Verizon is ending the discounted phone program and introducing a new "simplified" data plan that could end up costing you quite a bit per month.
Get ready, Verizon Wireless customers: your bill may be about to go up.
Verizon has announced that there will be two major changes for customers on Aug. 13: the first is that you won’t get discounted phones anymore, and the second is that the data plans are changing, according to a USA Today report.
In the past, you could get a discounted smartphone by simply signing up for a two-year contract, but now customers will just have to suck it up and pay the full price for a phone, which can be many hundreds of dollars. The alternative is to sign up for a monthly rental agreement, which may mean you end up paying more than the cost of the phone itself. Either way, the days of discounted or free phones appear to be over at Verizon.
But that’s not all. Customers will also get to choose between four data plans, starting at $30 per month for 1 gigabyte of shareable data and going upwards from there: $45 per month for 3 GB, $60 per month for 6 GB, and $80 per month for 12 GB.
A Verizon spokesman said this was all part of an effort of “simplifying the experience” for its customers. The spokesman argued according to the report that now customers will be better able to decipher their bill and understand what they’re paying for.
Other things you can expect on your bill: $20 per month for each smartphone line, $10 per month for each tablet or mobile hotspot, and $5 per month for other so-called “connected devices,” like a smartwatch.
The end of the discounted phone will be a big blow for a lot of customers, with an iPhone 6 retailing at $649. In the past, customers might be able to pay just $200 or even get one for free under a new two-year contract, but those days appear to be over. An estimated 64 percent of adults in America now use smartphones, compared to 35 percent in 2011, and Verizon appears to be guessing that they’ll suck it up and pay even if they don’t like it.