Verizon may be sitting pretty atop the mobile carrier customer rankings with 142.8 million subscribers, but it’s putting pressure on its competition for more customers. On Wednesday, the company rolled out a new ultra-low plan called Welcome Unlimited, which is priced at $30 per line per month for four lines.
The telecom company says its new plan has all the basics you need -- unlimited talk, text, and data – and is directed at Americans who are feeling the crunch of inflation nearly everywhere they turn.
"Welcome Unlimited opens the door for more people to switch to the network more Americans rely on, at a highly-competitive price," said Manon Brouillette, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group. "Today, we are making it easy for customers to leave their wireless provider and join Verizon at an entry-level price point when they bring their own device."
To sweeten the deal, Verizon says those who sign up for the plan and keep their current phone rather than opting for a new one will get a $240 Verizon e-gift card for every line, with a maximum of 12 lines. That means consumers could get up to $960.
Active Duty Military, Veterans, First Responders, Nurses, and Teachers get their deal sweetened even further. Verizon said these customers will receive an additional $20 monthly discount for four lines on Welcome Unlimited.
Consumers need to read the fine print
Verizon’s offer certainly has the wow factor, but as it is with almost any eye-opening deal, there is fine print that consumers need to concern themselves with.
When ConsumerAffairs looked at the minutiae of the Welcome Unlimited plan, we saw several things that potential customers should take a hard look at. For example, 5G Ultra Wideband access is not included. Also, for data hogs, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Verizon notes that during “times of congestion,” data may be “temporarily slower than other traffic.” Data speeds may also be reduced to 2G after 0.5 GB has been used over the course of a day. Mobile Hotspots are not included either, and every phone line on an account will need to be signed up to be eligible for the plan.
Those who got excited about that “bring your own device” e-card offer will need to ensure that their device is compatible with Verizon’s network. The e-gift card also won't arrive until after the phone has been active on the plan for more than 45 days, and the full amount will only be transferred if a customer's service is active for 12 months.
People who travel out of the U.S. and expect the new Verizon plan to work wherever they go need to know that talk, text, or data usage in Canada and Mexico is not included in the Welcome Unlimited plan.
Unfortunately, one ConsumerAffairs reviewer found out too late that not knowing the finer points of your phone plan can come back to bite you.
Jason of Louisville, Ken., recently told us that he decided to upgrade his phone before leaving the country for an extended period. Unfortunately, he didn't know that the plan on his new phone wouldn't be usable while out of the U.S.
"I’m now learning my best option is to pay the entire amount of the new iPhone while receiving no compensation for my trade in. The other option is to pay $100 a month for an international plan on top of my regular plan [of] $70," he wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. "So essentially, I’ll be paying $170 a month for cell service while traveling abroad compared to the $20 a month I would be paying for service in the region I’m traveling. Unacceptable."