The Verizon 'Edge' of Deception
When a promise of big savings goes up in a puff of smoke
The world of mobile phone monthly charges is a murky place at best, with fees and data plans, talking, texting, taxes and gigabytes. It’s already confusing. But recently we received a reader complaint about Verizon’s seemingly simple $140-a-month mobile phone plan. 
We’ve been seeing similar promotions for the plan, indeed just around the corner from us at the Verizon store. So we took a stroll there to get a closer look and we found this sign:
Four lines with 10 gigs of shared data for only $140? Hey, that’s a killer deal — especially if you’re already a Verizon customer and want to upgrade your plan’s data allowance.
But the sign does not tell the whole story; namely, that in order to achieve this monthly rate for four smartphones you have to purchase four smartphones from Verizon through a 24-month financing plan.
There’s no way around it. Simply put, the so-called Verizon Edge financing plan is what gets you to the $140 per month, as it awards a $25 discount toward each smartphone’s monthly access line fee, which usually runs $40 per phone:
Want to keep your current phone or pay cash to purchase a new device? No $140 price for you. In fact, it’ll cost more than $200 for line and data access.
But even if you finance the cost of four new smartphones, and pay monthly for two years, your monthly bill won’t add up to $140. You see, that’s just for “access” to the network. The figure does not include what you have to pay monthly as part of the Verizon Edge financing plan. That separate cost is added to your bill (For example, if you finance four iPhone 6s, it would be $27.08 each, or more than $100 per month). So while Verizon promotes a savings of $100 per month, the savings are cancelled out by the cost of the financed phones.
Related story: Oh, Verizon
After a few days of trading emails with Verizon, on Friday asked spokesperson Debra Lewis why all relevant charges weren’t disclosed in its More Everything with Edge plan signage. We have yet to hear back.
For more of our coverage on mobile phones, click here


Every Professional Should Do Rural Service

This is with regard to “Good Doctors for Indian Villages” by Prof BM Hegde. Why should only doctors do rural service? Government is spending more money on engineering, particularly on IITs. After four years of engineering, some graduates fly abroad not even thinking about their country. Some engineering graduates think that it is their birthright to serve MNCs (multi-national companies).


Make a rule that every engineer should work in government offices, first. Only then can they work in the private sector. Let’s demand that every chartered accountant should work in government banks and in government audit departments. All lawyers should work in courts for one year before they are given their degrees...


Nowadays, it has become a fashion to say that doctors have social responsibilities and that they should maintain moral values, ethics, etc. A leader can take a one-rupee salary per month and maintain a Benz car. Another star can take crores of rupees for one episode. Yet, there are comments on doctors’ professional services.

Vinayak Mahajan, online comment


Rate Cut is a Political Move

This is with regard to “Fortnightly Market View: Bulls Refreshed” by Debashis Basu. Rate cuts are not a one-way street. India has more savers than borrowers. So, lower interest rates impact disposable incomes and, in turn, affect demand. Rate cuts may also cause the currency to depreciate which is a big negative for an ‘importer country’ like India. Mainstream media has perpetuated the myth that rate cut is a panacea for all, but it fails to explain why Western economies are not recovering, despite incessant rate cuts. I think, the impact of Dr Raghuram Rajan’s rate cut is more symbolic. It may also be a political move to stave off criticism and put the ball back in Arun Jaitley’s court.

Chandragupta Acharya, online comment


Comprehensive Article!

This is with regard to “Personal Accident Cover: Overcome the Limitations” by Raj Pradhan. Very comprehensive and informative. Thank you, for this detailed article.

Sunil, online comment


Second-class Buyers

This is with regard to “Are Indian Car-buyers Second Class?” by Veeresh Malik. Indian buyers are, indeed, second class in all markets. They pay more for less of everything. This is a standard established by a corrupt and unaccountable government which allows cutting corners and charging higher prices. There are many problems—in import, materials procurement, manufacturing, employment, transport, cross-border movement or sale—on every factor of production—be it money, materials, land or men.


In such a controlled market, consumer courts are drowning like the other courts and only great wealth or influence can purchase a verdict.

Suchindranath Aiyer S, online comment


Rate the Insurance Providers

This is with regard to “Health Insurance for Senior Citizens” by Raj Pradhan. MSSN Premium members should be provided with an opportunity to rate their insurance providers under the various criteria. Moneylife can use the aggregate data to produce an average rating of the insurer from 1* to 5* on an overall basis as well as on each specific evaluation criterion.

Ralph Rau, online comment


Excellently Written!

This is with regard to “Is ethical business possible in this corrupt world?” by Prof BM Hegde. A very beautifully written article. Prof Hegde’s writings are always meaningful and helpful. I never miss his column in Moneylife. Sometimes, I read his column first before turning to other stories. I liked one line in particular: “Spirituality is simply sharing and caring, living and letting others live.”

Nataraj Kailasam, online comment


Unhappy Unpaid Deppositors?

This is with regard to “Sahara: The Untold Story - Book Review” by Yogesh Sapkale. Months later, hardly any unhappy unpaid depositors have come forward to claim refunds, it seems.

