Friday Blowout 2.1

Featured: Android Headlines Friday News Blowout…Verizon,Verizon,Verizon!

May 18, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood

I was really looking forward to the HTC One series of devices coming to Verizon Wireless this year. On paper the One series is the best trio of phones that HTC has ever done, and they are all reviewing pretty well too. I have an upgrade available and I was saving it for an HTC One. Only, that’s not going to be possible. Not with Verizon at least.

I’ve known for quite a while now that Verizon was set to introduce their new family share data plans, I mean, they’ve only been talking about it since last year. Though we still don’t know details, thanks to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo we now know that unlimited data is coming to an end. The next time you upgrade your phone to a Verizon 4G LTE device you’ll be switched from your current unlimited data plan to “something else”, unless you want to pay full price for your next phone.

I have one thing to say to Verizon: HELL NO!

I’ve had the same cell phone account for, I don’t know, 20 years? I believe it was 1992 when I got my first cell phone (I still use that phone number to this day) through Cellular One. A few years went by and Cellular One became AirTouch, and not long after that, Verizon Wireless. Prior to my Thunderbolt, I realized that I was paying more than some other providers would charge, but the service was unbeatable. Then this 4G LTE came along.

I’ve been caught more than once without service thanks to the VZW 4G network, and it seems like I’m always on the road somewhere when it happens. Chicago, St Louis, Indianapolis and Chicago again are all road trips that I spent more than â…“ of my time without any data at all.

When I was lost in the north Chicago suburbs because my Thunderbolt had no data I swore that I would look at other carriers before I upgraded my phone again, but I hadn’t done anything about it in the months since. With the news that Verizon will be passing on the HTC One and canning my unlimited data, I’m out.

I understand that Verizon is a publicly traded corporation and that they have a duty to provide maximum results for their shareholders, but enough is really enough. Family share data plans, 2GB data caps and streaming content deals are all designed with one goal in mind: suck as much additional revenue out of every single subscriber possible. Don’t like it? Go to hell.

We may not have details about what VZW family share data plans will look like, but know this one thing, it isn’t going to save you one thin dime. It wouldn’t help the VZW stock price if the average revenue per user went DOWN because of these new data plans. There’s just no way. The more likely scenario? You’re going to pay more, and the plans will be structured in such a way that you can’t help but go over your cap.

I have 5 smartphones on my VZW account and I pay VZW over $350 a month, including unlimited limited data on each phone. We have some discounts in place, but I happen to think that should be more than sufficient, Verizon should be happy to have me as a customer. Apparently not.

If I want something better than a 2GB data cap and the latest HTC series of phones, well, I’m going to have to go somewhere else. That’s exactly what I intend to do.

What are my options? Now that you ask, the options aren’t the greatest.

Sprint in my area absolutely blows. I can see downtown Cincinnati, Ohio from where I live on top of the second highest hill in Northern Kentucky, but I can’t make a Sprint call from my house. Not inside, not outside. Not anywhere.

AT&T? My wife’s work phone is an AT&T iPhone. She uses her personal cell phone most of the time because, like Sprint, AT&T is horrible.

T-Mobile has some new data plans coming, but I’m not sure that month-to-month is what I’m looking for. Checking the T-Mobile website, I see that I can replace everything that I have with 5GB per line data plans for $50 less a month. If I drop my 5th smartphone (a Palm Pre that I can’t let go) I would save closer to $100 a month. Coverage? Yeah, that would be my concern, but my T-Mobile friends say that things are much better in the Cincinnati area now than they were a few years ago.

I’m trolling Craigslist right now looking for a cast off T-Mobile Android device so that I can take this newly improved coverage for a spin.

Thanks to the VZW issues with their LTE network over the last 14 months that I’ve been on it, I’m more than willing to accept less than perfect coverage. I mean, I’ve gone for very long stretches without phone or data service, and I’m supposed to be on the best network in the USA. Can I deal with a tighter coverage area and lower prices? Yeah, I think I can, and I owe my new found patience to you Verizon. Thanks for that.

I’ll be with Verizon for a while. I think that March is when I can move 4 of my 5 phones without an ETF, leaving only my son behind with his VZW iPhone. I don’t know what will eventually end up happening, but I can tell you this: I won’t put myself in a place where I am very likely to have to pay VZW even more than I do now, and receive less service for the price.

You want more money from me Verizon? Go to hell.