A new report suggests that Verizon will soon begin disconnecting grandfathered unlimited data users that consume “an extraordinary amount of data.” When Verizon launched shared data buckets back in 2011, the company grandfathered most of its unlimited data customers at the time. But like AT&T, Verizon has been launching a not-so-subtle war on those customers ever since — using every trick in the book to get them to switch to shared, metered plans. Last fall that included jacking up the price of its unlimited data plans for these customers by $20 per line.
Now, Droid Life has learned that Verizon’s taking things further with a new push that will disconnect unlimited customers Verizon deems heavy users. Though just how much data we’re talking about hasn’t been made clear in the report:
According to sources of ours, Verizon is working on an Unlimited Data Plan Migration for the highest unlimited data users on their network. Starting tomorrow, July 21, Verizon will begin notifying users who have been flagged as using that extraordinary amount via mailer and through bill messages and explain to them their options to stay with Big Red.
What are their options? Verizon is forcing these out of contract extraordinary data users to move to The Verizon Plan (a tiered plan) by August 31 or they will shut down the line. If they don t take that option by August 31 and their line is disconnected, they will have up to 50 days to re-activate, but of course, they can only do so by switching over to The Verizon Plan.
Note there’s not all that many unlimited customers left on Verizon’s network, as the company has been hugely successful in driving them all to metered plans. A study from 2014 found that just 22% of Verizon users remained on grandfathered unlimited plans, compared to 44% for AT&T and 78% for both Sprint and T-Mobile (who both advertise unlimited as a differentiator). Verizon also leads at getting users to pay more: 51% of Verizon Wireless customers pay the company at least $100 per month, compared to 47% at Sprint, 46% at AT&T, and 33% at T-Mobile.