(WTOL) - Some Verizon Wireless customers were surprised in the new year with a $40 rate increase. This occurred shortly after AT&T raised their rates.
Jessie Shipmon was stunned when he opened his first bill in 2016.
"We got our bill for this month and it said there was an increase of a total of $40. So, we were wondering what that $40 was for," he said.
Shipmon and his wife have been on Verizon's unlimited data plan for 8 years having been grandfathered into it when Verizon dropped unlimited data for new customers 4 years ago.
But, a note with the bill explained that as of December, all remaining unlimited plans are going up $20 a month per device. That would equal $500 a year for two phones.
Verizon announced the rate hike two months ago, blaming it on an explosion in video and data use. It comes after an FCC ruling saying it's legal, and AT&T's hiking its unlimited plans $5 a month.
But, there are options offered by the company. These are nothing like what customers had before.
"They give you other options that you can get different data plans. So basically they want us to drop the unlimited data plan," Shipmon said.
In addition, Verizon will let customers facing this hike upgrade to a new phone and new contract, without facing any penalties.
On the upside, CNET magazine says if you use 3 gigs of data or less, a standard plan will now cost you less.
CNET says Verizon, like other companies, really wants unlimited plans to go away because when they launched them almost 10 years ago, no one imagined we'd be watching movies on devices like the smartphone or tablet.
So, check your phone bill and see where you can save. That way, you don't waste your money.