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Dear Verizon, This Is Our Final Goodbye!

goodbye Verizon WirelessDear Verizon Wireless,

I have been a loyal customer of your cell phone service since I was 16.  You provided the best service at a reasonable price.  You allowed me to get a nice phone for very little money and pay it off on my bill every month.  Then, you would reduce my bill after the phone was paid for.  Those were the days!  Unfortunately, times have changed.

Since the smartphone revolution, the wireless industry has changed.  Everyone wants their handheld computer to be connected at all times with data running through their fingertips.  I get it. I have a smartphone as well.  I had one since the first Blackberry.  This means that you had to change your business model in order to deal with the influx of data users.  Unfortunately, you forgot about people that don’t need that type of service or don’t want all of the bells and whistles.

I started noticing a trend when I got my first Blackberry.  You subsidized the phone in order to get me in another contract.  Since I was a loyal customer, I didn’t mind being with you for another 2 years.  Even-though you subsidized the phone and I assume tacked the price of the phone onto the monthly bill in order to get it paid for, you stopped reducing my bill.  At the end of my contract, when my phone should have been well and paid for, I couldn’t get you to reduce my bill.  This didn’t sit well with me.

It appears now that all you do is give people a low price on a phone, then charge them high prices each and every month.  The phone gets paid for after a few months, but bills don’t get reduced.  You pocket all of the rest.  Now, I don’t have a problem with you making profit. I understand fully how business works. Hell, I run one.  I do have a problem with you new pricing model.

To set the record straight, I have been off of Verizon for nearly 6 months.  I was testing other services while I was still with Verizon.  The reason I did this was because your pricing was getting out of hand.  My wife and I were paying $150 a month to have two smartphones.  We used less than 450 minutes a month and rarely went over 1GB of data between the two of us.  We are NOT heavy data users.  I am near WiFi all day long, so I was rarely using your data network.   The issue was that we could only get 500MB of data for $10/month or 4GB for $30/month.  Why such a gap?  That doesn’t make any damn sense.

Save with Straight TalkSince I don’t like the status quo, I decided to look at other service providers. Mainly the low cost options.  I tested out Straight Talk and I liked it.  You can see my Straight Talk review if you would like.  I used it for some time and really enjoyed the connection and data speed.  It worked for me.  I was then given the opportunity to try out Walmart Family Mobile.  I have been on this plan for a few months.  This plan works for me and the price is awesome.

After trying out and liking Walmart Family Mobile, I made sure to cut ties with Verizon for good.  The hitch in my plan was that my wife didn’t care to move.  She liked the service and had no idea how much we were paying.  I told her a few times, but it just didn’t sink in.

After jumping ship, I told her that the bill would go down.  Since there was only one phone on the plan, instead of two, math dictates that the bill would go down.  Hell, it should go down by half!  I guess I wasn’t very good in math, because that is not how you do it.   We got our first bill the other month that was just for my wife’s service.  It should have been around $75 with taxes included.  Unfortunately, here is what you charged:

$90

What in the hell?  How do you take one phone off a plan that was $150 with taxes and then charge $90 for the other phone?  Is this how you do math Verizon?  It seems that way.

Since my wife’s phone is old by technology standards, we decided to drive down to our local Verizon store and see what could be done.  Maybe there was a mistake or we could get her on another plan.  After sitting around for about 25 minutes and perusing the phones, we got someone to help us out.

Side Note: The new financing plan that you have along with all of the other providers is ridiculous.  People shouldn’t be financing their phone just to be able to upgrade.  We have a debt problem in this country and you are not helping!

After pulling up her information, the sales rep told us that we were getting the cheapest price.  Since the plan she was currently on was grandfathered in, it would be more expensive to switch.  Wait, What??

For those that don’t know, let me explain your new pricing scheme model.  You now have the share everything plans.  Instead of each phone having its own data allocation, this amount is now shared between the devices on the plan.  Here is the breakdown that the sales rep gave us.

Smartphone Access: $40/month

1GB Data Allocation: $50/month

So, now your cheapest plan is $90/month if you want to have data access?  You tack taxes and fees on top of that and you are hitting $100 easy.  How is that a deal?  How did we get to this point, Verizon?  So anyone that wants to get data on their smartphone now must pay you $90/month.  If I was still on your service and our plan needed to change, then here is what the breakdown would be if we kept our current data amount.

