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Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

I've always been a contract customer since coming from basic phone prepaid service in 2003, so I have never dealt with data and smartphones on Verizon prepaid before. (outside of reading and mostly understanding how the plans work) I remember there being much less support for prepaid 12 years ago.  I would think that the service is the same, but the features and support might differ.

I am soon to be out of contract and on the Loyalty $60 2GB. I have my LG G2 and spare SIMs presently, so it would be a BYOD situation.  I already do not receive any discounts, be they employer or other since I am not on More Everything. I am looking into this beforehand.

Prepaid advantages are that on autopay, 1 GB bonus data is offered.  I don't even use the 2GB I have.  Coverage area is identical as well.

$45  2 GB    autopay

$60  3.5 GB autopay

$60  2 GB    contract

I know I won't have all the extra features like visual voicemail, international texting, loyalty rewards program, cloud, hotspot, NFL mobile, all that is included with More Everything plans.  I don't have those options now other than VVM and Cloud, but use neither.  I figure those features are reasons as to why the More Everything is a bit higher.

Single Line is also not really on my radar given it's $60 and $75 price points (without Edge.)

Perhaps I am missing something if this is a bad move or not.  There isn't a lot of chatter about prepaid on the forums. And, we all know few come to the forum to sing praise.  I know contract service was fine for the most part, no issues with billing, overages, prolonged outages, etc...  there are also nuances in support features as well to include increased wait times on the phone.  I also know I can not get this plan back if I decide to return.

What will I be gaining or losing if I go to prepaid?  Is the ~$15 saved ($60 vs $45) worth any losses?  Is this idea I have that Contract service is viewed more highly than Prepaid just a stigma in my mind from old ways and former days?

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

UPDATE

I decided to go the Verizon Prepaid route. 

It took me calling the porting dept. ( 888-844-7095)  to get my phone at 100% working, because my Boost phone was still making and receiving calls and texts and using data the next day, but my Verizon phone would receive and send texts and use data, but could only call out, but not receive calls.  (Make sure to have your Boost or other carrier account number and PIN, if any, available.  Boost makes you call them to get your account number, and make sure to say, "For my records." 

One can also check port status here:  Transfer Your Phone Number - Switch to Verizon Wireless

Also see:

Customer Service - Prepaid

(888) 294-6804

or dial *611 from your mobile phone

Mon - Sun, 6 AM - 11 PM Local Time

The promo on Verizon Prepaid was for 1GB bonus data for signing up with Auto-pay and when porting a number in, the 2nd month is free.

What happened next:

After inquiring as to how to get the second month free while on auto-pay, I discovered that with AP enabled, the charge would be automatic on the next renewal date, for which I have set to 3 days before end of cycle, just to avoid any upsets, just in case.  However, if the second month was free and the AP was charged, there would be a credit for one month.  Yet, to avoid the charge I would have to disable AP, but that would take away my 1GB bonus data.

Where I am now:

What I found out, and this is both good and bad, is that somehow, my 1st month acted as my 2nd month, meaning my 1st month is free AND I already have the 1GB bonus data added.  This means I have to disable AP BEFORE the end of the cycle, as close as possible, to avoid the charge and avoid losing my 1GB bonus, which will be lost the minute AP is disabled, but I am told there are no overages so anything over the 1GB that would have been left will not be charged.

Originally, I was told to let the auto-payment go through to keep my data and to request a refund for the 2nd month charge.  Either way, one month would be free and the bonus data would be kept.  We all know how it goes getting refunds, am I right?  Nonetheless, I took a look at my account and noticed the last CC charge was listed as "cash" in the description of payment method, however, the charge is already posted on my CC account.

I suppose it's a wait-and-see type thing regarding next month as to how the charges work.  I have never known Verizon to speed up the honoring of a promotion incentive by a month.  I suppose I will know on the renewal date: either my phone will work meaning the credit stayed on the account and it will draw from the amount I already applied, or the free month will kick in and the first month will actually have been an actual paid month.  Either way, the bill is paid.  Hopefully.

