US operator Verizon’s revamped pricing plans – offering customers higher data allowances for a hike in price – has drawn criticism from low cost rivals T-Mobile US and Sprint.
The US market leader announced an increase in data allowances at each tier of its tariffs, “offering greater value with simple sizes”, providing at least 30 per cent more data, while increasing monthly rates by $5-$10 at each level.
For example, for its “small” tier, it now gives 2GB of data for $35 a month, instead of 1GB for $30 month, and on its large tier, it gives 8GB for $70, compared to 6GB for $60.
As part of the announcement, the company also said users can carryover data to another month, without losing unused data, and launched the new Verizon Plan app, allowing users to switch between data plans, among other features.
The move comes as rivals like T-Mobile US and Sprint continue to push lower cost offerings in a bid to nab subscribers.
Verizon, however, appears confident that customers will go for value, with more generous monthly data plans.
T-Mobile bites back
True to form, T-Mobile US CEO John Legere was quick to react to his rivals’ latest announcement, stating that “Verizon remains the undisputed leader in one thing: high prices”.
“Verizon is more expensive… and that’s before they hammer customers with overages, fees and international roaming. But that didn’t stop Verizon from making America’s most expensive wireless plans even more expensive,” read a T-Mobile statement.
Regarding overages, Verizon, for the first time, also introduced a “Safety Mode”, which allows customers to choose throttled or slower data speeds, instead of going over limits and paying extra on their tariffs.
It however requires customers to pay a $5 fee on its lower tariffs, which also drew ire from Legere.
“My favourite part is that Verizon is going to charge you $5, to promise not to charge you overages,” he said on Twitter. “Why not just eliminate overages? Oh that’s right, because you are greedy bullies.”
Sprint joins in
Number four player Sprint also released a statement, claiming that it offers a much better deal than Verizon, saving customers 50 per cent off most current Verizon plans.
“Don’t let a 1 per cent difference in network reliability cost you twice as much,” it said.