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Old 04-26-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 998,384 times
Reputation: 447

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So I've been a Verizon customer for roughly 2 years. I had a one-year plan, multimedia Samsung Reality which I liked pretty well; it worked for what I needed and I had no issues. I recently broke it and figure it is the time to look at other providers or plans. Verizon discontinued multimedia phones soon after I bought it.


Problem is, all the hoops one has to jump through to do research. I don't like any of the providers - but Verizon is costing me $85 and I don't feel like it is worth it at all. And I'm not a fan of the smartphone $30/month minimum charge.

Presently, this is what my month usage looks like:

-average 30 minutes
-average 1000 texts but this varies wildly (relationships increase the usage); last month for example was 424 and a few months ago it was 4000.
-almost never use any data; if I do, it is about 1-10 mb a month.


So I'm wondering - any advice on plans/providers? The best I can find with a smartphone upgrade through Verizon (out here, the best reception is Verizon so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place) is dipping my message charge to $10 a month and having to take the $30 a month hit for data. So I'd actually increase my charges to $90-$95 a month. AT&T as far as I can see doesn't cut much lower. And Verizon now has a $30 upgrade fee as of last week (really dumb, I fulfilled my contract so why charge me?).


I looked at prepaid and also buying a phone off Ebay. Is that a good route? Would I be able to integrate a new phone into a month-by-month plan I already have? I don't really want to sign a 2-year plan, pay $30 to upgrade, and then get a really nice phone that does stuff I don't care about. I don't mind the $30 a month if I can get out of the stupid contract because I can ditch them if I get sick of it. I do have my own business so the phone would be useful but not to the extent that they allow with such a charge.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,563 posts, read 10,429,199 times
Reputation: 4243
MetroPCS
Page Plus Cellular
Both are CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) and will port those service phones to their plans.

Page Plus has a 250 voice/text and 10 meg data, $12 a month. Or a unlimited voice/text and a 100 meg data, $40 month. Or other plans. No data plan required but I use my wifi for data anyway.

Here's another C-D thread on a like topic from last week...
No plan phones confusion
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,552,055 times
Reputation: 1947
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_atw View Post
So I've been a Verizon customer for roughly 2 years. I had a one-year plan, multimedia Samsung Reality which I liked pretty well; it worked for what I needed and I had no issues. I recently broke it and figure it is the time to look at other providers or plans. Verizon discontinued multimedia phones soon after I bought it.


Problem is, all the hoops one has to jump through to do research. I don't like any of the providers - but Verizon is costing me $85 and I don't feel like it is worth it at all. And I'm not a fan of the smartphone $30/month minimum charge.

Presently, this is what my month usage looks like:

-average 30 minutes
-average 1000 texts but this varies wildly (relationships increase the usage); last month for example was 424 and a few months ago it was 4000.
-almost never use any data; if I do, it is about 1-10 mb a month.


So I'm wondering - any advice on plans/providers? The best I can find with a smartphone upgrade through Verizon (out here, the best reception is Verizon so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place) is dipping my message charge to $10 a month and having to take the $30 a month hit for data. So I'd actually increase my charges to $90-$95 a month. AT&T as far as I can see doesn't cut much lower. And Verizon now has a $30 upgrade fee as of last week (really dumb, I fulfilled my contract so why charge me?).


I looked at prepaid and also buying a phone off Ebay. Is that a good route? Would I be able to integrate a new phone into a month-by-month plan I already have? I don't really want to sign a 2-year plan, pay $30 to upgrade, and then get a really nice phone that does stuff I don't care about. I don't mind the $30 a month if I can get out of the stupid contract because I can ditch them if I get sick of it. I do have my own business so the phone would be useful but not to the extent that they allow with such a charge.

Michael,

Your situation is definitely not unique and is one of the reasons that many former subscribers are moving to MVNOs (US Cellular, Virgin Mobile etc). They are tired of paying for services they absolultely have no use for and be stuck with a contract for 2 years.

Now as far where you are in Maine, I have never been there to do any coverage testing (I am engineer in this industry) but was curious about what you need the phone for.
Do you travel outside the local area a lot? Or are you generally someone that travels within a certain radius 99% of the time?

