Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

17 responses to “Verizon to Force Data Plans on High-End Feature Phones, Eliminates V CAST VPak”

  1. Christopher Price

    “Hello, we’re Verizon. You can pay a lot for a little data, or a lot for 5 GB of data. Your choice, thanks for being the best part of Verizon Wireless… our customers.”

    I should note that these rates are higher than AT&T’s prepaid GoPhone pricing for data, 100 MB for $19.99. Sans contract.

    These plans are designed to force people into Connect and Premium plans. That, I believe, and hope, will fail.

  2. Don Louie

    Will this affect the other phones out now that fall in this category like the Krave, enV Touch, Versa and Dare? Everywhere they saying this will be only for the Rogue and phones launched after

  3. Christopher Price

    The V Pak will still be offered, as it stands now. Only new devices that meet the criteria in the article will be barred from purchasing the V Pak.

  4. Paul Allen

    This comes at just the time the FCC has hearings about the wireless landscape.
    CTIA may say that we’ve got the most competitive market, but the major carriers all seem to “shadow” each other regarding price increases.

  5. Jim

    Yep, no competition on price here in the USA. Total Oligarchy. I think I’d rather have a totally state-owned and managed telecommunications system then this ugly mess owned by Corporaate Oligarchs.

    So non-smart phones are being offered teeny-tiny data allowances for outrageous prices? Sounds like Verizon to me. A total shame.

  6. Christopher Price

    Trust me, you don’t want the FCC controlling your wireless bill. There is still plenty of competition, we’re actually seeing the flat rate market really heat up with i-wireless and Boost Mobile selling T-Mobile 3G and Sprint CDMA unlimited plans for $40-$50/month. Not to mention PagePlus offering unlimited Verizon voice for $40/month.

    The “standard” plans may be on the way up, but the “alternative” plans are continuing to slide in this economy. At some point, the alternative plans will become popular enough that the carriers will have to respond with price cuts.

  7. The source

    There is no truth to this i am an insider and verizon is implementing no such thing.

  8. Don Louie

    The crazy part of all this is that they are only giving the unlimited data option through the bundles

  9. Jordan

    It actually will allow you to buy the devices without a data plan per say, as it will let you choose the pay-per-use plan ($1.99/MB), which is no different from what they’ve been charging for data if you didn’t have a data plan. I added the Dare to my cart just to check this out, and yes, the VPak is gone having been replaced with the 75MB, 25MB and pay-per-use options. The grandfathering part…. does this mean that should I switch phones, they’ll let me keep the VPak but only give unlimited data for the VCast Videos? I only use the VPak for my web browsing so this kinda blows.

  10. Jordan

    Nevermind, I overlooked checking out the Rogue. Add it to the cart and yeah, the pay-per-use plan isn’t an option. So it goes from $14.99 for the VPak (unlimited data/videos) to now offering the VCast Videos for $10.00 plus a data plan for $9.99 or $19.99 (for NOT unlimited data). $14.99 unlimited jumping up to $19.99-$29.99 for no unlimited. I guess this doesn’t surprise me at all being Verizon.

  11. Bill

    Seems to me forcing someone to “buy” some service that they don’t want or need is called extortion. The Mafia used this same method to “sell” protection to small business owners on their turf. I’m not a lawyer but is this even legal?

  12. Verizon Adds Forced Data Plans to 3G Multimedia Models |

    […] Following last year’s forced data plan debacle and removal of unlimited data on high-end featurephones, Verizon will be modifying its current […]

  13. J

    And the modification continues to be an extortion plan:
    I’m an AT&T customer with 3 phones ready to come over to Verizon because nearly all of my extended family is Verizon and it actually works at my day job and home unlike my AT&T phones. It is just an unfortunate reality for me that I live and work in two poorly covered areas. It does work well in a great many other areas that aren’t exactly where I sit and sleep.