Smartphone Access: $80/month (2 phones)

4GB Data Allocation: $80/month

Yes, so now our price would be $160 per month and then taxes and fees would bring it to $175/month.  Now, that is ridiculous.

Our Final Goodbye

Well Verizon, your new pricing model did not sit well with my wife.  She looked at your price and said, NOPE!  We went home that night, bought a SIM card from Walmart and I put her on my Walmart Family Mobile plan.  Guess what we are paying….

$85/month for both of us!

Yes Verizon, our price for two phones on Walmart Family Mobile is less than one phone on your plan.  We also get 5GB of data for each phone.  Yes, it is only 3G speeds, but that is because our phones aren’t 4G capable.  I will take that price any day.  The best part is that we don’t have any contract.  We don’t have to stick around for 2 years.  If we don’t like the service, then we can go.  The other good thing is that we have unlocked phones that we own.  We can take them to any GSM carrier and try out their service.  No ties and no stupid contracts.  In the time when people are looking to cut costs, you are increasing yours.  Your ridiculous price increases made it easy for my wife and I to switch.  So, for that we thank you.

Once you go no-contract, you will never go back.  That is my motto now.  I enjoy the freedom of not having anything tie me down.  No outlandish cancellation fees to keep my with you.  It feels good.

After 13 years of being your customer, I finally had to end our relationship.  While you do have the best network compared to others, I just can’t take your antics anymore.  I continued to be the nice guy and follow your every move.  You raised rates and I paid them.  I didn’t know any better. I guess is was just puppy love.  Well, I have grown up and realized that there are other fish in the sea.  I don’t plan on swimming with you any time soon Verizon.  This is our Final Goodbye!

Sincerely Not Yours,

The Bell Family

P.S. For those that are looking for low cost alternatives to Verizon, please check out my Straight Talk Review.  You can also try out Walmart Family Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Republic Wireless, Net10 Wireless, or get the $30/month T-Mobile plan.  There are options out there.  Just check their coverage maps to see if they can service your area.


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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress maintenance and support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

57 comments
FI Pilgrim says December 2

I’m also a huge fan of Page Plus Wireless, which is what my wife uses. They don’t have 4G data but they do use Verizon towers. It’s strictly BYOD though!

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Thanks for the reminder on Page Plus. That is another good one. They do offer three phones if you don’t have one to bring, but they are not very good.

    Reply
DC @ Young Adult Money says December 2

I switched to Walmart Family Mobile about six months ago and have been pretty happy with the change. I was with Sprint before and they also seem very overpriced now that I have a low-priced no contract plan through Walmart Family Mobile. I’m glad there seems to be more and more low-price high quality plans out there.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    I looked at Walmart Family Mobile after you got it DC and I am glad that I did. I like both Family Mobile and Straight Talk. If the service from T-Mobile gets better, it will be even more of a bargain.

    Reply
Dee @ Color Me Frugal says December 2

I think I am going to have to look into Walmart Family Mobile! We have Verizon too. However, I am pretty concerned that coverage in our area is not going to be as good for any other carrier as it is for Verizon. I’ll have to check. Thanks for the great info!

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Hey Dee, I would check out Straight Talk with their AT&T coverage. More times than not, AT&T will have similar coverage to Verizon. That will be your best bet.

    Reply
Matt Becker says December 2

My wife is still with Verizon but I made the switch to Republic Wireless a few months back. Besides disliking the phone, which I could upgrade now if I wanted to, I’ve been very happy with it. And it’s hard to beat $22 per month.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Republic is a good one if Sprint works for you. I like the concept of it. Now they have the Moto X which is a sweet phone so that makes it even more tantalizing.

    Reply
Laurie says December 2

“Once you go no-contract, you never go back”. SO true, Grayson!! We’ve been no-contract for a good 5 years now, and are loving every paid for minute of it. 🙂

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    It feels great. I just enjoy the freedom and don’t have to worry about paying an exit or cancellation fee!

