Verizon Shared Data – What We Asked For?

Verizon updated their wireless plan offerings in 2012 to include data in their share plans. They made a point to say that they were giving their customers what they asked for. However, I think they missed the point. Actually, I’m sure they did not miss the point but rather they emphasized a point that didn’t make them look as bad.

Yes, Verizon customers were asking for shared data. I was even one of them. But, the reason I wanted shared data wasn’t so that I could split my data usage with my household,  it was so that I could SAVE MONEY on my plan. I saw that in order to add a smart phone to my plan, I’d be required to take on a $30 per month increase. Then, to put my wife into a smart phone, I’d be looking at another $30 per month. I found that to be ridiculous. I’m already sharing minutes of talk time between our two phones, why couldn’t I share the data as well? But, in sharing the data, I would expect to NOT have to pay as much per month. Back when I started my data plans, I got unlimited data usage for my $30. Now, I don’t use very much data at all most of the time but, when I need to stream a movie or go through a bunch of pictures in the cloud, it’s nice to know I don’t have to worry about going over my allotment.

Enter Verizon’s new share everything plans. This sounds like what I was hoping for. Except for one thing – cost. For me to get rid of my unlimited data plans and switch to a shared data plan – of just 2GB of data, I’d have to PAY MORE than I’m paying now! How can that be? If I’m sharing the data, shouldn’t I get a break? Apparently not. The difference is that instead of sharing a limited number of talk time, I’d have unlimited talk time. Well, this isn’t something I need. I barely use 300 minutes of talk time a month. Obviously Verizon knows this and that’s why they’re willing to give me all the talk time I want. It’s the data that they want to throttle down. So, here we go again where the big wireless company  is coming up with ways to squeeze more money out of their customers and provide less service. Shouldn’t they try to make their customers happy? Shouldn’t they try to deliver more service for less money? I guess not. As long as they have the best network available, they can afford to treat their customers dirty.

I’m holding on tight to my unlimited data plan for as long as I can. I know that one day I’ll be forced to give it up and pay more for less. When that day comes, I’ll have little reason to stay with Verizon. I’m hoping that the other networks become more reliable with better coverage so that the competition can be more evenly matched. Until then, Verizon customers will keep getting abused and asking for more.

Free Cell Phone Plan

Get a free cell phone plan with Lifeline assistance. Lifeline is a federal assistance program for low income families that will subsidize your phone service. You can apply it to either your home phone or your mobile phone plan. You can only get one Lifeline benefit per household so if you decide to get a Lifeline home phone you can’t also get a free wireless plan on Lifeline. Also, if you have a Lifeline phone, you can’t get one for your spouse as well.

Lifeline can subsidize you about $9.25 per month toward telephone service. That’s the Federal portion of the benefit. Some states kick in a little extra and, if you are residing on Tribal land, jackpot! Your number of free minutes will depend on how many minutes your provider can purchase in your area for the amount of money the government is providing. It usually ranges from 60 to 250 minutes per month. If you qualify for Tribal Lifeline, you can get plans of 1000 minutes or even unlimited since the subsidy is so much more. Although, in some places like Oklahoma, it requires a $1 per month fee. Still, $1 for unlimited minutes is a great deal.

Most providers will supply a free phone for qualified applicants which would make your total investment $0 down and $0 per month. And, you have no contract so you can cancel at any time with no penalty.

Most plans allow you to text with your free minutes but be sure to ask because not all “free” plans allow it. However, texting can use up your minutes fast because they usually cost your 1 minute per text. These plans are usually all “anytime” minutes so you don’t have to wait until night time or the weekend to make calls. If you run out of minutes you can purchase more on a pay-as-you-go basis to get you to the next month.