The way you buy a cell phone plan is going through the greatest change in a generation, and I want to tell you how to navigate it.
Under the new initiative from Verizon Wireless called Share Everything, all Verizon plans will include unlimited calling and texting — starting at $40 on a smartphone and $30 on a feature phone — because it’s so cheap for the company to provide those services. Where they really plan to make their money is on data.
Data will now be sold by the bucket, for between $50 and $100 per month depending on how much of it you want to use. There will also be a monthly fee for each device on the plan.
So data that used to be unlimited will now be heavily metered. If you heavily consume data as a family or as an individual, this can be brutal for your wallet. Going forward, it won’t be unusual for a family to have a bill that is hundreds of dollars per month when you get your next cell phone upgrade.
Meanwhile, if you’re grandfathered in with Verizon to a cheaper plan, do not take the bait when they offer you a fancy subsidized phone. You’ll actually save money by paying full retail price for a new smartphone because you’ll be paying less each month on your legacy cell phone plan.
Yet among the nice features of the Share Everything idea is that Verizon will be platform agnostic when it comes to accessing data. You can use an iPad or an Android tablet as part of the data plan. But remember, that data plan is likely to be rich for your wallet!