Verizon may be about to close a loophole for its remaining unlimited data users


A new rumor claims Verizon Wireless is about to close a loophole that some of its grandfathered unlimited customers have used to continue to get that plan, even though Verizon stopped offering such a service for its new subscribers a few years ago., citing unnamed sources, claims that on August 24, Verizon will require that its current subscribers who upgrade or activate a new smartphone on a two year contract to keep their selected data package for the length of their contract. This is apparently an effort to end a loophole that had previously allowed customers who had a grandfathered unlimited plan to upgrade a line for a feature phone to a new and discounted smartphone. The report claims customers could then move that smartphone over to their grandfathered unlimited line, while still keeping the $9.99 per month feature phone line price tag.

Keep in mind that this loophole shutdown has not yet been confirmed by Verizon. The company's customers who still have that old unlimited line can keep it if they get a non-contract phone or if they pay full price for a new smartphone. What do you think of Verizon possibly shutting down this backdoor for its remaining unlimited data users?


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John Callaham

News Writer for Mobile Nations, along with being a Space: 1999 fan

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Reader comments

Verizon may be about to close a loophole for its remaining unlimited data users


If Verizon ends the 'if you buy a phone off-contract, for full price then you can keep unlimited data' deal, and forces me into their tiered data package, I will leave for Sprint or T-Mobile for the new iPhone. I've been off contract with Verizon for over 2 years now, and have consistently used 10GB+ a month. Being forced into a tiered plan where 10GB a month would cost way more, or not using data on my phone like I have been doing aren't options I'm willing to consider at this point.

I just hope they announce whatever BS they're planning well before iPhone launch so I can have my game plan together.

The bad thing is I am sure that Verizon, in retaliation, for the negative response from the FCC over their network management plans for LTE are really going a little further than the above scenario.

Since those that have previous paid for Smartphones and not renewed their contract by paying full price are not actually bound by a contract which also binds Verizon to a pricing structure, they may find themselves subject to unreasonable price hikes for the service that they use.

Verizon may be envoking a 'jump or be pushed' plan. You either end up going in and signing a renewal and of course lose your unlimited or you pay as much as someone that has a 10GB plan or higher to keep your unlimited service.

You as a customer don't even have a legal footing. As a month to month customer Verizon can assess and reassess the charges at will that you will pay for the service. They are not bound by a contract to be obligated to continue charging that price.

I am pretty sure anyway concerning the blog post above that if you purchased a Smartphone to replace a feature phone it force you to switch to a full data plan. Maybe they just want to push what is left of those with old Feature phones from the cheaper Feature phone plans and onto their more expensive Smartphone plans and something they have to do so that they can push towards turning off their old CDMA service after they roll out VoLTE some time in the distant future, on a planet in a galaxy far far away....

I don't think that this is really a problem, and upgrading this way always was a little sketchy. That being said as long as they don't change it so I can't bring a phone I bought out right and keep my unlimited data I'm fine. The moment they tell me that if I buy a phone at full price and put it on my account I'll still lose unlimited data well then I will have to go with a different wireless carrier.

I'm with AT&T and have a grandfathered 'unlimited' data plan. I rarely go above 2GB, except once after signing up for iTunes Match when I inadvertently initialized my iPhone's music library over my data connection instead of WiFi. I was throttled for the rest of the billing period -- data connectivity slowed to a crawl.

If they're going to do away with unlimited plans, I think the most they should do is move people who have them over to a truly-grandfathered 5GB per month plan.

I'm not the only one that did that and was shocked by a sudden surge in use after they went out after allowing it to do it's thing forgetting all about it. I had already switched from Verizon's unlimited to a capped data after someone in the Verizon Store had a 'clerical' error while dealing with the purchase of a device at full price and they couldn't get it back so I just paid for the extra data when I went over.

Not a Verizon customer anymore. Don't miss them.

My boss has Verizon and she told me months ago that this was already being done. This sounds like old news. I'm an AT&T customer though so I can't confirm or deny anything.

