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Old Yesterday, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
2,402 posts, read 830,293 times
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***To clarify things a bit: this isn't an issue with my phone or service, but that of an older family member.

I have an older family member who has a GoPhone account with Verizon Wireless attached to an older flip phone with far more minutes on it that she needs.

Because this was a pay-as-you-go for minutes account (these no longer exist at Verizon), she would go into her local Verizon store on an annual basis, put a hundred bucks on the account and think nothing of it until the following year when she'd go back in and do the same. Because the phone is rarely used, she's unaware of how to check her minutes, didn't realize that said minutes would continue to roll over until the next year (and the next and the next...), and the associates who processed her in-person payment never thought to tell her just how many minutes/dollars she had on her account, she now has a lot of money that will never be used tied up into that account.

They weren't able to assist her in person at the Verizon store with this issue other than to tell us to add her to someone else's plan and I am unable to access her account on my own. Adding her to either my plan or that of another family member would cost her far more than makes sense as she keeps the phone around mostly for emergencies and for when she's on the road.

Once this issue is resolved, she'll be switching to a carrier that's more appropriate for her usage (we already have one in mind, so no need for suggestions on that front).

Long story short: short of transferring the funds over to either my or another family member's account by adding her phone to one of our plans, then deactivating the phone, and cutting her a personal check (effectively "robbing Peter to pay Paul), is there a better, more concise way for her to receive a refund from Verizon Wireless?

Last edited by Formerly Known As Twenty; Yesterday at 04:02 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 07:32 PM
 
9,834 posts, read 21,906,886 times
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Why does she need a refund? Not that she’ll get one anyway.. Just use the minutes (stop adding them too!) and when the minutes are done, worry about adding her to someone’s account at that point.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 PM
 
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If it is similar to my old pay as you go flip phone with verizon (which I had for 10 years), I had just under $1000 worth of minutes. Once you reach $1000 worth of minutes - Puff it goes to zero.

So, I went to Verizon and transferred the credit balance of $946 over to a new wireless regular account (rather than a pay as you go account) with the same flip phone I had been using for 10 years. I simply got a monthly bill that reduced the credit balance every month. So, basically free phone usage for over 3 years. I still had about a $240 credit when I decided to get a new iphone with a new telephone number. They set up the new iphone with a new phone number and transferred the balance left under the old phone number to the new phone number and then cancelled the old phone number.

I think it has to stay under the original individual name, but, by changing from a pay as you go phone to a regular wireless telephone bill account you have a credit you can use up over many years. WARNING - if the dollar amount goes over $1000 on the pay as you go phone the money is lost. So, you want to be sure to change to a regular wireless account before you reach the maximum $1000 amount on the pay as you go phone.

Google the type of pay as you go account and read the terms and conditions. You probably can find it if you go on line and look at the verizon terms and conditions for her present phone. They will not refund the amount. They will let her roll it over to a regular wireless account and she can still use her same phone and phone number. I think with a $946 credit I had almost 40 months (About $25 per month for a regular wireless account for my flip phone) to use up the credit.

If she reaches/ exceeds $1000 credit remaining on her phone when it is time to add another $100 to keep her phone active for another year - you loose the entire credit. So, act sooner than later or you loose the credit.

Last edited by Mary2014; Yesterday at 07:53 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 07:34 PM
 
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According to a quick Google search prepaid phone services are nonrefundable and non transferable. If you cancel with money still on the account, that money is forfeited.
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Old Yesterday, 07:35 PM
 
1,437 posts, read 1,846,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
Why does she need a refund? Not that she’ll get one anyway.. Just use the minutes (stop adding them too!) and when the minutes are done, worry about adding her to someone’s account at that point.
Kim this will not work. With a pay as you go phone, you must add at least $100 a year to keep the phone active. If you fail to do so the phone number is deactivated and you loose the credit and the phone number.
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Old Yesterday, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sundaydrive00 View Post
According to a quick Google search prepaid phone services are nonrefundable and non transferable. If you cancel with money still on the account, that money is forfeited.
True, but, if you transfer the prepaid phone number over to a regular wireless account they did allow you to transfer the $ balance over as well. At least they did for me in 2014. (As long as the dollar amount was less than $1000). Once the $ amount hits $1000 the credit will disappear. So, I had to change the prepaid account over to a regular wireless account before the next renewal date took my balance over the $1000 limit.
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
2,402 posts, read 830,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
Why does she need a refund? Not that she’ll get one anyway.. Just use the minutes (stop adding them too!) and when the minutes are done, worry about adding her to someone’s account at that point.
The reason for this is because she has far more than just minutes at this point in time and she rarely uses the phone as it's her travel/emergency only phone. If she was an consistently active user of her cell phone, it would make sense for her to use those hours (!) up, but she prefers her landline (and her desktop computer for computer needs. She has zero interest in a smart phone) and to be honest, the only person who she consistently talks to for any length of time is her daughter. Most phone calls are the usual chat for a bit or calls from the local school district, doctor's offices, or places with which she does business.

