Primetime: Verizon Cracking Down on Unlimited Data Users Isn't Smart

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This past week, Verizon announced that they would be cracking down on some of their unlimited data users that consume an excess of 200GB each month. Now for many people, that's a whole lot of data, which is why Verizon said it's only a few customers. But it has a lot of people wondering why Verizon even bothered. Think about it, these customers that are grandfathered into unlimited data (a plan that Verizon stopped offering in 2012) are loyal to Verizon. They have been with the company for at least four years, likely longer. These customers are unlikely to leave and go to another carrier. So why is Verizon forcing these customers to use less data or go onto a tiered plan, and squeeze more money out of them? Greed, that's the only real reason.

Verizon, the largest carrier in the US, is unable to support a small number of users going through 200GB of data each month. That sounds a bit odd doesn't it? It's not like Verizon doesn't have the infrastructure to support these users. Verizon is all about the cash, which as a publicly traded company, they should be. But they shouldn't be exploiting some of their most loyal customers to do that. Now Verizon says that these subscribers using over 200GB of data a month is causing congestion for other users. That's not true, let's explain.

Network congestion is a popular topic these days, but it's not as cut and dry as carriers would like you to think. Congestion isn't due to the number of people transferring a ton of data at the same time, it's due to the number of people connected to a tower at the same time. So if you have 500 people connected to one tower, browsing the internet (something that uses very little data) at the same time, the tower will be just as congested as if there were 500 people connected to a tower all streaming Netflix or Sling TV. So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for Verizon to say that they are limiting the amount of data subscribers can use, due to data congestion.

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Luckily, there are plenty of other options for users looking to get unlimited data these days. In fact, all three of Verizon's nationwide competitors offer unlimited data. Verizon is the only carrier without an unlimited option right now. AT&T has a caveat with theirs though, you need to subscribe to their DIRECTV or U-verse service (DIRECTV NOW doesn't count, sadly) to get unlimited data. While Sprint and T-Mobile do both offer unlimited data, for pretty cheap prices, $60 and $70 per month respectively, but you won't be seeing the same speeds as on Verizon. Especially when it comes to streaming video and music.

For Verizon, this likely won't have a major impact on their bottom line, as this is only a small group of users, even if they all leave, that's not a lot of people leaving. But they could end up losing some of their most loyal customers, which is definitely not a good thing in the ultra-competitive wireless market that we have in the US right now. But it may force even more people to jump ship to their competitors, as this makes it seem like Verizon will never bring back unlimited data. That is something that their execs have said numerous times in the past, though. Data caps aren't great for the future of computing. It's forcing more and more people to use their phones less for things like watching movies, streaming music and such. As they are worried about going over their data cap and being forced to pay additional fees. And with people relying more and more on the cloud for storage, it's going to mean more and more data being transferred.

No matter what industry you are in, it's never smart to abandon your loyal customers. Your loyal customers are what helped make your business succeed. Now those that were on the grandfathered unlimited plan, knew that there would be a day where Verizon would kick them off of their plan and force them to a tiered plan, but they likely didn't expect it to happen this soon. This move would make more sense if it really did cause more congestion on Verizon's network, but in actuality it doesn't. But like we stated earlier on, those that do use more than 200GB of data on Verizon, there are other options out there now, although they aren't as good as what Verizon had been offering you, unfortunately.

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