You have a smartphone. Do you really NEED a data plan? Maybe not so much.

I have been battling with Verizon regarding the activation of a used Motorola Droid 2 Global.

Earlier last year, a customer service rep mislead me to believe that I was going to be able to get the unlimited data plan as I had it already.

This was based on the mistaken assumption that I was a Verizon Wireless customer as I have had service with them for over ten years.

It turns out that from their point of view I have been five Verizon Wireless customers with a single billing account for that same period of time.

I have been told that in order t activate the Droid, I must commit to purchasing their 2GB a month data plan for $30.

The Droid 2 can operate in WiFi only mode. In that mode of operation, it, the Droid, from a technological standpoint, requires no data plan.

Sadly, Verizon has programmed their customer service software and their self-service web-based software in such a way as to prevent being able to activate a ‘smartphone’ without purchasing, as a minimum, their $30 a month plan.

I have pointed out to several Verizon customer service representatives that that is a programming error which is most likely easily fixed. I have offered my services to help them correct the error. They have politely declined.

They did ask me about the bug I pointed out on their account analysis page with grossly understates the data usage leading one to believe that one might be safely below the 2 GB cap when one could alreay be at or over.

After a couple of weeks, it’s still there. Check your data usage from the analysis page against your bill, if it’s incorrect, ask them about it. That’s what they’re there for.

There’s also the issue that data accumulated while roaming may not show up until next month which could push you over even is you checked your usage.

They have, instead, after much badgering, admitted that, even though there is no technological reason to require a data plan as the device will operate quite nicely without it, that Verizon has made a business decision to require at least the $30 a month plan as a minimum, even though the device would work without it.

To further add insult to injury, my company has a deal with Verizon where employees are given a discount on services. The unlimited plan on three of my existing lines, already cheaper at $29.99, is discountable but the $30 plan is not.

The item below is a 1 TB hard drive. At OfficeMax, today Mar 1, 2012, it is selling for $85.00.

Hitachi – Touro Desk Pro USB 3.0 Cloud 1TB External Black Hard Drive

Avg. Customer Rating:

Your Price: $85.00

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Ships in: 1 to 3 days Item #: 23016406 Manufacturer #: 0S03236
The stackable Touro Desk Pro external drive provides superb ease of use, two levels of protection and 3GB of cloud storage. Enjoy two levels of data protection, with both local and cloud backup, to help keep your photos, movies, music and documents not only safe but available anytime, anywhere, from any smartphone or computer web browser.

For the sake of argument and simplification, let’s say that 1 TB (terabyte)  is 1,000 GB (gigabytes). At a selling price of $85.00 that works out to $0.085 per GB, eight and a half cents.

Were you to load the disk to capacity using Verizon’s $30 plan, assuming that you never exceeded your limit of 2GB per month, it would cost $15,000 and take 41.6 years.

What a bargain.

The data contained on a single layer DVD, would cost over $60 and take over two months. A Blu-Ray disk (25 GB) would cost $375 and take over a year.

The bottom line is 2GB is not a lot of data.

The standard line I have heard is that most users use less than 2 Gb a month so what’s the big deal.

I was told today by a Verizon rep that they are expecting a bandwidth crunch within the next couple of years, which leads me to believe that they expect everyone to be using much more data as time goes by.

Sounds billable to me.

Just in case you think that new ways to use data aren’t being invented even as we speak, check this article. That will come out  of your 2 Gb.

This from the same people who wanted to charge you an extra $2 to pay them if you didn’t do it their way. Although I was told by them that they had provided other methods to pay them so, again, what’s the big deal.

Verizon’s advice regarding the data cap is to use WiFi whenever possible. This is actually sound advice. There isn’t anything that anyone seems aware of that would actually require you to use Verizon’s network in order to operate the phone provided, of course, that you had access to WiFi.

If you have an internet connection at home but don’t have wireless, you could add a WiFi router for $40 or $50.

You could then set your phone to use that as its primary means of data usage.

You could turn the wireless data function off and maybe even save $30 a month if you could live with only being able to web surf when you had WiFi, but Verizon says “no”.

As far as getting WiFi when you’re out and about, this site and others like it will tell you where to go.

Verizon has made an effort to imply that smartphones need data plans.

The devices do not.

Verizon needs your $30 therefore you have to buy a data plan in order to make phone calls with your smartphone, otherwise you’re the proud owner of an MP3 player/PDA with a dead phone living inside it.

I was told that since, no one but me is complaining, there’s nothing to be done.

They said that if more people complained maybe Verizon would respond.

The $2 check fee vanished fairly fast.

If you don’t need to keep up with Snookie, LiLo and Paris Hilton 24/7 and could do better things with $360 a year, ask Verizon to explain why they won’t let you use your phone without the extra $30 a month.

I’m not trying to get something for nothing here, I’m just trying to get nothing for nothing and help alleviate the impending bandwidth crunch.

Please, let me help you Verizon.

Keep your data.

I can get some elsewhere.

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