A new way for Verizon to make money off of you just dropped.
Share this story
Hey, did you hear? Verizon has incredibly, out of the goodness of its heart, revealed new phone plans that don’t include “bloated” service bundles. How thoughtful! There’s just one catch: they’re kinda less expensive, except not really, because things that used to be included are now an extra $10 per month each. Wait, that… kind of sucks? Who exactly comes out ahead with these new plans?
You guessed it! It’s Verizon.
On the surface, the new plans sound simpler than the current Get More, Play More, etc. There are two options — an expensive one and a bit less expensive one — and you add the extra services you want, like the Disney / Hulu bundle or Apple Music Family a la carte. That’s nice in theory, but if you’re switching from one of the current unlimited plans, it’s very likely you’ll need to pay more if you want the same things you used to get included in your monthly rate.
For example, I’d lose the Disney bundle if I switched from my current plan, Play More, to the new Unlimited Plus plan — even though I’d still be paying $80 per month. Sure, the new plan comes with unlimited premium data, which my current plan doesn’t offer, but I’d rather watch The Handmaid’s Tale for free and live with some theoretical data cap I’m sure I never hit.
As always, Verizon isn’t looking for ways to help us save money; Verizon is looking for ways to save Verizon money. It’s probably very expensive for Verizon to maintain bundle deals and cloud storage space on plans where customers aren’t using them — or may not even realize they exist. By decoupling the subscription services, Verizon is ensuring that it’s only paying for services you’re actually using. And when Disney raises its subscription fees, Verizon isn’t stuck footing the bill for the increase.
On top of all that, these plans are just plain confusing. There’s an old plan called “Welcome Unlimited” and a new plan called “Unlimited Welcome.” Great, makes perfect sense. Also, Verizon is still playing its cute little game of not including “Ultra Wideband” mid-band 5G on its lower-tier plan, only the much slower “Nationwide” version, which is largely just LTE dressed up as 5G.
The plans may be new, but they’re part of the same old game the wireless carriers in this country love: create new plans, make them more expensive in a way that’s difficult to understand, and then push customers onto the new plans by dangling free phones in front of them. Nobody’s being forced to switch to these new plans, sure, but come iPhone season, you can bet that those “iPhone 15 on us” deals will come with a requirement to move to the pricier new plan.