Verizon Tiered Pricing Plan Unlikely to Affect Users: Consumer Reports
A Consumer Reports analysis says most Verizon customers would not be affected by a tiered pricing plan.Verizon this week replaced its $30-a-month unlimited plan with three new plans with varying data limits. The new pricing structure offers customers monthly plans of $30 for 2GB of data, $50 for 5GB of data and $80 for 10GB of data. A $10 plan for 75MB of data is available to customers with feature phones with limited Internet capabilities. A study by Consumer Reports noted the least expensive of those is also $30, and it offers 2GB of data per month. "That's far more data than the vast majority of phone users ever need-even Verizon smartphone subscribers, who reportedly have relatively large appetites for data," the report noted. The company's past reporting, as well as other more recent reports, indicate that data usage, even by Verizon smartphone users, averages no more than about 500MB per month. Many customers, of course, use far less than that-including owners of some regular phones (detailed in Consumer Report's "Ratings" section, which is only available to subscribers) that require a data plan, even though they can't use the data-intensive apps that distinguish smartphones.
Unlike other major carriers, Verizon has not introduced a lower-priced tiered plan for the many smartphone owners who send and receive only a small amount of data every month. For example, minimal data users on AT&T can get a 200MB-a-month plan that costs $15 (its 2GB plan costs $25 a month). T-Mobile's plans are even cheaper, at $10 (220 200MB) and $20 (2GB) a month. Minimal data users on Verizon will, then, continue to pay the same $30 they've been paying for the unlimited plan. The small percentage of data hogs among the carrier's customers will pay more: $50 a month for 5GB or $80 for 10GB.