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Verizon and AT&T are charging a new fee to customers on older unlimited plans


A new monthly charge might be coming your way if you aren’t on one of Verizon or AT&T’s newest plans.

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Verizon would very much like you to switch to its new Unlimited Welcome plan.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The carriers are at it again: Verizon and AT&T are both notifying customers on older unlimited plans to expect a new fee on their bill soon. Customers on Verizon’s 5G Start and AT&T’s Unlimited Elite plans are affected, and the fees go into effect in August. It’s a classic move from the “wireless carrier shenanigans” playbook designed to push customers to newer, more profitable plans.

Verizon customers on Reddit and Twitter report that the company has just sent notice of a new monthly “Plan Rate Adjustment” charge of $3 per line. Older plans are affected, including 5G Start, which Verizon introduced as Start Unlimited four years ago and costs $70 per month for a single line. Verizon would very much like customers on that legacy plan to switch to its new Unlimited Welcome, which starts at $60 per month but doesn’t include mobile hotspot data like Start Unlimited — you’ll need to add that on for an extra $10 per month.

As spotted by CNET, AT&T’s rate adjustment hits customers on the older Unlimited Elite plan and will cost them an extra $2.50 per month. The legacy plan was previously AT&T’s top-tier unlimited plan and costs $85 per month for one line of service. It’s all detailed in a support page on AT&T’s website, which says that the fee is being applied so the company can “continue to deliver the great wireless service you expect.”

AT&T spokesperson Lesley Roberts further added that impacted customers were notified in June, and “We want our customers to know they have options, and should they choose to make a change, we offer other rate plans that may provide different features that better suit their needs, including getting more mobile hotspot data for the same price.” The new Unlimited Premium plan includes 50GB of hotspot data for $85 per month versus the prior 40GB, but there’s a catch: you’ll lose the free Max subscription if you switch.

So that, my friends, is how they get you: they charge an extra fee to stay on your old plan without actually raising the rate of the old plan. It’s a shame we still don’t have that fourth wireless carrier to switch to — it would really come in handy right now.

Update July 28th 1:20PM ET: Updated to include a statement from AT&T regarding the new fee.


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