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Maybe It's Time to Say Goodbye to Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan

On November 15, Verizon will increase the price of its unlimited data plan by $20 per month — which means grandfathered users might finally have to let go.
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Verizon is set to increase the price of its now-defunct unlimited data plan from $29.99 to $49.99 per month as of November 15, according to CNN Money. If you're in the estimated 1% of Verizon customers who were grandfathered into keeping their unlimited plans, this is an extra $20 per month per line, in addition to all other fees.

This is the Worst

I'm in the 1%. My husband and I both have these mythical unlimited data plans, and they haven't been easy to keep. For instance, when one of my phones died, I had to add a "ghost line" to our contract so I could get a new phone. That line is now tied to an obsolete handset with no battery. I'm paying $10 a month for a phone I never use. And the fees don't stop there.

All these hoops we've jumped through to keep our precious unlimited plans has left us paying way too much for everything. Are you still paying for text messages? I am — to the tune of $30 extra bucks a month. In fact, maintaining the privilege of unhindered mobile internet access has caused my family's phone bill to balloon to $290 per month — $330 per month after the November 15 price hike.

So why keep paying for unlimited data? We do use about 9GB to 12GB per cycle, and switching to an equivalent data plan would mean that I would have to worry about overages. When you've got no data cap, you get used to doing things like streaming YouTube for the kids every time you're in the car.

But Maybe It's Time to Give Up Unlimited

However, switching to a non-unlimited plan would save me $60 per month, even if I kept that stupid ghost line and made no other changes to my plan. Breaking up this weird, bloated family plan I've cobbled together over the years would drop my bill down to $140 per month for just my husband and me. But even that feels pretty steep.

The prospect of paying an extra $40 per cycle for two unlimited data plans (on top of all the other fees I've amassed) seems to be a bridge too far. I've been paying for the privilege of unlimited data, but data has gotten cheaper in the years since 2011. And if unlimited data is the only thing keeping me with Verizon, what's to stop me from taking my business elsewhere and seeing what deals they offer?

Readers, are you part of the proud few who have kept an unlimited data plan at Verizon? Will this price increase cause you to finally let it go? Is anyone else tired of all the phone industry upheaval? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Features Writer

Marcy pens consumer news stories of all sorts, in addition to adding pithy prose to many of the roundups you see every day. Her work for DealNews has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. She is by far the most metal member of the DealNews staff, and you can see why by following her on Twitter @ThatBonebright.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Unless marked as a "Sponsored Deal," the opinions expressed here are those of the author and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the companies mentioned. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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18 comments
moparbrad
nimer is one of the few who knows the truth. we have been paying the added $25/month which was originally part of the phone subsidy. I haven't upgraded since 2009, so VZW has made good on that subsidy from me for the last 4+ years that I have been available to upgrade. I just play the craigslist game buying/swapping phones.

I'm not a big data user, up to maybe 20gb/month give or take, but at $76/month with my 19% corporate discount, I'll pay the extra $20 and still only be at approx. $92-94/month. Find me a plan on AT&T or VZW that I can use, as a single user, up to 20gb per month for under $100 - GOOD LUCK. It sucks, but I'll pay it and reconsider the next time they try to increase the price. I've been saving a good $20+/month for years now by not upgrading. It's worth it to keep the unlimited for me right now as data usage continues to increase, I can stream all day and never worry. Plus my wifi at home isn't very strong so I never even use wifi on my phone.
nematoda
I got T-Mobile's unlimited 4G LTE, unlimited text, unlimited talk plan for $50/month with a minimum two lines, so $100 plus tax/fees. The family plan also include free data overseas (honestly, though, it didn't work well when I was in Korea and Japan this summer), and free calling among the US, Canada, and Mexico. Although I don't think T-Mobile has the unlimited plan right now, you can still get 10 GB per line for the same price. For most users, that more than enough data.
Konc3ptsf
I was in the 1% until June of this year, tried to keep my plan at around $100 that meant only 450 minutes of talk time, and few hundred text messages for around $110 Ran over the minutes few times. I kept my Verizon active for a week while testing Tmobile. Have to say they're fairly comperable, there were spots where one carrier had better or worse signal than the other or vice versa. Where two carries had strong signal I ran speed tests and Tmobile would come on the top. Also Tmobile had a promotion this summer two lines unlimited everything for $100, now I have 3 lines on Tmobile for $160 plus tax. Another great feature of Tmobile when I went travelling to central europe this summer I unlimited had 3g data and free wifi calling.
john_fist
If you're only using 9-12GB a month you have no real business being on an unlimited plan. I use Sprint for unlimited data, and I probably use anywhere from 50-200GB a month.
R1one
I agree with dhunter35!!! I got the grandfathered plan kept my iPhone 4 the longest . They tried everything and finally I caved in when online says unlimited no longer exist. Bastard!
Fall Guy
I have been on the straight talk plan for a year and it has been great...check it out. No overages.
DaveTap
If you have Sprint coverage try Freedompop. I had their WiMax MiFi service and misplaced both MiFis but they add extra free data for the used Sprint S3 I activated when they started LTE service. I have 3 phones... 1 per car and 1 for me. I keep "unlimited" talk and text for $5/mo. but drop data plan. You get 500 mb free data plus 500 mb if you have 10 "freedompop friends" (10 devices means I'm my own 10 "friends"). "Friends" can send you up to 100 mb of extra data each month up to an additional 500mb that's 1.5 GB/ phone free per month.. If you drop talk&text they give 200 minutes and 500 texts. Just be sure to use a separate email when signing up for each phone. I don't give out my cell numbers because I use Hangouts for all my calls. My GoogleVoice number rings all the cells and my Obi202 at home. With access to Comcast WiFi I hardly even use half my data plan but when I get close I just send myself some extra or swap phones.
dhunter35
I an grandfathered in, and they have tried every trick in the book to get me on another plan. They use to call me a couple times a month trying to offer me this great deal if I would change plans. Their "Great" deal would have end up costing me $23.00 more a month, with limited data. I ask how paying $23.00 more a month with a data cap, would be a better deal for me. They could never answer that question, but it was still a "Great" deal.
Verizon is just money hungry, so it is time to move on to another company and get more for the money. The ONLY thing verizon is good at, is coverage. Customer support is a joke.
Bye, bye Verizon. I wish other Verizon customers would take a stand, and let them know we have other choices. If enough bailed, maybe they would rethink the way they treat their customer, and make some changes for the better.
illkitty
There is a site called Keepvid.com that lets you download youtube videos to your PC (some videos won't work due to copy protection on youtube's end). If you do that, you can then put those videos on an SD Card, or store right on your phone.

