Verizon users who are still holding on to that unlimited data plan they were grandfathered into may feel it slipping away just bit more, as the carrier has notified subscribers who use more than 200GB of data per month that they’ll have to switch to one of the carrier’s capped data plans by February 16, 2017. Heavy data users who don’t make the switch by then will face the shutdown of their service. (Affected consumers would have 50 days to change plans and reconnect.)
Verizon (via Engadget):
“Because our network is a shared resource and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience with Verizon, we are notifying a small group of customers who are out of contract on unlimited plans and use more than 200 GB a month that they must move to a Verizon Plan by February 16, 2017. If they don’t choose to move onto a Verizon Plan by that date, the line will be disconnected.”
The carrier’s statement indicates it applies to customers who use more than 200GB per month. But, what if you had a heavy travel month, and you binged on Netflix HD the entire month while you were away? What about that, Bunky? Verizon spokesperson Kelly Crummey told Engadget that the carrier is specifically targeting users whose usage works out to “an average of more than 200GB a month” So, one bad month probably won’t lead to a disconnect.
Crummey also told the publication the customers in question “are using between 200 and 500 GB of data a month, so it is really a small fraction of [their] grandfathered unlimited plan customers.”
Verizon’s statement and official policy on the whole issue is a bit hard to read. While the company spokesperson says users will have to average over 200GB of data usage per month, some Reddit users with Verizon unlimited plans report they’ve received disconnect notices, even though their usage has been under 100GB per month.
This is just the latest salvo from Verizon against its customers, as the carrier no longer offers two-year contracts to its customers — even for renewals — and has quietly raised its “smartphone upgrade fee” to $30.
The Big V isn’t the only wireless firm that seems to hold a grudge against its unlimited data customers, as AT&T recently raised the cost of its grandfathered-in unlimited data customers’ plan by $5 per month.
It seems only logical that both AT&T and Verizon will eventually force their unlimited data customers to move to metered plans or make the move to T-Mobile or Sprint.