I've been through this on other support forums. When the sponsor of the forum (in this case, Verizon Wireless) doesn't like the way comments are trending, i.e., too many complaints, they replace a perfectly functional forum with a new 'improved' version that is awkward and unwieldy. Just like Verizon Wireless has done here. This makes it less convenient for users to complain. Fewer complaints = happy sponsor.
The downfall of this plan is that users just find other places to complain, and a web search makes them easy to find.
Leases end and don't get renewed. It happens and they find something new.
There was a notice that this community change was happening.
For what I understand T-Mobile also uses the Jive platform for it forum.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.
The old assumption is that most newbies come to forums to complain and if they are newbies, this (new and not improved) forum is new to them, also.
I don't argue that the new jive forum produces a deep suction, but your "theory" about why Verizon changed is past paranoid and just absurd.