Verizon Wireless is overhauling its prices for wireless service. The company says the new plans are simpler… but that doesn’t mean they’re actually simple.

The good news is that there are fewer choices to make. The less good news is that you won’t necessarily save any money with the new plans which take effect starting August 13th.

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So here’s the deal: there’s no longer such a thing as single-line or family plans. Instead you pay $20 per month for each smartphone you want to add to a plan, and you get unlimited domestic voice minutes and text messaging.

Then you choose a data plan:

  • $30 for 1GB of shareable data
  • $45 for 3GB of shareable data
  • $60 for 6GB of shareable data
  • $80 for 12GB of shareable data

In other words, if you have a single phone and want 3GB of data, you’ll end up paying $65 per month. Have two phones? That’ll be $85 per month and you both get to share that 3GB of data. But if you want 6GB (so you can each use up to 3GB), then the price goes up to $100 per month.

Oh yeah. Those prices don’t include the cost of your phone. Verizon will no longer offer discounted phones to customers who sign a 2-year contract.

Instead, you can buy your phone outright or pay for it in monthly installments. That’ll either increase your up-front costs or your monthly bills.

Want to add a tablet or portable WiFi hotspot to your plan? That’s $10 per month on top of the price of your data plan. Smartwatches and other connected devices add $5 per month to your bill.

Verizon’s new plans can be shared between up to 10 devices.


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29 replies on “Verizon’s new simplified wireless plans are still kind of complicated”

  1. It’s sad that it’s legal to charge extra for each device. Assuming it is legal, no real clue. Your electricity bill doesn’t depend on the numbers of lightbulbs in your home. You don’t pay 30$ extra for each TV or gaming console while owning a refrigerator or AC is not an extra 50$. Ofc they would argue that pinging the tower is such a calamity…..

    1. Man, if we went back to paying per minute/text/data MB that we used, people would cry bloody murder.

    2. Well there is some cost for the dedicated phone number (as opposed to just a tablet), but in any case what a business charges for something has little to do with cost.

    3. Each is a line of service. No different then land line phones. You pay for each line. And if you added dsl, you pay for that. No different then its always been. The comparison to light bulbs is out of wack, as its more like having more then one home. They would charge you service for each home… Electricity wise… That is the better comparison. The Apps on your phone are more like lightbulbs. Meaning something that runs off your service.

  2. Wouldn’t it be $55 for one line and 3gb data?
    I can’t belive they did this, att has much better data plan options. Paying Around $220 for 6 lines and 15 gb data.
    I love being able to byod.
    If all the carriers get rid of 2 year contracts will people still buy iPhones and high priced android flagships? I don’t see people paying $650+ for a phone.
    Att and Sprint need to get rid of contracts now!

    1. Yes. It will be interesting to see how this affects flagship phone sales. The price of phones will be more evident. People may not be so willing to fork out six hundred to a thousand dollars for a phone.

      1. I suspect the availability of quality mid-range phones (and cut-price previous gen flagships) will be the main factor in forcing down the price of future flagships, along with the fact that the incremental spec and performance gains are getting less and less meaningful. Who needs to the Facebook app to start up 0.05 second faster? Who needs a 4k screen? Who needs a 30 megapixel camera over a 20 megapixel camera? And so on.

        When I ran a benchmark on my recently purchased former-flagship (in 2013) LG G2 phone, it congratulated me on having one of the fastest phones out there. I paid $218 for it, new and unlocked.

        1. I completely agree. 2GB ram, 32GB flash, 1080p display, Quad-core, good camera, 2500mAh battery are my minimum specs. The LG G2 @$220 is the sweet spot. I don’t want to go cheaper or more expensive. I get good GSM coverage where I live, there is no way I would move to Verizon.

  3. I got my wife an auto-renew prepay plan (plus a $79 moto e smartphone) from totalwireless that costs me $27.55 per month (total including all fees and all taxes) for unlimited voice and text. It uses the Verizon 3G network. To that I add $10 for each 1 GB of non-expiring rollover data. Since she is mainly a WIFI user, that 1 GB lasts many months.
    When my contract is up in the fall, I will do the same thing. I use more mobile data so the data part may cost me 3 x $10 in a year. Between the 2 of us we will probably save at least $25/month vs our old Verizon contract. All we ever do away from WIFI is Google look-ups, news, and email, so 3G is fine. For our needs, these Verizon plans (including my present plan) are expensive over-kill. Once we got through a painful sign-up procedure (poorly trained, English not first language customer service) , the totalwireless service works well.

    1. There are lots of MVNOs that can save you money over the main wireless carriers, if you can deal with the restrictions (e.g. no roaming, throttled data, etc.) and questionable customer service (their plans are cheaper for a reason!).

      I was looking at the T-Mobile MVNO Cricket Wireless because of their free international service add-on for $5/month, but the T-Mobile signal at my house isn’t good enough, so now I’m looking at H20 Wireless who provide free international calls with their $27/month plan (500MB data. $3 auto repay discount). They operate on AT&T, which has a better signal in my area.

