I currently have the Samsung i760 phone on the Verizon network. I originally got this phone as it would sync up to my Microsoft Office Outlook at work, and other cutesy features. At first, the open-source functionality of this phone was cool. If I wanted, I could put a David Hasselhof screensaver on it, I could play parcheesi while on the john, and update my spreadsheets for my fantasy league in my spare time.
Unfortunately, I have grown apathetic about the phone. It's heavy...really heavy and big. It's like carrying around the DVD box set of Small Wonder in your pocket.
It's also very slow. When I hang up, it usually only takes about 3-10 seconds to recognize the command. This can become dicey when I mutter "what a douche" after a phone call with a friend asking me to help him move.
Needless to say, I'd like to upgrade to a much nicer, smarter, faster phone like the Moto Droid. Unfortunately, this also requires a $29.99 data plan, which I can't justify. I'd love the features, but as I try to take a wide berth from the porn, I would be relegated to using apps like "track your underwear color," or "Mantracker tips." I just wouldn't use the data plan enough to justify the cost.
My second option would be to have a SMALLER phone than I have now, but with a few features that I deem necessary. It NEEDS to have a qwerty keyboard. I don't generally download games, music, or the like, but I'd like the option to do this. All my past Verizon phones had this capacity. Expandable memory and a decent camera (3MP) should also do the trick.
I then took my meager "required items" list to Verizon.com, and perused the phones. I noticed they broke them into categories. "Smart-phones" like the blackberry and Droid. "Multi-media" phones like the LG ENV touch, and "Free to orphan phones."
As the lowest category of phones didn't suit me, I found a couple I liked in the "multi-media category that would work.
As you make your way along the checkout procedure, you'll eventually find yourself face to face with a $9.99 or $29.99 data plan option. Mind you there is no $0 dollar data plan option. As I quickly learned, any phone deemed "multi-media" by Verizon now requires a data plan.
Here is what is included in the $9.99 non-optional data plan:
25MB of data transfer and a mobile e-mail client.
Also included is the shart in your pants as you realize how ridiculous this plan is.
If you log into facebook, and upload some pictures...then head over to ESPN for a March Madness update...and then top it off with entering a contest on HomeDepot.com for a free Dewalt drill---you've roughly hit your 25MB limit. This is a farce.
The naysayers will say "Get the unlimited data plan...you won't have this problem." I say to you, to shove your grande mocha latte down your cornhole. I don't need or want a data plan.
I want to text, talk, and stay with the company where I have spent 15 years.
As a last resort, I went to the "dumb" phones Verizon offered that didn't force the $9.99 data plan.
Here were a few of the options.
Motorola "2 cans and string"
Samsung "yell real loud"
Nokia "morse coder"
LG "smoke signaler"
HTC "carrier pigeon"
Oddly enough, I wasn't really impressed with the options.
What can I do? I can rant, rave, kick scream...but they won't change their policy.
My only option is to walk away. Show them that the customer is always right, and go with another carrier.
This I plan to do immediately when my 9 year contract is up with Verizon in 2015. I'll show them.
The $9.99 data plan is a ploy to collect extra revenue, or to force customers to upgrade to the more expensive data plan. It gets a big fat 0 stars in my book.