Months ago they changed it so you couldn't transfer a phone upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone or from a tablet to a smartphone, but you were always allowed to upgrade one line, transfer that phone out, and revert the upgraded line to a lower-cost solution. Now, if you upgrade a line and sign up for data, you must keep it.

SMDH These wireless companies really try to squeeze every cent from you... if this happens for verizon i know my At&t unlimited plan is under attack next! just like what Trippinskott said im going to sprint or T mobile! I use too much data to try to get one of those bullshit data plans they offer!!!

I wish it were as easy to just switch, but in NJ, I drive all over the state. If you want that voice and data wherever you go, you have to have Verizon. There are too many holes in their competitors coverage.
Last year, I was set to buy a 5c at full retail to keep my unlimited data. The sales guy showed me I had not once gone over 3 gigs. I also had an ipad I was going month to month on. He showed me the shared plans adding my iPad to it at 8 gigs and saved me $30 a month plus the cost of the phone and told me I could upgrade next year at the discount by using my iPads line to upgrade to the next iphone. There was too much upside, but on the road I don't use extreme amounts of data.

"I also had an ipad I was going month to month on. He showed me the shared plans adding my iPad to it at 8 gigs and saved me $30 a month "

The iPad data plan gives you the option to turn it on or off when desired. By incorporating it into your smartphone plan you're now committed to the extra expense.

Every independent cost analysis I've seen has demonstrated that you pay more for less with these latest plans compared to the old ones. The only ones who save money are those who use hardly any data at all and those who use a ridiculous amount of data (over 6 gb). The vast majority of their users are screwed.

I finally caved in on dumping my AT&T unlimited plan got tired of paying for two phones with my phone on Unlimited the other wasn't and my daughter kept going over the 3GB. Now for the same price of my old unlimited we share 15GB of data. I never went over 3GB since I have WiFi everywhere. I just wished AT&T offered the WiFi calling like T-Mobile does. I seriously believe both AT&T and Verizon want all the grandfathered Unlimited Data users to run to Sprint and T-Mobile and possibly they will look better when they finally shut the service agreement down for the Unlimited users.

About a month ago I gave up unlimited data on 2 of the 4 lines and joined the 10 GB More Everything Plan. My wife and I were grandfathered unlimited but my kids did not get smartphones until after unlimited data had gone away. I was paying $260/month for 2 unlimited lines and 2 separate lines with 2 GBs. Since all of my phones were off contract I was able change to 10GBs for $160/month and because I brought my own phones I was not forced into the stupid Edge program that would have escalated my fee. It was tough giving up my unlimited data but saving $100 a month made it worth while. I have WiFi at home and work and my kids have it at school so we should be fine. Plus I figure I can have about an 8 GB overage before I exceed my original $260 fee.

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I'm a little confused. Is this saying that by upgrading (say the subsidized iPhone for $199) that you forfeit your unlimited plan, but if you pay full price ($599) you can keep the plan??

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Making me switch to one of their new plans would cost me $40 per month more than I pay now. No way Verizon.

I guess when the time comes for me to upgrade to a new phone, I'll be forced to go to Tmobile now.

Sprint or tmobile wants the customers who want unlimited data, talk, and text. Sprint also does not throttle data use. I use about 30gigs a month. Never have had any issues.

Tmobile is great too but does not have the service coverage where I am. I think AT&T and Verizon have trained smartphone users to use wifi. Someone once said to me do you know what using 20gigs a month does to your data plan. They don't want to offer unlimited data because more customers have smartphones. They offered the unlimited originally when most people had tiered data and text.

Sent from the iMore App

Just bring it back. With other companies having unlimited data. What's the problem verizon!!!

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Verizon had already muscled most people out of the unlimited plan. I was grandfathered in, so it looks like they are going after the remaining few like myself. It might be time that I look at other carriers.

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I would. I was pretty much forced to get rid of unlimited data. I'm still thinking about switching to another carrier.

