I am reposting this message because the vzw_customer_support agent who had PM'ed me, and was supposed to be helping me with this (Debbie), seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. I also spoke with Shantia today on the phone and was unconvinced that she would call me back or attempt to resolve this. So let's try this again...
For many years, I had been on the Verizon prepaid FreeUp plan ($30/3-months) and had accumulated a large balance for unused minutes. In early September 2021, Verizon switched me to a new prepaid plan (compatible with 4G/5G, which the FreeUp plan was not) called "The $5 plan", which debits my balance for $5 each month and that is supposed to pay for the first 20 minutes that month; once the 20 minutes has been used up, it is supposed to debit my balance 20 cents per minute. I have texting disabled so there is no charge for that (if texting were enabled, my balance would be debited 10 cents per text).
I then upgraded from a 3G phone (Samsung Gusto 3) to a 4G phone (Alcatel Go Flip V) with no problem.
But the plan is not working as described. Instead, it debits my balance $5 each month and the very next time I make a call or answer a call, it debits my balance for 20 cents. In other words, the 20 minutes that was supposed to be included in the $5 charge is nowhere to be found!
I have been calling Verizon since 9/16 about this, spoken to 10 different agents and/or supervisors, many of which have acknowledged the problem and told me they'd call back (which the never did), had several "tickets" submitted, and had the mysterious 20-minutes refreshed a number of times, ALL TO NO AVAIL.
Just this morning I spoke with supervisor Ricardo who agreed there is a technical issue and promised to call me back "in 20 or 30 minutes". It's been more than an hour now and no call. He tried to upsell me to the $25/unlimited talk and text prepaid plan, but I explained to him that, given my infrequent usage of this phone, my balance would go further on the $5 plan if they would only get it working properly.
Verizon apparently dreamed up this plan to transition 3G FreeUp customers to a 4G plan, but have no idea how it works or why it doesn't adhere to the rules documented for the plan. The plan is documented in the FAQ on this web page: https://www.verizon.com/featured/network-update/
Another weird thing - this plan charges 20 cents for calls to *611, #BAL, and #MIN calls, which I've been told is normal, but that never happened when I was on the FreeUp plan.
Anybody have a clue how to get this plan fixed so that it works as advertised?
Hello, frank7070. We are sorry to hear that your $5.00 Prepaid plan is not working correctly. We would be happy to help address this issue for you. We have sent you a Private Message to assist you further. *Cassie
I chatted online with Cassie on Saturday 10/16, and she looked over the situation and said I needed to contact Verizon tier 2 technical support, and told me how to do that. She also said that "There is another issue we are seeing on the account that they have the tools to fix. This may be impacting the ability of system to apply the plans minutes. Your device is not registered on a network element." Cassie was very helpful, but ultimately needed to pass me on to a higher authority.
I then talked at some length to Jake at tier 2 technical support. At first, he tried to dismiss the problem in two ways: 1) telling me that I had actually used up the 20 minutes (which he could clearly see from my call record was not the case); and 2) saying that the 20 minutes is not available with this plan if a 4G phone is being used (whereupon I explained to him that the whole purpose of this plan was to transition 3G Freeup plan users to a plan that was compatible with 4G phones, and what exactly would the $5 buy me if not the 20 minutes?). He then saw the light and at great length created a new NRB (Network Repair Bureau) ticket. He did not understand the meaning of Cassie's "Your device is not registered on a network element", but included it in the ticket. I did get an actual free (really free) text message from 899000 on 10/17 saying that the ticket was being worked (first such text message I received in spite of two prior NRB tickets). Jake had said to give it 7 days.
So I guess there is hope. I can't believe others that were moved to this plan have not also reported this anomaly.
I just got an email from Verizon Community asking that I mark the Accepted Solution. Well there isn't one yet - it's apparently a work in progress. On Wed 10/20 I got the following text from 899000:
Your ticket is under continued investigation. We will notify you when the issue is resolved.
So, I'll post the outcome here once I get the result of the "investigation". Then I'll mark it as the Accepted Solution.