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Thread: Switching from Verizon Seniors plan to Prepaid?

  1. #1
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    Switching from Verizon Seniors plan to Prepaid?

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the incredibly useful forum. I'm swimming in information overload currently and could use some help.

    I have 2 wireless lines for my parents under Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Share 450 minutes (out of which they use about 200 min per month) plan that cost about $60 per month total. They only need a voice-only plan, no texts or data. The contract has long expired, so I have the opportunity to switch to other plans and phones.

    One of the main reasons I am looking into other options is that, we no longer get replacement phones and verizon has very limited non-smart phones. If we get smartphones, we are required to pay for a data plan that we will never use. Our current phones are:

    LG (I think Revere) flip phone that has been a reliable workhorse for 5 years.
    Samsung Renown - This is a quadband phone and each year when I travel to Europe, I borrow this and add Verizon's international plan pro-rated for the 2 weeks I travel. It works out great, and I have the convenience of being able to step off the plane and use it right away.

    The problem is both these phones are old and parts are dying away, including replacement charger, batteries bought on ebay.

    Can someone please help advice on what new plans (voice only) and phones we can consider, that are preferably contract free? Doesn't matter if they are pre or post paid. Don't mind a smart phone as long as I'm not required to buy data plan. Would be great if unused minutes carried over.

    I am ok with leaving the international travel out of this and keep a separate unlocked phone/prepaid SIM for it, if it makes it simpler, since that is only 2 weeks out of a year.

    I have been looking at various websites based on this forum, like PagePlus, BYO, Lycamobile but am at a point where I can't choose. Any help in steering me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    If u need unlimited mins the cheapest is aio..$50 month for 2 lines..unlimited talk txt

    via the HoFo App

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    U cna get some cheap metro pcs androids (Alcatel evolve), unlock it for $1 and use it on gsm networks and internationally as well

    via the HoFo App

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    We use BYO Wireless, Tracfone, and PP for our various phone needs. Depending on how many minutes they will actually use, either the BYO Wireless $5 plan with 100 minutes, 100 texts and no data would be a good choice, as you can add another 100 minutes to it for $5 when needed, or the Tracfone BYOP plan, which costs $20 per quarter, and includes 180 minutes, 180 texts, and 180 megs of data. For a seldom used phone, PP is the best choice, as many can get by on $10 per 120 days provided they use less than 100 minutes per 120 cycle.
    Mobile data is good. Life is too short to seek wifi just to check email.

  5. #5
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    Los Angeles Tracfone??

    Quote Originally Posted by daria_buffy View Post
    Can someone please help advice on what new plans (voice only) and phones we can consider, that are preferably contract free? Doesn't matter if they are pre or post paid. Don't mind a smart phone as long as I'm not required to buy data plan. Would be great if unused minutes carried over.
    Where do your parents live? Big city or country could make a difference on what carriers would be an option.
    I think the first thing to figure out is what phone will be a good fit for them.
    Everything else will flow from that decision. Tracfone might be a good option. Familiarize
    yourself with what they have available. You don't need unlimited anything.
    A simple phone should not be too expensive.
    No more than $10 a month is very likely. Perhaps much less
    if their situation allows it.

    Here is a $40 phone aimed at seniors.
    http://www.tracfone.com/phone_detail...BIG%20EASY(TM)
    On ebay there are new ones from $10-20.
    Last edited by rfranzq; 05-17-2014 at 10:47 PM. Reason: added Tracfone phone info

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    Pure Talk would be an option for you. They use the AT&T network. $20 for 330 minutes on the family flex plan. Each additional line only $5. $25 a month total. Or you could even just do page plus paygo with that kind of usage if you absolutely need Verizon coverage

    via the HoFo App

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    Quote Originally Posted by daria_buffy View Post
    I have 2 wireless lines for my parents under Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Share 450 minutes (out of which they use about 200 min per month) plan that cost about $60 per month total. They only need a voice-only plan, no texts or data. The contract has long expired, so I have the opportunity to switch to other plans and phones.
    I've helped two neighbors make this change. The most relevant was a neighbor with a Verizon Senior Plan which was $29.95 with 200 minutes --- with 45-cent overage minutes. She would occassionally get $70+ bills. She wanted a new phone , something like the LG Cosmos, and she was very happy with Verizon coverage. I steered her onto a Tracfone "Value Plan." She got a Samsung R455c very like the LG Cosmos on sale for $40. This phone was "triple minutes for life." I advised her to get a "120" minute airtime card for a starter. Activating online with a 60-minute "promo code" gave her 150 active days and 440 minutes. Buying airtime at the supermarket baffled her and eventually she moved onto a "Value Plan." I thought the $19.99 value plan was a good match but she thought Tracfone was such a value she choose the $29.99 plan. (This 200 minute triples on her phone to 600 minutes a month ; the original refill cards pushed her active date out to 14-months ; her balance is slowly growing, now about 1500 minutes.)

    Another neighbor had a similar choice ; someone gave her a Verizon phone and I steered her onto Page Plus. She was paying Sprint $40 a month ; under Page Plus this shrunk to $9 a month.

    Lotsa good choices out there ... talk somemore about what you'd like!

