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old prepaid plan changed to $5/mo - phone not working

From verizon:

"Beginning in August 2021, we will automatically move your account to a new plan. Your phone number will stay the same and your current phone will continue to work on the new plan

The new plan will cost $5 per month, plus taxes and fees.
It will include 20 minutes of talk; each additional talk minute and text will be charged at a per-use rate.

If you currently have a balance of available funds, they will be transferred to your new plan.
Any monthly payments and per-use charges will automatically be deducted from your available funds."

About me:

16 yr old prepaid plan ($15/mo with rollover now over $700 in account) and phone lg vx3200 flip phone.

Phone now has no service or 1 bar max if i get lucky (hit or miss if I can make or receive calls) - I understand the reason needed to upgrade the phone to 4g, however I get conflicting info from Verizon about doing this.


So I need a new phone:

Try online from the verizon website - will not let me buy a phone unless I pick a new plan - no option for existing customer.

Prepaid customer service #1 - no way to buy a phone from website - (workaround) POSSIBLE to buy the phone from the verizon website, waste $35 on cheapest prepaid plan, and then verizon MIGHT be able to put the new phone on my existing plan -told I can request the current funds back from my account - I want to think about options and will call back later

Go to verizon company stores - no prepaid phones - told to go to best buy or dollar general to buy a phone - ask them to verify with verizon that I can be refunded money from my account - 10 minutes later they come back and confirm that money can be refunded

Prepaid customer service #2 - I ask to have the new phone paid for with the some of the existing funds in the account - told they can't do that but that verizon can send $150/mo checks to reimburse me the cost of the phone (3rd time told this from verizon) - get sent to verizon phone sales (tel-sales) - allowed to purchase the phone at cost plus tax ($260 total) with no need to switch plans - get sent back to prepaid customer service to request my refund checks and request $300 back, keep the rest ($400) on the plan - promptly told no verizon does not do this.


Due to the switch in plans I have an account balance of $700 which no longer rolls over - at $5/mo it will take 11.5 yrs to get my account to $0 - told I can request money back - end up having trouble even buying a phone from verizon, which I proceed to purchase BECAUSE I will be reimbursed money from my account - 20 minutes after phone purchase, told I cannot get money refunded - cost me $260 with no money refunded from my account

I would like $300 of my unused prepaid money refunded to me and some kind of explanation as to why I was given false and conflicting information.