First of all, Kim and I don't come anywhere near 200 gigs a month, so while this article doesn't apply to us, it was painfully clear that Verizon is NOT a fan of unlimited data customers.
Kim and I were on one of those grandfathered in unlimited data programs. We didn't really need it. But, I don't like the idea of potentially being surprised by overages. And, since our price remained the same (in fact, when we upgraded phones a couple years ago, it would have cost us MORE to go to a limited data plan), we stuck with it.
Until recently, when I upgraded my phone.
Verizon was offering a great deal. Upgrade my phone (to a Google Pixel) and return my old Samsung Galaxy 7 (which was only a year old) and get a monthly credit that equals the cost of the new phone. So...basically a free Google Pixel. While I enjoyed my Samsung, the battery life was total garbage. And the Pixel was getting great reviews. So...ok!
First, I called Verizon. The assured me that if I either went with the monthly phone payment program OR bought the phone outright, my plan would NOT change.
I asked again to clarify.
Confirmed...if we went with the monthly payment program or bought the phone outright, the plan would NOT change.
Given the Black Friday deal regarding the monthly credit for the return of my Samsung, this means I was upgrading my phone for free (monthly charge for the new phone + a monthly discount equal to the charge for the new phone). AND...I got to keep our unlimited data. Also...we didn't need to renew our contract...I hate contracts. Although, given that I was on a monthly payment plan for the phone, I kind of am in a contract. Will need to pay the remainder of the phone cost if we leave. But, for a great deal like this, I can look past that.
Ok, so assuming you got all that, moving on.
The next bill shows up. It's about $100 more!!!!
A couple things appeared to be one offs. My old phone hadn't arrived, yet. So, the credit hasn't kicked in. Then there was some weird promotional credit the month before. But...even after we remove that...our bill was still about $40 more. And, we couldn't figure out why. So, I called them.
After a long phone call, the customer service agent figured out that the reason my bill was higher was because they raised the price. And, apparently they told me via email.
I let her know that I had no such email. However, I acknowledged that because Verizon sends me an email literally every 2 days, there was a chance I deleted it without looking at it. Unless it was somehow called out in the subject or the To: line, there was no way I would know it contained anything other than the usually sales spam. She didn't have a comment for that. However, given her voice, I feel like she felt my pain.
I complained about it and sent in a follow up complaint about how crappy I thought it was that Verizon raised my price and, in my view, didn't tell me. Or, at the very least, tried to hide it in with everything else.
THEN...it gets even better.
A week later, I received multiple text messages and emails from Verizon. Sounds like I had gone over my data limit. And, each time I went over it further, they sent me another note.
Well, thank you, Verizon, for making an effort to make sure I see important information this time. However, how does someone with unlimited data go over their data limit?
Another long phone call later, we figured it out. I no longer had unlimited data. I lost it when I upgraded my phone. Now, I get 2 gigs a month.
Remember when I said I was assured my plan wouldn't change when I upgraded? Yeah...well, it changed.
Funny enough, I was still paying for the same plan. And, Verizon told me, I could not get my unlimited plan back. It was gone and she couldn't give it back. So, I am paying for unlimited data that I am not getting and I am now on the hook for the overage charges.
But, she tell me if I "upgrade" to the 16 gig/month plan, I will still be within my data limit.
The only good-ish part about any of this was that it's now cheaper...sort of. It will cost what I was paying before they raised prices without telling me.
I could leave Verizon, if I want, as I don't have a contract. All I have to do is pay for the $700 phone which I upgraded to a month earlier for free.
Let me summarize these events:
- GREAT DEAL TO UPGRADE MY PHONE, essentially for free while keeping my data plan the way it is.
- Surprise rate increase on my unlimited data plan.
- Data overages due to a plan change I was assured wasn't going to happen.
- Limited data plan at a rate equal to what I was originally paying for unlimited data.
- If you don't like all this, you are free to leave if you pay for the phone you just received for free.
At the end of the day, Verizon got exactly what they wanted from me. They got me off the unlimited data plan and essentially locked into a new 2 year contract without calling it a contract.
One of the WORST customer service experiences I have ever had in my life. And, I have had a few.