Verizon recently debuted new “Share Everything” plans that combine unlimited texting and voice with shared data pools. Prices depend on how many devices are in use and how much data you want. But is it actually a good deal? I ran Verizon’s calculator to find out.
Here’s how our current bill breaks down:
Monthly access charges: $154.76
VZW and other charges: $4.88
Taxes, Gov’t surcharges and fees: 8.09
That’s for two iPhones, unlimited texting, 700 shared minutes, unlimited data (we are both grandfathered in thanks to our old smartphone plans), and a mobile hotspot on one of the devices. The new “Share everything” plan would cost $150 for free mobile hotspot, 4GB of shared data, and unlimited texting and voice calling. Effectively, we would “save” $4.00 or so on the monthly access charges, but go from a soft 5GB cap each on the unlimited data to 4GB between us. It’s sort of like we save $4 but lose 6GB. Somehow that’s not exactly a great deal!
Honestly, I have a hard time grasping where this saves much for anyone. In fact, I suspect that Verizon doesn’t want you to look too closely at these plans. Their calculator is quite helpful, but it glaringly ignores one major point; there is no way to compare the existing Verizon family plans to this new plan system. That’s why Verizon doesn’t want to tout your savings… because the only savings belong to… Verizon.
I am sure there is some combination of phones, tablets, FiOS subscriptions, and car ownership that gets you a better deal, but I suspect the majority of households will nominally break even on the bill, and, in the process, lose badly on the data allowance.
It gets worse. My understanding is that Verizon will no longer offer regular family plans. That means ANY changes to existing plans will require switching to the new Verizon plans. You know, the ones that work to Verizon’s advantage.
If you have Verizon, head to their calculator and let us know if you would “save” under the new plans! Meanwhile, I plan on sticking with my iPhone until Sarah and I are both out of contract, and then we will see what the cell phone plan landscape offers because anything is better than being forced into such a poor deal!