Happy afternoon! Today’s post is brought to you by the number zero, as in, the amount of money I will be paying to Verizon ever again. As I grow older (and marginally more self-aware), I’ve realized that what I value most is freedom and flexibility. Subsequently, some contracts feel like nooses around my neck. I love me my iphone, but my monthly bill was ridiculous – $80 (or $100, with tethering). And whenever I inevitably cracked my screen, I still had to pay out the ass, and Verizon was useless. I don’t actually have a problem with paying money for services I deem valuable (ie, wrote my financial advisor a check for a few hundred dollars today). I even had a moment of partial insanity where I contemplated buying $90 yoga pants last week. But I decided that Verizon wasn’t helping me out – they were bundling their plans in such a way that I paid for a lot of services/minutes/data that I didn’t need. So long, suckers – I now have a plan that’s $12/month, with no contract.
Several months back, a new acronym entered my vocabulary – MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). Essentially, MVNOs are companies who purchase access to network services from providers like AT&T and Verizon at wholesale rates. They then go ahead and sell this access to customers. Imagine AT&T as the furniture store in the great location, with higher costs due to overhead for real estate and employees. The MVNO is a furniture warehouse that has the exact same furniture, but a bare-bones setup. The furniture store would prefer to sell all of its furniture at the high price, but if there’s not enough demand, they’d rather sell the furniture to the warehouse store and make some profit, even though that nets less money. Enough people want to pay for the good service & experience of the furniture store that both businesses are able to co-exist despite the lower prices of the warehouse.
So I finally bit the bullet and switched to an MVNO (you can find a list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators). I’m so excited not to pay for minutes/texts I never use, and to no longer be a slave to Verizon’s two-year contracts. It’s worth noting that my new plan has very little data – I typically keep data turned off and take advantage of wifi, taking comfort that if I get lost and need googlemaps, it’s just one button away.
|Turns out I was using way fewer minutes than I had been paying for|