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Verizon Wireless Leads Carriers in Average Bill Size
by Karl Bode 08:37AM Friday Jan 17 2014
A new study by Cohen and Company (via Ars Technica) notes that Verizon Wireless subscribers see the highest average monthly bill for wireless services. A survey of 1,876 US-based mobile customers during the last quarter of 2013 suggested the average monthly Verizon bill for a Verizon Wireless customer was $148, higher than Sprint ($144), AT&T ($141), and T-Mobile ($120). Verizon has long tried to argue that superior network coverage and quality justifies their higher price point for a "premium" wireless experience. Verizon often then points to the fact that Verizon Wireless frequently tops most studies for wireless customer satisfaction, though whether that justifies their price point is up to you, not them.

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Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

3 recommendations

Not much of a premium in my experience....

.... YMMV depending on which plan you're on and your usage patterns, but I've regularly priced T-Mo vs. Verizon and the savings were in the $10-$15 range during the voice days and the $20-$25 range in modern times with data plans.

Not much of a savings considering the coverage differences in my area. Verizon works virtually everywhere I go, with 4G LTE coverage that only occasionally drops to 3G. T-Mo works in about two thirds of the places I go, with inferior indoors coverage, and many parts of their footprint are still EDGE-only.

Actually it's a wash between the two for me, because I've got a 22% discount on Verizon, but I left that out of the above comparison. Even without that discount though I think I'd have to go with VZW. $240/yr is worth it to actually be able to use my phone.

T-Mo would be a serious contender for me only if both of the following happened:

1) Verizon yanks my 22% discount.
2) I move to a major city where the coverage is comparable.

AT&T is a non-starter, same prices as Verizon with less coverage. Sprint is just dysfunctional and only has coverage around these parts because of the roaming agreement with Verizon. Even at that it's dropped call hell because they don't do seamless handoffs with Verizon and prefer their native signal even when the signal is weaker than weak.

amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

All great points. After 15 years with NYNEX/Bell Atlantic Mobile/Verizon Wireless, I switched to T-Mobile in August. TONS more deadspots. However I love what Legere is doing, and I was sick of the Verizon strongarm tactics when it came to hardware. So I switched knowing what I was getting in to. And I'm happy! The ironic thing is, I'm paying MORE than I was before, because now at my house we have me on T-Mobile, and everyone else on Verizon.

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI
said by Crookshanks:

.... YMMV depending on which plan you're on and your usage patterns, but I've regularly priced T-Mo vs. Verizon and the savings were in the $10-$15 range during the voice days and the $20-$25 range in modern times with data plans.

You need to look again.

Find me a VZW data plan with more than 500MB/mo., with unlimited everything else, for less than $100/mo. for two people. Then add in free tethering, discounted international long distance and free international roaming.

And no contract.

Jim
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

Did you miss the YMMV depending on plan and usage disclaimer?

450 minutes w/unlimited texting: $59.99
Unlimited Data: $29.99
22% Discount: ($19.80)
Total before taxes/fees: $70.18
Total with taxes/fees: Approx $80

Go ahead, beat that with anything from T-Mo, you can't. And even if you could the coverage around here is a joke.

Again, YMMV.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

And your applying a discount !
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

That would 'you're' or 'you are', not 'your' in this context.

The discount was explained in my first post. I was replying to a snide 'you need to look again' comment, by someone who clearly couldn't be bothered to read all of what I wrote.

Pathfinder
Dazed Confused
Premium
join:2000-03-26
Mount Vernon, NY
How are you getting 22% on the total bill? When I look only the minutes plan is subject to the discount NOT the data portion. Also, if you renew there is no more unlimited data.
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

said by Pathfinder:

How are you getting 22% on the total bill? When I look only the minutes plan is subject to the discount NOT the data portion.

See attached, the unlimited plans do get discounts.

said by Pathfinder:

Also, if you renew there is no more unlimited data.

No, if you get a subsidized device there is no more unlimited data. I bought my current phone directly from Motorola. It's the Developer Edition too, so I can do whatever I want with it. Well worth the $400 to keep U/L data and have the ability to effortlessly get rid of Verizon bloatware.
ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·ooma
·Verizon Broadban..
·Northland Cable ..
·Time Warner Cable
said by Pathfinder:

Also, if you renew there is no more unlimited data.

Wanna bet? There are ways. If you know the right people.

(full purchase price exclusions excluded from the above statement).
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

There is indeed ways around it... I had a line that I used for upgrades always a dumb phone for $10 a month. Swap your "upgrade" to that line upgrade the phone , move to its final destination... rinse wash repeat.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Im glad that you get good service with VZW. I never did. Besides at work ! but I have wifi there and don't need the service there.

