verizon wireless

Last summer, Verizon put an end to grandfathered unlimited data plans by forcing customers to move to one of their new Share Everything plans when they upgraded their smartphone at the subsidized price.

But within the last few days, several VZW customers have reported that they were able to upgrade to one of the new iPhone models either online or at a third-party retailer without losing their unlimited data…

We were contacted about this by a reader (thanks Troy!), who said he was able to upgrade to the iPhone 5s without losing his unlimited plan. And it looks like 9to5Mac and Engadget are hearing the same thing.

verizon upgrade unlimited

But before you get too excited, there are a few caveats worth mentioning. For one, we have yet to find anyone with an unlimited data plan on Verizon, so we can’t explain how to do it or if it even works.

And two, if this is some sort of glitch and not an actual change in policy, we imagine it will get fixed sooner than later. We’d bet money on this whole thing getting resolved by tomorrow morning, if not sooner.

But most importantly, if you do manage to upgrade with your unlimited data, it’s possible that you could get forced over to a new plan either when you activate your new phone or the next time your bill cycles.

Plan changes don’t typically take effect when ordering equipment, they happen on equipment activation or after the end of a bill cycle in order to avoid pro-rated charges. So we’re putting a huge asterisk by this.

But hey, if you’re bold enough to give it try, be sure to let us know how it goes in the comments below!

  • pauleebe

    … Or maybe Verizon realized they are being ridiculous and AT&T is overtaking them?

  • hassy26

    $30 upgrade fee!!!
    I just upgrade to iPhone 5s with T-mobile and I didn’t pay any upgrade fee

    • m3nphls

      You get what you pay for. T-Mo has great coverage in metro areas but once out of there, then good luck. Every time I go with friends they have no data and I have to share them my VZW LTE!

      • Mike Stark

        They have NO data? Or just SLOW (2g) data?
        My understanding that T-Mobile covers most of the country, but only certain markets have LTE.

  • Kyle Bo

    I did it! Fully unlimited verizon in the US, grandfathered in. Bought Iphone 5s gold – 64gb for $500 (subsidized price)
    Simply swapped SIM cards and called verizon. It worked! I have unlimited EVERYTHING including data. LTE, whoop whoop

  • Sergio

    I actually just upgraded to a 5S on Verizon and kept my unlimited data. You need a line on your account that still has a basic phone that is eligible for an upgrade. Upgrade that basic line to the new iPhone and then activate it on your unlimited line. Then re-activate the basic phone on its old line. Wahlah!

    • ChristopherMay

      I currently have a 4S on an individual plan with unlimited data. My wife is on a family plan with her parents. Would this swap be possible if she used her upgrade to get a 5s then we switch phones… She would than activate my 4S on her plan, and I would activate the 5s on my plan.

      • Sergio

        Don’t see why it wouldn’t work. You’ll eventually have to give up the data whenever you do update your line.

  • Dave Becker

    I did it. Upgrade and activate the iPhone 5s on another phone without unlimited data. Then call Verizon and ask them to switch the phones.

  • rubeN

    Verizucks sucks for not letting their unlimited data users keep their plan.

  • No the icon hasn’t been changed back to the old icon. You should delete it, clear your cache and set it up again. It’s working fine on my end.

    • raulismusic

      We keep doing that but the issue is it keeps reappearing.
      Another issue with the site is where it switches from full screen to mobile every time you refresh in iOS7.

    • Anthony Antunez

      Icon is working fine for me too but I do have the problem raulismusic mentioned where the websites loads in desktop mode instead of mobile. It happens quite often and is getting annoying.

    • Cameron Chao

      We want iDB App please.

  • Drew Diver

    I received an email offering 6GB/month for $30 since I use under 1GB/month of data. This email was sent days after I pre-ordered through Apple. I called Verizon and they gave me the plan as I’ve been a customer since the 1st Droid and to them it wasn’t fair I found out way after pre-ordering.

  • JaeM1llz

    I have upgraded 3 iPhones to LTE iPhones on my Verizon account without losing unlimited data. This is how I did it:

    My dad joined our family plan after they had already stopped offering unlimited data so he has the 2GB data plan while my sister, mom and myself all have unlimited. What I did was I transferred my upgrade to my dad’s line and upgraded his phone and then when the phone arrived I just called Verizon and told them I wanted to activate the phone on my number. I did this for my sister and mother as well and now we all have iPhone5s with unlimited data.

    Not sue if this loophole still works since I did it last year when the 5 was released, but worth a shot!

    • AMK

      I did this exact same thing last December 2012 for the iphone 5…did it in store too

  • Raul M

    I have 3 phones 2 basics and my IPhone 5 I do NOT have an unlimited data plan. Does anyone know how i can get it? please i really need unlimited data.

  • Kristen Vacketta

    I upgraded to a 5s from a grandfathered unlimited plan on launch day. Rather than bumping me down to 2GB, the rep told me that I would automatically get the “Verizon Max” plan – which is 6GB of data with no additional cost. I had never heard Max mentioned before, but no complaints here because it’s working well so far, and as promised, no change in charges on my bill.

  • JhonDo

    I know this is not the place to put this but I’m on a iPhone 5 I bought in November and I started too look around the AppStore and pages keynote all apple apps except garage band was free and I started downloading them and checked my wife’s iPhone 5 bought at the same time and they are not free anymore could anybody tell me if this happend to anybody else was I lucky or what?

  • mlee19841

    Funny how there are people that can do this. But Verizon won’t bring back unlimited data again.

  • JanetMiller88

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  • Eric Mason

    I had unlimited from being “grandfathered in” over the years as Midwest Wireless became Alltel and then Verizon. They told me when upgrading that I could no longer keep the unlimited, but said it would be 6GB per month instead. That is basically unlimited for me.

  • Keith Green

    This would be nice. I paid full price for a 5 on release day last year to keep my unlimited. It also sux that I still have to pay the $20@month premium for having a smart phone. But 6gb is pretty good. (But it’s not unlimited) I also bought an iPad 4g with 2gb data a month. That gets used up quick! A couple movies on netflix. Lol. They need to keep us loyal customers unlimited.

  • bigtalk

    lol sux am sure verizon will change that soon

    • Adam Elkaim

      gone. I went on this afternoon and it said that I couldn’t keep unlimited if i wanted to upgrade.

  • Jeremy

    I actually have three lines on my plan, one being the primary account, and two I added for grandparents. My grandparents use my upgrade and it is transferred to their respective line (if they even upgrade) and it does not effect my line nor my grandfathered unlimited data. I am currently on the wait list as well for the new iPhone 5S. The verizon rep that I go to also informed me that he will transfer the upgrade from my other line that is available and add it to my primary line thus not counting towards my “Upgrade” while at the same time giving me the new phone at the subsidized price and lets me retain the Unlimited data!

    You just have to find the right verizon rep to do this. Otherwise you will get screwed over when you upgrade if you fail to tell them what you are doing.

  • sheryl gihring

    I still have unlimited data and have been told as long as I don’t upgrade my primary line where the unlimited data is housed I will not lose my grandfathered plan. I can steal upgrade from one of my other five lines.