Verizon recently issued a statement clarifying its position on grandfathered unlimited data plans. The wireless carrier reiterated that the all-you-can-eat option will only terminate when customers upgrade to a new subsidized smartphone.
The statement was sent via email to the New York Times to help quell the reports which were claiming that current unlimited data subscribers would be forced into moving to capped shared data plans expected to launch this summer. It has been clarified that customers with unlimited data plans will continue to be grandfathered into the new pricing model that allows multiple users to share data on a single contract. Once the new plans debut, subscribers who choose to take advantage of subsidized phone pricing when upgrading will no longer have the option to continue the unlimited data service. For those of you who are interested, you can find the emailed statement below:
– Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
– When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
– Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
– The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.
Unlike what many reports around the web are stating (including our previous report), it will likely take several years to phase out unlimited data plans, although Verizon is strongly pushing their customers away from that model. Verizon Wireless’ CFO, Fran Shammo, was the one who caused all the confusion by saying “when [customers] migrate off 3G, they will have to go to data share.” Although this is true in some cases, the company’s policy clearly allows for the continuation of unlimited data access if customers pay full price for new handsets.