I had Verizon but switched at the end of the 2 year contract. From the very beginning I noticed that every 2 or 3 months, my phone bill was increasing. The increase was never in the same place. If you have a calling plan and never exceed that plan then there should be no reason for your bill to increase. By the end of 8 months, my bill had already increased 2.00. Now that doesn't sound like much but when you multiply that by the number of customers then it is a lot. Verizon may have a better network but that doesn't give them the right to steal.
I resubscribed with Verizon last week. Before that I spent 2 hours on CNET's cell phone web pages. Here are some things that I learned that you should know:
Lose your cell phone and pay full retail for it, unless you pay $6/month insurance (ripoff!). I just bought a Moto E815 (no review found on CNET) after rebates, etc. it cost me $30. To replace it would cost $300!
Another cell phone company scam is if you need to replace your phone, you have to buy a phone made specifically for that company--sounds anti-competitive to me.
When my wife and I joined Verizon 2 years ago, they told us that every 2 years they'll give us a $100 off a new phone. Last week I asked about this and they said, it only applies to one of our phones eventhough I could swear that they said it applied to both phones.
If your old phone works well, keep it and don't get stuck in another 2 year contract. Perhaps just changing the battery will keep it running well.
Also, other than saving $100 off a new phone and submitting to 2 more years of cell slavery, we got no other benefits, not even a better calling plan.
One of the reasons I was interested in getting a new phone is that my old cell phone (a Verizon model) had crappy voice mail notification. Often there were long delays in being notified of received voice mails. The Verizon guy told me that the ''voice mail provider'' (who ever the hell that is!) is at fault.
So far I like my Moto E815 and the voice mail notification works well.