Verizon Wireless Announces Friends & Family

Verizon Wireless Announces Friends & Family

After Verizon Wireless formally completed its purchase of Alltel last month, many users were wondering what would happen to Alltel’s beloved My Circle calling plans in the long term. Today, Verizon Wireless announced its own version of My Circle, called Friends & Family.

Starting Sunday, February 15th, Verizon Wireless customers will be allowed to choose five or 10 numbers that will become their Friends & Family calling group. Like My Circle, minutes used when placing or receiving calls from the numbers in your Friends & Family calling group will not count against your allotted number of plan minutes. Landline numbers and wireless numbers associated with other cellular carriers are fair game for the Friends & Family calling group. You’ll also be able to change your calling directory at any time without incurring a fee. Any changes made will take effect the following day.

To take advantage of Friends & Family, you must have a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Single Line plan with 900 ($59.99 per month) or more Anytime Minutes or a Nationwide Family SharePlan with 1,400 ($89.99 per month) or more Anytime Minutes. Users with an eligible Nationwide Single Line plan will be able to add up to five numbers to their Friends & Family directory. Customers with an eligible Nationwide Family SharePlan will get 10 numbers to share among account users. All Nationwide plans include Unlimited Night & Weekend minutes, no domestic roaming or long distance charges, unlimited Mobile to Mobile calling, and access to Mobile Web.

To sign up for Friends & Family, Verizon Wireless customers can visit www.verizonwireless.com/myverizon. Verizon Wireless plans to offer Friends & Family lines for business users later this quarter.

With this announcement, we have to wonder: Will AT&T follow suit and create its own calling group, given the competition from Friends & Family and T-Mobile’s MyFaves.

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Ugh, don't call it "Friends and Family". Sprint's (I think it was Spring) version of this calling feature for landlines back around 15 years ago was insidious. You picked 10 numbers for unlimited calling, but the other number had to be a Sprint customer as well. In the end, you had to endure repeated calls from not only Sprint to get you to switch (this was way before the Do Not Call registry) but angry calls from aged family members wondering why you wouldn't sign up so you could all talk for free.

Pure marketing evil. The name of that calling plan makes me shiver. My father's aunt practically wound up ex-communicated from the family due to that scheme.

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