CAN SOMEBODY EXPLAIN THIS?
Your plan for netbooks is $59.99 for 5GB of usage and $39.99 for 250MB of usage. If 5GB for $59.99 is the fullest plan available, wouldn't half of that plan be 2.5GB be $29.99? Yet you charge $39.00 for 250MB, WHY? Is it because you have an extreme of 5GB down to A plan of bare miniumum of 250MB, and most people can't get by on the miniumum, but could get by on the happy medium of 2.5GB, so you're forcing them to go to the highest plan of 5GB, which in turn, puts a lot more money in your pocket. Another way that big wireless companies are screwing it's customers. THIS IS OUTRAGES!!
I USE ABOUT 1.5 TO 2.0 GB A MONTH, HEAVY USAGE
I have to agree with the OP. The $40/250 Meg plan is a TOTAL ripoff, in that the value for dollar is shamelessly atrocious compared to the 5 Gig plan. Verizon knows this perfectly well, and the intent is, as the OP surmised, is to incentivise movement to higher priced plan. Either way, Verizon turns a shamelessly handsome profit whichever plan you choose. Either you get NO value for what you pay, or you get more than you are most likely to use. Verizon wins, consumer loses. Such is the workings of a non-competive monopoly. Verizon's pricing model is over 4 years old, and because it is so profitable, they won't change it unless the government forces them to, which won't happen because of their lobbying efforts against net neutrality.
The only answer in a capitalist economy is competition. Hopefully the new pre-paid alternatives that are emerging will help stimulate downward pressure or increased value on post-paid pricing.
Personally, I just think $60/mo for 3Gjon a data card is over the top for consumers. So, I pay the rip-off no-value $40 plan because I am still on contract, and therefore "have to", and can live with it because of the wide availablity of ubitquitous wi-fi in metro areas where i live and work. So I just burn it up at the end of the billing cycle because it is useless as a matter of practicality. So if Verizon wants to keep my business after contract end, they better do something to offer me better value for what i'm willing to pay ($40/mo) or i'm off to a carrier that will.