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Verizon CFO: “Unlimited” is Just a Word and It’s Going by the Wayside

Verizon’s CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo sat down for a chat at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference today to talk about the state of Verizon’s financial business. This is the first time we have heard from Shammo since his company launched Shared Everything data plans, so naturally, we were dying to hear what he had to say about them. 

According to Shammo, more people than they expected have moved onto shared data plans. He said that he believes that the first batch of adopters made the move to shared because they think they can optimize their plan and save a little money. The interesting note to this point, is the fact that they were expecting to see some dilution as people save money, but in reality, there was even less than they expected. Basically, that means that the shared data plans that they spent an entire year fine-tuning, are certainly fine-tuned to make money.

The second topic that stood out to us was his mention of the number of people moving from unlimited data to shared data plans. Again, Verizon was surprised at the number of people making this move. Shammo believes that unlimited is just a word, that people don’t care about unlimited data and that they all assume that they use more data than they actually do. He is under the impression that people are realizing the benefits of shared rather than unlimited, hence the reason for them to make the change.

My reaction – these people don’t have a choice, but to switch to shared data. Sure, Verizon has told us that we can buy phones at full price if we want to keep unlimited, but very few will actually do that. Instead, people will continue to buy subsidized phones, which then forces them off of their unlimited plans and onto shared. You can’t tell me that Verizon is surprised at this move, they knew this is what would happen. I’m not buying for a second that people are generally requesting shared over unlimited. I don’t know how many ways we need to break this down, but for today’s data-driven world, shared data benefits very few.

The last topic had to do with the plans themselves and how Verizon will continue to make money off of them in the future. Shammo essentially admits that the plans are perfect. Since users are attaching more devices than they had planned, they are seeing them have to buy up in data bundles already, something only making his job even easier and the company more revenue.

I think you all know how I feel about shared data plans, and this interview essentially reaffirms my desire to never switch to one.

Your thoughts?

Via:  Verizon | Engadget

  • Wouldn’t You Like To Know

    I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and paid for the 2 year warranty up front – I have unlimited 4G LTE coverage and use 150GB a month – how I use it is my business… I will NEVER upgrade my phone to a new one – I will either buy one from somebody on Craigslist, eBay, or do a warranty replacement just before my phone’s warranty expires. No upgrades!

  • http://twitter.com/NerdsDigMe capt. sexypants

    Thank god I buy my phones at Best Buy and have their protection plan. When I want an upgrade, all I have to do is make sure the phone is broken beyond repair and be without it for 3 weeks (with a loaner, of course). They junk it out and I get a 700$ gift card. I will be able to buy all my phones outright in the future thanks to Best Buy, with only a small monthly fee. This isnt a scam, this isnt an ad, this is true. Ask any best buy mobile associate about how it works.

  • http://twitter.com/AthoraX athorax

    My contract is just a bunch of words too, and when unlimited disapears from it, I disappear from my Verizon.

  • noc007

    What a douche-nozzle. He’s conveniently leaving out the stipulation for any contract renewal must go onto shared data and that like Kellex pointed out, it has been fine tuned to make money. The CFO and his people are no fools when it came to engineering the shared data plans and ensuring the CSR and sales reps were trained to phrase things in just the right way.

    A rep tried to get me to switch when my account was changed during upgrading from a D3 to a D4. The CSR tried to tell me that with my usage on my last bill, I could save money. BS. I am going to use more data on a LTE phone than a 3G phone any day. My usage is just going to increase as time goes on; apps are going to get more complex and use more data and I’m going to use more data because I don’t have a tiny spicket for an internet pipe.

    They engineered those plans well. They knew that most people won’t bother to save money for the full price of a new phone and that some customers just don’t have a choice in their market. When my contract is up, I’ll be seriously considering switching to MetroPCS or T-Mobile due to the shoddy customer service I’ve received lately. If they try and take away my unlimited plan after my contract is up, I’ll definitely switch.

    I look forward to the day where one can buy a phone here in the US and it work completely on any carrier. Supposedly LTE-Advanced is suppose to bring that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BreezlyBruin420 Chris Long

    I upgraded from my Motorola Droid R2-D2 to the Samsung Galaxy S3 at the discounted upgrade price and was allowed to keep my unlimited data plan.

  • http://twitter.com/vdefender Taylor A.

    My thoughts: I will NEVER switch to one. EVER. I’ve been with Verizon for ever and ever and if they try to eventually force me onto a shared (limited) data plan. I will leave. period. I don’t support going backwards in technology. I just purchased my Galaxy S3 on craigslist to avoid buying from verizon, and to keep my unlimited plan, and from here on out, I will selling my phones on craigslist after 6 months and getting the newest and greatest for a loss of about $200 each time. Verizon will loose out on any extra money from me.

  • D.C.