To add, Prepaid Chat support is far below the level of accessibility that inquiring new customers or post-paid plan customers receive.  The Chat button is rarely red, and one can timeout their session before Chat is available.  But, I guess I'm OK with that for what I pay.  Also, you can count on *611 going straight to an outsourced rep.  Calling the prepaid number (listed above) will get you to the people I was used to on post-paid.  The menu is a bit finicky, and don't count on "0" getting you to a live person.  Also, the My Verizon app works about the same as post-paid, but you have no access to the data-use widget.  You have to log in each time to see the amount of data used so far that cycle.  I did find that the phone's data use counter (a little higher) was fairly correct and matched Verizon's amount.  Though, the My Verizon app for prepaid is updated regularly, so it says, but the info is not.  One might also use a 3rd party data counter widget in the app store of their choice.

However, I am satisfied using my LG G2 with a seemingly perfect installation of 5.0.2 (for which I factory reset again just to start fresh) and my previous contract SIM worked fine on the network and I won't incur any overages, just an inability to call in roaming areas unless there is .20 cents per min worth of money on the account, but SMS/MMS will work, (so I was told) and data will still work as long as there is data left unused.  Plus, that's what Hangouts Dialer with a Google Voice number is for.

Maybe someone else sees this thread and can benefit from this info if they are considering Prepaid with Verizon.

Thanks for all the input!

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
GZRX
Novice

I'll take a shot at this question as pertains to Verizon prepaid.  The upside, you'll save near the equivalent of two six-packs of Heineken a month.  The downside, you would now have a roaming area which is either not accessible or will be an additional cost on a per-use basis, not sure which.  There is an interactive coverage map on  the Verizon website that shows the areas.

Stigma?, I've spent years on Tracfone, Net10 and Page Plus prepaid services with low end or used phones on ATT or Verizon towers. Never felt the less for it and was happy to pocket the savings although tech support could be a real challenge and I did loose a couple of phone numbers along the way..

Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

Thanks for giving some input GZRXSmiley Happy

Researching the coverage map shows identical areas as postpaid.  The prepaid roaming areas are the postpaid extended areas, which there aren't any within 5 hours from me. 

That was my main concern that I failed to ask initially:  roaming and fees.  I don't understand how prepaid can incur a roaming charge...it's paid up front.  I know I have heard of people being charged on the next months renewal for roaming min/text. 

How did you come about losing your numbers?

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

I have also noticed, here in the forums, that vzw reps will almost always refer a prepaid customer to the prepaid phone number rather than offer any other support.  To me, this is one of the nuances of pre vs post support, much like the longer wait times and limited auto-menus when calling.  As a forum user myself, I know there are other, usually more qualified individuals, who provide support peer to peer, so that isn't a huge concern and our response time here is usually fast enough to match that of a called-in inquiry, except in the cases of account information.  I'm used to a set it and forget it type of action (except to watch the account activity in My Verizon) and never have to call in for any reason usually.  I see a lot of folks having issues with autopay bonus data being applied as well as the 2nd month of service being honored.  That has a lot to do with qualifications of the promo I know, and not everyone adheres to that, or thinks they do, but really haven't.

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
GZRX
Novice

As to roaming, it seems equitable to set a base rate for Verizon towers and bill individual customers for their use of roaming.

I lost a couple of phone numbers to port issues while using the Tracfone family because it was easier to notify the few contacts I had at that time of the number change rather than deal with America Movil (Tracfone) support which seems poorly trained and outsourced to individuals whose first language is not English which creates significant communication issues.

I've given some thought to jumping ship.  After reading unending negative reports regarding returning phones to the Texas warehouse and subsequent contacts with Verizon, I early on dropped my phone insurance and gave up any consideration of up trading phones. I could jump ship today, pay the ETF and break even by end of contract date by paying $45 a month or less for a different service. Stuck on the fence for now.

Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

Unless you are in Texas, Kentucky, or Oklahoma, you have the same coverage where coverage exists as with postpaid.  Those have the largest extended area which is prepaid roaming area.  Yeah, I'm still on the fence here.  I should look at it from a standpoint of money rather than service I think, given the service isn't that much different, but $15 a month can make a difference for me.