    Then the fly in the ointment…
    Because I desire a phone that has a memory card slot, QWERTY keyboard and a better camera, Verizon’s customer sensitive extortion scheme is to brand all such phones in the middle ground as a ‘Media Phone’ and require a data plan of 25MB at $9.99 or an unlimited data plan at like $30 similar to that of their elite smart phones which I do not desire. Yet Verizon will let you switch off Data Access in spite of having paid the $9.99 for, if you happen to have given that phone to a yonger family member that can’t stay away from the interwebs with it (small silver lining).

    However a co-worker of mine already with verizon upgraded one of her phones to a media phone in December and has something the nice sales lady wasn’t allowing me (the new potential customer). She has $1.99 per MB pay as you go with the web data blocked just like I want!

    Making calls, texting (possibly including media), and use of the interwebs are 3 separate things you stupid corporate clowns.

    A customer should never be forced to enlist in a service level just because their favorite phone is merely capable of it, especially if you actually let them block what you are forcing them to pay for.

    Must a driver pay for a toll road that they will be alowed to deny themselves from using?

    Must a person be forced to stand at a buffet and feel obligate to eat since they were forced to pay for it and aren’t hungery? Should a driver be distracted with that motivation of using the data they were forced to pay for? Oops another innocent person’s blood has soiled the highway because of this distraction that was forced upon a person merely liking the features of the middle grade phone. ( I use a headset and don’t text while driving. I’m just making a point. This example, although extreme, could be a measurable reality of this bad corporate policy. )

    I may still be switching to Verizon only because of my aforementioned reasons. If I am unsuccessful in telling them to cram it and let me have the $1.99 per MB pay as you go with the data being blocked so it can never be used, then I’ll have to await the return of the extorted monies after the undeniably imminent class-action lawsuit completes.

    But before I commit myself to that misery. I am looking at T-Mobile and Sprint with much intention.

    I’ll gladly retract this if things get better…

  14. Jordan

    J… I feel badly for you. As an existing Verizon customer, my data features are grandfathered in, so I’ve actually got the Rogue right now (which was the first phone requiring the choice between the two data packages) but I still have the VPak for unlimited data usage at $15/month, and we have phones using the Pay-Per-Use / data block combination. Then we have smart phones on our lines that still have the Pay-Per-Use option available even though they were added after this implementation with a contract upgrade. I’m grateful that Verizon’s allowing these things to be grandfathered in (for the time being), but it sounds like all they’re doing is deterring new customers from joining their network. Obviously this is an ignorant choice for Verizon. I don’t think they realize how much people are willing to pay just for having a “cooler” phone without wanting the data packages, which only limiting potential equipment sales. We’ve just had our monthly billing dispute with Verizon this morning though, so I can’t recommend them to anybody at the moment. 🙂

    By the way, the cafeteria at my university charges for everybody at the door, and when I would join my friends for their meals and neither be hungry nor plan on eating, somebody would always be charged for me to be in there so I felt obligated to eat something. Think they were managed by Verizon?

  15. Jcorleoene

    I drive a GM vehicle that is equipped with an XM radio. This is like being forced into an XM subscription so I “can enjoy the full capabilities of my GM vehicle”. This is absolutely corrupt and criminal. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if I could open my own wireless company and compete here — but just like radio, these companies are given special licenses to use the public airwaves.

    It is unbelievable to me that there is not more outrage in the press and more action from our public servants. Why did we even elect any of them if they do not take action here?

    Do you think Apple knew about this? Maybe they even had something to do with it…? It seems uncanny to me that the iPad comes out right after these forced data plans. The iPad market seems like it would be significantly smaller if people had a choice…

  16. Jerry

    I’ve been with Verizon for about 15 years.
    Just went to upgrade 1 of my 5 family plan phones, and they’re telling me i have to get a data plan now.
    Well it’s been nice Verizon but my plan expires in a couple of months and i’m out of here.
    Hopefully everybody else will do the same so you can look back and reflect on your GREEDY ways.
    Soon to be FORMER customer

  17. shaula

    yep, due for an upgrade and have the ‘grandfather’ thing going but if I am forced to pay for data plan then it is ‘adios verizon’….