As for a phone plan, if you are in range of Sprint towers.....just switch to Ting. I think you can even use a savings calculator to see if their service can save you money. I've found that other than Coverage, the only thing that Verizon gives people is big phone bills. I'll never go back to Verizon, those bill bullies :P .

I just bring my Laptop with me to watch movies on my Bus Commute to & from work...as that works out to about 2 hours of my day in all.
jcauthorn
This sounds customer-hostile. I've been on the unlimited data plan with AT&T since iPhone 3g (~6 years?). I just upgraded to an iPhone 6s Plus.
Last week AT&T sent a message to almost everyone still in the unlimited data plan that they now have _unlimited minutes (I was in the Nation 450 for 450 mins/month) and they added FREE _unlimited Texts and _Unlimited Pics.
I called to verify it and they said yes, it's a customer appreciation thing. I really do appreciate it.
They also seem to have eliminated the limited minute plan altogether so my only other upgrade option now is with the new plans. I'm glad I didn't get locked into the price of a higher plan/higher cost.

I've got a 19% corporate discount so I'm playing ~$67/month for unlimited everything.

Yes, I'm feeling great about it, although there probably are less expensive options, I have little motivation to leave now.

Would love to see a write-up on AT&T changes and compare that to VZW.
travelguy67
Might have to say bye bye VZW....
nimer
You do realize that Verizon did technically increase the price of unlimited data in 2012 by $25 or so? Here's how: the original plan had $25 phone subsidy, By forcing customers to either keep their old phone beyond two years (I.e. They already paid for it) or pay full retail for a new phone , yet continue with that backed in $25 fee, they did increase unlimited data price. With $20 more now, question is: is it worth it?
grapenuts
Maybe it's time to start downloading huge torrent files to my phone, and deleting them. Just to use all the data I'm going to be paying for.
Never abused the plan, but I do think it's about time to start.
How do I hack my hotspot on a HTC M8 android V. 5.01? and let everyone use it, just because I can.
RudeVader
Still on the old unlimited as well, but only one line. 20 buck increase is a bit much, but that's Verizon plan to force that 1% down to .05% or less.

If your coverage is solid, it may be better to pay the extra 20 then go with another carrier with poor coverage in your area. Tough choices to make.
Cilvre
i know a few people still on those plans, and majority of them are going to exodus from verizon as a result. One is staying on and said they will no longer use wifi since they are paying more to keep unlimited data.
ThePublisher
Marcy, you are paying way too much. I have 7 lines (all smart phones) on AT&T for $216 per month. 10GB of shared Data. Granted we don't use the data you do, but you can jump to the next data tier and still save a ton.
India-dealnews
We pay close to $200 a month for our family plan with 2 lines, the minimum data, and insurance on only 1 phone with Verizon... We are really starting to consider other options.
tazmgr
It is time to leave them! I was unlimited / grandfathered in on 2 lines, plus 2 lines with a flip phone, and refused to pay for texting - no texting :-(.

I owned all of my phones, and went in to see what kind of deal I could make (as they advertised on TV). Was basically told they could not do much, unless I was a new customer.

Took 1 of the lines to Straight Talk (5GB / unlimited Talk / Text) for $45 using BYOD. Still runs on Verizon Towers (needed coverage). Still using Verizon phone I had.

The other line I went with T-Mobile with some friends (4 of us), and now have 10GB each line for $120 total ($30 per line), and went to Jump on Demand - I now have a new iPhone 6S Plus (great phone) with the lease discount. You can go to 20 GB on a line for an extra $10 per line.

The 2 flip phones went to PagePlus (only use 30 minutes voice per month) with 2000 minutes / 2000 text per year for $75

So, Verizon did me a favor by raising the costs - made me re-evaluate what I was paying.
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