Earlier this year, Verizon decided to do away with unlimited data in a big way, and changed their plans over to “Share Everything.” As you can guess from the title, it’s all about sharing now. You get a monthly bucket of data to pull from each month, between up to ten devices on your plan, and an unlimited amount of text and voice minutes. I wrote about how the new plans were a good option for families who didn’t need unlimited data, and would rather save a little bit of money each month, back in June, and that belief hasn’t changed all that much.

I did have a few roadblocks come up, with bill errors and things like that, but they were effectively fixed in time, so I can’t complain too much.

Since then, though, AT&T followed suit and enacted their own data bucket for their plans. The prices are somewhat different than Verizon’s, but in the end if you were already an AT&T customer, switching to their Mobile Share plans saves a bit of money if you fit into the right parameters. They aren’t for everyone, much like anything isn’t in some way or another, but unfortunately we don’t get much of a choice if we want to stick to those particular carriers.

Of course, there are other carriers, and it is obvious pre-paid is having a bit more of an impact in the United States with better phone options. (Plus, Sprint apparently really likes pre-paid options.) Both Sprint and T-Mobile are still boasting about their huge networks, and their unlimited data, so that’s something to consider. If you live in an area where you get exceptional service from all four of the major carriers, then it’s obvious that you’ve got choice.

Or maybe you’ve got a regional carrier there to support you. Now that our smartphones are becoming more common place, their presence on the smaller networks isn’t something so out of the ordinary. Even the US Cellular-branded Samsung Galaxy Note II received a pretty huge update recently, which would have been unheard of just a couple of years ago.

For me, paying for a monthly cell phone bill has to come down to phones and service. I have to have enough service to get what I need to get done in the places that I frequent most often. Where I live, that means that both Sprint and T-Mobile are options, but only technically. The latter, especially, has removed their brick-and-mortar locations, both first- and third-party shops, because the service isn’t great. In our “tri-city” area, we only have one Sprint store, too. So, that should put that in perspective.

Customer service plays a role, too. I don’t put much stock into those reports that suggest one company is better than another, because I can say that I’ve had both good and terrible scenarios with every carrier I’ve ever been with. Each situation is different, and each representative you talk to is going to be different. Sure, it’s not the perfect situation, but that’s just the way it is. Unfortunately, you can’t really find out about customer service until you start paying into the service, so it’s a tricky situation if you’re constantly finding yourself at the receiving end of brutal customer service calls.

As it stands right now, I can say that I’m pretty happy with the new monthly plan options from both Verizon and AT&T. No, they aren’t perfect, but not much is. They aren’t terrible, either, and that stands for a lot more. I’m saving a bit of money each month, and that, too, works to make me have a smile on my face when the time comes for paying bills rolls around.

Now that we’re a few months into the big billing and data allowance changes from AT&T and Verizon, I want to hear from you, Dear Reader. How do you like the new changes? Are you currently saving money with AT&T, or Verizon? Or did the plan changes make you pay more each month? Did you leave one of the two carriers to go somewhere else because of the plan alterations? Let me know!

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