Did you recently get a letter from Verizon saying that your service will be disconnected on October 17th? If so, you’re not alone.
Verizon has confirmed that it’s disconnected 8,500 customers with 19,000 lines across 13 states. Those 13 states are Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin.
As for why these customers are being disconnected, Verizon says that they’re using a “substantial amount of data” while roaming on other carriers’ networks, which is resulting in a large amount of roaming costs. “We sent these notices in advance so customers have plenty of time to choose another wireless provider,” Verizon explained in a statement to Ars Technica.
Verizon doesn’t appear to be giving these customers any option to stick with the carrier, like if they cut down on their data usage. And if they don’t change providers by October 17th, Verizon warns that they’ll no longer be able to transfer their phone numbers to a different carrier. Verizon is at least willing to waive the remaining balances on devices financed through Verizon for affected customers.
While these affected Verizon customers are getting some notice before they’re disconnected, it’s kind of strange that Verizon isn’t giving customers a way to keep their service by using less data. Interestingly, one Verizon subscriber that got a disconnection letter says that they’ve never used more than 50GB of data across four lines. When asked about this, Verizon said “Many current customers in these areas have lines which do not rack up roaming charges that are higher than what they pay us each month and are not impacted.”
A report from Bangor Daily News explains that three years ago, a Portland, Maine, company named Wireless Partners was one of 20 companies chosen by Verizon to expand service in rural areas. Wireless Partners built 13 new towers in Washington County in Maine.
Verizon then started offering unlimited data plans to customers in these areas, but now that it’s realized the roaming price tag is more than it anticipated, it’s pulling out of its rural service agreements. Wireless Partners says that it’s working to convince Verizon to rethink the decision.
Have you or someone you know received one of these disconnection notices form Verizon?