Verizon to drop 8,500 rural customers on October 18th

Verizon to drop 8,500 rural customers on October 18th
In the highly competitive business of providing wireless service to cellphone, smartwatch and tablet users, most carriers like to add subscribers, not remove them. But back in June, we told you that the nation's largest carrier, Verizon Wireless, was planning on dropping some customers in rural parts of the country who get free roaming thanks to the LTEiRA program. As we told you back then, this program gives 21 regional carriers access to Verizon's technology and network; in return Verizon customers get free roaming on these regional carriers.

The problem for Verizon is that the LTEiRA service has Verizon's bank account leaking like a sieve. The money that Verizon is paying in roaming fees to these 21 carriers is less that the amount of money that it charges its customers roaming over one of Verizon's LTEiRA partners. Take Kim Barlogio, who lives in Montana. Kim just received a letter from Verizon telling her that she will no longer be a Verizon customer after October 17th, because she has been "using a significant amount of data while roaming off the Verizon Wireless network."

Customers like Ms. Barlogio had no idea that they were roaming off of the Verizon network. A Verizon customer since 2000, Barlogio is now out of luck because not only will she be dropped by Verizon next month, the local carrier in her area, Mid-Rivers Communication, is no longer taking any new customers.

Another customer in the area getting dropped by Verizon is Kaila Williams. Her family needs a cell phone in order to help survive the brutal winter weather, or to summon help when a vehicle breaks down on a quiet, lonely road. With Verizon dropping these customers, and no other carrier in this particular region of Montana that is open to new subscribers, things are going to be tough for those who rely on their handsets to get through each day. Mind you, we're not talking about people who need a phone to send emoji filled texts or to watch YouTube videos. These are people who need the ability to communicate wirelessly.


Verizon's excuse is that it needs to prevent those who excessively roam from draining its cash accounts. But as we've learned, most of these customers had no idea that they were actually roaming. And while not all of the customers getting bumped from Verizon are signed up for unlimited service, overall it appears that Verizon didn't think about its LTEiRA partnerships when it created its Verizon Unlimited plan.

The states where Verizon is dropping the 8,500 customers include:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Those being dropped are in areas where Verizon does not run its native network. Businesses and government accounts are not losing service.


source: GreatFallsTribune via BGR

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20 Comments

1. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

Sounds like sexy times...

9. Phonehex

Posts: 763; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Why can't they simply charge more instead of leaving people without options?

12. cncrim

Posts: 1588; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Then negative feed back is too great. Drop it is better solution since 8500 is small number for 128M customer.

2. Subie

Posts: 2361; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I guess on Oct 18 nobody will be able to hear those customers "now" Good job Verizon... smh

15. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

They should switch to Sprint. Oh wait.

19. jcarmstrong23

Posts: 35; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

Lmao. Be comment I've seen today

3. palmguy

Posts: 982; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

"is no longer taking any new customers"? Wow. Businesses do that? Lol.

4. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

I imagine if you run a small service area and Verizon is ending it's contract with you, you might not be able to fulfill a contract commitment. Then I imagine, this will put these companies in extreme financial distress, so Verizon will buy them for $2.

8. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Well, not unethical businesses like Verizon, who will sell service to anyone who wants it, no matter how bogged down their network gets.

5. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

If they do this then Verizon better revise their f**king maps.

16. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

People actually believe Verizon's coverage map?

6. TechDork

Posts: 402; Member since: May 10, 2010

I'm in NC, but I don't live in a rural area so I'm good lol.

17. Brandon21213

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 16, 2017

Which company will u be joining?

7. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

"The money that Verizon is paying in roaming fees to these 21 carriers is less that the amount of money that it charges its customers roaming over one of Verizon's LTEiRA partners." What?

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

That's why pure capitalism does not work all the time. Some services like fire bridge need government support. The best is to have both a government and business options that could do the balancing. In many countries telecommunication services are highly regulated because Telecom infrastructure is expensive to build not profitable enough for many greedy companies.

14. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Just look at the list - all of them are red states. They all want tax cuts but complain when their house burns down because there are no fire fighters.

20. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

In India, There is one Governments Service Provider, BSNL. Even though they are bleeding, they will cover rural areas.

11. Junito

Posts: 144; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

#10 is on point. Adding to it, this is also a result of competition. When they were charging extravagant prices, the customers were fine. Now, due to the competitive nature of the business, unlimited, no contracts, BYO device, they're realizing, heck why do we need them? Mark my words, is like the removal of the phone's jack, everyone just follows. Watch closely how AT&T is going to spin this, they Will do the same.

13. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

When will Verizon update their coverage maps? And I'd say a phone call to Mid-Rivers would be in order. And there is this - https://communityconversationsblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/wi-fi-data-internet-wth/

18. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

It's still pretty good to gauge service by and confirmed that I was able to get service with one carrier where I couldn't with another. Sprint seems to be quite hit or miss regardless of map.

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