This can help you dictate whether or not to stick with Verizon or not, or go on a month to month/no contract type plan. Believe it or not, Verizon does have a month to month plan. The costs are a bit higher on calls and such, but it boils down to how many minutes you really use the air time for.
I helped my in laws for example save over $50/mo on their cell phone bills and had them switch to AT&T Pay as you go, because for them, the cell phone was merely a convenience, not a main line. They dont use the internet and if anything they might send a photo once or twice a month of my nephew.

The other option you can look at is, if you are just ok with your current plan, when the contract expires, you are done with it and will automatically go month to month. You can cancel at any time.
This might work for you and if you are willing to buy a phone from eBay or craigslist.

Just be aware of a few things if you decide to take this route:
- ALWAYS get the ESN number of the phone. Some phones being sold on the internet that have been stolen get the ESN blacked out (for obvious reasons) and the phone will be a paper weight.
- If you are meeting someone on craigslist, call Verizon right there and then to make sure that the ESN is clean.

You should absoliutely never have to feel that 'upgrading' is your only choice. The problem is that they dangle the carrot and say that you have to. Its completely wrong but understood as this is how they keep the machine going.

Last but not least, its very easy to buy a phone just like you have right now from eBay or craigslist. Once you buy it, call Verizon and tell them that you have a new phone and they will ask you for the ESN. They will then help your program it (simple process). Voila you are done.

Out of curiosity, are they making you pay for data with your current plan? If you dont use data, then you can actually take it off of your plan as it is only a feature. The ONLY contractually binding agreement you have with ANY operator is the voice plan, everything else is optional REGARDLESS of what they say. They will fight tooth and nail, but trust me, its illegal to do this.

Hope this helps
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
13,734 posts, read 15,840,502 times
Reputation: 10010
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
Out of curiosity, are they making you pay for data with your current plan? If you dont use data, then you can actually take it off of your plan as it is only a feature. The ONLY contractually binding agreement you have with ANY operator is the voice plan, everything else is optional REGARDLESS of what they say. They will fight tooth and nail, but trust me, its illegal to do this.
It is not illegal and well within their rights,

Smartphones require a 2 GB data package or higher with VZW. Period. Don't want the data plan... then =you have to get a "dumb phone". Period. VZW will not sell you nor activate a smartphone for you without a data plan.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,552,055 times
Reputation: 1947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
It is not illegal and well within their rights,

Smartphones require a 2 GB data package or higher with VZW. Period. Don't want the data plan... then =you have to get a "dumb phone". Period. VZW will not sell you nor activate a smartphone for you without a data plan.
Peregrine,

You are absolutely correct with some caveats. I will clarify. In the context of the OPs situation, the Samsung device which he has DOES NOT require a data plan. Thus he can absolutely buy the same phone he has now from the grey market and simply program it OTA after calling customer service no additional features or costs added.

What you are referring to are plans based on a subsidized smartphone pricing scheme and going into a VZW corporate store or 3rd party store.
It is completely illegal to enforce anything else besides a voice plan if in fact, a user wants to on a legacy feature phone plan.

Operators pre-determine which devices require a data plan when it comes to subsidizing. If I am 1 year into a 2 year feature phone plan and buy a smartphone on the grey market and attempt to activate it, the VZ customer service rep will fight me tooth and nail to try and tell me that I need a data plan. It doesnt mean they have the right to do it. I tell them nope dont need it, regardless of the push and they cannot do anything about it. Except my smartphone will not be so smart after all

The point is, if Michael runs the life of his contract, he is automatically going month to month thereafter and his voice plan continues.

While in a contract the only feature that cannot be dropped is voice. That is the only contractually obligated feature that any user is tied to or pay an ETF.

Last edited by shmoov_groovzsd; 04-27-2012 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,563 posts, read 10,429,199 times
Reputation: 4243
Michael, thanks for posting that detail on smartphone provisioning. I'm one of those who was with Verizon paying $80 plus, including data only to use the phone about 10 - 20 minutes per month and not more than ten text messages. It was nice to have data anywhere and everywhere but I was usually driving so....

