Verizon yesterday unveiled its new "Share Everything" plans, in which families will share one data allowance on a family plan rather than each member having his or her own data allowance on separate plans. Despite the fact that Verizon is touting this as a money-saving opportunity for families, critics run the numbers and say it's actually not:
- Dan Rowinski of ReadWriteWeb finds that one hypothetical family of four will likely pay exactly the same amount per month, or may save at most $10 per month. The problem? Data may be cheaper under the new plans, but "you pay more per device," he explains. "Verizon's new plan does not give families a discount. The difference amounts to an administrative change."
- Troy Wolverton goes a bit further in the Mercury News, calling the new plans "a crummy deal for many consumers." He finds that many users will actually end up paying more, since the only real price breaks are on talk minutes and text messages—"services [consumers] are already using less." "Overall, the move appears to be a price hike tarted up to look consumer friendly," he writes.
- All the critics concede that the new plans are certainly simpler to understand, but on ZDNet, Matthew Miller is "disappointed that convenience comes at such a high price." If Sprint gets its LTE network running, it will be an "attractive" option for individual unlimited plans at $80 per phone, he notes.
- On CNET, Roger Cheng points out that Verizon is now "forcing" unlimited voice and text messages with these plans. "Under the change, customers will have to give up their old grandfathered unlimited data plans right as people use more data than ever," he writes. "It's a classic case of a carrier giving you more of what you don't need, and taking away what you do—all for a higher price."
The new plans roll out on June 28, and the only way to keep your existing plan is to upgrade to new phones at full cost, with no discount.