Verizon's new Share Everything plans make sense and save money

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: June 12, 2012

I don’t know anyone personally who doesn’t like to save money, in some fashion or another. I know people who like to save a lot of money every month, and others who just pick a “small” amount and make sure that it’s tucked away with every new paycheck. That’s one way to save money. The other way is to reduce costs every month. Unfortunately, post-paid cell phone plans haven’t been notorious for saving money. In an announcement earlier today, though, Verizon could be changing that viewpoint for the better.

Shared plans. Up until now, or more specifically the 28th of June, a family plan was still a very separated situation. The voice minutes were shared, but when it came to data and messaging, there were “extra” charges per device. The benefit for those separate charges, though, was that your specific device got all the love.

These “separate-but-shared” plans were the norm, so change is always a little hard to accept.

Twitter was aflutter this morning after the announcement. It was pretty easy to find the dividing line: some thought the plans were terrible, and others couldn’t wait to switch. The usual situation, to be honest. You can’t make everyone happy, remember. But, there are a few things to consider here.

Let’s start with the individual subscriber. We’re going to use some prerequisite features: unlimited data, unlimited messaging, and 2GB of data. (We are going to leave out mobile hotspot, because that’s a bonus in my eyes.) Now, for the individual subscriber, you’re looking at $69.99 per month for unlimited minutes, with $20 per month for unlimited messaging. And, finally, $30 per month for 2GB of data. In total, that brings up the monthly bill to $119.99 per month before taxes.

On the new Shared Everything plan, the individual subscriber would pay $40 a month for a smartphone, and then $60 per month for unlimited messaging, unlimited voice minutes, and a monthly allotment of 2GB of data per month. That brings the total per month for the individual on the new plan to $100 before taxes.

It would stand to reason that saving $20 per month would be worth it, especially considering there wouldn’t be another person taking data out of the 2GB per month bucket.

Now, let’s analyze the two-line family plan. We’re still using the same parameters as above, mind you. So, starting with unlimited minutes, that’s $119.98 per month. (Noteworthy: it’s $49.99 for each additional line after the second.) It’s $30 per month, per device for unlimited messaging. And then, it’s $30 per line for 2GB of data, which is sequestered to the individual line. In total, that would bring the monthly bill to $239.98.

With the Shared Everything plan, with two lines, and the same parameters as aforementioned, here’s how it breaks down: $40 per smartphone, for two devices, and $60 for unlimited messaging and voice minutes, and a monthly allotment of 2GB in a bucket, shared between the devices. That brings up the monthly total in the new plan to $140.

There’s obviously a huge difference there, and for anyone who actively wants to save money, this seems like it should speak volumes. Yes, there are subtle differences for every person. Not everyone wants unlimited minutes, so they may be using another plan that includes only 450 minutes, or 700. And there are still grandfathered plans out there.

But Verizon is going to start pushing these new Shared Everything plans beginning June 28th, and that will be the norm moving forward. While it’s a scary thing to let change into our lives, it would seem that these new plans are at least trying to save us some money each month.

That bucket is a scary thing, though, isn’t it?