    When either my five-line contract is up or they take away my three unlimited data plans, I’m going to do this:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1646755

  • http://twitter.com/d1g1K Dave Kochman

    So who’s still rocking $10 unlimited data from a few years ago? Have fun prying THAT from my cold, dead hands Shammo!

  • VZWIndirect

    Honestly, most people have no idea how crooked Verizon is. If you think they are bad as a consumer, you should see how horrid they are as a dealer. You should see what they “spiff” us to try an manipulate customers into sub-par devices and to pull them off of lower priced or unlimited plans.

    The Pantech Breakout was a perfect example. That phone has a huge known issue of not having enough internal memory allocated to allow for even basic, normal usage. Rather than pulling the phone from the shelves, VZW drops the price to dealers, adds a rebate to customers, and spiffs the dealers an additional $50 for every piece of garbage that we stick a customer with.

    This is why IF (and thats a pretty big IF), you are forced to stay with VZW because of the network, you need to find a local Indirect agent that is not swayed by VZW’s crappy policies and “spiffs”.

    It is also why after being the first dealer to bring Altell into our market, and the single highest ranked Indirect agent in our market since the takeover, we are now looking at other carrier options. VZW has actually started to pressure us because we don’t push the junk phones, push customers into higher priced plans, and don’t push 70 year old granny’s into GSIII’s, when all they want is a phone for an emergency.

    T-Mo is looking really good right now. So are many non-contract MVNO’s, including one major player that runs on the VZW network. At some point, VZW’s bubble will burst, and when it does, I hope it blows as hard as their policies do.

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Nice to hear this truth from someone with firsthand knowledge on the subject, thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/armus75 Armus

    This guy should be taken out back and castrated with a Razr

  • JaysonKnocks

    I don’t use nearly as much data as everyone here is saying, (I use about 5-7gb a month) but i dont want to have to monitor my Spotify usage…Unlimited for life! I say we Occupy Verizon lol

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      So we should all become filthy hippies, and tell women not to report if they’ve been raped to the police because it looks bad for the movement, and that we will make sure to destroy and leave our human waste at whatever place we “occupy”, and talk about how evil capitalism is, while we blog about it on our capitalistic iPhones, iPads, and computers? Sounds like a good proposition to me. Don’t have to work or contribute to society, no more bathing, I can defecate wherever I want, do a bunch of drugs, rape a few girls, be a giant hypocrite, make some really meaningful signs that I march around with. Heck yeah bro, sign me up! I’ll be there right after I protest some insect being killed, just so farmers can water their crops and provide to our nation and others. Peace love and entitlement brother.

      Edit for: Disqus being a pain, yet again.

  • Stoker

    “He said that he believes that the first batch of adopters made the move
    to shared because they think they can optimize their plan and save a
    little money. The interesting note to this point, is the fact that they
    were expecting to see some dilution as people save money, but in
    reality, there was even less than they expected.”

    So, what that means is they convinced their customers to migrate to a new service against their own best interests thinking they would get more value from the new plan and they provided less than the customers expected for a big win on Wall Street.

    Don’t you just giant corporations in modern America?

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Absolutely, I love giant corporations, they are what make this country so great. Now I detest Verizon for being who they are, but not because they are a giant money-making corporation. Giant corporations in America employ millions of people, innovate in unbelievable ways, sell you the products that you hypocritically cherish and own, make huge life saving advances in technology, science and medicine, and allocate those advancements to other people and countries in need. Big corporations are what built and still sustain this great nation that so many spoiled, immature, idiotic, uninformed, mislead, people spit on with their frustrated and misguided or selfish words. You might do well to take a look at all of things you own that entertain you or make your life better in some way, most of that was brought to by big business and big money-making corporations, and most all capitalism. Then you might want to take a look at other countries where capitalism is disavowed and called evil, and see how prosperous they are, and how happy and content their citizens are.

      • Stoker

        LOL. Aren’t we serious and pedantic today? Fair enough, replace “giant” with “greedy” with the understanding that not EVERY corporation is greedy but too many probably are. Now hit “reset”. Or are you just dead set on being an apologist for corporate greed? Sheesh.

  • Big Red Bites

    I’m keeping my unlimited line forever, suck it big red

  • Aaron Decker

    ” Shammo believes that unlimited is just a word, that people don’t care about unlimited data and that they all assume that they use more data than they actually do.” So, your saying that the 28GB of data useage on my last bill was my immangination? Im sorry, but some of us actually do enjoy our unlimited data! F**K US RIGHT?!

  • JazzoRenee

    He knows that most consumers are not “wise” consumers, and we, who choose to visit forums such these, find what he stated illogical, blasphemous and inappropriate, because of it.
    No way in h e double hockey stick, would a shared data plan ever out rank “unlimited” but then again I use a lot of data, or I plan to make the most of it because I can.

