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Thread: Curious if my plan to move to Tracfone makes sense....

  1. #1
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    Curious if my plan to move to Tracfone makes sense....

    My family currently has 3 phones on PagePlus. We rarely text.

    1. Old Windows Smartphone connects to my home phones via bluetooth. The Verizon HTC phone sits on a shelf and only uses talk minutes - I load yearly $80/2000 minutes card about every 4 months (500 minutes a month at 4 cents)

    2. iphone 4S is my cellphone, which I only use outside of the house, mainly for data. I load an $80/2000 minutes about every 4 months (400 mb a month )

    3. An old Verizon flip phone for voice only. It gets a $10 refill every couple of months, and is for quick check in calls or ordering pizza.

    I want to replace my iphone 4S with a iphone 5S. This means I no longer qualify for Page Plus Pay-As-You-Go cards. Since I can go a week without turning on my phone, pay-as-you-go has worked out well for me and I do not want a monthly plan. If I'm traveling without WIFI I can use most of my data over a few days, and then none for a week or two. I only talk on the phone when traveling, so the majority of the "minutes" go towards data.

    I looked around and think I'm going to go with Tracfone. I used Tracfone years ago (Verizon) and it worked fine. I live in coastal Maine, and Verizon has the best coverage. I read that Tracfone no longer has "roaming," and I'm not sure if I should be concerned. Previously, I never had a problem with Tracfone, but I do venture into parts of the state where Verizon coverage is spotty. That said, Verizon is the only reliable service at my house and I do use my phone for internet during power outages. Using PagePlus, I have never had a connection problem in low coverage areas.

    My tentative plan
    Activate the iphone 5S on Tracfone with a $15 card to get started
    Port the 4S number to the 5S
    Port the old windows "home phone" to the 4S (keeping the 4S on Page Plus and taking it with me as a backup on trips to remote parts of the state may mitigate any roaming issues)
    If Tracfone coverage is an issue, switch to something else...

    I'm hoping this makes sense...Please let me know if you have a suggestion.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I would recommend studying the Verizon coverage maps & open signal maps.
    The tracfone feature phones can roam, but not the BYOP - the native coverage may or may not work for you, depending on your travels.

  3. #3
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    Have you done the numbers to see how much you'll spend on TracFone for your usage needs?

    If you enter your zip code on TracFone website, does it says you'll have coverage? Do local stores like Wal-Mart sell CDMA TracFone smartphones? Those factors would indicate you should have coverage.

    TracFone BYOP has talk, text and data buckets separate - so you have to have a balance in each bucket to use the corresponding function. Data only refills cost $10/GB.

    I would suggest porting in the number as part of the activation vs porting after activating - less interaction required with CS that way .

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. It's been years since I have looked at phone service. I looked at the Verizon maps and downloaded the opensignal app (didn't know apps like this existed). I verified that I have Verizon coverage in the areas I use cell data/phone the most. The more rural areas do not have coverage. Now that I think of it, with PagePlus I often have "no service" while driving in these areas. By the time we get to our destination (a real town), I would have service. I'll just have to remember to bring a PagePlus phone when going any distance until I figure out my problem areas.

    Because my usage doesn't fit well with a monthly plan, my overall costs using Tracfone will be lower than going with some of the other Verizon resellers. I'll just have to figure out the best strategy for filling my buckets. I did find a nice spreadsheet on this site that will help with that analysis. No matter what, it will always be lower than what my peers pay for Verizon even with my workplace discount.

    Thanks for the suggestion of doing the port as part of activation. I used tracfone for probably 5 or 6 years and spent countless hours with them. I think my last lesson learned was to use chat vs. calling. Also there used to be a phone number dedicated to higher tier support people. Hopefully, I'll never have to see if it still exists.

  5. #5
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    Definitely use chat. If you search for "spreadsheet" you should find a few. Might want to make sure they have current data.

    Get yourself a BYOP SIM with TMFL if possible:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...an-on-Tracfone

  6. #6
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    Page Plus and Tracfone Smartphone and BYOP Verizon coverage is identical. The only difference is that Page Plus allows you to pay extra when you need roaming. Have you ever paid extra for Page Plus roaming?

