Verizon Wireless has warned a small percentage of their customers that they are going to have to pay up or have their service disconnected. According to Verizon, customers that use “excessive data” (think hundreds of times the data used by your average Verizon customer) and who are also lucky enough to still have an unlimited data plan are going to have to make a switch. Customers who fit this narrow description will have to move to a different (more expensive, non-unlimited data) Verizon Wireless plan by August 31. If they don’t voluntarily make the switch, their Verizon service will simply be disconnected.
Verizon Wireless reports that only about 1 percent of its current customers are still enrolled in unlimited data plans. Of that roughly 1 percent of Verizon data users, only a handful (relatively speaking) are what Verizon calls “extraordinary data users.” People who fall into that category really do use large amounts of data. And according to Verizon Wireless, they are currently getting it at a steal, reports CNN.
On top of that, they are slowing down service for over 100 million other American Verizon Wireless customers, says the company. Verizon calls its network a “shared resource,” adding that the company has a responsibility to make sure every customer has the best data experience possible. Apparently, extreme data users are compromising the data experience of literally millions of other Verizon customers.
“More than 100 million Americans rely on our network to stay connected to their friends, family and colleagues, and to the information they need. [O]ur network is a shared resource and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience.”
New Verizon Wireless data customers can’t get unlimited plans. The company stopped offering unlimited data years ago, and some customers have accused the wireless giant of forcing them out of their unlimited plans and into metered data plans. Regardless, most customers who have upgraded their Verizon Wireless phones or chosen to switch plans over the years have ended up in plans that offer only limited data.
Today, Verizon Wireless’s highest data plan only offers customers 100 GB of data per month. Once users hit the cap, their data either slows down or they incur pricey overages. Verizon’s 100 GB data plan is pretty expensive ($450 per month), and it is intended to be used on a “shared” service plan and split between multiple lines. The plan also includes unlimited SMS messaging and voice calls.
Verizon Wireless reports that current customers who have been using much more than 100 GB of data on their unlimited plans have already been notified that they will soon be required to make a choice. They will either have to switch to a more expensive plan with limited data, or they can wait around for their service to be shut off. They can also choose to cancel their Verizon service; so far, it is unknown whether or not excessive data users will be charged a cancellation fee if they decide to end their contract with Verizon.
All customers who are impacted by the Verizon Wireless data changes were reportedly sent a written notification either by mail or email (for paperless customers); Verizon says that the affected customers will also get an additional notification on their upcoming Verizon bills.
It has been over half a decade since Verizon Wireless stopped offering unlimited data. The company ceased unlimited plans in 2011. However, when it made the changes to its plans and billing, some customers managed to keep their old plans by never making a plan change and/or upgrading their device. Not surprisingly, not every Verizon Wireless customer is pleased about the upcoming data changes.
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