Verizon’s $80 Prepaid Unlimited Wireless Plan Is Seriously Handicapped

Verizon this week released its $80 prepaid unlimited wireless plan. The price tag and promise of “unlimited data, talk, and text” may seem tempting, however, the plan is rife with pitfalls.

First, what is Verizon’s latest plan? The telecommunications company guarantees unlimited data, talk, and text across the United States without any contracts or credit checks. This plan also includes unlimited texting to over two hundred countries and unlimited talk to Mexico and Canada. 

Verizon logo sign

According to Tami Erwin, executive vice president of operations for Verizon, “In just months, Verizon has transformed its prepaid offerings to make it easier and more affordable for customers to get access to the best network at a great value, no matter how much data they need”.

So what’s the catch? The prepaid unlimited plan does not include tethering or mobile hotspot connectivity. The plan also limits video streaming to 480p and will deprioritize the customer’s data if the network is particularly congested by default. It is also important to note that T-Mobile offers a prepaid plan that only throttles a customer after they have used 30GB in a billing cycle, includes tethering, and costs $75 a month.

Verizon unlimited prepaid plan ad

The prepaid unlimited plan is actually worse and more complicated than the contracted unlimited plan. Verizon Unlimited customers receive everything that their counterparts get, as well as 10GB of Mobile Hotspot per month, unlimited calling and texting, and 500MB/day of 4G LTE data in Mexico and Canada. The company also promises to not throttle Unlimited customer’s data unless the networks are congested and the customer has exceeded 22GB of data within their current billing cycle. The contracted plan also costs $80 a month if a customer uses Auto-Pay.

The $80 prepaid plan is just one of the many prepaid plans offered by Verizon. According to Ronan Dunne, executive vice president and group president of Verizon Wireless. “We also fundamentally want you to have more choice. We’re not limiting you to a single plan. If you don’t need unlimited data, we still have 5 GB, S, M, and L Verizon plans that are perfect for you."