Listen Up Verizon, TMobile and Sprint, a Sea Change is Coming…

June 13, 2012
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Interesting news from Verizon today, announcing that they’re changing their plans to include shared plans across all devices. Got 3 devices? They now have a “Share Everything” plan for that. But it will cost you. Unfortunately, if you don’t have those types of devices, you kinda get screwed because your phone plan will likely go higher.

Here’s what I think is going to happen if the other wireless carriers follow suit. I think there is going to be a major sea change in how people use their phones. We used to have non-smart phones for texting and voice. Then smart phones invaded the market and we could then do email and access the web and more. And little by little, carriers have broken their promises to give us ‘unlimited’ data, or said our plans would never change, as they continued to up their prices.

In a good economy, maybe it would make sense that people would pay $1200 – $1500 a year for a solid phone and data all-in-one plan. But in case they haven’t noticed, this economy still sucks, and shelling out $1500 a year for a frivolity for most is now bordering on purely materialistic. Of course, the carriers and phone manufacturers are counting on this.

Recently, I’ve contemplated not renewing my phone plan and going to a non contract plan through Walmart or Boost Mobile (TMobile and Sprint respectively). Both of these plans offer unlimited voice and text and some amount of data. The Walmart/TMobile plan is $45 and the BoostMobile/Sprint is about the same. Presently, I pay $85 for my contract TMobile plan, which is essentially the same as the non-contract plan. Why would I re-up my contract if I could pay less for a non contract plan?  Currently, it’s because I have a data plan attached, and I can’t delete it, even though my phone won’t allow me to use it (you can thank TMobile for helping me NOT fix this for the past 12 months!).

We all get excited and are a bit brainwashed when it comes to the latest and greatest smartphones and electronic devices and computers. A new device comes out every few months and we just HAVE to have it! But I really think that the wireless carriers are about to see this all blow up in their corporate faces.

With companies like Verizon now upping their plans for those who CAN pay more, they are forcing those who CAN’T pay more to give up their phones, or find non-contract plans (if they still even exist in the future!) just so they can have a voice/text-only plan.

I’m not immune to all the bells and whistles of these awesome new smart phones. I have my eye on the brand new Galaxy III for months! But it all comes at a steep price!

I’m extremely technologically connected, and having a data plan and my Blackberry has been quite necessary over the past few years. But over the past 6-8 months, I’ve been weaning myself off my smart phone and starting to move back into emailing from my computer. YES, I love the idea of an iPhone, or an Android, but at $1500 a year it’s just not worth it. Money is too tight and there isn’t anything I’m doing right now to justify THAT kind of expense.

So, in the end, it looks like I’ll hook into that non-contract $45 plan and will pay closer to $550 for a year. I won’t have a nice, fancy, pretty, cool smart phone that will be obsolete in 12 months — and even if it really isn’t obsolete, I’ll FEEL like it is, based on all the awesome new phones that have come out over the past 12!

If a person who has relied so heavily on a smartphone for the past 4 years can wean herself off of the addiction that is not TRULY a necessity, what does that say about those who don’t give a hoot about a data plan but will see their phone plans going up by $15, $20, $25 or more per month, just because the wireless carriers are trying to give more, yet fewer, options to “everyone”?

Yes, I think more people will be like me and will start relying less on their cell phones for data, and will instead opt for simpler phones that just get the job done… a text here, a text there, an actual phone call to a real person.

If you’re a Verizon customer and would like to see how it affects your plan, just go to this link: http://cnnmoneytech.tumblr.com/post/24977111240/making-sense-of-verizons-new-plan?iid=T_Blogs

And if you’re not a Verizon customer and think this doesn’t apply to you, think again.  Remember how the airlines started charging for one bag? Then two? Then legroom?  We all thought it wouldn’t take; now look where we are.  I’m not proposing any sort of revolt; I am but one phone user with one opinion.  I think the revolution will occur on its own as people start to realize that the the $39 that they used to be comfortable paying a few years back somehow turned into $90 and is about to turn into $100 or more.

I’m opting for a little more financial and wireless carrier freedom.  But fair warning, I might not be as quick to reply to emails as I used to be. In that case, you might just want to pick up the phone and call me.

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