I feel the same way that you do, and am carefully considering whether or not to keep the 3G version of the XOOM. Being familiar with how AT&T does data for the iPad, I was unpleasantly surprised when I looked at the details of Verizon Wireless' policy on data for 3G tablets. I did look at the data plans before I bought the XOOM, and figured that I would be OK with it. I didn't think that I would want to use the XOOM all the time, just on special occasions and out of town trips. Now, I want to use it every day. I want to be able to access cellular data on an as needed basis, without having to pay the activation fee each time.
Since the Wi-fi only XOOM should be out next month, I may return the 3G version and wait on that. VZW should not charge an activation fee every time a tablet user wants service. I am willing to pay for the data, but not an activation fee four times a year.
There is a limited time promo that just started for free activation fee's on some tabs. Might be able to get it applied, but it definitely doesn't apply later on if you had to deactivate and reactivate. It is unfortunate that VZW doesn't have the prepaid plans like they just rolled out for the iPad 2 available on the Xoom and other tablets. Hopefully in the future, something will be better!
I am extremely interested in the Xoom, but I may get an iPad2 from AT&T due to the ridiculous activation fees. $55 a month for 1GB of data for a tablet--i can't understand how Verizon would think that's reasonable when they *don't* charge that fee for the iPad.
If someone has paid the full unsubsidized price then they shouldn't have to pay the activation fees. I'm hoping this is simply an oversight on Verizons part, and that next week they offer prepaid plans for the Xoom--but I guess we'll see.
With all the other problems the Xoom has that have been written about, this data debacle is the nail in the coffin for this device.
A wifi version of the Xoom is being released in April. I would have already returned my Verizon Xoom and decided to wait for the wifi version if I hadn't gotten in on the 25% off coupon that worked for a few hours on the day of release. Since I wouldn't get any money back, I'll stick to my 3g Xoom (and probably have it upgraded to 4G just to increase its resale value later).
I still love my Xoom, even more now that flash is running on it... hello Amazon streaming.
But c'mon Verizon, give us a viable data plan. You'll see A LOT more Xooms start activating if they didn't have to pay activation fees (or even a 1-time, lifetime, activation fee per device). I'll be the first one to finally turn off airplane mode.
I can only hope that Verizon will see the discontent and come up with a better plan. It is one of the growing pains of being an early adopter.
Cut and pasted my comments from another similar thread...
I ordered my Xoom from Verizon and was expecting to see it added as another phone on my current Droid X unlimited plan, but found out that was not the case before I hit the confirm button. I also fully understand why the Xoom and other similar devices, including USB modems, have different data pricing. The data use of my Xoom would be huge compared to that of my Droid if it were not for my WiFi. Although I got the unlimited data plan for my Droid, I would have opted for a lower plan but wanted to use Pandora radio all the time away from my WiFi and I don't load music onto the SD card. I bought the Xoom to replace an aging Inspiron 9200 laptop, and that laptop will replace an aging Dimension 4100 desktop. Although I wanted a new comparable laptop, the cost was above my comfort zone so I took some time to think about how I actually used my laptop and what I really needed. I surprised myself when the Xoom could do, after the Flash 10.2 release, pretty much everything I was using my laptop for except for the 17" screen. Also, the laptop was bought as a "desktop replacement" but I never got rid of the desktop, LOL I also purchased the keyboard and Verizon bundle with the basic dock, portfolio case, and screen protectors and still spent less than the low end laptop I was originally looking to buy (and it's more portable). I opted for the $35 ($28 with my employee discount) 3GB plan ($10 each additional 1GB) fully knowing that only occasional 3G use a month would quickly use that $20 1GB plan ($20 each additional 1GB) allowance up. I figure I can do my major downloads at home on the WiFi and still use the 3G on the 3GB plan away from home and not go over in that allowance in 30 days. I thought about using my Droid X as a WiFi hot-spot for the Xoom, but thats $20 a month addition for 2GB ($20 more for the next 2GB) which is almost the same cost as the 3GB plan on the Xoom at $10/GB.
Ok back to the "Pay as you Go Plan" subject, the 1GB plan is pretty much pay as you go. You will easily use up that 1GB a month when away from a WiFi source and will be charged another $20 for the next 1GB if you go over (that's $20/GB). What I'm saying is, why not get the 3GB or 5GB plan if you plan to use it that much on the 3G network, and monitor your use knowing the overages will only cost $10 for the next 1GB each (approx. $10/GB). If you think you can use less than 1GB a month and want a pay as you go price you might as well go with a WiFi only model and find a hot-spot when your away from home every time you want to use it. I have used 0.1GB since I got my Xoom, but that has been less than a week and I have had the 3G pretty much turned off before yesterday when my FiOS router died and I have no WiFi. I even used the hot-spot on the Xoom for a while yesterday to get my laptop online, which has no additional cost vs. the Droid plan since the Xoom uses the data from your regular plan pricing when using the hot-spot option.
Seriously, you guys didn't think there is an activation fee for activation a device with service?! This is true with any device on VZW's network the free activation for the ipad is a promotion to upsell that device. (ofcourse they won't offer it to ever device on their list either)
And to be fair for the 1GB plan do not say 55$ ($35 for act. and $20 for plan) like that priuce is monthly. That can be misleading when you know that the activation is misleading so if you cut the plan off and on that is your fault if you wait past the time frame to activate. Remember VZW doesn't design these plans for you to do this. This is set up for a majoirty.
Reallyniceguy couldn't have said it better. VZW is and always will be a for-profit first corporation that will put its own $$ and survival above any of our needs. Recommendations We wait for the wifi one that is the most cost effective way unless you already have one then just do not activate it. If you already activated it then just have fun with it.