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Prepaid Monthly Refills
TMCP
Member

I've still don't understand why Verizon requires a 1 to 3 month regular refill or you lose your minutes on all of the Prepaid plans -- the USE IT OR LOSE IT policy.  I've expressed my concerns with several Verizon representatives and I still don't know what to do.  When we were with Alltel, the prepaid phones had a policy that you only needed to use one minute a month or be charged a $4 fee.  Otherwise there was no refill requirements.  This worked out great for my mom who I got a prepaid cell phone for several years ago.  She doesn't even use her landline phone that much,  but the cell phone is for her to take along with her when out in the car  -- IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.  She makes sure she does her one minute a month to keep the phone activated and I monitor it online (or use to until Verizon bought  Alltel), and I maintain and refill it when needed.  Twenty dollars would last a long time unless she forgot to make her one minute call, then it would last  her only a few months.  Even that is not a big deal though.  If you forget several months in a row, well then you can't use your phone until it gets more money in it.  Verizon's Prepaid plans can't even be considered prepaid in my book.  If you have to refill every month or two  or lose your money and minutes, what makes it any different than a contract phone?  Cost wise, it seems it would be more expensive than an additional phone on a contract account because you must put in at least $10 or $15 minimum. Even your Basic Prepaid plan has this refill and USE IT OR LOSE IT  requirement.  Even if I choose the $3.99 per day used, they probably would only use it at the most five minutes in one day per month.  So, we will still lose the remaining dollars.  Thus is the problem:  My father-in-law has been on our contract for a couple of years and his phone goes out of contract this month.  We had him on an Alltel Prepaid prior to that, but being in the rural area the only phone number we could get for it at the time was long-distance from their landline phone.  So, we added him to our contract phone.  My in-laws also only used their cell phone for emergencies, or quick contacts and lately, due to both of them being in poor health, they rarely even use their contract phone.  They have to almost stand outside to use that phone because their receptions is not good in the house, so it's not like they use it everyday either.  PLEASE CONSIDER CHANGING YOUR PREPAID POLICY TO FIT THE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS.  Except for this Prepaid issue, I'm satisfied with Verizon since the Alltel buy-out.  I'm definitely in a quandary though as to what to do with my father-in-law's and my own mother's cell phones. I can't even monitor my mother's phone online through Alltel anymore.  I seem to be going around in circles with both of their phones.

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Re: Prepaid Monthly Refills
Minniehaha
Sr. Member

If your parents and inlaws income is very low theres a prepaid service from Trackphone and another carrier that is free, they give you the phone and a certain amount of minutes per month I think its 160 min. but not sure on that. I know NY and NJ  has the program I will check on more info for you. With the verizon prepaid you do not have to make a call each month to keep the service I think you only have to make one call. If your using the basic plan it would be .25 cents a minute. What state does you inlaws and mother live in.

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Re: Prepaid Monthly Refills
Minniehaha
Sr. Member

Ok the program is called Safeline Wireless here are the states that have it

Alabama, Connecticut,  DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada New Hampshire,NJ, NY, North Carolina, Ohio, Pensylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin  
   
   
 
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Re: Prepaid Monthly Refills
SuzyQ
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

We've recently gone through research for MY parents and what cell phone plan would be most cost effective for them, and still give them the minimum "required" usage, since they would rarely actually use the phone.

 

My Mom has a Jitterbug, $15 basic which amounts to about $20 a month with added fees and taxes, for 30 minutes a month; they carry over into the next month and then expire if not used.  No voicemail, the phone has a DIAL TONE when you flip it open....it's different than a typical cell phone, but she got it for "emergency use", and has gotten used to having it with her.  She now wants my Dad to carry one with him, but having two of these relatively expensive for the minutes devices didn't seem logical.  And she doesn't like having to keep track of the minutes.....

 

A full blown account was cost prohibitive, pre-paid likewise with even more hassle re-loading the minutes....

 

Our solution was to add a line to our family plan, and give them one of our older spare phones that is still very serviceable.  They share our minutes, get unlimited texting thrown in (which they may never use, but who knows?) and can use it as much or as little as they want.  They pay us the $11 - $12 a month it adds to our bill, and have to keep track of NOTHING.  Since they used one of our old phones, there is no contract.  We have plenty of spares if they need another, and we can drop the line anytime they feel it's not needed.

 

So now Dad carries the Jitterbug for emergencies, and Mom has a "real" cellphone with texting, and I can get hold of either one of them quickly (they are in NY and I am in CA).  Pre-paid just didn't seem to cut it for us....

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Re: Prepaid Monthly Refills
Minniehaha
Sr. Member

I understand what your  saying. I have the verizon prepay and get the $30.00 card  every three months and the minutes carry over as long as I refill on time.  My daughter in law has Virgin Mobile and she pays $20.00 for three months and both verizon and virgin mobile are regular phones and you can text or use voice. You can add mintues from your computer for you parents and also check what there balance is at all times.  Just thought I would mention this in case you wanted other ideas. Good Luck with your situation.

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Re: Prepaid Monthly Refills
SuzyQ
Sr. Leader
Sr. Leader

 


Minniehaha wrote:

... Just thought I would mention this in case you wanted other ideas. Good Luck with your situation.


Thanks for the feedback, Minnie.  Adding a line to our family plan was incredibly simple, and very cost effective for my folks.  We USE our family plan and the unlimited texting, and even if they (my parents) don't use the phone much at all, it's still cheaper for them than a prepaid, and doesn't affect our plan unless they cause us to go over our minutes (highly unlikely!).

 

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