Cell Phone – Do I really Need It?

Image representing Verizon as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase


I have a Verizon cell phone.  I got my latest contract just before they got rid of the unlimited data plan option, so I was grandfathered in.


Well, I thought I was.



Recent posts on some of the tech sites have reported that Verizon is planning on getting rid of the unlimited data plan for everyone, including those who were grandfathered in.  There were also other reports that stated that the data plan would remain, but new phones would no longer be subsidized.  As near as I can tell, that means that I would be able to keep my data plan, but I would be paying full price if I decided to get a new phone.  In effect, if I wanted to get a new cell phone, I would have to pay the same price that I would for a moderately decent laptop (roughly $600 to $800).


Naturally, with confusing information out there, I decided to do what I always do: I went to the Verizon website.  I checked out the prices for what the data plans were, and checked out my own data usage.  None of that really gave me the information that I was looking for, that being whether the reports I have been reading were true.


That’s when the chat window popped up.  It was a feature I did not have to use, but it gave me direct access to a customer service representative.  You know, an actual person I can talk to about the questions I have and the concerns I have as well.


I was not pleased by what I learned.  In that chat window, I found out that not only would I be losing my unlimited data plan, but I would have to pay a $30 charge to upgrade my phone.  I am assuming that this expense is in addition to the actual cost of the phone.  So, I asked the next question, the one I did not want to ask because my phone is two years old and is really starting to get temperamental.  What would happen if I just did nothing.  The answer: my unlimited data plan would go away regardless of what I did.


Needless to say, I was not pleased by that.  You could probably figure that out since I’m writing this rant instead of looking up some pithy quote to post.


The issue is not the cost of the plan.  My usage is nowhere near the standard data plan rate (2 gigabyte plan is standard, and my usage is not even a gigabyte at my top usage).  I don’t really do much with my phone other than check Facebook and Twitter, occasionally Foursquare, and check my stats on this blog.  The issue I have is that what I signed up for was an unlimited plan, which would allow me the flexibility to go over that 2 gigabyte limit should I need to (which I never have).  It certainly does not help that Verizon has been pushing all these new features on their new phones, like streaming television, or to access my music on the cloud.  I’ve seen how big HD video from iTunes can be.  One hour-long episode would push me over the 2 gig limit.  And just imagine what would happen if I were to use my phone as a music player.


The worst part of all of this is that in my area, Verizon has the best cell phone service.


So, I’m left with a bit of a conundrum.  Do I just bite the bullet and get the new phone, take the 2 gig data plan, and fume over the loss of the unlimited plan?  Or, do I switch to another carrier, one that offers unlimited data (true unlimited data, not one that ramps speeds down the more you use it), and run the risk of poor service?  Or, do I just switch to a simple voice and messaging plan, losing the data plan entirely?


About chyrondave

Avid comic reader, amateur writer, music fan, and someone with opinions, lots of opinions.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Computers, Mobile, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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