  • duke69111

    Is it just me or does it seam like Verizon is openly gloating about the amount of money they are raping us for, more than normal, especially this CFO Fran “ShamWow” Shammo.

  • Raven

    I think I am about done waiting for the next Nexus or a Droid 5 and then have to buy it full price anyway. I think I am just going to try to pick up a Droid 4 cheap and wait it out. What are the best places to buy a new or refurbished phone online at a good price? Good old Ebay or somewhere else? What are the dangers of doing so? Worn out batteries? Bad ESNs? How often does that really happen?

  • Ryan5609

    They can have my unlimited data when they pry it from my dead lifeless fingers. Until that point I will just keep on buying phones from Ebay or Swappa.

  • http://twitter.com/dom_da_dude Dominique Griffin

    It’s fine for those ppl who have families but I’m a single man….I don’t need a shared data plan. I need unlimited which has saved me money. Forcing me to get a shared data plan when I do not need it is ridiculous. Soooo u can cap my data and charge me for overage….nope. And the data caps you get for the prices are retarded. When and if Verizon decides to bring it back I’ll gladly renew my contract. If not well there’s always Sprint. I also have to agree with a lot of ppl. The plans are designed to make you pay for the discounted phones you are so called getting. If I buy a phone outright then my monthly bill should be lowered as well. IJS(I’m Just Sayin) though :)

  • ozo012

    Hey Sham $hithead, my family and I paying you an @$$load of money is going by the wayside sooner than later… mmmk

  • kidheated

    Yea, of course its just a word… but like any other word it has meaning. When douche-bag corps decide to add their own/change the meaning that’s when it loses all validity. The rest of us know it as, un-ending, no threshold, going forever, never stopping or not limited. Why can’t these companies be sued for false advertising. In any other store if a product is mislabeled, you catch it, and the store has to abide by the by the rules… why not phone companies?

  • Guest

    Just a correction: upgrading does not force anyone to switch to shared data. Everyone can keep their exact same plan, only the data package will change from $29.99 unlimited, to $30 2GB. A penny more, literally, is what all this fuss is about.

    • Jeff

      Well, let’s break this down. If I use 4GB a month now, and I pay $29.99 for “unlimited” data, then going to $30 for 2GB is a penny more, but it’s a penny more for half the data, and that assumes that I don’t have a spike in my data usage in any given month, which would result in overage charges that are most likely more than a penny.

      THAT is what the fuss is about.

  • http://twitter.com/Cherriza Cherriza

    My friend brought up a good point. If one buys an iphone can you keep your unlimited data since iphones are never subsidized?

    • Rich

      Iphones are subsidized, 16gb for 200 as opposed to 650 unsubsidized. Take it from a die hard android user selling iphones all day

  • DanWazz

    Verizon gets a little eviler every day. Everyone that I’ve talked to about getting a phone is pissed because they didn’t realize they couldn’t get unlimited data anymore. I can’t count the times I’ve tried to explain switching to a shared data plan or buying the phone unsubsidized, or moving to a different carrier are their only choices.

  • MichaelFranz

    after their RAZR M event and the numbers they said, the numbers pretty much said that with a 4G LTE phone you use an average, remember, average of 2.6GB. So thats like saying 50% of your customers on LTE devices need a 4GB plan..just for 1 line.

  • Sven Enterlein

    You just need the right person in charge to make all data look the way you need it to. Like biostatisticians: Tell them what you need and they’ll make the data work that way :)

  • rrosotho@gmail.com

    I think it would attract more people if Verizon changes the prices 2gb data to $50, 4gb data to $60 and 6gb data to $70 and so on. Think about the average user will use between 2gb to 6gb each month including wifi usage of their own. Its not a bad idea but with the new upcoming phones they will require more data than usual.

  • Scott

    I’m also under the opinion that if I buy a phone at full retail, nothing is stopping Verizon from ripping out the unlimited from underneath me.

  • http://smidgensjourney.wordpress.com/ Jim L

    If “unlimited” is just a word, then Shammo should agree that “not paying you anymore” is just 4 words.

  • Shared Everything sucks

    How can I not swtich. I have a 3G Droid X that I’m dying to upgrade to a new 4G phone. I don’t really want to pay $600 for phone….like you said, I haev to switch to “Shared Everything.”

    • ozo012

      Swappa.com, ebay

      • LG71

        Craigslist

  • RW-1

    What a fuckup, when enought people realize that they should be billed for used data period, like any other utility, then this whole scam will be turned around on them. We should be just paying for the data we use each month – End of Line. none of this how much do you think we’ll use crap and overages. He makes my point well, if there are not a lot of overages, then fracking bill your users like adults.

    • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

      They use to do this. On my phone about 2 years ago i payed by the MB not a overall fee.

  • Faber

    Bought mine out right and an sucking data like fast girls love cake…. Thanks verizon! Now who wants to tether to my phone? :)