Furthermore, in this age of data and texting (which she does not do and has no interest in doing) which has largely supplanted actual phone calls, it's truly not worth what it would cost her/us to be added to a family member's account. The money that's sitting in her account goes far beyond mere pocket change. When I checked on Verizon's website, it does mention that refunds of money left in an account can be had, but it takes closure of the account in order to make that happen. That being said, pretty much everything needs to be done via a Verizon online account, which she does not have. (It could, however, be set up for her if need be.)

What she's no longer doing is adding money/minutes to her account, which is a start.

Last edited by Formerly Known As Twenty; Yesterday at 08:32 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
2,402 posts, read 830,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary2014 View Post
True, but, if you transfer the prepaid phone number over to a regular wireless account they did allow you to transfer the $ balance over as well. At least they did for me in 2014. (As long as the dollar amount was less than $1000). Once the $ amount hits $1000 the credit will disappear. So, I had to change the prepaid account over to a regular wireless account before the next renewal date took my balance over the $1000 limit.
That's good to know! The account currently stands at $700. I'll find out when her renewal date is so we have a time frame within which we can plan what works best for her and her very basic cell phone needs.

My own account is a prepaid plan, but the other family member has a standard family plan. Adding her to his plan, then transferring her funds over to his account might be the way to go. It's the best recommendation the associate at Verizon could give us, too. What you did with your own account transfer seems very similar to my family member's situation.

The associate who assisted us had never seen a GoPhone plan as they no longer offer those at Verizon. Of course, they didn't recommend subsequently shutting off her phone account with Verizon, but that's what we'll likely do as there's no sense in permanently adding her on to either of our plans.

**Just read your other post. The associate at Verizon did tell us that the money in her account could be transferred over to someone else's account, but it will take a few jumps through multiple hoops to make that happen. (Call to Verizon to add her number/funds, then an email with an authorization to be electronically signed by my family member, then a PIN....)

Thanks for all of the solid recommendations!
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Old Yesterday, 08:58 PM
 
1,437 posts, read 1,846,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly Known As Twenty View Post
That's good to know! The account currently stands at $700. I'll find out when her renewal date is so we have a time frame within which we can plan what works best for her and her very basic cell phone needs.

My own account is a prepaid plan, but the other family member has a standard family plan. Adding her to his plan, then transferring her funds over to his account might be the way to go. It's the best recommendation the associate at Verizon could give us, too. What you did with your own account transfer seems very similar to my family member's situation.

The associate who assisted us had never seen a GoPhone plan as they no longer offer those at Verizon. Of course, they didn't recommend subsequently shutting off her phone account with Verizon, but that's what we'll likely do as there's no sense in permanently adding her on to either of our plans.
If the option I had is still the same she simply has to change her Verizon pay as you go plan to a regular verizon wireless account. She can keep her flip phone and telephone number. The Verizon wireless basic account costs about $25 a month. She could continue to use her same phone and phone number, at about $25 a month it will take 28 months to use up the $700 credit. So, she will get a bill with a negative amount each month until the credit is used up. Basically a free phone bill for over two years. I think the account has to be in her name for the credit to get moved to the regular wireless account. I don't think she can go on someone else's plan and still keep the credit - but, I am not sure about that.

I do know that once she hits a $1000 credit balance on the pay as you go plan - the credit balance reverts to zero. So, it is the only way to use up the credit balance and not have a telephone bill for over 2 years. Once the credit is used up she could go on a plan with someone else.

Before you make any move verify that it has not changed since I did it in 2014.
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Old Yesterday, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
2,402 posts, read 830,293 times
Reputation: 6359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary2014 View Post
If the option I had is still the same she simply has to change her Verizon pay as you go plan to a regular verizon wireless account. She can keep her flip phone and telephone number. The Verizon wireless basic account costs about $25 a month. She could continue to use her same phone and phone number, at about $25 a month it will take 28 months to use up the $700 credit. So, she will get a bill with a negative amount each month until the credit is used up. Basically a free phone bill for over two years. I think the account has to be in her name for the credit to get moved to the regular wireless account. I don't think she can go on someone else's plan and still keep the credit - but, I am not sure about that.

I do know that once she hits a $1000 credit balance on the pay as you go plan - the credit balance reverts to zero. So, it is the only way to use up the credit balance and not have a telephone bill for over 2 years. Once the credit is used up she could go on a plan with someone else.

Before you make any move verify that it has not changed since I did it in 2014.
The associate that she and I spoke with in person this past Monday did say that her number/account could be moved over to another's with her authorization and some back and forth with Verizon, so that doesn't seem to have changed since you made the switch in 2014. We'll find out soon enough whether or not that's truly the case.

She's uses fewer than thirty minutes **per year** on that flip phone (more like fifteen minutes, to be honest), so even twenty-five bucks a month is excessive. What will likely happen if the account can be rolled into another's is that a personal check will be exchanging hands once the transfer is complete.

Something like Ting is going to be the way to go for her needs once she can get things squared away with Verizon as to put her on the other family member's plan will run him $50/month. That would be fine if she was a heavy data user like his children, but for someone who only uses it for talk (and very, very rarely at that), it's a waste of money. As for the number, she couldn't care less if she keeps it or not as few of us ever use that number--including her.

Once again, I appreciate all of your guidance and advice with this.
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