A two-person family plan with 700 anytime minutes and 2GB of data per person costs $129.99 ($69.99 + $30 + $30) under the current system, but under Share Everything, a family with two smart phones and 4GB of shared data will pay $150. If the family can live with just 2GB shared, that price gets $10 cheaper.
We should mention that the current plan rates we’ve just quoted do not include texting plans. Under Verizon’s current rate plans, you can either pay $10 for 1,000 messages, $20 to $30 for unlimited texts ($30 is for family plan members) or pay-as-you-go with $0.20 per text and $0.25 per SMS picture message.
The frugal solution is to forgo a text messaging plan and simply use a free app and service like Google Voice to get your texts. That can be a hassle, because it requires you to give out a separate number for SMS and you still get dinged if someone messages your primary number. But if you only receive a handful of unwanted texts a month from friends or businesses that ignore your pleas, that’s not a lot of money.
If you expect a few texts, the $10-for-1,000-texts plan still comes out cheaper than Share Everything as an individual plan with 450 minutes, 2GB of data and 1,000 texts costs $20 less than the minimum 2GB Share Everything plan ($79.99 versus $100). However, the minimum Family plan with 700 minutes, 4GB of shared data and 1,000 texts per line costs the same $150 as the equivalent Share Everything plan with two smart phones and 4GB.
Designed for a 21st-century home that has tablets, connected netbooks, and hot spots, Share Everything plans makes it easy to avoid overages by pooling all your data into one bucket, but it does not necessarily save multidevice users any money. Under the current system, an individual Verizon user with the minimum smart phone plan and a single tablet will pay $99.99 a month to get 450 minutes of voice, 2GB of phone data, and 2GB of tablet data. Under Share Everything that user would pay $40 for the phone, $10 for the tablet, and $70 for 4GB of data – a total of $120. However, with Share Everything, you would not need to worry about how much of the 4GB each device uses.