People are constantly battered with television commercials and advertisements of the rivalries between the major cell phone carriers in the United States. With so many factors to contend with such as cost, coverage, customer service, and plan offerings, it can be difficult to determine which cell phone plan is right for you.
But when it comes to Verizon or AT&T, which bears the sharpest edge? With a simple analysis of the providers, I will determine which is the better of the two.
Verizon Wireless is a fantastic wireless operator, boasting a network that covers 99 percent of the United States. As of July 2016, the service has attracted a whopping 142.8 million subscribers. The customer base fawns over the excellent coverage, which extends beyond urban areas. In fact, Verizon is home to the LTE in Rural America Program, which provides coverage for 2.7 million rural residents in 169 counties.
And if you're seeking the latest phone, you won't have to worry with Verizon - you can adopt the latest phone, even phones temporarily (or completely) unavailable to other major carriers (i.e. Google Pixel).
Unfortunately, you're paying for quality when you opt for Verizon. It happens to be one of the most expensive carriers in the United States. But you will receive fantastic customer service, as its ACSI score is set at 71 for 2016.
How much will Verizon pay to switch?
Verizon will pay up to $650 via prepaid debit card once you trade in an eligible phone. The phone must be free of any major cosmetic damage and needs to be in good working condition. Additionally, the value of the device must be more than $0.
What's important to note is that if you have an outstanding balance for your old device, you'll receive up to $650. Also, if you just paid an early termination fee, you'll earn up to $350.
While Verizon may have the best network around, AT&T's network is quite solid. AT&T offers the LTE-Advanced network, which is 50 percent faster than 4G LTE2. However, you'll need a 4G LTE Advanced compatible phone and be in an area that offers LTE-Advanced data.
Overall, AT&T covers over 325 million people. However, the fact remains that the coverage isn't as extensive as Verizon.
AT&T also carries the latest phones, but do not expect devices like the Google Pixel to be listed on the shop's website (not quite yet anyway). In terms of plans, AT&T provides customers with Mobile Share Advantage or an unlimited plan. Initially, the plans are only a little less expensive compared to Verizon, but as the plans grow in amount, the prices balance out.
When it comes to the ACSI score, AT&T is tied with Verizon, landing a 71.
How much will AT&T pay to switch?
Like the other three major carriers, AT&T is offering you up to $650 per line, but it is in the form of an AT&T Promotion Visa Prepaid card.
The value of your AT&T Promotion Visa Prepaid Card is based on the Early Termination Fee or the device payment plan balance at the time of your termination.
All you need to do is purchase a new smartphone on AT&T Next and activate a new line, port your number to AT&T, trade in your current smartphone, and send your new provider your final bill.
Verizon vs AT&T Plans
Verizon and AT&T both offer a range of cell phone plans, but which one is better than the other? Let's take a look at what each contestant offers.
Verizon Cell Phone Plans
Verizon shows off various types of plans on its official site, both monthly and pay as you go. Verizon's cell phone plans feature unlimited talk and text, but the data, which is labeled by size - ranges between 2GB and 30GB of data. That being said, there are greater amounts that you can adopt, up to 100GB.
However, Verizon is the odd dog out of the pack in the sense that it doesn't offer an unlimited cell phone plan. This could be a major disadvantage for those who need their data like they need their morning coffee.
Verizon doesn't come equipped with a lot of fancy features, but it has recently adopted "Safety Mode" and "Carryover Data." Safety Mode ensures that you will not pay any surprising fees once you exceed your data limit. However, you will experience slower data speeds. This applies to all plans. Carryover Mode, on the other hand, allows you to keep your unused data until the end of the following month.
Unfortunately, despite these features, Verizon isn't exactly up to par with its wireless brethren. It's still a little behind, but hopefully, in the following months, it will introduce new incentives and features to its plans.
AT&T Cell Phone Plans
AT&T offers what is known to be called the Mobile Share Advantage packages. With Mobile Share Advantage, there are no overage fees whatsoever, meaning that you will only experience reduced speeds once your high-speed data amounts have been exceeded.
