Here Are The Catches In Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan
Style Magazine Newswire | 2/21/2017, 3:30 p.m.
You can't ever read the fine print too carefully, and that is also the case with Verizon's new unlimited data plan.
The $80 unlimited plan — or, to phrase it more accurately, “unmetered” plan — that Verizon Wireless rolled out Sunday features fewer carve-outs and restrictions than comparable offerings from AT&T and Sprint, as well as one from T-Mobile, which has responded to Verizon by removing restrictions on hotspot use and video streaming.
To sum up: Verizon is offering unlimited data, talking and texting for a single line, for $80 a month. That's before taxes and fees, which typically inflate the bil. Its fine print contains qualifications that deserve a closer look.
— The first is the theoretical threshold at which your service may slow. As Verizon’s frequently-asked-questions page warns, racking up 22 gigabytes of data on a line (not across all devices on your account) may lead the company to “prioritize usage behind other customers during network congestion.”
That’s not a hard cutoff or one you’re stuck with for the rest of the month, and user reports of other carriers’ “deprioritization” policies suggest the effects aren’t that painful.
Hot spot limit
— Verizon’s unlimited plan imposes a secondary limit on tethering, or using the phone as a portable WiFi hotspot to share its connectivity with another device. You get 10 GB a month of LTE tethering — per line, not account.
After that, your tethering drops to 3G speeds, which Verizon corporate-communications director Kelly Crummey said means a minimum of 600 kilobits per second.
— The pricing of Verizon's new deal can be confusing as well. Verizon usually lists rates exclusive of a $20 line-access charge, but it folds that cost into the advertised price of its unlimited plan: $80 for one device, $140 for two, $162 for three or $180 for four.
The result: Glancing at the numbers on Verizon’s site can lead one to think that its “$70” 8 GB plan costs less than the unlimited plan, when in reality that 8GB plan will run you $90.
Conversely, I’ve seen some readers assume the new unlimited plan really adds up to $100 on one device, more than the current $95 cost of the unlimited plan Verizon stopped selling in 2011.
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