My house had barely a bar of service and VZW wouldn't let me out of the contract. So I ditched them asap.

My bill was $330 a month. 5 phones. 1400 minutes on family plan with unlimited txt and 4 gig for all phones. And that was with my 25% discount.

My Tmo bill is now $150 and only because I bought a phone from them. $120 otherwise. 5 phones unlimited voice data and texts, plus I get free data roaming, free international texts. And when I roam to Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Spain, and The Caymans, I pay .20 a minute if I can't find wifi ( very rare, wifi calling is great also ), Verizon used to bill me $1 a minute.... Im loving Tmobile. The coverage always works wherever I go and even during hunting season, I get 3g while my blind buddies get no signal.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"
Crookshanks

join:2008-02-04
Binghamton, NY

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

Why would you sign a contract for five phones knowing that you have no coverage at your house? Verizon gives you a 14 day trial period, that wasn't enough to determine whether or not you had good coverage at home?
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA

Re: Not much of a premium in my experience....

We were already in the contract , and moved to the house.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
TMO also has WiFi Calling so even if you don't have service in your house- put your phone on wifi and its free.
rick0204

join:2009-05-20
North Bergen, NJ
Jumped to T-Mo a few months ago because it has better coverage in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. My bill is much lower too.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA

1 recommendation

I'll pay the premium

I'll pay the premium just to be able to use my phone. A cell phone with the "No Service" indicator on is as good as no cell phone at all.

In my opinion Verizon has better in building coverage than AT&T.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC

Re: I'll pay the premium

Friends are telling me AT&T is filling in a lot of the holes in the populated rural areas with new towers this year. Don't hear about the big city plans.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

1 recommendation

This is Why

I'm on PagePlus, same network, less gouging.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: This is Why

I've been on StraightTalk for awhile (Captivate, then Skyrocket, now Note II). I haven't bumped into a single issue with them and their SIM cards work perfectly!

I've also used a bit of data (little over 2.5GB) each month and they don't seem to whine. Not bad for $45/mo. It's a heck of a lot better than paying VZ ~$200/mo for 2 lines.
buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Re: This is Why

I pay $29.95 for 1200mins 3000txt and 500mb of 3g data.
I never get close since I'm always near wi-fi.

The only downside (for me) is that my phone needs replacing and finding one that I like that works on their network isn't an easy task.

Breesfan9
Premium
join:2007-06-21
Bastrop, LA
I have two people on my plan. We have all the data we need. Un-limited talk & text. I have NFL premium on my I-phone. We have insurance on both phones with mine being the higher insurance on my I-phone. We both have visual voice-mail on both phones. It runs me $165.31-$166.00 every month. Verizon has the LARGEST 4G network. We seldom ever see 3G anymore. I had one dropped call a few days ago. My 1st in months. My best friend & her husband pay a little less. Neither of them have the NFL app. Our entire family is with Verizon now. They have the best coverage including metal buildings. Their customer service is the best hands down. I do have some friends on Straight Talk. But they don't have any computers in their homes so they use their cell phones for everything. And they say that around the middle of the month they notice their data speed slows down tremendously. That is what they say. I don't know myself. But I do know I love Verizon. I would NOT go back to AT&T even if they paid me to. And as for the other carriers. There is hardly any service at all. So I'll just say I'm Happy Happy Happy with Verizon. IMHO.
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
It may be OT- but are they part of TracFone yet?

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Verizon Wireless frequently tops most studies ...

...that it pays for!
JD Powers does a survey but charges VZW to print the results. JD is about as credible as Car and Driver is to Chevy reviews. And if you fill out one of those surveys, I can't see how your time filling out 4+ pages of metrics for what, a dollar, is worthwhile.

Since the totals are an aggregate of single and family user plans, this is not a great example. And it looks like VZW is $5 less than last year.

Coming up, wireless cell carriers stop providing phones and support, leaving that to the manufacturers. Billing goes up!
--
Splat
TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH

Re: Verizon Wireless frequently tops most studies ...

And that's how VZ gets at the top of those JD Power and Consumer Reports. They PAY! Including the one where VZW and TMO were tied on everything but VZW still ended up winning. Interesting eh?
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

1 edit

Functional CDMA

Yeah, the price isn't awesome, but I finally ditched U.S. Cellular in favor of Verizon for a few reasons
-no data roaming, period. U.S. Cellular gives you something like 200MB, and pretty much everywhere outside of home is roaming.
-4G everywhere. With U.S. Cellular, no 4G anywhere but home. Roaming would've been 3G
-Verizon has functional CDMA network. It is completely worth it.

