Verizon Ditches Phone Contracts ➝

John Callaham, writing for iMore:

Verizon Wireless will be making some big changes in both its device data plans and its smartphone purchase options, starting on August 13. On that date, Verizon will offer four data plans, with no more separate single-line or family plan options. The carrier will also do away with two-year contracts and their smartphone subsidies, with customers now offered the option of either paying for the entire retail price upfront or paying via a monthly installment plan.

I’m always a little skeptical when a company that has such a rich history of screwing their customers decides to make such a huge change. On the surface this looks like it’ll be cheaper than previous plans, but it all depends on how much the smartphone installments are and whether or not their are any fees that we’re unaware of.

I’m still holding on to my unlimited data plan through AT&T and won’t give it up too easily, though. I know I could get a cheaper plan, but I don’t want to be forced into keeping track of how much data I use each month. I already receive regular text messages from AT&T telling me that I could experience slower speeds because of my data usage — even with my unlimited plan.

And I don’t know how much data I use each month, I just assume it’s fairly high because of the regularity of the aforementioned text messages. I do get the feeling, though, that if I was to ever switch to a limited data plan I’d end up with overage fees every month. I’m clearly not a typical user, though.

For one, I don’t have access to Wi-Fi at my day job. This means all of the data I use during my 42+ hours at work, including breaks, is done on the cellular network. And more importantly, I run this site. Even though Initial Charge is primarily text and its web pages are rather light, many of the other sites I use to gathering news aren’t as polite toward my bandwidth. Maybe once more online publishers start getting a clue I could consider making the switch. And I wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks while I’m at it.

(Via 512 Pixels.)