Daily Dose of iQ: Verizon Killing Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans

May 17, 2012 — Allan Pulga

"Verizon to kill grandfathered data plans. This is bullshit," read the headline today on Gizmodo.com.

Kyle Wagner, of the outspoken tech blog, called the announcement "absurd, warrantless, and sadly, typically, aggressively anti-consumer."

Wagner is one of those customers who "snuck in under the cutoff" when Verizon announced the end of unlimited data back in June 2011.

"Verizon's policy had been fairly benevolent until now, at least outwardly," he writes. "3G unlimited users were allowed to keep their unlimited plans when they moved to LTE, with no added charge. There had been signs that Verizon had been getting wary of unlimited sticking around, with its push to make 3G Facetime only available to non-unlimited customers."

Sue Marek of FierceWireless explained how Verizon's new data plans will work:

  • Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said that LTE will be the anchor for the new plan.
  • As customers upgrade from 3G to LTE, they will be obligated to use a data share plan, which allows Verizon to phase out its grandfathered unlimited 3G data plans.
  • Verizon issued a statement following Shammo's remarks: Customers can keep their unlimited data plans until shared data plans become available. At that point, the unlimited option will cease to exist when customers buy a new device at a subsidized price, as typically happens with a new two-year contract.

So, it appears that customers who snuck in under the cutoff are being phased out as Verizon itself sneaks in a new policy: pinning the death of unlimited data to infrastructure (3G to LTE) advancement. It might not be complete bullshit. Maybe just kinda bullshit.

Topics: Retail Trends, Mobile Industry