    Regards, FJ

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    If they will never use cellular data, I strongly suggest NOT getting a smart phone.

    If the T-Mobile native network is good for their area, the Lycamobile pay as you go plan would cost $4/mo for 200 minutes, with each $10 recharge having no expiration date as long as it is used at least once every 90 days. If the 200 min/mo usage is split approximately equally at 100 minutes per line, then each line would use approximately $2/mo or $24/YEAR. Lycamobile uses unlocked GSM phones.

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    If GSM coverage is adequate you should switch there, since there are some nice third-party (Blu in particular) basic phones that are less than $30 to buy new outright. Tracfone is also a good idea as they have $15 flip phones and the service is cost-effective for their level of use. CDMA Tracfone (using a basic phone with a "C" at the end of the model number) is on Verizon.

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    My suggestion, given their use, would be to order 2 Gusto 2 handsets with a $75 yearly plan for each, from Selectel. That would come out to $6.25 a month for 166 minutes for each phone with no additional cost for the handset. They would get Verizon postpaid coverage, and, if they run out of minutes, just buy another $75 card--it's only 3.75 cents a minute and will extend expiration for one year from purchase date. Check it out at Selectel.com. No, I don't work for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TZ617 View Post
    My suggestion, given their use, would be to order 2 Gusto 2 handsets with a $75 yearly plan for each, from Selectel. That would come out to $6.25 a month for 166 minutes for each phone with no additional cost for the handset. They would get Verizon postpaid coverage, and, if they run out of minutes, just buy another $75 card--it's only 3.75 cents a minute and will extend expiration for one year from purchase date. Check it out at Selectel.com. No, I don't work for them!
    This is a very good answer. Compare this with the Verizon prepaid version. The Gusto 2 (or 3?) handsets are are $20 at WalMart/Target and often $10 or $13 on sale. A $100 airtime card keeps each active for a year - with 400 minutes each. This is $8.34 a month. Only downside is additional minutes are $0.25 each.

    I am happy with used handsets ... YMMV.
    Regards, FJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontierjustice View Post
    This is a very good answer. Compare this with the Verizon prepaid version. The Gusto 2 (or 3?) handsets are are $20 at WalMart/Target and often $10 or $13 on sale. A $100 airtime card keeps each active for a year - with 400 minutes each. This is $8.34 a month. Only downside is additional minutes are $0.25 each.

    I am happy with used handsets ... YMMV.
    Regards, FJ
    Yes this does sound like a good answer. Another benefit is Selectel uses the Verizon postpaid network, so no worries about domestic roaming. They should have the same coverage in the U.S. as they have now.

    Even though your parents may not text, if you occasionally send a text to your parents, Selectel gives 1500 texts in addition to the 2000 voice minutes for their $75/year card.

    Pageplus also charges off $0.50 (equivalent to 12.5 minutes) per month on their 2000 minute card to keep the number active. I don't think Selectel does this, but maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong. However unlike PP, with Selectel there is no rollover for unused minutes at the end of the year, but if they are using 200+ minutes *each* a month that shouldn't matter for your parents.

    Bear in mind none of these prepaid plans gives them 1000 minutes for nights and weekends like Verizon and free mobile to mobile with other Verizon customers, that is part of the 65+ plan they are on now. (although Lyca to Lyca calling is no charge at the moment)
    ...I'm not sure if the 200 minutes you mentioned was total for the month or just peak calling minutes used.

  13. #13
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    I would suggest Consumer Cellular

    It's a postpaid service with no contract that runs on AT&T network and I've heard that their customer service is pretty good.

    2 phones sharing 600min would end up being $28.50 + taxes and Fees (AARP gives a 5% discount)

    https://www.consumercellular.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam72 View Post
    I am also recommend Consumer Cellular ANYWHERE 600 plan for $20 and additional $10 for the second line, for the cell phones i recommend Doro PhoneEasy 618 which is an easy to use flip cell phone from Consumer Cellular, this cell phones are designed with seniors in mind and will cost you $120 for two phones Doro PhoneEasy 618. if you want to pay less for the phones consumer cellular envoy is your next choice.
    It is better for seniors to choose their plans from companies that cater their needs, i recommend consumer cellular as it provide affordable phones and plans.

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    I have an Alcatel Big Easy phone, with TracFone. It has double minutes for life. I buy the one-year service time, which includes minutes, online. (I'm sorry, I don't remember the price or how many minutes it is.) The one-year plan is only available online, as far as I know. There are many options for service time and minutes, and also monthly pre-paid plans.


    I like the phone very much. It is very easy to use. I often listen to the FM radio, which works without using the phone, and I use the flashlight frequently. The numbers are large and easy to see. The buttons are easy to push. When I push a button, it works. On speaker phone, the sound is very clear. The number pad has backlighting.

    I bought the phone a couple of years ago at Walmart for $30. It is possible to call TracFone customer service from another phone, so that I don't have to use up minutes for those long calls to customer service. I rarely call customer service, but it was necessary to get the phone set up properly, with the particular phone I bought. It is also possible to listen to voice mail from another phone number.
    Last edited by Serena2; 01-27-2015 at 10:20 AM. Reason: clarification

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