Does it really cost close to 200 bucks a month for a two-cellphone household that does more than talk these days?
I was reviewing our Verizon plan this weekend and came to this conclusion. It’s one of those things that I tuck in the back of my mind and try not to think about – I get the emails confirming my card has been charged each month, but when I look into why it’s costing us just under the century mark for basic phone service, I get frustrated.
What brought this on is Verizon’s current Blackberry Buy One Get One Free sale. I have a pending New Every 2 discount deal, Jen has been wanting a new phone, and I’ve been wanting to try out a smartphone. (side note: I’ve really been wanting to wait for an Android phone on Verizon….that doesn’t seem to be happening too fast, though :-/ ). This seemed like an opportunity to at least look into.
Our current plan is a nationwide family plan. The base plan is $70/month with 1000 minutes between the two lines. The 2nd line is $10/month, for a grand total of ~$80/month to start. We have no messaging plan; we only have a few text or picture messages a month. Paying for them a la carte is cheaper than adding on Verizon’s messaging plan. After fees, taxes, and misc texts our monthly costs are between $90-$95 each month.
That’s where the fun began. OK, so I can get a Blackberry at a discounted rate, and get a second one of equal or lesser value for free. Sweet. But each of those require a BlackBerry plan at $30/month…so if we both get one that’s gonna be $60/month more total. And that’s with our current plan, with no extra texting alottments either. Well maybe there’s some better plans out there, right?
Nope. Their current family plans start at (for the same price we’re paying) 300 fewer minutes per month. There’s no cost savings for two lines for us to bump up to the next tier, either. What about individual lines instead of the family plan? They start at $40/month for 450 minutes, or $60/month for 900 minutes. Two 450-minute plans would still be $80/month, plus it would possibly cut it close during some months. PLUS, all of those still require the $30/month BlackBerry plan for any BB device. Of course, there are dedicated BlackBerry voice/data plans, too. No family options, only individual lines. $80/450 minutes and $100/900 minutes respectively. None of these include an actual text messaging plan, either, which looks to run $10-$20 or so.
In conclusion, it seems that if you want minimum minutes, basic texting, and minimum data usage you’re looking at pretty close to $100/month for each phone in your household. Cutting out the texting trims that back a little, but not a ton. Lats time I looked at other carriers, their plans were roughly the same, and frankly Verizon is hands-down the best coverage in the area. Despite the couple of holes we manage to find in the boondocks, it’s supported much better than AT&T (which would be the next biggest) in the areas I use.
Is this really the price of modern connectivity?