RE: Verizon and the English Language

Kevin is correct. I actually
spent an afternoon doing what he suggests to you. I visited all three major
wireless carriers. Although the others do have a list of proscribed activities,
there is no bandwidth limit. I intentionally went directly to the store
managers to avoid as much BS as possible. Sprint had trouble believing Verizon
had a cap, and AT&T just laughed at the idea.

 

If I switched all of the network
activity I do on my laptop to EV-DO, I’d easily leave Kevin in the dust
and exceed 5 GB every month. Never mind the prohibited activities, just remotely
controlling my servers and other machines at home could do that. If you think about
it, Verizon’s official explanation of the cap, that they are trying to
conserve bandwidth for all users doesn’t compute. Each cell site has its
own Internet connection, and—at  least in urban areas—cells cover
very small areas. Even if everyone using a cell is banging it with EV-DO Rev A
and manages to swamp the cell’s Internet pipe (not bloody likely), only
that cell is slowed, and just for Internet usage. The real reason is that
Verizon is trying to herd its customers to its for-pay network services like
Vcast and online music. They totally miss the fact that the Internet is for
uses far beyond lining Verizon’s pockets.

 

From: Kevin Tofel
[mailto:kctofel@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 7:44 PM
To: Scott Royall; brad.stinson@verizonwireless.com
Cc: mobiletechroundup@gmail.com
Subject: RE: Verizon and the English Language

 

Scott, how could we forget you?
You’re an inspiration!

 

Brad, I enjoyed Verizon’s
service with my EV-DO smartphone as well as an EV-DO PCMCIA card for over two
years. However, I’ve since moved my wireless data (and voice, for that
matter) business to AT&T, partially because of the bandwidth caps that
Verizon has imposed on “unlimited” plans. I recognize Verizon is a
business, but as a consumer, it’s misleading (at best) for Verizon to
advertise unlimited plans but have limits in the TOS. Just my opinion of
course.

 

Just this week I purchased a 3G
AirCard from AT&T and have their DataConnect plan. Here is the general plan
information page indicating the data is unlimited: http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service//cell-phone-plans/data-connect-plans.jsp
If you click the Plan Terms link on that page, you’ll find the TOS and
all of its limitations. Much like Verizon’s TOS, there are some
activities that are not allowed by the plan: P2P file sharing, etc….but
nowhere in those terms do you find the language that Verizon uses which “assumes”
you’re doing activities that aren’t allowed if you hit 5 GB of data
in a given month. As a full-time blogger who reads over 30,000 RSS posts a
month, writes around 150 posts per month (with images) and receives
approximately 200 mails per day (some with attachments), I can hit that 5 GB
limit while still following the Verizon TOS to the letter. Presuming that one
is guilty based on non-universal assumptions is unacceptable; again, my
arguable opinion.

 

While not exactly the same due
to the slower speed, I’m certain that you’re familiar with the
“unlimited data” of the iPhone plan as well. Granted, this is only
EDGE speeds, but the TOS indicate no limit to this access.

 

I can’t speak as a Sprint
customer, but I just went to their main website and selected an unlimited data
plan. I read through the TOS and see similar restricted activities (which I
fully understand), but no defined limit for data, i.e.: the plan is unlimited.

 

Brad, while I can share with you
my own experiences, I’d like to offer a suggestion. Put yourself in the
consumer’s shoes: visit an AT&T or Sprint store just as Scott or I
would do. Ask for the plan literature and request the carrier’s terms on
their data plans. That’s probably the best advice I can give because
that’s how the consumers of your company and your company’s
competitors are choosing their provider and plans. Don’t take my word for
it…experience it.

 

Again, I realize VZW has a
business model here and that the company has spent vast resources on the data
network. I would never complain about the service I received when a customer.
However, I do question the business model: if these plans were meant to be
unlimited but it was later found out that this isn’t cost effective for
VZW, then I’d say it’s a flawed business model: not something that
the consumer should be penalized for.

 

I hope this helps shed some
light on the subject from a different point of view. And if Verizon can do
something to help Scott, I won’t tell anyone….promise. Then again,
it would be a pretty positive PR story, no?

 

Best,

Kevin C. Tofel

 

 

From: Scott Royall
[mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 6:53 PM
To: mobiletechroundup@gmail.com
Cc: brad.stinson@verizonwireless.com
Subject: Verizon and the English Language

 

Guys,

 

Hopefully, you remember me. You did an excellent segment on
me and Xpress-It a while back.

 

Anyway, my Verizon store manager, Brad, is a bit incredulous
that AT&T and Sprint really offer unlimited data plans. Brad is actually
ok, for a Verizon droid, but he hasn’t followed the national controversy
online as we have. He wasn’t aware that his two main competitors have
truly unlimited data plans. The reason why I care enough to help educate him is
because he offered to at least try to make Verizon corporate make an exception
in my case. True, there will likely be skiers in Hell first, but Brad wants to
try. Can you point to documentation that proves what AT&T and Sprint have
truly is unlimited.

 

Scott

 

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