3G and unlimited data plan

I bought a IPhone 4 a couple of years ago and purchased the 3G unlimited data plan. Now in the past year I was not able to used my phone as I did when I first purchased it.  I figured that the phone was older, And I had use the phone so much it was just getting slower. The problem was me, and not Verizon.
Now recently I had went on vacation with some family members, And they had been using [email protected] phones for years. The first thing I noticed was the speed of their phones when accessing data. There phones would open and get the information before I could open Google. Much Much faster.. After returning home my wife calls Verizon about updating our phone’s to a family plan with 4 lines for about $160.
Now here is where it gets interesting. The customer service person admits to my wife that even though I have 3G unlimited data that Verizon limits how much I can get because of how many people in my area are still using the 3G network. And goes on the say that it is a tactic to get people to move to new phones and there 4G network. So what I realize is, It was not me over the past year, But It was Verizon cheating me!!!!! The way it sounds to me, is Verizon network is not capable of supporting 3G unlimited data with all the phone they sold in my area. And I am sure I am not the only one!!!! But as a consumer there is nothing I can do about it.

Unlimited 3G customers have been a part of the VZW data optimization plan since at least Feb 3, 2011.  The fact that your speeds were getting optimized is the result of you being on 3G unlimited, top 5% user and in an already congested area during peak hours.  The perfect storm.
More details on VZW Data Optimization:
No one is cheating anyone here, that is how the network is operated at VZW.  As a consumer you can upgrade to a 4G LTE device or try using data during off peak hours when more bandwidth is available.  Is it really that surprising that VZW wants you to migrate off your unlimited 3G plan and upgrade to 4G LTE?