.  BUT (I’m not sure putting the but in 50 point font will be enough, so I’m going to refrain).  BUT BUT BUT they are penny smart and dollar stupid on the data usage end and it makes the deal NO BUENO for me.  What I’m about to say applies to this fast data plan cost.  I’m going to qualify this as well with a “LTE is becoming the new standard and as the other companies upgrade their 4G networks the speed Verizon has is rapidly becoming just like the rest of the offerings out there, so there is little reason to pay more at this point”.  Here goes…

Verizon Wireless is to cellular data plans as Scrooge is to gold coins.  In the land of the Unlimited plans the two cellular giants are trying to keep bleeding you with overage charges and tha

t can only happen if they have a way to do that.  Enter the data plan.  It’s funny how companies like Sprint, Clear, T-Mobile (Just started) can offer people unlimited data plans, but Verizon Wireless offers so little for so much and then they ad insult to injury by coming up with the best P.T. Barnum line ever… “You can share”.

We have had lengthy conversations with Verizon Wireless and their Public Relations team on the telephone over the years.  We ask them about the data plan because well.. it’s expensive and it isn’t realistic.  Their claim that 1 Gig, 2Gigs, 5 Gigs, 10 Gigs is enough is absurd.  In fact, Brenda Raney once got very irritated at Mark Talbot on the telephone over the data plan issue.  She made a statement that made it sound like the customer was an idiot they didn’t need that much data and anyone that needed more than 5 gigs was abusing their system.  In the same breath they released the first phone (at the time it was a LG Revolution) with a working netflix app.  Netflix… to stream movies… the average length of which is 300-500 megs.  They commercials made it sound like you didn’t have to pay $15 dollars for every 3 movies you watch on top of your netflix fee… LOL!!! The price they charge is absurd. They will have you think that you can check LOADS of emails, stream movies, and do other activities easily… well you can, but you will pay through the nose for it.  You have to pick your data plan so you pick 1, 2, 5, 10 and pay through the nose.  THEN if you go over it they don’t simply throttle you like most of the other providers they hit you with overage charges of 15 dollars per Gigabyte of Data.  A Gig of data is nothing.  Just surfing the web here at the office for a day, checking emails and streaming a little pandora in the background I’ve managed to tally up 350 megs in about 8 hours.  40% of Reviewboard’s traffic now comes from mobile devices.  Mobile devices are rapidly becoming replacements for televisions, radios, desktops, and notebooks.  It’s all about tablets, and mobile phones now.  Verizon Wireless knows this and they want a big piece of that rear-end if you utilize their service.  To the tune of over $100 a month extra.

Let’s do the math… if you have a teenager you can count on the fact that they will be on their cell phone for at least 12 hours a day. FACT.  They will be doing everything and anything and because teenagers are mostly a**holes until they get into their mid-twenties they won’t care if they go over their ‘shared’ data allotment.  You can threaten to turn their phone off, charge them, or do whatever you want it will just result in an unruly kid you can’t beat (or you will go to jail) and you won’t be able to get ahold of them if they are out because their phone is off.  Trust me I know, I had 5 kids and they are just rounding into their mid-twenties now and I can finally say wow I raised good kids. <big grin>  Seriously though that’s just the teenager math.  If I’m doing 350 megs in 8 hours they are going to do at least that in 12, which means you need 10 Gigs a month just for them.  That’s $100 extra a month right there, now what about your data?  How about your spouse?  Anyone else in the family “Sharing”?  Mind you this is ABOVE and BEYOND your “UNLIMITED” Plan that you are already paying for… So 3 smart phones at 40 a pop is $120+$150 for 15 gig data plan (you and the spouse can live on 5 can’t you?) that’s $270 + taxes… Let me put this another way… That’s a 2013 Jeep Cherokee.  That’s absurd.

Is it cheaper than… 3 smart phones at Sprint?  Actually yes.  I know that’s a weird thing to say.  Yes and No.  For about $30 bucks extra you can get 3 phones from Sprint with unlimited everything for $300.  You will never be charged another dime.  I’d rather control the cost upfront myself then worry about brow-beating my kid, or my spouse over data usage.  I don’t know about you but I’ve got plenty of other drama going on in my family to introduce an incendiary device like a data usage argument to the equation.

How about T-Mobile?  Well if you go to their website right now and select three 4G phones, add the family plan with nationwide unlimited 4G data it says $174.98 monthly.   Wow… That’s a BIG savings and very reasonable too.  No overages, no BS, just 3 smart phones and family unlimited plan to go with them.

Unfortunately, it has been my experience with T-Mobile that their customer service is difficult to work with.  For instance I was personally with them for over 3 years and I was never charged the correct tax.  It’s a small issue that amounted to maybe 50 cents a bill but it irritated the bajeekers out of me.  I had to call them and have a supervisor adjust it every 6 months to keep my sanity.  Their excuse?  “We bill an average tax rate for the coverage area”.  Huh?  Where I’m from if I live in Kenosha Wisconsin that means I pay 5% tax, and an additional .5% for Kenosha county tax.  That means 5.5 not 7.5.  Sure it’s a small difference but I hate that.  They never did get it right, I finally just gave up calling.

I can tell you this… for $125 dollar savings I wouldn’t care about getting on the phone every 6 months.  I might even let it slide.  The big fact to remember is this:  If you decide to let a company like Verizon Wireless ram rod you into a crappy data plan you are contributing to their delinquency and until you stop enabling them to be data bullies they will never do the right thing.  The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to make a new choice and go with another carrier that offers a truly unlimited plan. The costs associated with this unlimited data activity are nominal and cost of doing business.  Comcast had similar issues about 10 years ago… they decided to upgrade their infrastructure and now they are the fastest internet provider in the United States making money hand over fist.  Send a message to Verizon Wireless… “Give us what we want and stop trying to be slick willy; overages suck.”  Switch to a provider like Sprint or T-Mobile and join the rest of us in worry-free land.

While Verizon Wireless have great phones, some of the best…Verizon Wireless Data plans are not worth the money, I give them 3 out of 10 stars mostly because of the greedy plan structure, I could give them more stars if say… the data plans started at 100Gigs and went up… then I could understand that they want to cut costs a little and still offer something worth while… right now they are just interested in making money hand over fist on the data plans and that is not the attitude I want to support.

 

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.

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