AT&T cell phone plans typically range from 1GB of data to a total of 100GB, which can be shared among family members.
They also offer the GoPhone service, which is for prepaid users. GoPhone prepaid phone plans ranges from no data package to 8GB of high-speed data. What's also unique is that you can select a certain amount of data or minutes for a small fee per day or even per minute.
Finally, AT&T offers an unlimited plan, but only if you have DirecTV or a U-verse TV residential service. The unlimited plan allows you to have unlimited data, talk, and text. Note that after 22GB of usage, AT&T might slow down data speeds.
Stream Saver is included in the Unlimited Plan. Stream Saver will identify the streaming video content and adjust the resolution and data speed accordingly.
Verizon vs AT&T Family Plans
When considering a provider, you need to consider your family. How many lines will you need? Will you save money with a particular provider? Will there be any added benefits for your family that you may want to take advantage of? I have explored the options of each competitor and have outlined them below.
Verizon Family Plans
Family is important, and Verizon understands that, even though it doesn't serve traditional family cell phone plans. That being said, if you have any additional lines that you would like to add to the New Verizon plan, then you can add them to Verizon's plans. All you need to do is select the data amount of your plan and then add up to 10 lines to that plan. That simple.
AT&T Family Plans
Similar to Verizon, AT&T allows customers to add multiple lines (devices) to the plans. Furthermore, you can share the savings with the Multi-Line Discount on prepaid plans. For instance, you will save just a few dollars for the second line, a few more dollars for the third line, and so on and so forth.
Initially, the Verizon plans are more expensive compared to AT&T plans, but then the prices even out and end up the same. However, the advantage Verizon carries is the fact that you can receive an extra 2GB per line with the plans compared to AT&T.
Even though AT&T offers an unlimited plan, the plan is still limited by the fact that you need DirecTV or U-verse. This serves as a disadvantage, considering the fact that - according to Time - during the second quarter of 2016, around 812,000 U.S. customers canceled their pay TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services such as Netflix or PlayStation Vue. That number is continuing to climb. So I would have to give the point to Verizon here in the battle of "Verizon versus AT&T plans."
Verizon vs AT&T Coverage
AT&T or Verizon: which offers better coverage? After all, no one likes to experience dropped calls. Even worse? No signal whatsoever. After all, you may need to call a tow truck in the case that your car dies in the midst of a blizzard, which is not a comfortable situation to experience. So which provider powers over the other?
Which carrier has the greatest coverage around? Verizon! The network boasts a coverage that blankets 99 percent of the United States. The coverage also includes rural areas. Overall, the network covers 2.4 million square miles.
While Verizon is reliable, featuring a heavy amount of coverage, AT&T is speedy. AT&T's LTE coverage areas are extensive but not as grand as Verizon's coverage.
Verizon vs AT&T Customer Service
Customer service is important. Without reliable customer service, businesses would burn to the ground. After all, who wants to continue a relationship with a business after a rotten experience? No one, unless the business is able to regain the loyalty of the unsatisfied customer.
Verizon Customer Service
Verizon is known for solid customer service. You'll receive the quality you pay for with Verizon. You'll can access support through various methods, including FAQs, forums, chatbox, telephone, and social media.
AT&T Customer Service
As mentioned earlier in the overview, AT&T's ACSI score lands at 71, meaning it ties with Verizon in terms of customer satisfaction. There are several ways to contact AT&T, but you must first select the product you are seeking help for. After you do, you can receive support through chatbox, phone, social media, community forums, and FAQs, just like Verizon.
Between Verizon and AT&T, which has better customer service? I would have to deem this match's outcome a tie.
AT&T or Verizon: Which Is Better?
AT&T and Verizon are often battling for the top spot in the war of the best cell phone plans, but after analyzing the sections, I would have to give the crown to Verizon. Not only does Verizon offer plans for around the same price (with an extra data incentive, mind you), but its coverage is better by comparison. AT&T, on the other hand, does offer the unlimited plan, but unfortunately, you must be tied to either DirecTV or U-Verse.