Sprint is OK around here, but the roaming is weird in places. Other than that, their speeds are good, and LTE is here. Probably one of the few places that it doesn't totally suck. Even KC friends (their home base) complain at times about Sprint's networks.
T-Mo and AT&T being GSM, I have very little interest. GSM coverage is just not great in these parts. Their prices are also within $10 of Verizon.

Honestly, T-Mo's deal right now is pretty good. It's almost worth it, except for the fact that their network is still so sketchy in places.

The other end of the spectrum is prepaid. Its looking like Virgin Mobile has the best deals for the prices. Republic Wireless is also very interesting, though Virgin has them beat by $5 on the 'everything' plan.

They're all overpriced, that's for sure. At least Verizon stands behind their CDMA tech being so well built out that they don't care about data roaming, and calls will work damn near anywhere.

edit: from the "morning links" today, the article about T-Mobile switching folks over mentions AT&T - -

“I’m pretty proud of the fact we have the nation’s fastest and most reliable network,” AT&T mobile unit head Ralph De La Vega said in an interview at CES last week. “They can say whatever they want to say, but they don’t have it.”

Bull. Shit. Stop with that. Right now. It's GSM based. The coverage completely sucks in most buildings. Without a micro-cell, some folks here would have no service inside. The tech is exactly the same as T-Mobile on the voice side. Most reliable, my ass. I am sick of hearing the lies about this. CDMA based carriers have the advantage here, notably concerning voice.

Boricua
Premium
join:2002-01-26
Sacramuerto

Already known...

I was one of them holdouts getting a smart phone because of the mandatory data plan. I had NO desire to use the data or wanted. Alas, after getting one, it did prove to be handy. Of course, I rely mainly on wiifi and turned off the mobile data. On a rare occasion, I will turn on the mobile data, but then turn it off once I'm done with whatever immediately. As for the billing, already knew it was going to shoot up (shrugs). Yeah, I went over to the dark side .
--
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. Robert Orben

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Rock and A Hard Place?

Several months ago we switched from Sprint to T-Mobile. This was based on Sprint's cost and their poor performance. Neither Verizon Wireless nor "at&t" were in the running: VZW due to expense and lock-in, and "at&t" because of expense and several very, very bad experiences with them.

So now Sprint/Softbank is going to try to Borg TMO. Where do we go? Certainly not back to Sprint/Softbank. Their performance was horrible. The thing that these days calls itself "at&t?" I'd rather a sharp stick in the eye. Besides: Expensive. VZW? I don't think the family CFO would tolerate the price hit.

So... maybe no wireless phones at all, any more? Maybe voice-only phone, for her, for safety reasons, on Straight Talk?

Jim
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

TMobile

We switched from Sprint to T-Mobile and couldn't be happier. The wife and I have unlimited data and pay around $120/month so the average is probably spot on.

The coverage in my area is excellent and most places I have traveled to. The only times I don't get a good data connection is usually an off the beaten path place. But even then I usually get a voice signal. For us, in our area, you can't go wrong with T-Mobile.
YDC

join:2007-11-13
Hewlett, NY

Too expensive, but it works mostly

I would say any carrier is too expensive and they all price themselves close to one another. If they could not see the other's price we would see different pricing from each. What we have is price fixing. It is technically illegal, but impossible to prove and impossible to stop.

Now as far as who is best, Verizon does have a better coverage area. It is not necessarily the best data service but if you make a call it goes through and stays connected. You cannot say that for any other carrier here in the North East. Other areas have AT&T as dominant like the South West.

As far as data, I see pretty crappy service from Verizon. You cannot do anything unless you have better than 50% signal strength. That is a luxury on Long Island. The data is a waste of money as it doesn't work reliably most of the time. Overpriced crap as I said.

I think the corporate world needs a reset, but there's no way to stop greed. That will be our downfall. Like all great civilizations of the past, ours too will fall. Probably soon. There's no way to stop it unfortunately.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Roaming

Seeing what my sister and brother-in-law pay for Verizon, I can understand it. My employer has us on Sprint and I find myself quite often roaming on Verizon here on suburban Long Island (my iPhone will say "Extended"). As such, I would have to certainly give thumbs up to Verizon coverage around here.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

AJ G

@myvzw.com

non comparable

You cant compare prices if the service being used isn't identical. That's like saying a bag of apples was cheaper than oranges due to the apples weighing less. With VZ coverage is everywhere. I pay 80$ a month for unlimited text, internet and 700 mins. That's including my discount. There is no way I would accept a slightly less bill for less coverage especially out in the country. Always have 4G with verizon, tmobile offers 2G for 17$ less where I live. Tmobile barely works in the city, none at all on post. If your overpaying using verizon it's probably because you don't know what you really need and pay for too many extra services.
ssavoy
Premium
join:2007-08-16
Dallas, PA

Re: non comparable

Like the people that complain about their bill but walk out of the store with $100+ in accessories
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
My bill is $93/mo. after taxes and insurance, including a 12% discount, but which only applies to voice somehow. If I went with a "share everything" (with who, myself?) plan, the discount would apply across everything, but still work out to probably around $96.

