Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

Verizon Just Made Things Worse

Print comment Post Comments

As airlines and cell phone providers continue their race to see who could screw over their customers more, Verizon (VZ) just pulled the equivalent to putting coach seats in First Class.

Executive Vice President and CFO Fran Shammo announced that the provider will no longer be granting customers unlimited data when they upgrade to a 4G LTE smartphone -- even if they were grandfathered in. Although the carrier allowed loyal and dedicated customers the "privilege" to experience the full web -- with all its streaming and increasing file sizes -- uninhibited and without worry of data caps or penalty fees, that will all end this summer.

Executive Vice President and CFO Fran Shammo broke the great news this week.

"LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world," Shammo said. "So when you think about our 3G base -- a lot of our 3G base is unlimited -- as they start to migrate into 4G, they will have to come off of unlimited and go into the data share plan, and that's beneficial for us for many reasons, obviously."

Obviously, Fran. Tiered data plans are clearly to the benefit of the carriers' bottom line. AT&T (T) ditched unlimited plans for new customers first -- once iPhone (AAPL) users began taxing its infrastructure. T-Mobile still has unlimited plans, however the provider throttles customers by a certain limit. Sprint (S) is the lone major carrier in the States that still provides unlimited data, but its service leaves much to be desired.

As you can see, at no point is this shrinking smartphone landscape beneficial to the end user.

But in recent months, Verizon has been particularly egregious in putting its customers last -- namely killing a useful app for Android (GOOG) users before it even got a chance to take off, defending its practice of locking bootloaders on Android devices "for the customers own good," and playing a substantial role in delaying the rollout of Android's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich.

And once it finally kills off unlimited data plans for all its customers, it'll be a few dropped calls away from stealing the "Worst Carrier in America" crown from AT&T.

(See also: Apple Boldly Proclaims Nokia Lumia 900 'Best Smartphone Ever' and AT&T Falsely 'Upgrades' iPhone 4S to 4G)

Twitter: @mcs212

For an investment angle on these and many more tech stocks, take a FREE trial to the TechStrat Report by Sean Udall.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.