Verizon communications Inc.
raises the prices of some older cell phone plans and adds $2 per phone to monthly charges for customers who don’t switch to the company’s latest offering.
The company began notifying affected customers of the rate increase last week, and a spokesperson said the higher price reflects “the added cost of maintaining these legacy plans.” The company, whose consumer unit has more than 90 million postpaid devices connected to its network, declined to say how many customers are affected.
Verizon is looking to revive growth in its consumer unit, its largest segment, which last year struggled to maintain its core subscriber base amid competition from rivals AT&T Inc.
and T-Mobile US Inc.
Last week, Verizon shook up its leadership, announcing the departure of its chief of finance and appointing the former head of its business unit to head of consumer division.
In an interview last week, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said the company could be more surgical on pricing, increasing promotions for some offerings while potentially raising prices and offering more services for other plans. . “I have to meet the customers where they are with the right offer,” he said.
The latest price increase, which goes into effect on April 10, does not apply to currently available unlimited plans. The increase applies to unlimited postpaid wireless plans from seven years ago, including the Beyond Unlimited and Go Unlimited plans, adding the monthly cost of $2 for each phone line in the plan, the company said. So a customer with four phones in their plan would get an $8 monthly increase. Tablets, smartwatches and other devices are not affected.
Verizon said customers can avoid the rate hike by switching to a currently offered unlimited plan.
AT&T similarly increased the cost of its older wireless plans last summer by up to $6 for single lines and $12 for family plans, and encouraged subscribers to take newer unlimited data plans. Verizon also raised some prices last summer, including for the plans currently offered.
US households are facing inflationary pressures this year. The consumer price index rose by 6.4% in January compared to a year earlier. Despite some plan increases, cell phone bills haven’t increased as much as other expenses for Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of wireless telephony increased 1.4% in January from a year earlier.
Write to Will Feuer at [email protected]
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Appeared in the March 7, 2023 print edition as “Verizon Raises Pricing for Older Phone Plans.”