Verizon is about to shake up its wireless plans.
An image from a Verizon test site spotted by The Consumerist has the nation's largest wireless carrier offering a rollover-like feature that allows customers to take unused data with them to the following month. There's also a "safety mode" that removes overage fees, and some customers will get more access to their plans while in Canada and Mexico.
A Verizon spokeswoman declined to comment on the image or the changes, only noting, "We're going to have some fireworks next week -- stay tuned."
It's no coincidence that Verizon may be targeting these three areas; rivals AT&T and T-Mobile have rolled out some or all of these features over the last year. The move underscores the competitive environment that even market leader Verizon faces, which has yielded better deals and more perks for consumers.
Verizon calls its rollover plan "Carryover Data," which according to the image will be available to all customers. It's similar to AT&T's Rollover plan and T-Mobile's Data Stash program (AT&T owns the rights to the term "rollover," which is why T-Mobile uses a different name), which were both announced within a month of each other starting in December 2014.
This marks a reversal of Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo's comments from last year that it wouldn't offer a rollover plan of its own. "We're a leader, not a follower," he said in an interview in January, just weeks after AT&T introduced its data rollover plan.
"Safety mode" eliminates the prospect of an overage fee, and reduces the speed of the service until the end of the month. It's similar to plans offered by T-Mobile and Sprint, which have previously been touted as "unlimited plans." It will be a free option to anyone with an XL plan, which offers 12 gigabytes of data for $80 a month, or an XXL plan, which offers 18GB for $100 a month. Customers with smaller plans can pay $5 extra to access "safety mode."
Likewise, customers on XL or XXL plans will get unlimited calls from the US to Mexico and Canada. They'll also be able to take the talk, text message and data allowance on their plans and use them while in those two countries at no extra charge. Customers with lower plans can pay an additional fee to access this benefit, but it's unclear what the fee is.
Both AT&T and T-Mobile offer similar features for their customers.