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What happens to unused data?

I got my Galaxy Nexus last May, 2012. I went for the $50 device with new Verizon service sign-up. I liked the phone and the price, but I wanted to activate "tethering" to a notebook computer which I was using before starting Verizon service. If you don't have wi-fi hotspot, maybe it's because you have to order it after initiating service. I looked for the "tethering" feature when I signed-up, but didn't find it. Nevermind, I thought, I will get it later. When I ordered wi-fi hotspot later, I was sold a 3gb plan, in addition to my original 4gb plan, for total 7gb data, and for an extra $30/month cost. Okay, I was curious if I would use that much data. Last month I pushed my wireless use but just went over 4gb. I decided I don't really need 7gb data, and maybe I don't need wi-fi hotspot. I happen to have the Verizon mobile app, and looking at my data usage, I noticed a 4gb data plan with hotspot for $50. That's less than what I am paying for 7gb and I went for it. The app allows users to purchase available Verizon service features like the 4gb plan, which I did. The order got screwed-up, and I had to telephone customer service. I think I now have what I want. My issue with Verizon is it is not easy to find the best plan for my money. Why would any user purchase more data than needed? If it's true "unlimited" was canceled because hackers were re-selling excess wi-fi data, it is probably because some users were motivated by that reason. It does make one think.