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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

As Good As Verizon and Cheaper!

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Good news! Keep your Verizon phone and switch for free! (If your contract with Verizon is up. Verizon cancellation fees may still apply.)

P.S. More info coming on those who want to switch from AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

No Contracts! No mandatory data plans!

That's right, you can keep your old Verizon phone and switch to a cheaper service that is just as reliable as Verizon Wireless. How can this be? Page Plus Cellular is a pre-paid service that uses Verizon Wireless towers, which means you get the same great service without the contract and at a lower price.

My Experience with Page Plus Cellular

I've been researching a cheaper way to own a Smart Phone without paying $30 a month per phone for data service. Most Smart Phones are WiFi capable, meaning you can connect your phone to the Internet through any open WiFi connection in your house, at work, McDonald's, Starbucks...well you get the picture. This is what I want, to be able to Wi-Fi without paying data fees.

I decided before I purchase a Smart Phone I would try out the Page Plus Cellular service with my existing archaic flip phone (yes, I'm really that thrifty that I still have a 4-year-old flip phone.) I called Page Plus and within 15 minutes had my old Verizon phone transferred over to their service. All I needed was my account number and the "passcode", which is the last four digits of your social security number for Verizon. They also gave me a free $2 credit on the phone to try it out without paying a cent! That's right...they did not charge me $35 to activate my phone like Verizon and they gave me a free $2 credit. What other major cell phone service will do that? They basically paid me $2 to try their service.

So, I made a couple of calls to see how clear the calls were and if they would drop or not. I had perfectly clear calls and nothing dropped. I then could either call back and purchase a pre-paid card or shop online. The prices are the same (see the plans available here).  To just try out the service, I decided to purchase a $12 plan that has 250 minutes, 250 messages, and 10 MB data. Not much data, but I'm not using a Smart Phone yet (hoping for one for Mother's Day...hint, hint).

I can say with confidence that I am not disappointed in any way! For a person that just needs the phone for emergencies or only makes a few calls and texts a month, the $12 plan cannot be beat! Plus, I did not have to buy a new phone to switch.

The great part for me is that this is an easy way to budget. If money gets tight, you can cut back your monthly plan and buy a cheaper one, using your phone sparingly until things pick up. If things are going well, you can crank up the cell plan to use more data and call time. For the Thrifty Gal, this is a win-win for me.

What's the savings?

Phone and Start-up Cost

Verizon Start-up Cost of a Phone + $35 Activation Fee = $35 if you got a free phone - up to $350 for some of the Smart Phones

Page Plus Start-up Cost of a Phone = $0 (if you transfer your old phone) - $100 for their Kyocera Rio E3100

One draw back, Page Plus has lousy phones on their website, but... Stay tuned next time for my experience with ordering a new Smart Phone for a fraction of the cost!

Monthly Service Plan

This is a little hard to judge and really depends on how much you use your cell phone.

Pre-Paid
Verizon Pre-paid - 10¢ a minute plus $1.99 each day the phone is used or unlimited for $60 a month

Page Plus Pre-Paid - 6¢ a minutes or unlimited talk and text for $39.95 or $55 for unlimited talk and text and 1GB of data.

Contract
Verizon Contract Individual Plans - 450 minutes for $39.99 with unlimited weekend calls.

Verizon Contract Family Plans - 700 shared minutes for $69.98 for the first two lines plus an additional $9.95 for each additional phone. (This is the contract we have had with Verizon for the past 6 years.)

Page Plus has no contract plans, but they do have an auto-pay plan where you purchase the same plan automatically each month so you never loose service.

To be Continued...

Stay tuned next time for my experience with ordering a new Smart Phone for a fraction of the cost!

 

2 Responses so far.

  1. Verena B says:

    Thanks for sharing! I'll keep this in mind for when we get back to the States. In the meantime we're paying about $8/ month for each phone (3) here in China (pre-paid) & a text costs less than a call, so many people here have learned to do more texting.

  2. I had heard that China has lower-cost cell phone and other technologies than the US. I'm glad you could find something so economical there. I'm learning to do more texting too....it is fast and you can answer when you have time.

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