Verizon cuts off 8,500 rural subscribers across thirteen states

Verizon cuts off 8,500 rural subscribers across thirteen states

Why it matters to you

Verizon’s decision to cut off 8,500 customers could mean that many lose cell service altogether.

Verizon may be touting its position as the best network in America, but not all Americans can take advantage of this positioning. The wireless carrier has now confirmed that it has disconnected 8,500 customers in rural parts of the country because they were using too much data. So really, folks who need Verizon and its networks the most are now being cut off.

“Approximately 8,500 customers – using a variety of plans – were notified this month that we would no longer be their service provider after October 17, 2017,” Verizon director of corporate communications Kelly Crummey said. “These customers live in 13 states (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin) and in areas outside of where Verizon operates our own network.”

Rumors first began to circulate a few months ago regarding Verizon’s contentious decision to remove customers who were “using too much data,” but at the time, the company noted that only a “small group” of subscribers would be affected, and that the decision was based on expired contracts. But apparently, that wasn’t entirely true.

Local media in parts of Montana and Maine first noted that thousands of local residents were suddenly without service. Many of those who were removed from Verizon’s dockets were paying for the Unlimited data plan, but due to their rural location, were depending largely upon roaming data. Verizon has since confirmed that disconnections applied to both Unlimited and other customers.

The problem, Verizon explained, is that it’s very expensive for the company to pay for their customers’ roaming fees. “Many of the affected consumer lines use a substantial amount of data while roaming on other providers’ networks and the roaming costs generated by these lines exceed what these consumers pay us each month,” Crummey said. But now, customers are being left high and dry. Verizon has notified customers that they either have to switch carriers or lose their numbers by mid-October.

Needless to say, consumers aren’t happy about the decision, especially because Verizon is often the only option in these more remote areas. But Verizon has defended its decision, with Crummey noting, “We are absolutely not abandoning rural customers. Many current customers in this area have lines which do not rack up roaming charges that are higher than what they pay us each month. People who live within the area where Verizon operates its own network are not impacted. Neither are businesses or government accounts which we serve.”

Published at Mon, 18 Sep 2017 01:04:40 +0000

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