I completed my plan and cancelled the service. Tried Virgin Mobile which is just great but didn't care for their phones. Tried to port into MetroPCS but they wouldn't support 3G in my out of metro location. Finally landed on Page Plus with a $40 plan and 100 meg data. Finally found the $12 plan with 250 voice/text each and 10 meg data. I actually have 'NETWORK' turned off and use my home Wifi for data, or go to Home Depot or the grocery store for Wifi. Any of my apps run and/or update over Wifi, the data plan knows nothing about that.

So question for you. Should a Verizon/Sprint/ATT/TMobile customer have a smartphone but only provisioned for Voice/Text, as you demonstrate above, wouldn't they still be able to use personal Wifi for data operations? Or actually, if I no longer used the smartphone - no voice/text - wouldn't I still be able to use the data function over my personal Wifi, simply as an internet device?
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,552,055 times
Reputation: 1947
Quote:
Originally Posted by tofurkey View Post
Michael, thanks for posting that detail on smartphone provisioning. I'm one of those who was with Verizon paying $80 plus, including data only to use the phone about 10 - 20 minutes per month and not more than ten text messages. It was nice to have data anywhere and everywhere but I was usually driving so....

I completed my plan and cancelled the service. Tried Virgin Mobile which is just great but didn't care for their phones. Tried to port into MetroPCS but they wouldn't support 3G in my out of metro location. Finally landed on Page Plus with a $40 plan and 100 meg data. Finally found the $12 plan with 250 voice/text each and 10 meg data. I actually have 'NETWORK' turned off and use my home Wifi for data, or go to Home Depot or the grocery store for Wifi. Any of my apps run and/or update over Wifi, the data plan knows nothing about that.

So question for you. Should a Verizon/Sprint/ATT/TMobile customer have a smartphone but only provisioned for Voice/Text, as you demonstrate above, wouldn't they still be able to use personal Wifi for data operations? Or actually, if I no longer used the smartphone - no voice/text - wouldn't I still be able to use the data function over my personal Wifi, simply as an internet device?
tofurkey,

Not sure if you were addressing me or Michael, but anyway, here goes

Yes you can still use a smartphone for WiFI with a voice plan and no text/data. The only slight issue might be in regards to accessing some VZ or carrier specific services via WiFi. There may be a pop up message saying that you dont have a data plan etc but only apply for that specific issue.
The best way to is to disable data from the Android device presuming that is what is you have.

As far using the smartphone without any plan and just a WIFI device,of course that is absolutely possible. Best practice would be to turn on Airplane mode and THEN tuen on Wifi. this will save your battery from trying to access the cellular radio and burning through the battery.
I do this for an T-Mobile LG G Slate which I have no cellular service for, as well as a ton of other devices I have at home that I use for Skype or Tango calls etc. Its pretty nifty
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 998,384 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
Michael,

Your situation is definitely not unique and is one of the reasons that many former subscribers are moving to MVNOs (US Cellular, Virgin Mobile etc). They are tired of paying for services they absolultely have no use for and be stuck with a contract for 2 years.

Now as far where you are in Maine, I have never been there to do any coverage testing (I am engineer in this industry) but was curious about what you need the phone for.
Do you travel outside the local area a lot? Or are you generally someone that travels within a certain radius 99% of the time?

This can help you dictate whether or not to stick with Verizon or not, or go on a month to month/no contract type plan. Believe it or not, Verizon does have a month to month plan. The costs are a bit higher on calls and such, but it boils down to how many minutes you really use the air time for.
I helped my in laws for example save over $50/mo on their cell phone bills and had them switch to AT&T Pay as you go, because for them, the cell phone was merely a convenience, not a main line. They dont use the internet and if anything they might send a photo once or twice a month of my nephew.

The other option you can look at is, if you are just ok with your current plan, when the contract expires, you are done with it and will automatically go month to month. You can cancel at any time.
This might work for you and if you are willing to buy a phone from eBay or craigslist.

Just be aware of a few things if you decide to take this route:
- ALWAYS get the ESN number of the phone. Some phones being sold on the internet that have been stolen get the ESN blacked out (for obvious reasons) and the phone will be a paper weight.
- If you are meeting someone on craigslist, call Verizon right there and then to make sure that the ESN is clean.

You should absoliutely never have to feel that 'upgrading' is your only choice. The problem is that they dangle the carrot and say that you have to. Its completely wrong but understood as this is how they keep the machine going.

