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Should You Ditch Your Verizon Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plan for Verizon Unlimited? I Did.

verizon unlimited plan

Now that Verizon has a new unlimited plan available after spending years trying to force you off of your grandfathered unlimited plan, it might be time to figure out if those old digs are worth hanging onto. In my opinion, it’s probably worth making the switch, unless you fall into a pretty narrow category of grandfathered unlimited users.

I’m not trying to sell you on the idea, but we have had a handful of people ask – both in comments and via email – for our take on the situation. So in order to do that, let me walk through my scenario, because I did indeed cancel my grandfathered unlimited plan for Verizon Unlimited

The biggest reason for changing was the cost. Verizon has spent the past couple of years raising the price on unlimited data users not in contract, while also taking features away. In 2015, they began a 3-phase process to increase the price of grandfathered unlimited data users by $20. That meant a $49.99 per month charge in order to use an unlimited amount of data at Verizon, plus whatever minute package you were locked into. For me, that meant a monthly bill of around $145. That’s a large bill for a single line and “unlimited” data use that hasn’t been truly unlimited in some time.

Verizon Unlimited costs just $80 per month for my single line. I’m sure you can do the math there, but over a year we’re talking about enough of a difference in cash to cover the cost of another flagship phone purchase.

And let’s say my wife decided she was done with AT&T and wanted to come back to Verizon. She could do that and we could both have unlimited data for $140 total (plus taxes and fees). In other words, we could both be on Verizon Unlimited, both with tethering and “unlimited” usage, and be right around where my single-line grandfathered plan was.

No plan is truly unlimited anymore anyway.  Last year, Verizon set a mystery cap on grandfathered unlimited data users using an “extraordinary” amount of data and threatened to kick them off if they hit that cap. We thought at the time that the cap was 100GB of usage in month, but it could be closer to 200GB. Either way, grandfathered users were given a warning by Verizon. “You can no longer use an unlimited amount of data or we will shut your ass down and force you onto something else,” is the message they sent.

So for me, as someone who wasn’t using 400GB of data in a month, switching over to Verizon Unlimited made quite a bit of sense. If I needed to use 15GB or 40GB or 60GB I could. Sure, once I move past the 22GB soft cap, Verizon could throttle me. However, I live and work in a rural suburb of Portland that likely won’t see much network congestion, so the chances of being throttled regularly are pretty slim. For you, that might not be the case and as a heavy data user, 22GB may just not be enough with that ongoing thought of throttling in your mind.

But again, in my situation, saving $65 per month and still having “unlimited” data seemed worth the switch.

I need tethering. Somewhere in the middle of their price-raising on grandfathered unlimited data, Verizon also took away the $29.99 per month add-on for unlimited tethering. As someone who travels for work and needs to be able to tether when hotel internet is spotty or there just isn’t a good open WiFi network around, this move by itself almost forced me off.

With Verizon Unlimited, I at least get 10GB per month of 4G LTE tethering to use. That’s not a ton, but I wasn’t getting any previously, after they took the option away from grandfathered unlimited users. If anything, it at least gets me a decent amount of use for the few days a month we do travel. I’ll have to be careful when uploading big videos, but again, I’ll take the 10GB and be careful rather than try to deal without the option altogether.

Those 3 reasons were all I needed to switch. So you can see, the switch wasn’t a very difficult decision for me. I’m someone who, depending on the month and the carrier I’m using each day, can use quite a bit of data. However, I’m not the 400GB per month data user. My guess is that on heavy months, I’d jump over the 22GB soft cap, but maybe not by much. I also need tethering and like saving money each month.

So why shouldn’t you switch? Well, if you are locked into a contract and use massive amounts of data per month, plus you happen to still be able to tether at an unlimited tick, it might be worth hanging around on a grandfathered plan. You won’t be throttled at 22GB and Verizon shouldn’t be able to run you off the plan until your contract is up. Also, if for some reason your plan cost isn’t much more than a single line or multi-line Verizon Unlimited account, it certainly makes sense to stay where you are. Finally, Verizon Unlimited doesn’t allow for many employer discounts, as far as I can tell, so the price Verizon is advertising is the price you’ll end up paying.

But that’s all my scenario and how I made my decision. We’d love to hear from you as well on whether or not you made the switch to Verizon Unlimited or stuck with your grandfathered plan. Don’t forget to tell us why, also.

You can learn more about Verizon Unlimited here.


Unlimited Plan Comparison: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. T-Mobile vs. Sprint

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