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Verizon claims you don't need an unlimited data plan (T-Mobile laughs)

Commentary: A new Verizon ad tries to convince customers that data limits are entirely sensible and cost-effective. T-Mobile CEO John Legere accuses Verizon of a midlife crisis.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


"Just look at that trapeze artist, Bill."

Verizon/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Can you ever have access to too much data?Will you store up so much that you run the risk of not using it all between now and the end of time? (Which, I'm told, is around 2021.)

Verizon would like you to believe that you really don't need so much data at all.

A new ad confidently declares: "When you're on your phone 24/7, you probably think you need an unlimited data plan."

Well, yes. I probably do. How else can I watch all those fine NFL games and YouTube videos featuring trapeze artists eating celery while dangling over the Kariba Dam?

"Actually," counters the ad, "the majority of people pay for data they never use." Two out of three use less than 5GB, claims Verizon.

Now why could this be? Is it because carriers are so astonishingly generous that their customers simply have no idea what to do with all that lovely data they've been given?

Or could it be that too many people are so worried about their data plans running out that they behave in an unnaturally conservative manner?

As far as Verizon's concerned, its new 5GB for $55 plan is exactly what you need. Presumably, the "you" referred to here is one of the 66 percent, rather than the other greedy, ungrateful 33-percenters.

Still, the ad brought an instant, prolonged reaction on Twitter from T-Mobile CEO John Legere.

"I can't stop laughing!! I knew @Verizon was going through a mid-life crisis but I didn't know it was this bad!" he tweeted.

A midlife crisis? Is that when older men grow their hair long, dress in brighter colors and swear a lot?

Legere couldn't restrain his analogy. "#ProTip @verizon, Stop trying to convince people that you're cool! You're so deep in mid-life crisis, your Miata needs an oil change!" he tweeted.

Yes, he went for the Miata joke. That really is below the fan belt.

Legere, whose company bathes in its unlimited data plans, mocked the purchases of AOL and Yahoo as typical midlife dance moves.

Then, about the ad he offered: "And can we talk about that ad?! Don't try to convince people they want something lesser, just because your network can't handle it!"

Then he asked those reading to fill out a Verizon Midlife Crisis Intervention Checklist.

Verizon declined to comment about its alleged Miata-driving.

Of course some might wonder why, if most people don't use even 5GB, Verizon doesn't just carry on offering unlimited plans?

Or is that a little too logical?

Updated 5.28 p.m. PT: To adds no comment from Verizon.

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