Verizon's automated SMS alerts will remind you of your newly tiered mobile lifestyle

It's clear that after killing off unlimited smartphone data plans, Verizon realized it had a walloping PR mess to clean up. Alas, the carrier isn't budging on its decision to impose usage-based plans, which go into effect today, but it is making nice the best way it knows how: by checking in frequently to let you know just how many megabytes you've burned through. Starting this week, smartphone owners with new (read: not unlimited) data plans will begin receiving free text message alerts informing them when they've consumed 50, 75, 90, 100, and 110 percent of their monthly allowance. People with My Verizon accounts can request email alerts instead, the same way they would with mobile broadband cards and netbooks, though either way you can only disable the alerts for the 50 and 75 percent makers -- those 90, 100, and 110 percent milestone markers appear to be mandatory. In addition, you can, as always, keep tabs on your usage by entering "#DATA", downloading the Data Usage widget for Android and BlackBerry, using the online data calculator, or availing yourself of the My Verizon portal. Hit the source links to find those last two, and best of luck with that gigabyte diet.

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Verizon Wireless Makes it Easy for Customers to Monitor and Manage Data Usage

Data Alerts for Smartphones Latest Addition in Account Management Lineup

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless smartphone and tablet customers have a variety of ways to monitor and manage their wireless data usage, including new text message alerts that will be sent to smartphone customers to help them keep track of monthly domestic data usage.

Starting this week, smartphone users will begin to receive free text message alerts when their data usage crosses thresholds of 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent, 100 percent and 110 percent of their data plans' monthly allowances. Customers who are registered with My Verizon, the online account management tool, may also request email alerts and can add up to three additional email addresses to receive the notifications. My Verizon users also have the option of suppressing the 50 percent and 75 percent alerts. Email alerts for the same threshold levels are already available to tablet, netbook, PC card and Mobile Broadband device customers on usage-based plans.

Verizon Wireless offers a variety of free tools that customers can use to monitor and manage their accounts, including:

* #DATA – Customers can check data usage by dialing #DATA and pressing send from Verizon Wireless phones to receive a free text message with the information.
* My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile – Customers can monitor data usage directly from their handsets via My Verizon Mobile or online through My Verizon.
* Data Usage Calculator – At, customers can learn about common features and activities that utilize data and determine estimated total monthly data usage using the * Data Usage Calculator. It can be found by simply searching for "data usage calculator" on the Verizon Wireless website.
* Data Usage Widget – Customers with data plans also can download a Data Usage Widget to most Android™ smartphones, BlackBerry® devices and tablets. The widget tracks usage with a quick glance at the phone screen and with one click connects to the customer's My Verizon Mobile account.

Video Guides Available

Verizon Wireless has developed a series of video guides that offer tips for customers on how to manage their wireless lives, including:

* "It's Easy To Track Your Wireless Usage" highlights easy ways for customers to check and monitor usage.
* "Tips For Traveling Overseas" features tips for customers on how to prepare their phones for overseas travel.
* "Controlling Wireless Usage" demonstrates how customers can use Usage Controls to easily monitor wireless usage for each line on their accounts.
* "Managing Wireless Access: Content Filters" showcases features of Content Filters that allow customers to make sure wireless content is age-appropriate.

Customers can also visit Verizon Wireless Support to view "How To" videos with step-by-step directions on different aspects of account management.

For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit