As the competition in America’s telecom sector intensifies with all major carriers trying to outshine one another by announcing attractive data and voice plans, a rather absurd practice by Verizon has come into the spotlight.
Verizon, which prides itself as the fastest carrier in the US, has been making a lot of noises recently about its new Unlimited plans. The use of the word “Unlimited”, however, is merely cosmetic as the plan is not actually unlimited. It comes with a data cap of 22GB and once that allowance is exhausted, the speed is reduced substantially rather than cutting you off completely.
However, according to reports, some Verizon customers in rural areas are claiming to have been cut off altogether by Verizon. These disgruntled customers are saying that they were cut off because of excessive data usage, which is ironic, to begin with as they were using the Unlimited plan. Some of the affected customers have posted their experiences on Howard Forums.
On a closer look, the origin of the problem can be traced back to Verizon’s LTEiRA program. Under this program, as many as 21 smaller regional carriers joined forces with Verizon to extend coverage to rural areas. The terms of this program dictates that Verizon provides all the spectrum rights and technology to these smaller regional carriers in return of giving Verizon customers free access to those networks.
From an end user’s perspective, however, there are no difference between being on a LTEiRA partner’s network or that of Verizon. Since these users receive the LTE signal in most areas, they are meant to be able to consume all of the regular Verizon plans without any restrictions whatsoever. But Verizon seems to be not on board with that logic.
“They’re calling those with billing addresses outside of their coverage areas on unlimited and agreeing to pay off their phones if they will port out, otherwise they will discontinue the service,” one poster said.
Verizon has NOT denied the charges, admitting that they are terminating the contracts of some customers who are not native Verizon service areas.
“We are notifying a small group of customers who are out of contract and primarily use mobile data on other networks that we will no longer provide service to them after July 30, 2017,” the carrier said in a statement to BGR.