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Verizon Users Can Keep Unlimited Plans By Paying Full Price For Phones

Verizon customers who were grandfathered into the unlimited data plans can keep their plan after all, provided they’re willing to pony up a pretty penny for the device at its full retail price.  The popular devices can cost upwards of $849.99 with a median price of around $500 for the newest smartphones.

Push to End Unlimited Data Plans

Earlier in the week, Verizon Wireless announced the move to phase out its unlimited plans even for existing customers.  At the JP Morgan Conference, Fran Shammo, chief financial officer, confirms the company’s initiative to nudge its current unlimited data users to opt out and select one of their new tiered offerings. Last July, Verizon stopped accepting unlimited data plans for new customers.

Verizon now is clarifying the announcement and assured existing plan holders can still keep their $30 unlimited plans even if they upgrade to new devices or extend a new contract.  Customers can hold onto their existing unlimited plans provided that they are willing continue using their existing devices or they must purchase a smartphone in its full retail cost.

Shammo revealed in an interview that Verizon is pushing its goal to get rid of all unlimited plans and encourage customers to embrace the new data-share plans which shall be available by the late summer of this year. He emphasized this significant move is to encourage customers to upgrade from the old 3G base unlimited plans and migrate to the new 4G data share plans.  Upgrading from 3G to 4G technology will be beneficial both to the users, as this will allow faster data transfer, and to Verizon Wireless as this will enable them to upgrade their facilities.

Verizon Wireless Smartphone Retail Pricing

As of May 18th, the full blown retail prices might just be a tad expensive.  For the iPhone 4s, customers can save about $450 in upfront cost, $849.99 retail vs $399.99, with the typical upgrade subsidies when they sign a 2 year contract.  Even for the iPhone 4, the spread is about $450, and as much as $500 if you consider that Best Buy is selling the iPhone 4 for $49.99.

It is likely that many of the existing customers currently holding onto the unlimited data plans will keep their current phone or upgrade their phones through the secondary markets such as eBay or Amazon rather than opting out of the unlimited plans.  The problem with buying phones off the secondary market is that typically the latest releases sell for close to what the carriers sell for at retail, sometimes even at a premium if it is a hot release such as the iPhone or iPad series.  Customers holding onto the unlimited data plans will have a tough decision on their hand.  What would you do?



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