In case you haven't heard, Verizon just made some major bonehead changes to their "Unlimited Plans". For six months, Verizon stemmed the subscriber exodus to other carriers by introducing the best Unlimited Plan in the industry. Unlike the other carriers that offered 480p or 720p, Verizon exclusively offered 1080p streaming. They also threw in 10GB of Hotspot. Well, yesterday they threw all that out the window.
While all of the other carriers periodically go from better to worse and from worse to better on their plans, there is one enormous difference. They abide by the tradition of "Grandfathering." That means these other carriers would not dare to make any changes on their current subscribers plans. This would only impact new subscribers signing up after the announcement. That's what makes this especially disgusting. The FCC would never allow this if this was a contract plan. Verizon is playing with fire here. Because the contract is not on the plan, but on the device, they probably think they found a loophole and just drove an 18 wheeler through it. In my view, this was really dumb!
My colleague, Chris Mills of BGR, explained it perfectly, "It’s exactly this kind of strong-arm, technically-legal-but-really-a-sleazy-move kinda thing that makes people hate telecoms companies in the first place — and it’s the reason why people actually like T-Mobile, despite its prices being nearly the same and the CEO having a penchant for awful onesies. Until Verizon buckles down and starts being transparent, the Uncarrier is going to keep whooping its ass."
The irony is they want you to pay almost four figures for a SmartPhone that supports 4k resolution so they can get their hooks into you for another 24 months on a device finance deal. Even these are not all the same between carriers, by design. It's funny how T-Mobile will allow their subscribers to double up on payments to accelerate payoff. In fact, T-Mobile will even allow subscribers to port out and use their devices with other carriers, as long as they continue to pay their monthly device cost - even without having a rate plan! Compare that to Verizon who will not allow you to accelerate your payment schedule, whatsoever, unless you are willing to pay for the device in full. Yeah... As Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as Stupid Does!"
They say a picture tells 1000 words!
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.