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Bill_Lumbergh's avatar

Should I give up my "grandfathered" unlimited data plan?

Asked by Bill_Lumbergh (1458 points ) March 10th, 2014

My service provider is currently offering much cheaper plans for talk/text and tiered data than what I am currently paying for my “grandfathered” unlimited data plan. I am aware that most service providers are desperately trying to push people out of their unlimited data plans, or throttle their data usage if they abuse the unlimited data. I do enjoy having an unlimited data plan, as it makes me feel like I can do whatever I want for as long as I want on my smartphone, and never worrying about financial consequences about how much data I use a month.

I share the unlimited data plan with my wife, and we use roughly 3–5GB of data a month together. We have been offered a couple of alternative plans at a much cheaper price, and could stand to save around $30—$45 a month depending which alternative plan we choose.

So, back to the original question; should I keep my “grandfathered” unlimited data plan? Why or why not?

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7 Answers

hominid's avatar

It seems that you have already figured it out by analyzing your average data consumption. My wife and I had unlimited grandfathered in through Verizon. But I ended up ditching it because I calculated that I would likely save money (just a little) by going with a limited data plan. It also saved me some money on a subsidized phone.

The only reason I would consider keeping it is if you were anticipating a large increase in your average data use.

Bill_Lumbergh's avatar

@hominid – My honest concern is the evolution of cell phone technology. With cell phone technology advancing almost every year, how long before our phones constantly display HD quality movies, photos, and games? I do occasionally watch a movie on my phone, and with my unlimited plan, I can stream all the HD movies I want without fear of maxing out my allotted data for the month. Can anyone really guess to how long before we might need the next tier data plan, or before they start offering tiers of 50GB, 100GB, or even 1TB? Cell phones are almost capable of replacing netbooks entirely, and some are starting to become the size of netbooks. (Samsung Galaxy Note II)

hominid's avatar

@Bill_Lumbergh – I am not good at predicting the future. But it might be worth it if you feel that you might need more data and your carrier will not take it from you. I have heard of carriers putting caps on supposedly “unlimited” plans – or reducing speeds. I can’t imagine Verizon, for example, would allow anyone to download 50GB of data – “unlimited” or not.

I have the Note II. It’s the right size.

yankeetooter's avatar

I am currently trying to figure out what to do about this dilemma for myself. And I can’t get a new phone (which I really need) because I would have to give up my unlimited data.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve heard several friends that I met by being early iPhone adopters say that they’re switching, and I’ve been curious. $30–45/mo is a huge savings! I suppose my concern is what happens in 2 years when this new contract runs out – can you stay ‘grandfathered’ at that ratE? Or will AT&T pull the rug out from underneath you?

I’m also curious where you live, @Bill_Lumbergh, that your cell signal is good enough to allow you to stream HD videos – even YouTube clips get hung up fairly often on LTE unless I have full bars. Once I switch to WiFi I’m fine, but that doesn’t count against your data plan, then.

Pachy's avatar

I just switched to new Verizon plan that gives me “More Everything,” including messaging, yet costs less then my grandfathered plan (which was not unlimited, didn’t provide unlimited messaging, and included a company discount). Before switching to the new plan I spoke at length with the Verizon rep to be sure there weren’t any hidden costs (Providers Web sites can be misleading), so I guess that’s my best advice for you to do.

Silence04's avatar

I’m keeping mine for those exact reasons above. Data usage will go up with the growth of tech.

I use about 3gb/month now. When I first got my unlimited data plan I was barely touching 1gb.

Cold dead hands, AT&T…

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