Multiple promotions and discounts are stacking on top of each other. This has been baffling for some consumers. A price calculator on Verizon’s website that fails to take some of the promotions into account has contributed to the confusion.
To sort things out, I’m going to run through the promotions and discounts one by one.
For about a year, Verizon has been running a double data promotion. The prepaid plans regular allotments of data have been doubled at no extra charge:
- The usual 500MB plan become a 1GB plan
- The usual 3GB plan became a 6GB plan
- The usual 8GB plan became a 16GB plan
Auto Pay discount
Customers who sign up for Auto Pay can get a $5 per month discount. This discount is only available (a) after the first month of service and (b) on lines of service with base prices of at least $40 per month.
On multi-line plans, Verizon offers discounts on added lines. These discounts do not apply to the first line on a plan. The size of the discount depends on the data allotment subscribers opt for:
- 1GB: No discount
- 6GB: $10 per month discount
- 16GB: $15 per month discount
- Unlimited: $20 per month discount
$10 off first line
A recent, online-only promotion offers $10 per month off the first line of service on either a 16GB or unlimited plan. This discount only applies after the first month of service.
A single-line on the 16GB plan has a base price of $50. In the first month, no discounts apply. After the first month, the $5 Auto Pay discount and the $10 discount on the first line of service come into effect. As a result, the ongoing price (before taxes and fees) comes out to $35 per month.
Two-lines of service on the 16GB plan would cost $85 in the first month ($50 for the first line and $35 for the second line thanks to a $15 multi-line discount). After the first month, the ongoing rate would fall to $65 per month (the $10 discount on the first line would kick in along with two $5 Auto Pay discounts).
$35 for a single-line with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 16GB of data on Verizon’s extensive network is a great deal. If Verizon wants to make its prepaid plans easier for consumers to understand, I see a few steps it could take:
- Fix the price calculator to include a $10 discount on the first line of service if a 16GB or unlimited plan is selected.
- Keep the current pricing and data allotments but drop all the complexity of double data. Forget having a 3GB plan that actually comes with a 6GB data allotment. Just call that a 6GB plan.
- Let the Auto Pay discount kick in for the first month if customers set it up Auto Pay immediately.