It’s hard out there for a Verizon Wireless customer with unlimited data. Just weeks after Verizon confirmed its plans to “optimize” the data of its unlimited 4G LTE subscribers, a new leak has revealed that Ol’ Red may soon make it more difficult for unlimited users to upgrade to a new smartphone while retaining their bottomless bucket of data.
Starting August 24, Verizon is expected to introduce a policy change that will require customers upgrading to a smartphone at a discounted price to keep a data plan attached to that smartphone for the duration of its contract. This will prevent customers from having a cheap feature phone on one line and an unlimited smartphone on another, upgrading the feature phone line to a discounted smartphone and then moving that smartphone to the unlimited line.
This change will reportedly apply to any subscriber with a “legacy plan” that buys a smartphone with a 2-year contract. If a customer does buy a smartphone on contract, he or she will need to keep at least the $30 per month 2GB plan attached to that device while it’s under contract. Verizon says that this change is going into effect because when a customer gets a discount on a new smartphone, it “expect[s] them to pay for data services and keep the smartphone activated for 2 years.
Verizon subscribers with unlimited data will still be able to keep their plan by buying a phone at full retail price or providing their own non-contract device. There’s also a chance that unlimited customers could have a second line with a tiered data plan, upgrade that line and then transfer the new device to the unlimited line, but we’ll have to wait until August 24 before we know for sure. Stay tuned.