Unlimited data plans scare cell phone providers due to the unknown amount of data their customers can use. These plans were plentiful when smartphones burst onto the scene and there was fierce competition to sign up customers. But too many people took advantage of these plans and providers are now on the hook for potentially huge amounts of data usage.
Nearly every provider has grandfathered in anyone with an unlimited plan. But providers are coming up with ways to convert these unlimited customers over to a limited plan.
In an effort to get rid of these long-standing unlimited data plans, Verizon has implemented a policy that prevents those customers from getting discounted phones with their contract renewals. In order to get the discounts, the users have to “upgrade”, and hence, change their data plans.
And as of August 24, Verizon will put another policy in place that fazes out unlimited data plans. The company will require any smartphone upgrade on a contract to carry a data plan on that specific line for the duration of a contract. In other words, once you get a smartphone on a particular line, you have to pay for a data plan–even if you switch the line to a basic phone.
Many grandfathered customers used their upgrades on other lines in order to get a new smartphone for their unlimited data line. Then, they simply switched the phone to their line and put the basic phones on the other one. By requiring a data plan on all lines that receive a smartphone, Verizon hopes to move a number of customers off the unlimited plan.
Unlimited data users can still add new devices to their lines if they pay full retail price. If you are in this predicament and do not want to pay $500+ for a new phone, consider buying a used one on eBay or Amazon for less money. Some companies will offer warranties on their used phones to ensure they are fully functional.