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Is Verizon Finally Preparing to Launch Family Data Plans? Still Tough to Tell

This screenshot showed up in the tech world today, and everyone is taking it to mean that Verizon’s family shared data plans are imminent. It could very well mean just that, but we have seen these “account level” changes happening in Big Red systems for a while now, none of which have turned into family plans. In fact, we saw the first changes to start migrating family accounts towards a future of shared data back in June. But since the company’s CEO spoke of family pots happening in 2012, our ears are perked.

However, until we see something that actually references “family data plans” and not just “account level,” we will have to assume that not much is changing just yet. With that said though, I think we would all welcome in family pots of data sooner than later (assuming the price is right, of course).

Via:  Engadget

  • lol i hit 120+gb of use last month all for the low price of 20.00USD i love being granfathered

  • Anonymous

    I talked with a customer service rep who actually said they were suppose to launch them after the 1st of the year.

  • Hybrisate

    For the people wondering if they would be able to convert their unlimited plans to shared if this goes through– definitely not going to happen. As far as pricing, the screen shot indicates account level pricing (ALP) which is a flat rate for the share plan w/ $9.99 access charge per line. I would imagine ALP data plans to start around $20 + $9.99 access charge per line for a shared allowance 2GB, maybe 3GB if we’re lucky. That would reduce the cost of 2 smartphone plans from $60 to about $40, so obviously it’s more $$$  per GB but reduced overall cost. Also, there would likely be higher tiers as well, just like ALP voice plans– 2GB would rarely be enough to share between 3+ smartphones. Seems like a good solution for lower-data users who are mindful of managing their accounts. However, as much as people request this option, I can see it being a problem for many accounts. Some people are already bad at monitoring/sharing voice minutes, just imagine trying to share data (something that’s a lot harder to quantify than minutes, especially for those who are not tech-savvy– and probably the same type of people who want this option in the first place!!). This really has the potential to backfire and cause overages for those who don’t monitor their shared usage. However for those who do watch what they’re using, I think they would appreciate the option and save money. BTW, I am a VZW customer service rep. The company has not told us anything about these potential plans at this point, I am purely speculating from the information provided in the picture. The prices I mentioned are just my best guess if they were release this option.

  • 0mie

    NOBODY can beat $10 for UNLIMITED LTE, I pay $40 for my 5 lines…usually use about 20GB on all lines, some times closer to 30GB 😀


    @webmastir2:disqus …

  • Uhh, disagree. The Note, while cool, is a niche product, however, the GSII is better than the Razr (subjective of course…). The Nexus is a big win for Verizon though!

    • Anonymous

      From a consumer, sales standpoint, it probably goes RAZR–>GSII–>GNote–>GNex. The Galaxy Nexus is a beast for sure, but for a telnet’s bottom line something like the RAZR is more desirable. Also, I don’t know of anyone who rates the GSII over the RAZR right now, though that is, of course, subjective.

  • There will be almost no benefit to consumers with shared data, except those that partake in the most types of data services possible (think mifi card + smartphones + tablet + tethering plan). If you opt for all those data services, you MIGHT save a LITTLE money on a shared plan. Otherwise, I expect any savings to be negligible or none; in fact, they may increase prices! Verizon loves to increase prices, and they’ll do it in a passive aggressive way that makes it seem like they’re looking out for us.

  • Obviously this kind of plan isn’t going to fly with most of us here, but you have to consider the average consumer. I’ve had a lot of customers either complain about their bills because of individual data plans, or just not go with smartphones altogether. With VZW pushing 4G as hard as they are, and spending the kind of bucks they are on integrating the whole system, they’re going to want to get as many people on smartphones as possible to help pay for it. Plus, by doing this, it gives them a leg up on everyone else price wise, at least as far as family data goes. AT&T already has a crap lineup (Atrix 4G? Really?), and when this goes into effect, you could see a lot of families switching over to Big Red. Smart move in the end.

    • Anonymous

      AT&T has the Galaxy SII (several variants), the Atrix 2, and soon to have the Galaxy Note LTE. Their lineup is just fine. Verizon has the best Androids out right now, true, (GNex and RAZR series), but that will be basically evened out when AT&T gets the Note. I would personally take a Note over the GNex or the RAZR; especially for my wife. We’ll see when the Padfone and the GSIII come out, but AT&T has had some really good devices for Android of late.

      • Good call on the GS2, and Skyrocket, as well as the Note. But therein lies the problem: All of the ones you named are from Samsung. Now Samsung has been doing quite well lately, but in terms of actual choices, Verizon does have them beat at this point in time. RAZR, RAZR Maxx, Rezound, G-Nex, soon to be Droid 4, Spectrum (ok not a great phone, but for the price, it’ll find a few homes). I’ve had customers for instance, that had a Fascinate, that will never go back to Samsung again, just because of the messy update problems it had. No problem, I can show them a Motorola, HTC, or whatever. Plus, Verizon is wayyyyy ahead of the game when it comes to 4G (the fact that AT&T is touting its 4G already makes me snicker), and have multiple choices to work on the network. So really it comes down to choices in that regard, and the Evil Empire has everyone beat. Don’t get me wrong though, the Note is a beast, and I’m not saying their recent offerings have been bad, but that holiday lineup was dreadful in comparison. We’ll see what happens this year, and how quickly they can get that LTE network up in more cities. But they’ve got to not only bulk up that product portfolio, and network, but also address the customer service issues they have. I used to work for them, so I know first hand how bad it is. They’ve got some work to do for sure.

