- Oct 6, 2011
- Reaction score
When smartphones first arrived unlimited data was common place. The net didn't use as much data then, far fewer people actually had smartphones. In fact it seemed like a huge waste of money to actually spend $30 a month to access email and the internet from a phone which at the time was primarily used for talking to people and occasionally texting. The browsing experience wasn't so hot on the first "smartphones", and we mostly just used our laptops and home wifi to access the internet then.
The smartphone experience really changed after the Iphone was released. The Droid featured a huge (at the time) 3.7" display which was great for browsing the internet. The Android Market began to catch up with the Apple App Store which gave us even more incentive to use our unlimited data plans. Pretty soon we were using our phones nearly primarily to access the internet. The use of smartphones spiked and now it seems like most cell phone users use smartphones.
With the increasing use of smartphones Verizon decided to kill unlimited data plans. Unlimited data was no longer needed to incentivize the use of smartphones. Call it bait and switch if you like. Tiered data plans were released in the Summer of 2012. The only up side was the fact that Verizon also decided to allow those with unlimited data plans to keep those plans as long as they never upgraded their device again. As long as you were willing to pay full price and never extend your contract you were allowed to be "grandfathered" into unlimited data.
Verizon has finally decided to get rid of the Legacy plans for good. Last week we talked about Verizon's plans to throttle the top 5% of data users starting in October. As it turns out the top 5% of data users includes anyone who uses about 5GB of data a month. For Legacy users who normally use upwards of 10GB of data a month this means that once they reach the threshold their speeds will be slowed to a crawl and will be virtually unusable. Verizon has said that they will throttle smartly, meaning they will only throttle when on a congested tower.
Today they have decided to add another nail to the coffin. According to an inside source Verizon will be closing a widely used loophole for Legacy users. The Loophole has allowed those users to add a dumbphone to their plan for $9.99 a month. When upgrades were available on this extra line you could upgrade to a new smartphone at the reduced price then take the new phone off the extra line, and add it to your Legacy Plan line. The data charges would then drop off the dumbphone line, and it would return to the $9.99 a month. This would save tons of money since you would be paying $199 for the phone and $240 for the dumb phone line. Meaning you would be paying $440 for a new phone that could cost upwards of $699. The inside source told me that starting today this will no longer work. If you upgrade to a new smartphone on the dumbphone line you will be stuck with the data charges for the length of the two year contract, even if you switch that phone over to an existing Legacy line. This will be enough for most Legacy device users to consider going elsewhere. It will be easy enough considering that most Legacy users are no longer in a contract.
What are your thoughts? Is it worth sticking to the Legacy Unlimited Data plan if you will be throttled at 5GB or less, even if you now have to pay full price for every phone you buy? Let us know in the comments below.
UPDATE: The loophole will be closed on 8/24 not today! Verified by inside source.