Veeresh Malik, online comment


Deterrent to Black Sheep

This is with regard to “Wake Up to Your Bank Charges” by Sucheta Dalal and Yogesh Sapkale. A very insightful and well written article. It would be great if you could publish a small note regarding the best of the (worst?!) lot too. This will, hopefully, serve not only as a deterrent to the black sheep but also encourage better banks to improve their services.

Charles Carvalho, online comment


Annuity Does Not Look Good

This is with regard to “A Pension for life” by

R Balakrishnan. I surmise that annuity does not look good for people who expect returns after retirement at the age of 60 years. At the same time, one cannot expect to live for more than 40 years beyond retirement. Retirement plans of insurance companies are all alike and not attractive.

Ramesh Jaradhara, online comment


Charging Bank Customers

This is with regard to “The Pain of a Financial Consumer” by Sucheta Dalal. I notice that banks, even the State Bank of India (SBI) are adopting invidious ways of charging the customer for ATM use, for example, feeding some urban ATMs with just Rs100 notes and pegging the release at Rs3,000.


For just Rs15,000, the five-time free usage gets exhausted. Second, there are ATMs, like those in SBI Branch at Prashanthinagar (UPPAL, Hyderabad), that worked only for 50 days in a year for the past five years. Any number of customer complaints has not resulted in the change of machines that are too old to function.

Yerram Raju Behara, online comment


Am I on The Right Track?

This is with regard to “Buying Stocks: An Approach” by R Balakrishnan. I believe those of us who believe that long-term holdings in good equities are the best form of investment, irrespective of one’s age, will always have a good night’s sleep. It would be nice to have your list of 20-30 companies that one should invest in, to help me know if I am on the right track.

Jude Britto, online comment


Quality Management Needed

This is with regard to “Old Gyan about Public Sector Banks” by Sucheta Dalal. This article brings forth the issue of crony capitalism vs government oversight very clearly. A sector, like banking, has its merits and demerits of private and public. Public ownership with good oversight and quality management is perhaps only a desire. Babudom should realise this.

R Balakrishnan


Mention Scrip ID!

This is with regard to “KSE Limited: A Unique Business.” Kindly, mention the Scrip ID, Sensex information and Group category, for easy buying of shares.

Parul Aggarwal


These are basic details that can be sought through the BSE website: You could also contact your broker or financial advisor for more details on the stock or on investments in stocks in general. — Editor


Lay Reader is Confused

This is with regard to “Right Time for Debt Schemes?” by Jason Monteiro. This is too much of detail and the analysis leaves the lay reader confused. You need to state it simply in a matrix form with an X-Y scale.

Ralph Rau


Investing in debt schemes can be confusing. Even we wish we could explain it in a simple table or chart. However, all aspects of investing under different scenarios and the risks involved may not be covered. Hence, to make our analysis simple to understand and less verbose, we have used charts and tables wherever possible. — Editor


One-man Army!

This is with regard to “Fortnightly Market View: News-Driven Moves” by Debashis Basu. Narendra Modi is a one-man army. MK Gandhi, in our own recent history, was also a one-man army. As a one-man army, he ousted the mighty British. What happened after that? Once the common enemy was out of the picture, the enemy within, i.e., the corrupt politicians around him, took over (in spite of Mr Gandhi’s advice to disband the Congress). The result... once again, the country went into the grip of corrupt systems and politicians. Now, we have another Gandhi (in the form of Narendra Modi).

Radhakrishnan Subbiah


Rate cut on the cards?
On 15th January, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) surprised the market by cutting the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points (bps). Is this the start of a falling interest rate cycle? Many experts believe that RBI will continue to reduce interest rates over the next year or so. Some expect a 75bps cut by March 2016, while others are more aggressive and believe we are in for a 125bps cut. RBI would be looking at several factors, such as inflation, fiscal deficit and economic growth, while reviewing its monetary policy stance. Debt investments will perform extremely well in a cycle of declining rates. What are your debt investment options? And what should be your expected return? Turn to our Cover Story to find out.
Since July 2014, Moneylife has been writing about this software company’s failure to pay back fixed deposits. Is Helios & Matheson (H&M) another Satyam in the making? H&M is now unable to pay salaries. Sucheta first wrote about the shady dealings of H&M in 2006; but, despite complaints to every regulator, the company has remained untouched, until it has stopped paying depositors and even its employees. Read about it in Different Strokes.
With global commodity prices on the decline, is this a good time to buy commodity stocks? R Balakrishnan tells you how to look for buying opportunities in commodity stocks. 
SD Israni has highlighted the issues faced by senior citizens and how the Union Budget must remove some anomalies. Will the finance minister bring achche din for senior citizens?
While many are aware of the importance of retirement planning, they often fail to save enough. Surveys reveal that a majority of people is concerned about not having enough money for retirement. In our Earning Curve section, we highlight the pitfalls in retirement planning.On 7th February, Moneylife Foundation celebrates it fifth anniversary. Our chief guest Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra, will speak on good governance. Please note the changed timing. For details and registration visit


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