This is really silly. And by silly, I mean even sillier than unlimited data plans capped at 5GB. Mr and Mrs Verizon have apparently decided that tethering your Android phone should cost you money.
Let me remind you what tethering means: your phone will create an ad-hoc WiFi network, and will share its 3G connection with all the devices connected to that network. A typical use-case might be paying for a 3G connection from your Android phone, and then connecting other phones, computers, tablets or whatever to the Internet, sharing the same connection.
Presumably, though, your connection has a maximum speed, and also a monthly data cap, so this means that whether you enjoy that connection from one or from ten devices, the cost of operation for Verizon will be exactly the same. Why are they charging for this, then? Because they think they can, obviously. To give you the impression that they are indeed giving you something more, buying tethering will actually bump your unlimited 5GB connection to some unlimited 10GB, which is double the amount of unlimited! Jokes apart, it looks to me as they’re selling you something you don’t want, masked as something you want but should be free.
This is even more foolish than unlimited data plans capped at 5GB, because I see how “unlimited” is a marketing word. Most people have no idea of how much 5GB is, and if that’ll be enough for them. But unlimited… that’s a different deal, isn’t it? It sounds so much better. Again, most people will never encounter the cap, because the same people that don’t know what 5GB are, are unlikely to use them in a month, from their mobile device.
So you see, I kind of see the point of playing with words with “unlimited”, even though it’s not really fair. But charging for tethering? I call that stealing; charging the users more, when they’re really getting the same, and it’s costing the operator the same.