Verizon, Quit Trying to Nickel & Dime Me

I am a Verizon Wireless customer. I know. It’s tragic. But what can I do? I’m locked into a two-year contract with seven months to go.

A few days ago I got an e-mail with some wonderful news. Verizon now has unlimited text, picture, and video messaging. Wow! That’s great, right?

Um, no.

The Downsides of Verizon’s Groovy New Plan

The Unlimited Plan Isn’t Really Unlimited

I’ve already written about why I dislike text messages. The reason was because my cell phone company was wanting to charge me ten cents for any stinkin’ message I received or sent out. And pictures cost twenty-five cents. The plans to cover my text messages were five dollars for only three hundred messages. To me, that was absurd. I called my phone company and told them to turn off all text messages. Yes — for those who are addicted — it is possible to break free of the habit.

The new Verizon plan says, “Text all you want. Have a free for all. Pictures for everyone!”

If you read the fine print, however, some of the messaging counts against your airtime. So if you send a picture that takes twenty-seconds to send, it counts as a minute against your airtime. Text messaging (fortunately) does not count against your airtime.

For those who send enough pictures and video, those precious day time minutes are being sucked up. When/if your minutes run out, that unlimited messaging plan suddenly becomes a cash cow for Verizon.

The Unlimited Plan is Unflexible

I have the America’s Choice Basic Family SharePlan, with two lines. However, I can’t add the unlimited plan to just my phone. I have to add the plan to both, resulting in an extra thirty dollars a month in my monthly payment. Since one of my lines isn’t being used (long story), it’s nothing but a sunk cost.

Furthermore, when joining this “Unlimited Plan”, I have to suddenly agree to renew my contract for another one or two years. And of course, if I do that, I’ll want to get a new phone that takes better pictures and is easier to text-message with. And I’ll still be stuck with that second unused line.

I’m Tempted to Switch

My contract expires in January. If I want to get nickel and dimed, I might as well switch to Cingular since they will at least have the groovy iPhone if I want to pony up the cash. I’ve also heard T-Mobile is good too.

Verizon (if anybody is out there… I doubt it), if you want to keep me as a customer come January, make your unlimited plan truly unlimited, make it apply per line, and don’t require a contract renewal.

3 Comments

  1. Don't forget your other option: get rid of your cellphone and go back to using a land line. 🙂

    I'd go with a "pay as you go" plan if you don't use the phone a whole lot. I've used T-Mobile "To Go" plan and it works pretty well. Just verify coverage in your area first, of course. 🙂

    cetroyer

  2. cetroyer,

    I've contemplated getting a Skype phone, but none of them currently let you text message people. T-Mobile sounds good as an option. I'll look into it more.

  3. T-mobile pay as you go plan is pretty cheap. However, coverage is a big issue. I changed work and residence, and the phone now works in neither place…. Have to change~~ I will go with ATT because my husband can get 10% off for every month bill. I know att will nickle and dime us, but who doesn’t?

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