Have an unlimited data plan on Verizon? Well, it's about to get more expensive. While the company hasn't actually offered unlimited smartphone data to new customers since around 2011, many subscribers are still "grandfathered" into old unlimited data plans. Verizon has already tried to push such subscribers to the new tiered plans, and being grandfathered now generally necessitates buying your phones off-contract if you want to stay on the gigabyte gravy train. It seems Verizon's getting a bit more fed-up with the hangers-on, though, and today has officially announced a $20 price hike is going to hit such subscribers. That will bring the cost of data on such plans up to $49.99 per month, from $29.99, likely pushing many subscribers into tiered plans to avoid an increase on their monthly bill.
Based on CNET's language, the price hike will hit as soon as your next billing cycle if you're not currently in a contract (which almost no one on unlimited data is), meaning you can expect it sometime next month if you're a subscriber with one of these plans. And yes, this is totally legit - Verizon has the right to change the prices of plans for subscribers who aren't locked into contractual agreements. Verizon claims this change will impact less than one percent of its subscriber base.
This will, of course, impact multiline subscribers most noticeably - if you've got 4 subscribers on your plan with unlimited data, you'd be looking at an additional $80 a month on top of your current bill, and that's certainly going to end up swaying a lot of people into tiered-data-land once they realize unlimited comes at a cost.
Verizon was among the first carriers in the US to drop unlimited data as an option for subscribers, and has been notorious for its efforts to pry grandfathered users away from such plans. At the end of the day, this will probably work: people don't enjoy paying more money, even if there's a perceived benefit, and many - perhaps most - grandfathered subscribers will likely choose to move onto a tiered plan or simply leave Verizon entirely.
However, some may choose to stay, especially considering, apparently, they will now have access to Verizon's monthly device payments plans, if CNET is to be believed. This is at least a silver lining for affected customers.
According to a source who has contacted us, these changes will begin hitting customers starting on November 15th. Your first billing cycle on or after that date will reflect the $20 price increase. Verizon will also be sending out notices to affected customers starting next week.