Jan 162017

One of the drawbacks to our home here in Edgewater, Florida is that Verizon service really sucks. If we go north or south a mile, we’ve got four bars of 4G. But here at home we get one bar if you’re really, really lucky. Even using my We Boost signal booster doesn’t help. We just seem to be in a dead area.

We solved the problem by switching our phones to Wi-Fi calling when we are here at home, using our Spectrum (formally Bright House) internet. But our friend Jim Lewis, who just bought a house down the street from us, decided he wanted to try AT&T instead, because other people in the neighborhood have said it is much better. So we spent much of yesterday running back and forth between AT&T and Verizon company stores in Daytona Beach, canceling his Verizon service and getting things switched over. That’s a long story in itself, but eventually he got it done.

While we were at Verizon, I was talking to one of the customer service reps who was trying to convince me I needed to upgrade my telephone. I’ve had my Samsung S5 for three years or so and it’s getting pretty worn out. I told the Verizon guy that I still have my old grandfathered in unlimited data plan, and I didn’t want to take one of their discounted phone plans because to get that, I have to give up my unlimited data.

I was surprised when he told me that is not the case anymore, and that customers on the old grandfathered unlimited plans can still get new phones on two-year contracts at discounted pricing. Since we haven’t had the best of experiences with the things we’ve been told by Verizon people, I want to check it out and be sure that what he told me is accurate before I upgrade my Samsung. I’d like to have a new phone, but not at the expense of losing my unlimited data. Here at home it’s no big deal, but when we are traveling in our motorhome, I need it.

Of course, that may be only for folks who are not high use customers. Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy from Technomadia recently reported that some Verizon customers who use too much have been getting letters terminating their contracts. I’m not really sure what Verizon considers too much, so that’s something to be aware of.

Jim must have felt guilty because dealing with the phone issues took so much time, because he treated us to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. He had never been to one before and I told him going in that the food was great, but the noise level at every one of their restaurants we’ve ever been to has made it almost impossible to have a conversation. By the time we finished our meals and left, with our ears ringing, he agreed.

Back at home, Jim was pleasantly surprised to find out that while our Verizon phones have none to one bar of service, his new AT&T phone has three bars and works fine. And in talking to the folks at AT&T, they seem to have some pretty good unlimited data plans also. I wonder if Verizon is feeling the competition, and that is why they are starting to get more reasonable for folks with existing unlimited data plans?

Before I end today’s blog, here’s one other comment on Verizon. If you are an honorably discharged veteran, take your DD 214 to a Verizon company store and you are entitled to a discount off your monthly billing for telephone service. It’s always nice to save a little bit of money every month.

Congratulations Linda Marie Joe, winner of our drawing for a membership to Boondockers Welcome, donated by Marianne Edwards. We had 151 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

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Thought For The Day – If a young woman goes to Hooters to get a job, do they give her an application, or just hand her a bra and says, “Fill this out.”?

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  13 Responses to “Interesting Verizon Info”

  1. Not so on the veteran discount as I had that for probably five years and in the summer of 2015 they cancelled my discount. In Oct. of 2015 as soon as my two year contract was up we went with Consumer Cellular. We have much better service and no dropped calls (I had 90+ % dropped calls while in our home in Pa.).
    With Consumer Cellular I never had a dropped call. Oh, and the cost is less than half of what we were paying Verizon. Consumer Cellular works off of AT&T towers.

  2. Technomadia gave those levels of use Verizon uses to determine a high user if you listen to their recent YouTube video. In fact they say they’ve heard Verizon is lowering the amount of data they consider a high user and that they’ve heard a new round of cancellation letters will be sent out within days. Although they cannot definitely confirm that claim.

  3. Loved your thought for the day. Some will consider it sexist. I think it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath, chill out and be able to laugh again at jokes. The whole point of a joke is to poke fun at life and laugh !!!!!!!!!! So again thanks for the laugh !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hi Nick!

    Just some clarifications on the Verizon thing.

    Verizon Unlimited Customers can’t get subsidized phones on 2- year contracts without losing their UDP. However, if they are paying $49.99/month for their data (as opposed to the original $29.99/month) – they CAN use Equipment Installment Plans to essentially finance their devices.

    Here’s our coverage of this change when they raised the prices of unlimited data back in late 2015: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/verizon-to-raise-price-of-grandfathered-unlimited-plans-by-20month/

    So don’t let your Verizon rep sign you up for a subsidized phone.. you WILL lose your unlimited data.

    And yes, AT&T has been offering unlimited data plans – but here’s the catch: ONLY DirecTV customers are eligible for them, they include absolutely no mobile hotspot use (on device only – you can’t use them to get laptops online) and they are subject to slowed speeds if you use more than about 22GB in a month.

    For more on unlimited data plans and the ‘catches’: http://www.rvmobileinternet.com/unlimited

    Hope that helps in your research 🙂

    And yes, those OUT of contract have started to receive termination letters. Verizon has stated the average monthly usage was over 200GB. However we have confirmations of folks using way less than 100GB getting them as well. The key right now to keeping unlimited data is staying IN contract – which is kinda tricky to do, but still possible.

