Tomorrow, June 28, Verizon Wireless will begin offering their new shared data plans. We contacted Verizon Wireless to see exactly what time the changeover begins. You still have until 12:00 am PST to upgrade to subsidized smartphone if eligible on your plan. Others have grown to great lengths to keep unlimited data, including keeping the dead alive (in Verizon's eyes).
Verizon spokesman Ken Muche who works on the west coast put it this way, "Share Everything plans go live at 12:01am PST on the 28th, which is 9:01pm in Hawaii on the 27th."
Share Everything Plans with at least one smartphone include unlimited voice minutes, unlimited text, video and picture messaging and a single data allowance for up to 10 Verizon Wireless devices. In the future you, can buy a compatible Verizon smartphone and keep your unlimited data plan as long as you don't upgrade, noted, Verizon spokesman Albert Aydin, previously.
It looks like people will do just about anything to keep their unlimited data plan and get a subsidized smartphone. Tricks include swapping phone numbers and keeping accounts of the dead alive for unlimited data. For example, say your spouse or grandpa dies and he/she has an unlimited data plan or your sister did not upgrade her old smartphone but is eligible for an upgrade.
From previous statements and conversations with Verizon representatives we don't think that a person can leave his/her data plan in his will. But where there's a will there's a way.
There were rumors that you could upgrade a family member with unlimited data and then swamp phones or numbers.We figure that if you swap phones it incurs an activation fee.
Here's a tricky workaround from a DSL Reports forum member on how to keep unlimited data of a family member who dies. When the account holder is in the hereafter, his/her descendants get to live with unlimited data happy ever after.
Designate "Account Managers" who are authorized to modify the account in the account control panel. Make sure you don't have autopay to an account that you are the sole account holder. If you have paperless billing, make sure it goes to an email address the "account managers" have access to. And, instruct them to not make any mention of your passing to VZW. If you absolutely trust them (like your partner or responsible, older offspring), make sure they know your identifying info (SSN, DOB, passwords, security challenge Q&As) so someone of the same gender can just say they're you if questions arise.
Yes, VZW could find out you died if they subsequently pull a credit report or someone slips up on a phone call from VZ asking for you, but since they can't seem to get their acts together about terminating a dearly departed's account when they are given all of the requisite proof (various stories about those incidents here and in other media), they will more than likely just do the dumb and happy thing as long as the bill gets paid on time.
If your survivors decide after a while they want to close the account they should port-out the number, not call to close it. If VZ retention calls for you, they should simply say that you aren't there.
We imagine the day that the children of dearly departed will fight over who gets to keep the dead family member's Verizon unlimited data plan. "You keep the house," a sibling says to the other, "I want the unlimited Verizon 4G LTE data!"
Here are the best deals we could find before the changeover:
We've combed through the online resellers deals as of this writing. To summarize what we found for best overall prices check out LetsTalk.com, (use coupon for 10% off), for the Galaxy Nexus check out Wirefly and for a 14-day low price guarantee use Amazon.com.
Online retailers have some good deals going right now on Verizon smartphones. LetsTalk has is touting the Verizon Wireless Android Sale. Don't forget 10% off your cart with coupon code TALK4TEN on the Droid RAZR for $149.99 and RAZR MAXX for $249.99 for renews plus the 10% off makes them the cheapest deals.
Wirefly is running an ad on its website to remind customers of the forthcoming end of unlimited data with upgrades. They offer the upgrade price for the of Samsung Galaxy Nexus of $49.99, the Droid RAZR upgrade price is $149.99 and the Droid RAZR MAXX upgrade price is $229.99.