I don't see how to reduce this in any way, other than by paying for far less data (which would not work for me).

Your point stands, however, on the usability. There's no way I could go with less of it, especially for times that I travel, am at work, or would otherwise like to actually use my phone

GeekJedi
RF is Good For You
Premium
join:2001-06-21
Mukwonago, WI

I'll settle this once and for all.

"My carrier is the best, and all the others suck. I had every other carrier and they poured sugar in my gas tank, kicked my puppy, and killed kittens."

-Every single DSLR member posting in a cell phone thread.
--
The goal of the broadcast engineer is to get all the meters on the transmitter to go as far to the right as possible!!

Lone Wolf
Almost Retired
Premium
join:2001-12-30
USA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: I'll settle this once and for all.

Your reply is spot on.

I usually go with the cheapest. Currently Unlimited Everything for $50 monthly from TMo or sometimes switch sim cards and pay $40 for Simple Mobile.

But I use a GSM phone because they're the best.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Me too.

I had all the others too. The prices drove me to look for a no-contract low cost phone. I finally found what I needed with all the features I wanted on North America's largest MNVO. TracFone. It works everywhere I go, and in places I least expected.

Superior blah, blah, blah is all PR. How well any cell phone works anywhere linked to the quality of the phone and the location of towers. You may or may not receive a signal from carrier A if you are in a service area covered by carrier B.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Surprised the gap isn't bigger

They are more closely clustered than I would have thought.

Vix

join:2001-12-30
Altamonte Springs, FL

Wow

I feel like such a cheapskate. I bought 50 SIM cards (T-Mobile MVNO, all pre-loaded with $39 unlimited talk/text/web, on T-Mobile network) for $350. On the 12th of each month I throw out our old SIM cards and swap in new ones. That should hold my husband and I for just over two years, which breaks down to $14 a month on our two Nexus 5 phones.

Beyond that, I purchased a lot of 5 Nextel ic902 hybrid phones on eBay for $35, some old Nextel SIMs for $8, then set them all up on the same channel for off-network Direct Talk walkie Talkie service (supposedly 6 mile range). I then activated two of them on a RingPlus promo which gives us 325 voice minutes a month per phone for free. I have a Nextel phone in my home office, the bedroom, and the bathroom (LOL) for in house paging, and we each have a very durable phone with walkie talkie service when we go running, to the gym, etc. It's also nice because we both both work within walkie talkie range, as is the mall, grocery store, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. All of our incoming calls are routed via Google Voice so we get all of our voice calls regardless of which phone we're carrying.

Beyond that I also have a Verizon LTE hotspot with 20GB of data and a Millenicom iPad plan with 6.5GB and no overages that I use through a Cradlepoint MBR95. 26.5GB of LTE service is usually enough to support our basic home internet habits, but if we go over our allotment and get throttled by T-Mobile, we can live with unlimited "slow" speeds between 4Mbps and 9Mbps for the rest of the month. Hell, it's good enough for Netflix streaming!

Total damage, $84 per month. $14 for two unlimited talk/text/web on our main phones, free 325 minute Sprint plans on our RingPlus phones with free Nextel walkie talkie service, and $70 for a 20GB Verizon LTE hotspot and 6.5GB T-Mobile iPad plan (with unlimited free LTE hotspot) which replaced our home internet service.

Acuity

join:2002-06-22
Londonderry, NH

Re: Wow

That is cheap, but if you get what you need, why pay more?

I'm a former Verizon Wireless user who switched to T-Mobile and couldn't be happier. T-Mobile's coverage here is okay, but I find that it works in most places I typically go. If it doesn't work, I just deal with it. This causes some issues with navigation, but usually there's a Starbucks or McDonalds around (this is America afterall) with a Wi-Fi access point that can help me navigate my route.

I'm on the T-Mobile $30/month 100 minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data (5 GB @ 4G) plan. Back on Verizon I could pay twice as much but not get half the use. Is Verizon's network worth it? Maybe, if you're in a sales job and need the coverage. For me, I'll take a network that works for me 99% of the time in exchange for a discounted price and cooler phones.