One of the things Cell Plan Blog has become known for is our extensive coverage of cell phone reviews, whether it is reviewing phones on our own cell phone blog, or linking to other sites such as CNET and commenting on reviews by G4 such as the Droid Review video.
One thing that occurred to me recently is that in addition to reviews on equipment, consumers also would like reviews on the cell phone plans themselves. Many of our early posts focused on cell phone plans, especially how to save money on cell phone family plans and cell phone upgrades. However, the blog received very little reader traffic at the time. With all that said, I think it's time to go ahead and post some Cell Phone Plan Reviews from major wireless carriers.
For my first cell phone plan review, I am going to discuss my own personal phone plan, the Share Everything Verizon Wireless phone plan. As reviews go, I am biased. I have been a Verizon Wireless family plan customer since 2000. I have spent enough on Verizon phone service to purchase a small house or mid-luxury vehicle. Suffice it to say I have been very happy with their service. Here is my take:
Verizon Wireless Cell Phone Plan Review-
Nuts and Bolts: Here is how it works. Verizon Wireless replaced their old plans recently with a new Share Everything plan. The pricing has been simplified, but this plan might not be the best deal for everyone. Instead of cell phone plans that provide a certain number of minutes, adding phones at a flat monthly rate, and then subscribing to text and data plans for each phone line, each phone now has a flat charge for calls and texting. Then a data plan is shared. For example, my iPhone 4 for Verizon costs $40 per month. This includes unlimited calls and texts. Each additional smartphone is another $40 per month. Each non-smartphone is $30. Then you add a data plan that is shared. The minimum data plan for sharing between 2 smartphones is 1 GB for $50/mo. So on my family plan with 2 smart phones and one basic phone, I pay $40+40+30+50= $160 plus taxes and fees.
Under the old family plan structure I had 3 basic phones, which started at $79 per month for a plan that included 400 shared minutes and free nights and weekends. I don't think I used more than 100 minutes in any month over the last 10 years. I later adding unlimited texting for $30, bringing my cell phone plan to $109 per month. So I basically was paying the same per month then if I take away the data. What changed? I got 2 smartphones. Most cell phone plan providers are pushing the conversion to smartphones. Basic "feature" phones are not widely available. Smartphones have come down in price, after contract subsidies. If you don't want to use a smartphone with data, the new pricing structure is probably not ideal, but I think making the call and text prices all-inclusive is the way to go. I think the data pricing could be improved however.
Stay tuned for future cell phone plan reviews.