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Total by Verizon Rebrands Back To Total Wireless, New Offers Include 5Y Price Lock

Total Wireless Store With New Logo
Total Wireless Store With New Logo
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Total by Verizon has relaunched and rebranded today back to Total Wireless complete with a new logo. The name change comes less than two years after Total Wireless was first rebranded to Total by Verizon.

According to a video released by Verizon, changes and new points of focus to the brand include the following:

  • Emphasis on being a community-focused
  • New customers get unlimited data for less than $30/month, taxes and fees included, with a 5-year price lock guarantee
  • Up to 10 times faster data speeds on Verizon's 5G network, select plans now with priority data
  • Free 5G phones when you switch
  • 4th line free
  • After 12 months of plan payments, get $200 off your next 5G phone with Total Rewards

Total Wireless has also put up a new webpage that offers a direct comparison of their plans to Metro, Cricket, and Boost Mobile.

Some of the claims seem more like pomp and circumstance to me than actual changes while others are more notable, including some price increases.

Highlighted Plan Changes

Former Total by Verizon Plans on display at local area Target (April, 23, 2024)
Former Total by Verizon Plans on display at local area Target (April, 23, 2024)

 

The first plan change to note is that there has been a price increase to Total Wireless's two flagship unlimited plans. The flagship unlimited plan, Total 5G+, is now $65 for the first month and $60 after with autopay billing enabled. It was previously $60 and $55 with autopay enabled.

The mid-tier unlimited plan is now $55 for the first month and $50 after with autopay billing. This plan was previously $50 and $45 with autopay billing enabled.

The price increases are partially offset by having taxes and fees now included in the prices.

For the extra price, customers do get additional benefits, granted not everyone will use them. The plans are now advertised as including priority data, data speeds won't slow down based on usage.

The $50 price point now includes 5G Ultra-Wideband coverage and 15GB hotspot up from 10GB. The flagship plan now includes unlimited hotspot, although speeds are limited to 5Mbps. The old flagship plan included 20GB of hotspot at full speed. International calling to 85+ countries, texting to over 200, and roaming in over 15 countries are also new features to both plans. Previously the plans offered international talk and text to 5 countries of your choosing with no international roaming outside of Canada and Mexico. $200 off your next phone purchase after 12 plan payments is also new.

Total Wireless has also changed its $40 plan. There is no autopay discount with this plan. It now offers unlimited high-speed data, 5GB hotspot, calling to over 85 international destinations, and texting to over 200 with roaming in Mexico and Canada. Previously this price point offered just 15GB of high-speed data before throttling and all 15GB of data could be used for hotspot. International talk and text to Canada and Mexico was included but no roaming. However, customers could get roaming in those two countries with the purchase of two or more lines. The price of the plan was $35 after an autopay discount.

A 5GB, $30/month plan is no longer being advertised.

To sum up all the changes, this looks like a price increase, particularly if you are a single-line customer. However, taxes and fees are now included whereas they weren't before. New multi-line customers may see the same prices as before or even improved pricing.

Sure, customers are getting more for the price increases, but it's still a price increase for single-line customers and a pricing floor increase. T-Mobile recently did the same thing with their Metro by T-Mobile brand. Metro increased the prices of its plans under the guise of being able to offer the same phone deals to existing customers as new customers get.

Ironically, a press release from Verizon announcing the rebrand features a quote from David Kim, Verizon's Chief Revenue Officer of Verizon's Value organization (former Tracfone brands). Kim stated: "Prepaid customers are tired of being taken advantage of – we know because we asked them. Other competitors have raised prices on customers, buried fine print, and blocked their customers from upgrades… but Total won’t. We will be the wireless brand that raises the bar - not our prices.”

Of course, there are still other things to go over. Let's circle back to some of those key points Total Wireless is trying to emphasize.

Total Wireless is advertising that new customers can get an unlimited plan for less than $30/month with a price lock guarantee. But they fail to highlight you must have 4 or more lines to get service for less than $30/line. Customers with 4 lines on Verizon's $40/month base unlimited plan will get it for $25/line. This is the same price for 4 lines that Verizon had been offering before the rebrand but on the $50 plan. The 5-year price guarantee is only for new customers who haven't been with Total Wireless in the last 90 days. The price lock guarantee does not apply to the autopay discount, and you may forfeit the guarantee if your service is lapsed, suspended, terminated or you switch to an ineligible plan.

Totalmente - Total by Verizon's Former Online Ad Campaign, 4 Lines $100 Offer
Totalmente - Total by Verizon's Former Online Ad Campaign, 4 Unlimited Lines For $100 Offer

A claim is now being made that you get 10x faster data speeds. But the fine print shows they are making that claim by comparing their 5G Ultra-Wideband network to their slower 4G LTE network. Under the Total by Verizon name, all plans included 5G coverage but only the flagship unlimited plan offered 5G Ultra-Wideband coverage. So there's no change to the flagship plan's data speeds with the rebrand to Total Wireless, but the mid-tier plan should now have faster data speeds than before.

The 4th line free offer seems to be a take on T-Mobile postpaid, where customers have long been offered their 3rd line for free. Discounts on phones for current customers after 12 months of service is a spin on Metro's offer of discounted phones to current customers after 12 months (with device trade-in).

The sudden change in branding and messaging is strikingly odd and perhaps alarming. It appears to signal that the prepaid brand may not have been performing so well and Verizon hopes to give it a boost with another rebrand. Total by Verizon stores had been rapidly opening over the last year, closing in on 1k stores. Now those stores will also need to rebrand. Before the first rebrand, Verizon had a small number of "Total Wireless" stores.

If you are a single-line customer or potential customer, what do you think of these changes? Are the new features a nice enough improvement to warrant what looks like a slight price increase? If you are a multi-line customer, how much do you find these changes impacting you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.




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