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

Just discovered AT&T has 1.5GB with roll over.  I know how RO data works, so that doesn't bother me, but the coverage is MUCH better and it's the same price at $45.  Only drawback is that I don't have an AT&T phone.  BUT, they at least have unlimited but throttled data after the high-speed cap at or below 128kbps.  Another angle to consider now.

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

Well, guess I will sit back and decide another time.  Doesn't look like there's much interest in the prepaid threads enough to warrant continued conversation here.  Surprised more people, especially long time community members didn't have at least some input; opinion, fact or otherwise.  Thanks again for your input.

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Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
MiiHere
Leader

I've always thought of prepaid as being for folks who either don't use their phone very often, or folks who are in a bit of a sticky credit situation and can't qualify for prepaid without some astronomical deposit. I suppose you kind of have to be in either of those two categories because the plans they offer are so minimal as far as data goes, but I'm always shopping for 2 people so I see 1.5GB and I think "aw nah!"

I didn't research into the coverage and roaming bit of conversation, but it sounds like you'd have everything you needed PLUS some extra money by switching to prepaid. In my short time here I too have noticed that all prepaid questions just receive a standard "here is the prepaid phone line." and can't help but wonder, is it because Verizon sees them as the peons of the Verizon Family?

I am totally on board for the prepaid though, you've thought it through and who wouldn't love an extra $360 a year - looking at the bigger savings make me like it even more, THEN you mentioned At&T and that sounds even better if the coverage they offer is greater and you get more; the drawback being that you wouldn't see your savings for a long time because you'd need an At&T device; that I like less.

What I'd like to know, because I don't know much about prepaid, how much would you have to spend on a new device for At&T prepaid? How long would it take to then see that $15 a month savings again once you made up for the phone purchase?

Re: Thinking about switching to Prepaid, researching details Prepaid vs Postpaid
Snn5
Sr. Leader

MiiHere wrote:

I've always thought of prepaid as being for folks who either don't use their phone very often, or folks who are in a bit of a sticky credit situation and can't qualify for prepaid without some astronomical deposit.

Yeah, I used to have that stigma as well.

I suppose you kind of have to be in either of those two categories because the plans they offer are so minimal as far as data goes, but I'm always shopping for 2 people so I see 1.5GB and I think "aw nah!"

Even on postpaid I never went over 1.5GB, even on Unlimited data I didn't go over 5GB.  That's why I changed to the Loyalty Plan long ago.  I was paying $110 a month and wasn't using it for all I could.  My Unlimited plan was for a 3G device and tethering/hotspot was NOT included, but was an add-on for $30 a month for 2GB.

I didn't research into the coverage and roaming bit of conversation, but it sounds like you'd have everything you needed PLUS some extra money by switching to prepaid. In my short time here I too have noticed that all prepaid questions just receive a standard "here is the prepaid phone line." and can't help but wonder, is it because Verizon sees them as the peons of the Verizon Family?

Coverage Locator

I think the issue is that most people have the idea that prepaid is beneath them and therefore have never gone that route, or either needed more than what prepaid offered.

I am totally on board for the prepaid though, you've thought it through and who wouldn't love an extra $360 a year - looking at the bigger savings make me like it even more, THEN you mentioned At&T and that sounds even better if the coverage they offer is greater and you get more; the drawback being that you wouldn't see your savings for a long time because you'd need an At&T device; that I like less.  What I'd like to know, because I don't know much about prepaid, how much would you have to spend on a new device for At&T prepaid? How long would it take to then see that $15 a month savings again once you made up for the phone purchase?

Yeah, AT&T is a better deal long term, but it would take a while to recoup the cost of a good phone.  They don't have much in the way of G2 or better in the low-mid budget range.  So, the savings would be null there since the money saved would be covering a phone cost. Almost like having a post paid plan and an Edge payment. (except paid in full upfront) The only good thing there is the unlimited, yet throttled, data after the LTE cap and the better rural coverage.  But then, I haven't gone near 1GB in a while, so every other even month I'd have 2+GB and 1.5GB on the odd months.  Which begs the question:  Why spend money when you have a perfectly good $500 phone already and never go near the 2GB offered on autopay?

Thanks for the input.  Sometimes we just need to bounce ideas off through typed thought.

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