Testing Verizon’s grandfathered “unlimited data” policy

verizonfailI’ve always felt that one of the most fortunate moments of my being a Verizon cell phone customer was when, at one moment in time, they offered an unlimited data package for those of us who were longtime Verizon customers and were no longer on two-year contracts.  I was grandfathered into the plan, and was immediately notified that, yes indeed, I would be locked into the unlimited data plan, so long as I purchased my cell phone outright, and that I didn’t enter into a new contract of any sort.

Woo hoo.

And for the past five years, I’ve heard rumors about Verizon trying everything to convince those who were fortunate enough to have the unlimited data package to give it up for the promise of lower rates – only to discover that the rates will skyrocket based on data limits in new contracts.  No no, not me.  I’m staying with the unlimited data plan, thank you very much.

So now I’ve got this big beautiful BlackBerry PRIV cell phone, and yesterday I was watching the Discovery Channel when I saw they were offering a cell phone app called Discovery GO.  No, you’re not walking around the neighborhood, using your cell phone to find and capture the F/V Northwestern or the latest Gas Monkey Garage restoration.  The Discovery GO channel actually allows you to watch your favorite Discovery Channel shows on your cell phone.  Okay.  Downloaded.  Installed.

And while I was downloading it, I discovered that there’s also a channel for the Investigation Discovery channel, called ID GO.  No, you’re not walking around the neighborhood, using your cell phone to try and capture Lt. Joe Kenda.  My, my, my…  No, the ID GO channel also allows you to watch your favorite Investigation Discovery channel shows, which for me include programs with such low-key titles as Scorned: Love Kills, Wives With Knives, Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, and Deadly Women (which for some reason has a fascination with Albany-based murder cases).

Yesterday, I tested the online apps out.  I watched the premiere episode of Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove (really intense show) and two episodes of Scorned: Love Kills.  That’s three hours of broadcast, plus maybe half an hour of commercials.

This morning, my BlackBerry PRIV notified me that I may have exceeded what it perceived as a data cap.  Now before anyone panics, this was the phone itself having an arbitrary data cap warning, which is not out of the ordinary.

So with about two weeks left in my billing cycle, if I didn’t have that unlimited data plan, I’d be freaking out at the possibility of seeing a phone bill with a ginormous AMOUNT DUE notice.

Still, it does give me a bit of pause.  What if I didn’t have the unlimited data plan?  I could get screwed by watching three hour-long dramas and suddenly I’m in an overage situation?

Urgh.

Trust me.  I know full well that big business will try ANYTHING to squeeze money out of Joe Consumer.  You know how all those “As Seen on TV” shows make extra profits on their mail-order products?  Watch as each one of them says, “And we’ll send you an additional whatchamadingle free! Just pay separate shipping and handling.”  Yeah, that separate “shipping and handling” is just straight sugar profit for those companies.  Nice trick.  Sneaky sunovas.

It’s the same thing where Time Warner Cable promises a low entry subscription for their cable service, only to trap you into higher rates one year later.  Companies do this.  It’s as common as sunrises.

So yeah, I’m holding on to this unlimited data plan for as long as ever.  For as long as I can.

And maybe if I can find the right app for this…

I wonder if I can download Netflix for this phone.

Can I get through an entire season of one of the Marvel shows before my BlackBerry’s battery dies out?

Now that would be a different type of “data cap,” wouldn’t it?