Verizon is making a move to fix a loophole in its unlimited data plans. Starting August 24, users who want to upgrade their smartphones or activate their devices on a new service will need to get a data package for the full duration of their two-year plan. This change in policy is expected to make it even more difficult for customers to enjoy discounted smartphones without having to give up unlimited data usage.
Users have long taken advantage of this loophole in Verizon's policy on unlimited data plans. By employing this tactic, customers can dodge paying the full costs of a new smartphone in order to be able to keep a grandfathered unlimited plan.
When Verizon closed off access to the Device Payment Plan last month, customers on grandfathered plans were left with only two available options: 1) pay the entire retail price for the phone, or 2) cancel their unlimited service and opt instead for a More Everything plan. The loophole, however, allowed users to work around this problem.
Before, customers with legacy unlimited plans were permitted a second line (plus a feature phone) for a monthly fee of only $9.99. As soon as they qualify for upgrades on their feature phone lines, they can buy a new phone at subsidized rates. They would need to extend their current plans for two more years and then add a compulsory data plan, which means paying an additional $30.00 monthly for 2 gigabytes of data. After the upgrade is done, users would just switch their new devices to their unlimited plans and forego the $30.00 data plan. By doing so, they're effectively bringing back the monthly fee to $9.99. Also, users are allowed to get a new line of service to their accounts in order to get access to a device (at subsidized rates), before moving their smartphones to unlimited plans and getting rid of the data package.
But after this new change in policy, the option of canceling the data package after a smartphone upgrade is no longer available. Users can still take advantage of the loophole in getting a subsidized mobile device, but they'll be paying $30.00 for a data plan they won't be able to use. Of course, if you currently have another line tied to your account with a tiered data plan, you still have the option of upgrading that line and transferring your phone to your unlimited plan (like what happens when you have two users who have an active line on a single account).
But as it stands, Verizon's recent move will surely lessen the options available to users on grandfathered plans. To know more, start comparing Verizon plans here.
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