Yesterday, Verizon announced new prepaid phone plans with lower prices — but thanks to some clever shuffling of plan discounts, they’re not actually getting any cheaper. While the published prices on its unlimited and 15GB prepaid plans are indeed $5 lower, the company will no longer let you apply autopay and loyalty discounts — meaning the lowest price on each plan stays exactly the same.
Here’s how it adds up: the “standard” price on Verizon’s top-tier prepaid plan, Unlimited Plus, is now $70 per month, reduced from $75. After the first month, you can apply a $10 / month autopay discount to bring that cost down to $60.
Previously, the autopay discount kicked in after two months, and it was just $5. But on top of that, you could add a loyalty discount — up to an extra $10 per month after 10 months. That meant you could take an extra $15 off your $75 bill, bringing the price down to… yep, $60, same as today.
Verizon still offers a $10 loyalty discount for its prepaid plans — it’s $5 after three months and an extra $5 after nine months — but you can no longer combine it with the autopay discount. Verizon gets to have its cake and eat it, too: the company can say it lowered prices, but the lowest possible price on each plan remains the same. Oh, wireless carriers. Never change.
Verizon gets to have its cake and eat it, too
On the bright side, all of the new plans now include calls, text, and data to and from Mexico and Canada. Previously, only the unlimited plans included use of those services in Mexico and Canada — less expensive plans only included calls and texts sent from the US to those countries. In any case, this serves as a great reminder to read the fine print whenever a company says something is getting cheaper — chances are, there’s some clever shuffling going on.