Last but not least, its very easy to buy a phone just like you have right now from eBay or craigslist. Once you buy it, call Verizon and tell them that you have a new phone and they will ask you for the ESN. They will then help your program it (simple process). Voila you are done.

Out of curiosity, are they making you pay for data with your current plan? If you dont use data, then you can actually take it off of your plan as it is only a feature. The ONLY contractually binding agreement you have with ANY operator is the voice plan, everything else is optional REGARDLESS of what they say. They will fight tooth and nail, but trust me, its illegal to do this.

Hope this helps

That was more information than I ever thought I could get from anyone. Thank you!


Right now, I'm month-to-month. My contract was fulfilled last year - I've batted about upgrading for a while. Out here I am probably temporary; I generally use the phone to keep in touch with friends and family back in the 'homeland'. Since my generation is the 'texting' generation my landline up here is quite useless, haha. It's nice for local calls but anything back down to NY would require some long distance card, of course. Since I'm in a period of my life where I travel and move alot it's useful in that respect too.

Data has some use to me, as my business is online...but I know if I psyche myself into thinking $30 a month is worth it I'll end up dumping the money into the trash because I have the computer for internet. I'm not tech-savvy nor do I use the phone for anything other than occasional minutes, lots of texting, and light data use.


My present plan is a $10 a month 'multimedia' requirement. Back when they had multimedia you could avoid the $30 charge. Like I said, I found a rare use for the internet but overall, I would use about 2-5% of my allocation monthly average. $10 didn't bother me but once the taxes and fees came up the cost of the monthly bill just seems ridiculous. I know people who pay more than me and toss their money down the drain but I'm not really a fan.


Out here in Lubec, I think there is a weak tower near Pembroke and they bounce off that. I don't know who owns the tower but the AT&T service map also has this tower and the service bubble creeps this way. Lubec and the area is notorious for spotty service - somehow I get just enough.


I'm basically stuck because I don't want to start a 2-year contract with Verizon - because I'm rather sure I'll be back in "civilization" after my stint here (which ends in July). I was intrigued by T-Mobile but their coverage seems to be clustered in urban areas.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Lubec, ME
908 posts, read 998,384 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post
P

The point is, if Michael runs the life of his contract, he is automatically going month to month thereafter and his voice plan continues.

While in a contract the only feature that cannot be dropped is voice. That is the only contractually obligated feature that any user is tied to or pay an ETF.

So you're saying that once I complete a contract, that I have the ability to reject the data? Wow. Learn something new every day! I assume since I am no longer 'under contract'.

So can I do this: would I be able to get a phone (used or new) on say, Ebay...activate it to replace my Samsung, and I would still continue month-to-month, without contract? Or does activating a phone one does not buy from Verizon re-establish a contract? I assume I get to continue month-to-month.

I do enjoy how they lure people into long contracts with fancy phones and low prices. Then you click 'month-to-month' and the costs go up 5-fold.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:37 PM
 
Location: 92037
4,630 posts, read 9,552,055 times
Reputation: 1947
Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_atw View Post
So you're saying that once I complete a contract, that I have the ability to reject the data? Wow. Learn something new every day! I assume since I am no longer 'under contract'.

So can I do this: would I be able to get a phone (used or new) on say, Ebay...activate it to replace my Samsung, and I would still continue month-to-month, without contract? Or does activating a phone one does not buy from Verizon re-establish a contract? I assume I get to continue month-to-month.

I do enjoy how they lure people into long contracts with fancy phones and low prices. Then you click 'month-to-month' and the costs go up 5-fold.
michael,

You can reject the data right now with your Samsung, as its a feature, not a requirement. The only requirement you are paying for are the voice minutes and actual 'service' of using Verizon. As I said before, its illegal for them to 'force you' to the data plan. Its a simple as calling and telling them that you never use it. They may be argumentative (VZW usually hates people questioning or changing their service).

Yes you can buy the phone from ebay or craigslist, activate and replace the Samsung continuing month to month. A contract basically locks you in and subsidizes the cost of the device if you buy it from the carrier.

Last edited by shmoov_groovzsd; 04-30-2012 at 01:06 PM..
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