Verizon defends why its tiered Share Everything plans are priced so weird.
Recently Verizon revealed that it offers five additional Share Everything plans not listed on the company website. These can be obtained either by calling customer support, or by visiting a local Verizon store. The company said these five plans aren't advertised because consumers typically don't burn through more than 2 GB per month anyway.
The additional plans essentially build upon the 10 GB for $100 per month tier, adding an additional 2 GB to the data pool for an extra $10 per month. That said, the five additional tiers consist of 12 GB for $110, 14 GB for $120, 16 GB for $130, 18 GB for $140. Compared to AT&T's higher tiers, Verizon customers receive the better bargain.
But now several reports are pointing out a huge price discrepancy. For starters, let's make a small chart to show what's going on:
1 GB = $50
2 GB = $60 or $30 per GB
4 GB = $70 or $17.5 per GB
6 GB = $80 or $13.33 per GB
8 GB = $90 or $11.25 per GB
10 GB = $100 or $10 per GB
12 GB = $110 or $9.17 per GB
14 GB = $120 or $8.57 per GB
16 GB = $130 or $8.13 per GB
18 GB = $140 or $7.77 per GB
20 GB = $150 or $7.50 per GB
See the problem? A Verizon customer paying for 20 GB of data per month is essentially shelling out $7.50 per GB. However customers who only need 1 GB of data are paying $50 per month. Since all plans include unlimited calling and unlimited texting, it seems that customers would have a better deal doubling their data pool for only an extra $10 per month at the least.
"Pricing is based on a number of strategies and while cost is a part of the part of the equation, we recognize people are using more and more data," Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney told TechRadar. "We introduced the Shared Data Plans so customers could share their data service across multiple devices."
That's fine, but the 1 GB customers are seemingly getting ripped off on a massive scale, right? In Verizon’s eyes, it's like heading out to Sam's Club and buying in bulk -- you pay a bunch of money for a large group of Cap'n Crunch boxes bundled together, but if bought individually, the same number of cereal boxes would be more expensive.
"Those customers who purchase more data are effectively given a discount," Raney said. "If I had to use an analogy from a different industry, I would look to the consumer goods where people who purchase in bulk pay less per unit cost."
Hot Hardware questions why consumers can purchase a $60 router that projects Internet across the house, but are charged the same price for 1 GB that's streamed from huge cell towers standing out in the open. Maybe it's because we essentially move from one tower to the next, unlike our wireless routers at home?
Read Hot Hardware's argument -- it presents a good case of how wireless networks are ripping off its subscribers.