stirred up a hornet's nest of sorts when word got out earlier this week that Big Red was planning to shove grandfathered users off of their $30/month unlimited data plans that they signed up for prior to VZW rolling out tiered price plans. As you can imagine, news of the nixed data buffet for existing customers didn't sit well with John Q. Public, but before you pick up pitchfork and torch, Verizon wants to make some points clear.
In a statement emailed to The New York Times
, a VZW spokesperson clarified that "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."
Verizon Wireless customers grandfathered into an unlimited data plan are welcome to keep their plan when upgrading to a new phone, but they'll have to pay full price.
That's a far better scenario than what was being reported, which is that grandfathered users would be given the boot. So, what exactly is VZW doing, then? According to the email, VZW is scrapping unlimited data plans once it rolls out shared data plans later this summer. That means "Unlimited data plans will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing."
In other words, grandfathered users are free to stick with their unlimited data plans, but in doing so, they won't be allowed to upgrade to a newer phone at a subsidized price. They can still purchase a new phone and keep their unlimited data plan, however they'll have to pay full price for the handset, which is typically several hundred dollars more than upgrade pricing.
"The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4G LTE smartphones," VZW added.