Last week, Verizon Wireless announced a new “Share Everything” plan, that radically changes how cell services are sold. Starting June 28, if you upgrade your phone and pay a subsidized/discounted price for it, this plan may affect you. You can also voluntarily switch to this plan.
On the positive side, Share Everything lets a family share one pot of data each month the same way they currently share a bucket of minutes. Currently each family plan member has to buy a $30 data pack for their smartphone. Also on the positive side, it appears that most people on unlimited calling plans will save money under the new scheme.
On the negative side, those folks who are looking to reduce their plan minutes for calling may be forced into unlimited calling plans for which they have no use. And they may pay more. People with multiple devices, even individuals, will be charged a fee for each device that can tap into their one pot of data.
To see how this compares with what customers are currently paying, we looked at two (of many) scenarios.
Example 1: One person with one smartphone currently with an unlimited calling plan, 1000 text messages, and 2-gigs of data.
That person pays a total of $109.99 currently (unlimited calling ($69.99), 1000 texts ($10), and 2-gigs of data ($30). Under the Share Everything plan, he or she would pay $100 (smartphone ($40) + 2-gigs of data ($60) + “free unlimited calls and texts”). That is a $10 savings a month. If that person also had a tablet, currently that would add $30 a month to their bill for an additional 2-gigs. Under the new plan, that tablet would only cost $10 extra, but not come with any additional data. If the customer wanted a total of 4-gigs of data to be shared by the smartphone and the tablet, that adds another $10. So this customer in total would save $20 a month compared to the current system.
Example 2: Three people on a family plan with two smartphones and one basic phone, sharing 700 minutes of calling, unlimited texts, and two of them having 2-gigs of data each.
That family currently pays: $169.97 (700 calling minutes ($69.98) + third phone ($9.99) + unlimited texts ($30) + 2-gigs per smartphone ($60) ). Under the new system, they would pay a total of $180.00 ( 2 smartphones ($80) + 1 basic phone ($30) + 4-gigs data to share ($70).
The bottom line is that everyone on Verizon will have to do the math to see if it is best to stick with their current plan or switch to Share Everything.
Note: MrConsumer is a member of Verizon’s Consumer Advisory Board.