My current Verizon phone is eligible for an upgrade in March. (Coincidentally, within a week of when Samsung is expected to announce its Galaxy S IV. I’m very excited.) I’m currently on a family plan, still grandfathered in with unlimited data. It’s wonderful. But ever since Verizon switched over to its Share Everything plan last June, it’s very difficult to upgrade to a new phone and keep that unlimited data. I don’t really want to buy a phone outright, because spending $800 at once is a lot of money (obviously). However, switching over to my own plan (so as to not muck up the rest of my family’s currently unlimited data) is even less appealing.
Because I’m eligible for my upgrade soon and really, really, really hate my current phone, I really looked into Share Everything for the first time today.
What's the Verdict?
Share Everything drives me crazy. It seems 100 percent geared toward families with lots of devices who need to share lots of data. Even though I’m constantly online, I know I don’t use that much data. Heck, I could probably get away with Verizon’s 1 GB data plan. (Maybe.) But when one gig of data starts at $50 per month, it’s just stupid.
I used to work in retail and we would sell data plans for hotspots and tablets and such. Back then (this was before Share Everything existed), you could get a 3 GB data plan for $35 per month or a 5 GB data plan for $50 per month. Those are numbers that make (more) sense, and numbers I’m used to. But fifty bucks for one gig of data? That’s absurd!
In Share Everything, once you’re at that first level of data, each additional gigabyte is only $10 more per month. That makes sense. I can live with that. I can dig that. That’s exactly what Verizon hopes for, too. By setting the starting bar high and then having small, incremental jumps up, it’s easy to turn that $50 per month into $80 or $90 per month for a few extra gigs.
But a $50 starting point? That’s insane. That means that for me, with just a smartphone, the MINIMUM I can pay is $90 per month. That’s a lot of money for anyone to spend on one phone and one gig of data per month, whether they’re my age or not, whether they have all the money in the world or not.
Other Options Exist... Right?
There’s an easy alternative, though: just switch to another carrier! Duh. But wait. The minimum I could pay per month on AT&T with just one smartphone is $80 per month. That’s unlimited messaging, the same as Verizon, but only 450 minutes (as opposed to unlimited) and only 300 MB of data (as opposed to one gig). That’s awful. That makes even less sense.
The only plans Sprint offers that are significantly cheaper than Verizon’s don’t seem to include ANY data at all, and only limited minutes and restricted messaging. Blech.
In the end, it just makes me sad that my “best” option is to pay about a hundred bucks a month to Verizon, just so I can have a new phone and be able to use it. Oh well. Verizon, I’ll let Fry do my talking for me: