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Verizon Backtracks Slightly In Plan To Kick Customers Off Network (arstechnica.com) 52

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Verizon Wireless is giving a reprieve to some rural customers who are scheduled to be booted off their service plans, but only in cases when customers have no other options for cellular service. Verizon recently notified 8,500 customers in 13 states that they will be disconnected on October 17 because they used roaming data on another network. But these customers weren't doing anything wrong -- they are being served by rural networks that were set up for the purpose of extending Verizon's reach into rural areas. Today, Verizon said it is extending the deadline to switch providers to December 1. The company is also letting some customers stay on the network -- although they must switch to a new service plan. "If there is no alternative provider in your area, you can switch to the S (2GB), M (4GB), 5GB single-line, or L (8GB) Verizon plan, but you must do so by December 1," Verizon said in a statement released today. These plans range from $35 to $70 a month, plus $20 "line fees" for each line. The 8,500 customers who received disconnection letters have a total of 19,000 lines. Verizon sells unlimited plans in most of the country but said only those limited options would be available to these customers. Verizon also reiterated its promise that first responders will be able to keep their Verizon service even though some public safety officials received disconnection notices. "We have become aware of a very small number of affected customers who may be using their personal phones in their roles as first responders and another small group who may not have another option for wireless service," Verizon said. "After listening to these folks, we are committed to resolving these issues in the best interest of the customers and their communities. We're committed to ensuring first responders in these areas keep their Verizon service."
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Verizon Backtracks Slightly In Plan To Kick Customers Off Network

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  • Verizon is skimming the cream, they're cherry picking, they're looting and pillaging.

    Time the government does the same to Verizon by taking away Verizon's bandwidth or increasing the price by 10x. I'm sure Verizon's competitors would love to have this... As a consumer who's watched Verizon pillage for years I would love to see this happen to Verizon.

    • Should T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint also have their spectrum taken away because they kick people off for roaming too much?

      • by pubwvj ( 1045960 )

        Sure!

        Or break them up. Perhaps you're too young to remember the song about AT&T's breakup...

        • I'm old enough to remember that while expensive and stagnant, AT&T's wireline network was rock-solid. There were positive and negative aspects of the Modification of Final Judgement, which we could argue all night, but this is a little different. There are still 3 competitors for cellular service nationwide, and these rural users also have a local carrier to choose from in most cases.

          I don't think breaking up the cell carriers does anyone any favors. Do you want to return to the days of driving to the n

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by msauve ( 701917 )
      These customers aren't using Verizon's spectrum, they're roaming, which means they could have a direct plan with the local provider. Instead, they're taking abusive advantage of a VZW plan to get cheaper service when their primary use isn't within VZW's coverage.

      It's the users who are "looting and pillaging."
      • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday September 22, 2017 @08:13PM (#55248277) Homepage Journal

        How are the users looting and pillaging when Verizon access was advertised and is now being pulled away?

        Try using some common fucking sense. Verizon never owned those towers yet they advertised coverage.

        Jesus Christ. It's like the vanguard of /. is losing their fucking brains or have been paid off by companies to be apologetic shills.

        • Companies can't be held to something they advertised decades ago; there's limits. If Verizon has honored their contracts, then they're free to refuse service to these people. They're under no obligation to keep providing them service forever.

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          What's your point? The VZW contract, reasonably, lets either party cancel. Use some fucking common sense and realize that either party can back out if they're not getting a good deal.
    • Fuck that. I say let Verizon kick these idiots off and maintain their profits. If these people want service, they can buy it from the local carrier and pay high per-GB charges for it.