        • Anonymous

          Good points all.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll “grandfathering”unlimited data until my son is a grandfather. That’s the only family plan I want.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll almost guarantee that this won’t save you much (if any) money when they implement it.  They’ll just charge you around $60 for two phones sharing 4 GBs (about the same as 2x 2GB plans) and tack on an additional 2GBs/$30 per phone on the account.  So the only difference is that they share data. No way I would expect them to have this move benefit the customers in terms of costs.

    I love Verizon and their quality of service, but they know they’re the best and intend to make you pay for it.  If they ever force me out of my unlimited data though, I won’t hesitate to go to Sprint.

  • K Beck45

    No thanks I’ll stay with sprint.. left Verizon after the tierd data and I get faster service at half the price and I don’t have to worry about going over data.. Sprint and T-Mobile are going to benefit from the greed of at&t and Verizon..

  • Lunatic Fringe

    Can almost guarantee theyll only incorporate enough cost savings to interest the most frugal of penny pinchers. For eveyone else with unlimited data, itll be a step backward. What is their incentive to offer us unbelievable savings options when they can make more money from individual plans? So they can be “stand up guys”? Please.

    • A.M.

      Was gonna say just this. I guarantee the savings will be marginal, and will probably require at least three phones to make sense.

      Something like this:

      $40/ 2 GB per month, 
      +$10 per line. 

      With 2 phones it’s $60, three phones $70. Aha, a $20 savings! Nope, good luck getting three people to use under 2 GB given how fast data usage is increasing. 

      For another $20, you’d get bumped up to a 5 GB allowance, for a total of $90 for three lines, which is exactly what you’d be paying now.

      • Anonymous

        This is almost assuredly their pricing scheme. Verizon’s in it for the money (nothing wrong with that, but I would fall over in shock if they offered a value other than their awesome network).

      • Nick

        Usually the first two lines on family plans are included. So two lines would be $40/2gb, 4 lines would be $60, up to 3 additional lines.

        Now, if they somehow fudge it up so that all lines share the primary account line, and the primary account has unlimited and can keep it, that would be awesome.

      • Anonymous

        If that is the way they go with it, they can keep it. Right now between two lines I get 8G and pay $60 a month. So unless they can offer something good at a reasonable price I cant see changing. I figure it has to be something like they do with the shared unlimited text. $20 for the ind line and $30 for family. If its not offered up where you can get about the same as you can for the individual lines no one is going to go for it.

  • John

    They will launch it once they find a way to dick us over as much as possible.

  • No thanks, I’ll stick to my unlimited smartphone data for $10/line. 🙂

  • I’m torn.  If I were to move my wife and I to a shared data plan, that would mean saving money, but losing our unlimited data we have now.  I hit 8 GB downloaded last month.

  • Anonymous

    Data only costs $1 a day, thats pretty cheap considering what you get out of these phones. Though I understand if you have 5 lines it can get pricy, I hope for once VZW makes a smart move and allows people to keep their unlimited (though doubtful)

  •  mmmm No thanks BigV, ill just keep what I got for another year and then shake your hand say thanks and walk across the street to T-Mobile.

    • Especially now that they announced the return of unlimited data. I wonder when it will hit stateside, if ever.

  • Bewara2009

    Oh hell na!

  • Kris Brandt

    I am very wary of family data plans, at the moment.  I know that I’m the biggest user of data in my plan (nearly 6 GB last month) and that’s on 3G.  All 4 lines are smartphones.  So at $30 a pop, that’s $120 on data.  However, 3 of these lines are unlimited, the 4th is 2GB.  It’d be tough for me to want to eliminate this unlimited data, especially considering I am now much more likely to go over the limit if I start streaming Google Music all the time for work.

    • Kyle

      Keep unlimited as long as Verizon allows it.

    • I’m in the same boat you are.  I hit 8 GB last month of data used.

      • Jim McClain

        what in the world do you do to use 8gb, ?  is your face glued to your phone 24/7  ?

        • PC_Tool

          It is called streaming.

          I stream Pandora or Slacker (Can never decide which I want to stick with) at *least* 8 hours a day on high quality over 4G.  Add any other streaming or ROM downloads or anything like that to the mix and yeah…pretty easy.

          heck I feel sorry for those folks who want music running while they sleep.  Double the ~5GB I take down a month….

        • Anonymous

          I blow through that much data in a few weeks without even trying. Streaming  Netflix/Pandora/Google Music and lots of YouTube videos; I don’t even have to tether (though I do have unlimited, legit tethering).

  • I would move if I could keep my unlimited plans for a reasonable price.  I would need it to be cheaper than what I’m paying now to make it worthwhile (I have 2 unlimited plans).  That would be the ONLY way I would move to it.  

  • This is going to be tricky. I want to keep my unlimited data, but I am assuming that any change to the account would mean that unlimited data goes bye-bye, and family data would be just that kind of change.

  • My family can only afford 2 smartphones at the $30 each price (at least) and 2 others want one, so we would definately be in for these. 10 GB for $80 would work for us, with more than 2 gb for each person. Perfect. Please hurry Verizon!

    • Hybrisate

      I wouldn’t imagine it being that good of a deal– that’s already the cost of the 10GB plan for an individual line. If you’re going to be paying the same cost but split the allowance, it will be a lower amount of data.