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Verizon customers to be kicked off 'unlimited' plans for using too much data

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 12 replies
Jul 3, 2017
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  1. All mobile carriers have some type of unlimited data plan, but as we all know “unlimited” is only used in the loosest sense of the term. All these services have a data cap, and the usual practice is to throttle down network speeds once a customer reaches that limit. Verizon’s Unlimited Talk, Text, & Data is no different. Customers have a 22GB per month allowance. If they exceed this limit, they are “subject to deprioritization.” Meaning if the tower is busy, you will be the first to get slowed down.

    Ironically, some customers that are exceeding the cap are going to be kicked off their unlimited data subscription. Recently customers began complaining that they had received notification from Verizon “to either port their plans to another carrier or face outright termination.”

    The problem is only occurring with customers who are carried under the LTE in Rural America (LRA) program. Verizon initiated LRA to bring high-speed LTE service to those in rural areas. To do this Verizon created partnerships with smaller local carriers. The company allows the regional carriers access to its core network and a “700 MHz Upper C Spectrum Lease Through 2029.” In return, the rural companies allow free use of their towers, “equipment shelters,” and roaming agreements among other things.

    There are 21 regions currently participating in the LRA program. One of these regional carriers is Appalachian Wireless, and customers within Appalachian’s coverage zone, and possibly other areas, are the ones affected by the ban. According to posters on Howard Forums, Verizon is telling customers that it will pay off their phones if they “port out” to the local carrier. If the client refuses to switch, then they will lose service after July 30. Kelly Crummey, Verizon Director of Corporate Communications, confirmed in a statement to BGR that the company was indeed taking such actions. “We are notifying a small group of customers who are out of contract and primarily use mobile data on other networks that we will no longer provide service to them after July 30, 2017."

    This is not the first time Verizon has dropped the ban hammer on customers exceeding "unlimited" data usage caps. Around this time last year, the company gave notice to some users who were still on its old discontinued unlimited data plans that they needed to switch to limited plans or face termination. According to Verizon, these customers were consuming an “extraordinary amount of data.” Those clients using more than 100GB per month were subject to that purge.

    Verizon decision may have something to do with the roaming arrangements that the national carrier has set up with the smaller companies. Some users speculate that Verizon has no way to throttle the customers on the rural towers, so those are the ones being targeted. The regional carriers might also be complaining that their infrastructure cannot handle the strain of excessive usage, but all of this is just wild conjecture.

    According to Verizon’s own statement, the LRA program was designed to “bring the broad benefits of 4G LTE service, quickly and efficiently, to customers in rural markets. It’s all about serving the customer – consumer and business – no matter where they live, work or play.” In this case, it seems it does matter “where they live, work, and play,” but is there a balance point where it is reasonable to say caps make sense?

    Permalink to story.

  2. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    50gb would be fairly reasonable. NOT these ridiculous prices for a mere 2 to 5gb of data.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. avioza

    avioza TS Addict Posts: 197   +148

    Should be a breach of contract on Verizons part. At least the original contract, I am sure the fineprint was changed and accepted by the end users with a button click at some point. I really despise that company.
    amstech likes this.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,144   +3,565

    I figured it was going to be too good to be true. They just are using user data to develop multi-tier pricing just like AT&T did .....
  5. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +246

    Boilerplate contracts almost always take this stuff into account. The entire concept of contract law is that two sides trade offers and then something is exchanged. Boilerplate contracts that come with almost every tech product or major company are absolutely one sided. What are you going to tell Verizon, "If you don't change line XXII in the contract, I'm walking!" They'll show you the door.

    Some rare exceptions have occurred due to sloppy lawyering -- these type of contracts are typically drafted by new attorneys and then looked over by partners. Mistakes happen but they are very rare.
    Reehahs likes this.
  6. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +246

    This makes as much sense as saying a Cat5 cable is a social construct. There is a physical amount of data it can send through that cable. It's not made up.

    Telecommunication companies have such advanced metrics that they should be able to very efficiently decide how much data can be given on existing infrastructure. By making accurate assumptions they can make seemingly arbitrary cutoffs and let people think that the cap doesn't exist. From an economic standpoint, it's quite brilliant.
    Tanstar likes this.
  7. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    or they can just use their billions and enhance and grow their network to the point where network congestion simply won't happen.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    While I do not agree with the OP's choice of words, I also do not agree with your assessment of the situation as brilliant. RF can carry a lot more data than Cat5, just like light can carry more data than RF. From having experience in the industry, limits like this are typically artificial from the standpoint of capacity. They exist only to charge customers more money. It sounds like what Verizon is saying is that they are falsely advertising the product. It will catch up with them.
    Reehahs likes this.
  9. DjKraid

    DjKraid TS Guru Posts: 546   +29

    I feel so sorry for everyone with data caps and I honestly don't understand how n why they still exist. We got rid of all the data caps literally 10 years ago...
  10. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,757   +1,149

    The next time you can't catch signal, or only have 1 bar, or won't connect a call through, let me know about the data scheme and how much of an invention it was.

    PS: Btw your comment has racist hints, it would be a shame if it got... moderated.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  11. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +246

    We can only hope.
  12. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +350

    They are, that's why small areas like where I live has native Verizon LTE with 4G speeds available almost 30 miles out of the towns and cities in the area, this is area of 100,000 people and a lot of mountains, so lots of towers needed and getting data to the towers is expensive, yet they still did it. I can't imagine the strain a major city puts on tower demand. It's a losing battle for the guys in engineering, marketing makes the amount of customers they serve in high population areas skyrocket randomly and the time it can take for them to get approval's for tower upgrades and new towers from corporate and government only makes it harder. Not saying it's perfect or everything they do is fair, but the cost and time they take to upgrade these things I can see why they charge what they charge.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,701   +2,070

    Yeah, I thought that comment should have been moderated, too.

    However, 1-bar or no signal can come from any number of reasons prime among those is no cell coverage in the area. The least of the reasons would be plentiful cell towers and "network congestion" due to too many tying up the network. As I understand it, it is the rare customer that so greatly exceeds their data limits.

    Having recently traveled through a rural area where cell coverage was minimal, I can see why some companies would want to cut off those who stream large amounts of data in a rural area; however, when the company is advertising that they do not target specific customers because of their location, and they then do exactly the opposite, it may very well amount to false advertising.

    However, even in a rural area, I highly doubt that network traffic is saturated.

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