After 8 phone calls and 2hours on the phone with various Verizon Wireless customer support representatives I give up. We were relocated to France for a work assignment and I have tried to keep my phone number and verizon service active to support the roughly 3 weeks a year (for the next two years) that I will be back in the States. I was told before I left the states by a Verizon representative that I could suspend my service in three month increments while I am ex-US, which seemed like a good option. A good option until my first suspension continuation request online did not "take" and the email that noted the my service was being turned back on went to someone else (to be fair, a legacy email attached to our account). I was not made aware until I called to reinstate my service for a week in the US. Needless to say, I have had to pay a hefty $244 for 8 days of actual use in Nov/Dec. Interestingly, depending on who I talked to it sounded like my bill could have been reduced as a courtesy (note I have been a Verizon customer for a looooooong time). Unfortunately for me the customer service representative who said that accidentally disconnected our line when she put me on hold to check on plan options since the original information I was given around how to handle my account was wrong (turns out I can only suspend for 180 days a year). The next person I talked to offered no such concession. So, I paid. I can't bear the thought of a 9th call (from Europe nonetheless) and numerous telephone prompts and explaining my situation AGAIN. BUT I will be leaving Verizon as a customer after my long relationship as a result. There are no plans that adequately address our need to keep our line "live" that will cost less than$700-$800/year despite using the phone ~3 weeks/year while we are on assignment. And, I am frankly ticked that I got the "customer is wrong" treatment regarding my account resuspension in November. I went online. I did it. I have no proof. So... Verizon says it is not their fault. Customer service at its best. Turns out T-mobile does have options that cater to the needs of todays international corporate families. I will be transferring my service to them prior to my last suspension with Verizon expiring and will keep my number. Too bad Verizon couldn't be more customer focused and more solution focused.
And there are plenty of people on the T-Mobile forums who are unhappy with the policy T-Mobile has of having a monthly charge to have the line suspended. Doesn't matter which provider you are with, there will be people who will be unhappy with the policies of that provider. It is good you have found one you will be happy with. Not all people will be happy with the same provider which is one reason there are so many different ones.