My daughter's old phone finally broke, and she needed a new one. We consulted a friend who had an old working phone she could have. She switched the SIM cards, but it wouldn't unlock. I attempt to add the device by the IMEI, but the results said it was not compatible with Verizon. I soon realized that the phone was bought from MetroPCS. is there anyway I could add the phone onto my data plan? Or would I have to buy her a new phone?
#1 you would need to contact Metro PCS to get it unlocked. Typically for prepaid carriers (such as Metro PCS) you must have active service at the time of request and have had it in service for a year. That was my experience with Boost Mobile. Rules may vary by carrier, but even if you pay "full" price you're not really paying full price. The carrier is subsidizing those prepaid phones to make it more affordable.
#2 Assuming you're able to get it unlocked, it would need to be compatible on the Verizon network. Since Metro PCS is an MVNO off of T-Mobile, and T-Mobile is a GSM carrier, it would likely not work on Verizon's CDMA network. There are exceptions. High end Samsung devices have universal acceptance (when unlocked) and some Apple devices.
Long story short, it's not likely you'd be able to bring it over. You may not be able to get it unlocked, and even if you did, it would only work on T-Mobile and AT&T networks.