    Here’s our coverage of the terminations: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/breaking-news-verizon-aggressively-moves-to-cancel-high-usage-unlimited-data-plans/

  5. I have a really old unlimited AT&T plan. I just buy the phone I want and program the number so I don’t lose the plan. Recently I got an email saying I was using too much data and that I could expect my service to slow down considerably. I sent a return message … I have had an unlimited plan for years …. are you going to purposely slow down the data speed because I use too much? I never heard back and my usage has continued with no slowing of data. I guess they think they can threaten you into using less. It didn’t work!!

  6. AT&T in Florida has a lot of blind spots contrary to what the sales person will tell you
    Also where you live inside a metal breadbox ( aluminum clad home )your signal is going to change drastically
    If you and your friend watch the bars on your phone as you walk out the front door to the road you may see an increase change there
    If you do decide to change your phone, try to get them to let you road test it in your neighborhood for three or four days
    I have a feeling a lot of the new phones today don’t have the signal enhancement that the older models used to
    Be careful with MetroPCS and T-Mobile they have a seemingly good deal buy one get one free. but you’re locked in for three months for two phones Before they unlock them ( I have two sitting in my closet waiting for the three months to expire )
    Even so they piggyback off AT&T their signal quality seems to be even less
    Cricket which is a company with no contract service was bought out by AT&T
    But runs as an entirely separate company
    Their signal quality is the same as AT&T
    They’re walking service is great but their customer phone service is lousy

  7. I would be beyond surprised if Verizon lets you keep your old unlimited plan with a phone upgrade. Haven’t heard of anyone else getting this accomplished, and I’m always looking. If you manage to get it done, it’ll be huge news.

    ATT has great coverage these days, but if you get an unlimited plan with them be aware that it’s *on device* only. You won’t be able to take that SIM and pop it into your MiFi like you could with your old Verizon unlimited plan. If on device only is ok for you, then make the switch. We’ve been traveling with ATT plans on our phones for 1.5 years now and it’s been fine.


  8. FYI…….ATT gives a veteran discount as well. Take your DD 214 to the ATT store.

  9. I just recently obtained a new phone through Verizon and I was able to keep my unlimited 4g hotspot. It is tied to the phone number, not the phone or so I was told. I have been thru several billing cycles with no issues. I think excessive use is considered around 100G of data. We have been using around 30 G per month with no issues. I had to maintain exactly the same plan I was on though. Also phones and service is now separate and there are no contracts as far as I can tell. The phone itself is charged separately on my account and I had the option of paying it off in 24 or 36 months.

  10. This comes up the day after you got together with the Geeks?
    Anyway you can get good phones that run on Verizon from other sources than Verizon. I have a Nexus 6P and Diane has a Moto X Pure 2015, both bought somewhere else and running on Verizon. If you insist on Samsung, you might as well go with Verizon, but you can get a Moto G 4th gen from $100 to around $300, depending on model and if it has Amazon ads., all of which will run on Verizon (or AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) And remember, the new phones from Verizon are not subsidized or discounted, you pay full price up front or payments over 24 months that add up to full price.

  11. Unlimited or unlimited. Verizon came out with a new Unlimited plan in July of 2016. They increased the Gigs and lowered the price. We were suspicious because of past dealings with Verizon. Investigated and sure enough the price was about 60% of the old plan for 50% more data. Probably a result of competition from AT & T and Sprint. We upgraded to 24 gig. So why do they sell a 24 gig plan if you have unlimited data? Real answer. You have normal download speed up to the 24 gig limit. As soon as you hit 24 gig the service slows to something you have not seen in 10 years. You can barely download email at the speed they provide you. Just to test it I intentionally used up all my data twice. One time with three days to go and once with a day and a half. Just lived with the lack of service till the next month.
    I have always said that advertising is legal lying. Verizon (and many others) have proved it before and they are still proving it. Nick, I would not let them switch you from your old unlimited to their new unlimited unless you know what your high use months are like. Remember, the people at Verizon and AT & T are just future RV sales people in training. Feel free to shoot me an email if you would like to explore this in more detail.

  12. Nick I also have the Samsung 5 with Verizon’s grandfathered unlimited data plan. As others as stated, Verizon no longer has the 2-year contracts, so I would be immediately suspicious of what that Verizon sales rep. told you. I foresee the day that when I want to upgrade to a new phone that I will be forced to give up my unlimited data plan for the current plans offered by Verizon. For me that means that I will continue to use my current phone for as long as possible.
    Best of luck if you decide to upgrade. Please keep us informed.

  13. Its also my understanding there is no more contracts with Verizon. Only thing they do is give you a loan on the cost of the phone, better known as a 0% loan! You can be rest assured, Verizon will in fact get rid of them unlimited data deals if at all possible. Fight them all the way Nick, don’t let them BS you!

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