    Reply
Travis @Debtchronicles says December 2

If I weren’t under contract for another year with AT&T, I would switch to Walmart Family Mobile. I tried it during the summer and it worked great. The only downfall was the 3G speed….but I’m on wireless most of the time anyway, so I really didn’t matter.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Yeah, it does only have 3G, but as you said, the WiFi access works well. I am in the same boat. I don’t really care about the speed. It works well for my needs.

    Reply
Holly@ClubThrifty says December 2

Great job cutting your phone bill down so much! I agree that some data plans out there are getting out of hand. It’s good that there are so many discount providers shaking things up.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    The plans are really getting out of hand. They are just going to continue going up.

    Reply
John S @ Frugal Rules says December 2

We’re definitely on our last straw with Verizon. Thankfully there are just too many options these days and even though we can write off a chunk of the expense, it’s just not worth it anymore. We’re looking forward to making the switch soon.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    There are so many to choose from. Hopefully my reviews of different services will allow you to choose one that works.

    Reply
Debt and the Girl says December 2

I had Verizon for a while so this does not surprise me. I have a no contract phone and it is great. I can cancel whenever I want and the bill is less than $100 for me AND my boyfriend. I know people who are paying more than that on one phone. It really is a better deal.

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jefferson @SeeDebtRun says December 2

I’ve been with Verizon as well for a very long time. I just loved the quality of the network!

However, I do think that this current contract with them will be my last.

The availability of discount providers on the EXACT SAME NETWORK just makes it seem there is absolutely no reason to pay double.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    They do have a great network. I can’t say anything about that, but their prices have become outrageous.

    Reply
Michelle says December 2

One of our biggest regrets is financing my husband’s phone. We were so stupid to do it! Now we have to wait another year before we can go off contract. UGH.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    I am not a fan of them creating a financing method for the phones. At least you know you made the mistake and probably won’t do it again!

    Reply
Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says December 2

Sounds like good riddance to me. As I’ve mentioned before I’m still under contract with At&T but once it’s up, I will definitely look around. The days of the discount providers being looked down upon due to limited service or bad phones has really disappeared.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Yes, the stigma has really gone away. I would try out Straight Talk if I were you. You can be on the AT&T network at half the cost.

    Reply
Billy says December 2

Verizon sucks. They charge way too much!

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Tanya says December 2

We are on Verizon still, we will probably always be on them. We have about 6 people on our plan and some of them live in a tiny little town where that is the only service they get. So we are kind of stuck. I wish we could switch and pay a lot less.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Well that sucks. Have you thought of trying Page Plus? They run off the Verizon network and it is cheaper.

    Reply
Budget and the Beach says December 2

Although I love my iPhone, I have the lowest rate possible even though I use a fraction of what I need and it’s around $94 per month. I toy with the idea of switching to something else but I’ve always been an apple girl. What to do…what to do?

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    There are many places that allow you to have an iPhone. Walmart Family Mobile and Straight Talk both allow you to use the iPhone.

    Reply
Laura @ RichmondSavers.com says December 2

Nice job on finding a low-cost alternative. How they jacked up the price on the remaining line on the plan is a lot like how Comcast does business.. if you drop part of your bundle, they increase the price of whatever service you did keep.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    It is how Time Warner Cable does the same thing. It pisses me off and doesn’t make mathematical sense.

    Reply
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says December 2

I hate Verizon mobile with a passion. Same BS overcharging to me. I was SO glad to get on Virgin Mobile. I needed a bit more data than Walmart or Straight Talk offers (I sometimes stream Pandora while driving).

Isn’t it nice to be free? I long for the day that these smaller carriers start really putting a dent into their profit margins.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Good to hear Tara. Walmart Family Mobile actually gives you 5GB of data, so it is more than Straight Talk.

    Reply
MMD @ My Money Design says December 2

This reminds me a lot of when I wrote my Goodbye letter to Netflix.

It’s unreal what these cell phone companies think they can charge. There is no loyalty to the customers.

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Practical Cents says December 2

I’ve been with verizon for over 10 years and I’ve also been thinking of making the switch now that my contract is up. However, I’ve been skeptical about other companies. My sister just switched to tmobile and the service is Not great. A lot of dropped calls and dead spots. I’ll have check this walmart plan out.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Well, if you sister didn’t have luck with T-Mobile, then Family Mobile probably won’t work. It runs off of T-Mobile. I would try Straight Talk as you can get AT&T.