  7. #7
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    As tfusr19 suggested, locate the older BYOP kits that allow use of BOTH the old style airtime as well as the newer, Smartphone only airtime. The newer BYOP kits allow JUST the use of Smartphone only airtime. Smartphone Only airtime is light with talk minutes and has fewer days of service provided than the old style airtime. Old style SIM`s allow Triple (3X) the airtime, Smartphone only is face value.

  8. #8
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    The plans. All plans or shown on the landing page. There are other add ons presented to you when buying airtime online, such as 365 days of service for $50. Tracfone calls the old style airtime, pay as you go

    https://www.tracfone.com/shop/plans (remove the blue pop up window, it will remove some of the choices if you use it)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Page Plus and Tracfone Smartphone and BYOP Verizon coverage is identical. The only difference is that Page Plus allows you to pay extra when you need roaming. Have you ever paid extra for Page Plus roaming?
    Coverage isn't identical. PPC coverage is greater, because it allows the option of voice roaming in Vzw extended network areas where TF smartphone and BYOP voice coverage wouldn't be available. The same is true for Selectel coverage.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Coverage isn't identical. PPC coverage is greater, because it allows the option of voice roaming in Vzw extended network areas where TF smartphone and BYOP voice coverage wouldn't be available. The same is true for Selectel coverage.
    I stated that in the very post you quoted. did I word it poorly?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    I stated that in the very post you quoted. did I word it poorly?
    I guess. You said "coverage is identical". But it isn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Page Plus and Tracfone Smartphone and BYOP Verizon coverage is identical. The only difference is that Page Plus allows you to pay extra when you need roaming. Have you ever paid extra for Page Plus roaming?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    Page Plus and Tracfone Smartphone and BYOP Verizon coverage is identical. The only difference is that Page Plus allows you to pay extra when you need roaming. Have you ever paid extra for Page Plus roaming?
    I just checked as far back as my PPC records go and I have never been charged extra while roaming. Chances are very good that I have never made a call when roaming. My data charges per MB do not appear to be effected by roaming and only go up to a silly amount when I am posting pictures on social media (guess I won't do that from the car anymore).

    Calls to Domestic Numbers $0.04 Per Minute
    Calls While Roaming $0.29 Per Minute
    Text Messages (SMS) $0.05 Per Message Sent or Received
    International Text Messaging $0.20
    Picture Messaging (MMS) $0.05 + Data Transport* Per Message Sent or Received
    Data Transport* $0.10/MB

  13. #13
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    Thanks again. I just picked up what I believe is a BYOP SIM with TMFL on Ebay for $1

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowen43 View Post
    I just checked as far back as my PPC records go and I have never been charged extra while roaming. Chances are very good that I have never made a call when roaming.
    The Verizon Prepaid coverage maps primarily show roaming in the Eastern most part of Maine, but Verizon can potentially also roam within their coverage area. My prior phone roamed at work, which is well within Verizon coverage, so I regularly had roaming charges on Page Plus. Page Plus seemed to drop calls less than my girlfriend's phone does on Boom (non-roaming Verizon), but I don't know if that could be due to her phone.

    Unfortunately there aren't really any Verizon MVNOs with 4G LTE smartphone service and roaming that have minimal monthly charges. Probably the best voice coverage at this time for a low monthly cost smartphone might be a Sprint MVNO with roaming, like Ting or Twigby. Unfortunately Sprint data coverage is very limited compared to Verizon, so there's not a good answer for both roaming voice and good data coverage.

    My data charges per MB do not appear to be effected by roaming
    You would not have cellular data when roaming on Page Plus with a 3G phone.

    only go up to a silly amount when I am posting pictures on social media (guess I won't do that from the car anymore).
    While Tracfone voice-only rates can be considerably higher than Page Plus, data prices may be considerably lower at Tracfone.

  15. #15
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    $15 plan x4 months is $60 for 500 mb a month. Your paying Pageplus $80 every 4 months. Makes sense to get the 5s on tracfone, save $20 a month and get some minutes in the process. You could probably abandon one of your phones and just use the minutes from the $15 plan.

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