      [* Edit: I confused T-Mobile with AT&T’s Cricket Wireless — see new comment below]

      Other MVNOs offer more data, some offer wifi calling, some are great if you only need to make a few calls a month, and so on. The trick is to shop around, make sure your phone will work with the plan you choose, and check the small print before you sign up. The good news is that you don’t need to sign a lengthy contract, so if one MVNO doesn’t work out, there are plenty of others you can try.

        1. Whoops — yeah, you’re right. I was originally considering T-Mobile because they have an international add-on, but I can only get a 2G Edge signal in my living room. Cricket was my next choice, but then I came across H20 Wireless who are about $20/month cheaper (with 500MB instead of 5GB of data).

          Cricket is a pretty good deal — $40/month with 2.5GB data — if you don’t need the free international calls (you need the $50/month plan + $5 to qualify for that). Their data is throttled to 8Mbps down, but that should be more than enough for most people. It is important to know that their prices are inclusive (no additional fees or taxes) while the major carriers’ are not.

          Sorry about the confusion, and thanks for the correction.

          1. No problem! I just wanted to make sure that wasn’t preventing you from switching. I’ve happily been a Cricket customer for over a year. I do the $40 plan – $5 autopay credit. It’s a great value at $35!

      1. Mike:
        Correct. In my case (due to signal issues where I live and travel) I needed an MVNO that used Verizon. A similar plan from Consumer Cellular would have been slightly cheaper, but since they use AT&T’s network, would not have worked for me.

  4. With this, does anyone really subsidize phones anymore? Overall, its good to get away from the throw-it-away-after-2-years consumption pattern that jacked up all phone bills.

    1. I wonder if that trend is the real reason behind the manufacturers switching away from user replaceable batteries?

      1. I highly doubt it. When plans included phone upgrades every two years, most customers didn’t use their phone long enough to need a replacement battery, so why would manufacturers go to the additional expense of providing them?

        The main reasons for non-replaceable batteries are minimizing size, weight, and manufacturing costs. Sure, the short upgrade cycle is valuable to manufacturers, but if replaceable batteries were a high priority for customers, some of them, at least, would still be selling phones with them.

        1. My point was that by making the batteries non-user replaceable, consumers would be more likely to upgrade, even though they now have to pay for an upgrade. With a user replaceable battery the choice for a consumer now is to spend $25 for a new battery or $600-$700 for a new phone. Before it used to be spend $25 or $100-$200, so the manufacturers didn’t care as much that the owners could easily replace their batteries.

          And some manufacturers are still selling phones with user replaceable batteries. That Samsung isn’t is one of the reasons for the disappointing sales of the S6.

          1. And my point was that manufacturers aren’t dumb. They knew that a majority of their customers never needed to replace their phone’s battery because they just replaced their phones, so why would they go to the additional expense of providing replaceable batteries in the first place? Providing a sealed, replaceable battery costs money, and adds weight and thickness to any phone in a market where they have been striving to reduce weight, size, and manufacturing costs for years. That’s my point.

          2. Well iyour major mistake is assuming manufactures aren’t dumb. No one but Apple makes money selling these things. And Samsung listened to the tech press in designing the S6, and suffered from declining sales as a result. Not sure how much more evidence you want of their stupidity. 😉

            Also, I’m not seeing that having a replaceable battery adds cost. Samsung supposedly did it so that they could move to “premium materials.” You might be right on thickness–not a stat I even consider (other than I avoid very thin ones due to strength and battery capacity concerns).

          3. It adds cost because you have to provide a battery that is safe to handle — i.e. in a rigid case that doesn’t leak, will withstand being dropped from a certain height, and will pass other government-mandated safety tests. That is all overhead when compared with one in a sealed compartment, along with the overhead of space and weight (or reduced capacity to avoid that overhead).

          4. You realize that the batteries are virtually identical, and in any case are relatively cheap items, right?

            About the only advantage a non-removable battery has is it might not be a single battery. You could put part of it one place and part of it another to gain more total capacity. I don’t know that anyone has actually done that, but I have heard of it being considered.

          5. I guess you haven’t seen inside a sealed smartphone recently. Yes, electrically and chemically their internals are pretty much the same, but the way they are integrated into the case and connected up vary greatly depending on the size and positioning of the other components they share space with.

            Anyway, let’s just agree to disagree. We’re going around in circles at this point.

          6. I agree. Given the choice, of course, I would want a removable battery too. Before I bought my LG G2, I checked to make sure I could replace the battery, even though it isn’t a removable battery, knowing that it could extend my phone’s the useful lifetime some day. I just don’t agree that the phone companies are now conspiring to eliminate removable batteries for the purposes of shortening their phone’s lifespan, that’s all.

  5. It’s really not all that different, except before you used to pay $15 a line if 6GB or over. And it looks like they grouped the 2 and 3GB into just the 3GB at the average of their two prices. Not sure if being able to tether your phone is an additional $10 on the existing plans though. And no idea what they charged for tablets and smartwatches before.

    The real savings is not having to perpetually pay for a phone.

    1. Line access fees were the same. $10 for tablets, $5 for connected devices. I wonder what the fee’s going to be for basic phones, seeing as we have enough old people that get them.

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