What gets me is that companies like this complain about data hogs and paint them to be some scourge of the system. If Verizon or ATT were offered some bandwidth contract, bought it, then had the seller doing everything they possibly could to force them to forfeit that contract with no compensation, then how long do you think it would be before they were all in court? If the phone company is so short for bandwidth and unwilling to plan and invest better in their infrastructure then why don't they just buy back the unlimited contracts? I'm sure most owners would sell...if the price is right. Or they could pay them for access rights to that unlimited bandwidth. Hmmmm.....access rights...why does that sound familiar? Wasn't some video streaming company coerced into paying for access to an ISP?

I'm still not happy about having to give up my unlimited data plan. I had two lines and I would use the upgrade on my 2nd line and than move that new device over to my primary line and I was able to keep unlimited data. However, a few months ago I tried that and I wasn't able to. I'm thinking about switching to someone else. VZW is getting worse and worse. They don't care about customers so why pay more for trash?

I travel the country for work & my coworkers that have other carriers are always complaining about their service. If I was stationary & only traveled every once in a while, it wouldn't matter & I would definitely go with the cheapest carrier....excluding Sprint. Being away from home 97% of the time makes Verizon a must. I'm rarely without service & that trumps everything for me. Plus, I actually don't feel my bill is too much. I now have a 20GB shared plan with 4 lines & I don't see myself going anywhere. Too each their own though!!!

I have 5 lines. 2 have unlimited data, one has 6GB per month allowance, and two have 2GB per month allowance. I checked into switching to their "More Everything" plan or whatever it is called and it would have cost me $30 MORE per month...... I asked the CS Rep about that and she said she didn't have an explanation as to why it would cost me more to switch..... needless to say, I kept my old plan(s)

I'm just speechless on this. Sadly selling your phone and paying the remainder of a full priced off contract iPhone is still cheaper than losing the unlimited data and paying these new data plans. That and paying monthly for an iPhone is really sad. You tech. Don't own it. I have 3 unlimited plans on my account so the idea of paying more for the new data plans PLUS $35-40 per month for each smartphone gets a little pricey. The only way these plans really make sense is if you have 4 or more on the plan with NO heavy users. So basically you have a smartphone that you can't use until your home with wifi alone and bored.

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I know if I upgrade I will lose my unlimited but given 3G. Of data for the same price I'm paying. Now if they would offer let's say 10gb for the same price of $30/month to get off unlimited data I would GLADLY upgrade and get rid of my unlimited. I do use around 20gb a month but 10gb I know I could manage and stay under with some changes in music and netflix streaming during lunch at work. Verizon wireless needs to give us a reason to give up our unlimited data. Not have our bill increase. The more difficult they make it with closing the loophole or increasing unlimited data people's bills makes me want to hang on to it more and find ANOTHER loophole to exploit. It's basically like when you see that bully ( verizon ) get Karma and the joy from seeing that

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Sorry but a little pissed, another thing is Verizon claims unlimited data hogs up the data etc.... But they promote all these data eating products on commercials and in their stores. So it's not bad enough they want you to spend more on the plan but then get you on overages! I was with AT&T but came back bc the service was horrible around here. No 4G or LTE. Other than that I would of stayed for the discounted upgrades.

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Well I'm glad that is not the loop hole I use. I average 300GB a month on all 5 lines. I also upgrade every 6 months I am Verizon's worst user.:)

If it wasn't for me having no service in my area I would be the same. I think I average around 300gb with Comcast bc of Netflix, amazon... Etc

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I think Verizon and AT&T both ripped of their customers by enticing them to sign up for (unlimited) plans and telling them they could always stay on those plans and then later discontinuing those plans and eventually forcing customers to abandon the unlimited plans. Why should I have any faith in either Verizon or AT&T to not change any current pricing structure and forcing me to pay more for the same service? Let's be honest. It's not like the providers were losing money on the unlimited plans, especially if customers stayed with the provider after the two year period was up and didn't upgrade phones. Smartphones are no longer a entertainment device. Many customers now depend on smartphones to help with their jobs. I think both Verizon and AT&T are unethical in how they have handled this.