      What you're talking about is government regulation, and that's absolutely the wrong thing here. The people who are affected by this are rural: they all vote for the GOP, the party which is steadfastly against regulation. These same people, I'm sure, have used a bunch of that bandwidth to write idiotic conservative messages

  • It's not backtracking, it's damage control.
  • I'm Rural (Score:5, Informative)

    by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Friday September 22, 2017 @07:07PM (#55247979)
    I'm rural and I'm in the same boat many people are in. I can't get cable - it ends about 1 mile away from me. I can't get DSL - it ends 3 miles away from me. I can't get Satellite, because hills and trees block the southern horizon. Sprint barely works - we get sub megabit speeds. AT&T works intermittently, with constant voice drop outs. Verizon works - and we get 30 megabits over LTE. But we are limited to our 'unlimited' 15 GB before our speeds are cut to 600kb. The one 'broadband' company near us has an F rating at the better business bureau and is getting sued by the government for misappropriating and stealing grants meant to improve service.

    Verizon is our only internet option. I pay over $200 a month for 3 'unlimited' lines. Every month we have to rotate through phones until we use them up.

    High speed internet has become a necessity for modern life. Schools in my area *expect* the kids to have high speed access. Their books are on line, as are all their instructional videos for experiments and other homework. Sheduling for after-school activies is ALL done through email, remind, and mass-text.

    Our government has failed us. More specifically, the FCC. The continue to ignore local monopolies and stand by while companies like Verizon shut down local internet shops and municipal broad band through lawsuits. I'm tired of it, but there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Oh, I've called my congressmen and senators. I've commented during the FTC review period - which they ignore in its entirety.

    Ajit Pai is the biggest stinking pile of shit to ever work in our government.
    • Ajit Pai is truly a stinking pile of shit, but if you think he's the biggest stinking pile of shit to work in our government, then you clearly haven't been paying attention.

    • And who do you vote for in the elections? I don't know about you specifically, but all your neighbors vote overwhemingly for the GOP, and one of the biggest parts of the GOP platform is "small government", which means as little regulation as possible, and they've been big-business friendly as long as I've been alive. So maybe you're an exception, but collectively, you rural dwellers are getting exactly what you voted for.

      Our government has failed us. More specifically, the FCC. ... Ajit Pai is the biggest

      • by Puls4r ( 724907 )
        Roll that back a bit. We didn't just suddenly 'arrive' at this point. And we've had republicans and democrats in various positions of power. Look at my post (above yours a bit) that explains exactly why I'm not gong to engage you. Especially with that rather special attitude that suggests Trump represents all republicans.

        P.S.- I didn't vote for Trump. Not that it matters, or is any of your business. But this blind political hatred that so many Americans are currently mired in is not helping the cou
    • You're rural and you can't get broadband you say? Next you'll tell me that there's no Chinese Restaurants within walking distance, and you have to drive 30 minutes just to go to a movie theater.

      Maybe the problem is that people are being encouraged to live in the middle of nowhere, where it's prohibitively expensive to provide service at the same level as could be offered in a city. I wonder how many people who live rurally actually need to live there, for their job; and how many of those people actually

  • (Yeah I know this is roaming, not sure how much of below applies. I still suspect more than I think.)

    I'm on the old (the OLD) unlimited employee plan. I pay $75.odd final for a single line and have downloaded 96GB this month, slightly higher than usual. I hear they kill anybody at over100 so I'm leaving the remainder alone until the end of the cycle (days)

    Instead, these people should watch all of go90 (free bandwidth) and use Stream Pass (a Free Sports Package for go90 That Includes Free NBA League P
  • If cellular bandwidth is so limited in these rural areas, why not just throttle customers after a certain amount of usage, or apply QoS during periods of heavy usage on the tower? You would think Verizon would be able to figure out a solution that doesn't involve kicking off paying customers.

  • ... Verizon's problem here. They sell a plan to a customer who ventures outside their service area. And when outside, this customer must pay some third party provider for service. Verizon isn't making any money off these charges*. But then they aren't providing service either. If that revenue was worth chasing, then they'd build towers.

    *It's not like customers are getting a great deal here. Roaming charges aren't cheap and I'm sure most customers would rather get Verizon native service.

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