    Reply
Jim says December 3

Hilarious Grayson, I was not aware of the Walmart Family Mobile, I will have to check it out. We have Verizon, but to be truthful, I don’t pay much attention to the costs because fortunately my company pays the bill. The coverage and the customer service, when I have needed it, have been pretty good. Good to know there are options though, thanks for sharing!

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    It is nice to have your company pay the bill. I would keep them as well if that were the case.

    Reply
Chad says December 3

Agree. Agree. Agree. (disclaimer: I hate Walmart)
Smart Talk is the best plan I have come across. I have the same plan and its unlimited everything with a slowdown to 3G speed after 5G of data. I never come close to that. You have to buy your phone, but my total bill is $45.81 a month. Great service…no headaches and no changing fee structure.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    I am not a fan of Walmart either, but this is one thing that they have done well. Straight Talk has a great plan. They also provide 4G service. For me it doesn’t matter because my phone doesn’t support it.

    Reply
Levi @ Wealthnote says December 3

That’s crazy how much they want for phone plan. I feel like with prices like that they are going to have trouble keeping a lot of their customers.

I remember when I used Verizon for my FIOS internet service. The speed was great but the cost was astronomical!

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    Usually, Verizon doesn’t want customers like me because I am not profitable for them. I continually try to cut my bill and they just want people that are big data users, so they can charge them accordingly.

    Reply
Michelle says December 3

I can’t wait to get rid of my Verizon contract. Every month I pay way too much and I don’t use my phone enough to justify the price. I am trying to cut ALL of my expenses, keep the same quality of service, and add to my bottom line. I am still leaning towards Republic Wireless or the T-Mobile no-contract plan. Anything under $55 would be great.

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    Grayson Bell says December 4

    That is how I was Michelle. I didn’t use my phone enough to justify the cost, so I jumped ship. It felt great. There are many great carriers now. I will be reviewing Republic wireless soon.

    Reply
KK @ Student Debt Survivor says December 4

I’ve been a Verizon customer for years. Now I’m sticking with them because my company gives me a discount, but if I were to leave the company I’d definitely leave Verizon. Even with a decent discount the price I pay is still insane. I’m going to do a little reading on the other plans and see if I can move to another carrier for cheaper (my only concern is that my mom and grandma are on my family plan and I can’t switch to a plan where they’re have no service-they live in rural Maine).

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    Grayson Bell says December 5

    It sounds like you are in a little predicament there. I can understand your dilemma. If you do leave, hopefully there will be an option for your mom and grandma.

    Reply
Jon@2-copper-coins.com says December 5

My wife and I did the same thing and kissed Verizon goodbye about 3 months ago. We switched to Republic Wireless and we are loving it, there is a whole lot you can stomach when you are saving so much. It is great that so many people are realizing that what the market has told us for so long a cell bill should cost (about $75 per smartphone per month) isn’t actually the case. It is an expense that most of us are stuck with so we might as well save money on it.

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    Grayson Bell says December 5

    Glad to hear about the move and how you switched to Republic Wireless. They are gaining steam and it shows that people want lower cost options.

    Reply
      Jon@2-copper-coins.com says December 5

      Absolutely. Even after we paid our contract termination fee and bought new phones it was still cheaper to go with them rather than see out our Verizon contract. Simply amazing.

      Reply
        Grayson Bell says December 5

        Talk about putting the nail in the coffin there. You even paid the termination fee and still saved money. Awesome!

        Reply
          Jon@2-copper-coins.com says December 5

          Yeah we were really surprised. We only had 1 year left on our contract but we sold our old phones (and made about $100), paid the cancellation fee (about $400) then had to buy our new phones (about $350) and still switching saved us money.

          Reply
          Grayson Bell says December 5

          Haha, that is great. Thank you for sharing your story with me.

          Reply
Brian says December 26

Nice post. I became an “uncustomer” tonight because of Verizon’s shenanigans after 5 or so years of service. Good riddance.

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Richard Sievert says May 22

I miss walkee talkees!

Reply
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