Carrier Is there a "Phone Plans for Dummies" website?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jekjones1558, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. jekjones1558 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #1
    Note: Only those with patience for senior citizens should read this post.
    My contract with Verizon is up at about the same time as the iPhone 6 is released. My 81 year old husband's dumb phone contract with Verizon is also up at that time. I have a bff who wants to finally get an iPhone but cost is an issue for her so I will help her. I have a great niece for whom I am going to get an iPhone 6 and pay for her service.
    So-o-o, I want to stay with Verizon (best coverage where I need it). I definitely need 2 iPhone 6's for me and niece. I can give my bff my iPhone 5 or sell the 5 and buy her an iPhone 6 and get hubby another dumb phone. Or I can buy 3 iPhone 6's for me, niece and bff and give hubby my iPhone 5 to use like a dumb phone. I have been reading this forum and Verizon's website to try to figure out the best deal and my head is spinning. I went to the Verizon kiosk in Costco and the salesperson seemed mostly interested in selling a plan that met her sales commission needs. Is there a website that will help this grandma sort all of this out? Or should I just go into a Verizon store and hope I get a kind person to help me?
     
  2. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    Not being a Verizon customer I can't help much except you need to go to a company Verizon store and not a kiosk at the mall! The kiosks at the mall are the worst to deal with and are only authorized dealers who want to sell you a plan!
     
  3. aPple nErd macrumors 68030

    aPple nErd

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Jailbreaks/IOS Hacks
    #3
    yeah, go to a Verizon store, but be aware that Verizon likes to try and sell you stuff you don't need.
     
  4. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #4
    Better idea is to get someone who knows about phones and plans to go with you! Phone people are not the most honest.
     
  5. 1981d macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #5
    I don't know about a website, but maybe you could just do this :
    1. Get a VZW more everything plan three with lines, two for u and ur husband and 1 for your niece.
    2. Get three new iPhone 6's for each line at the subsidized two year contract rate.
    3. After you activate the three iPhones, shift your husband's line back to a dumb phone, giving you an extra iphone for your friend.
    4. Sell your iPhone 5, you will get more $$ for it than you will save by having your husband use it. And you will save money on your plan because monthly charges are less for a line with a dumb phone.

    IDK if you could do this under their policies, but it never hurts to ask, right? If they won't let you swap out your husbands iPhone for a dumb phone, then just do the above with two iPhones and a dumb phone, and use the proceeds from the sale of your iPhone 5 to defray the costs of your friend's iPhone 6.
     
  6. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #6
    Unfortunately true. From reading the VZW forums, it seems like customer service reps don't advertise BYOD discounts either. It's the users who teach other users how to add the extra $25 discount for BYOD/no-contract to their accounts. The BYOD discount is not automatic, either. You have to manually add it to each line on your account management page.

    Given there will be 4 users on the account, I recommend the More Everything 10GB plan ($100) as base.

    Here is a breakdown of costs for various options:

    2-year contract

    3x iPhone 6 16GB, 1x iPhone 5
    Base
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Line Access
    (3x $40 + 1x $15) x 24 months = $3,240
    Upfront Cost
    3x $200 = $600
    Monthly Total
    $235
    2-Year Total
    $6,240


    2x iPhone 6 16GB, 1x iPhone 5, 1x dumbphone
    Base
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Line Access
    (2x $40 + 2x $15) x 24 months = $2,640
    Upfront Cost
    2x $200 = $400
    Monthly Total
    $235
    2-Year Total
    $5,440


    Verizon EDGE

    3x iPhone 6 16GB, 1x iPhone 5
    Base
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Line Access
    (4x $15) x 24 months = $1,440
    Device Installments
    (3x $32.50) x 20 months = $1,950
    Upfront Cost
    $0
    Monthly Total
    $257.50 (first 20 months), $160 (last 4 months)
    2-Year Total
    $5,790


    2x iPhone 6 16GB, 1x iPhone 5, 1x dumbphone
    Base
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Line Access
    (4x $15) x 24 months = $1,440
    Device Installments
    (2x $32.50) x 20 months = $1,300
    Upfront Cost
    $0
    Monthly Total
    $225 (first 20 months), $160 (last 4 months)
    2-Year Total
    $5,140
     
  7. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    Still strongly suggest she take someone to help her on the in and outs.
     
  8. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #8
    True. I sure hope she can take someone who can help her or the reps might give her the runaround.
     
  9. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #9
    What is your current Verizon plan? Do you have a certain number of minutes with unlimited talk and data (Nationwide Family Plan), or do you have unlimited talk and text with a certain amount of data (More Everything Plan)? Not that it matters a whole lot because if you have a Nationwide Family plan now, Verizon will move you to a More Everything Plan as soon as you make changes.

    Basically you have to decide what to do with your iPhone 5 and your husband's dumb phone. I'd suggest getting subsidized iPhone 6's for you and your great-niece if you don't mind keeping them for two years. Then give your friend the iPhone 5 if she agrees, and she can take it to her own plan (nice thing about the Verizon iPhone 5 is it can be taken to any carrier except Sprint since it's unlocked). As for your husband, he can keep his dumb phone if he wants or choose a new one. There's talk that with Verizon allowing for BYOD, phones that are no longer under contract will qualify for that discount. I'd call customer service and ask them. I'd say if it still works, don't make him change ;) I know my 58 year old mom is still very much attached to her dumb phone.

    Then you have to choose your data bucket. These can be as little as 500mb or as much as tens of GB. My family with three iPhones, an iPad, and a dumb phone have the 6GB bucket. That's $80/mo plus $120 for the iPhones, $30 for the dumb phone, and $10 for the iPad. You'd be looking at $80 plus $110 for the phones before BYOD discount, so $190 before taxes and fees. 4GB instead of 6 would be $180, 3GB for $170, etc. Less data = less monthly cost but more risk for overages which are not nice. If your grand-niece currently has a smartphone, check what her usage is and yours and pick a reasonable amount based on that. Be aware that iPhones tend to use more data than most other smartphones. Verizon usually tends to recommend allotting 2GB per smartphone, so I'd say look at the 4GB plan. If you're mostly on wifi, then you don't need to worry too much about how much data you get, but it's a good idea to not skimp. If you use less than a full GB yourself, then it's more data for your grand-niece to message her friends :)

    If you decide to keep the iPhone 5 for your husband, then you'll need to make sure that cellular data is turned off if you don't want him accidentally using your data. It will also be $40/month unless you get a BYOD discount for it. If you buy your friend an iPhone 6 subsidized, it's challenging to move it to a separate plan. She would have to take responsibility for it on a Verizon plan and be locked in for two years. This is why I recommend giving her your iPhone 5 if she's ok with that. Then she can choose her own carrier other than Sprint. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and many others will activate it. Sprint will not activate a phone that they didn't sell or activate previously. T-Mobile is probably one of the more affordable single line plans these days other than prepaid.

    Hope that helps somewhat!
     
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #10
    Good information and a nice breakdown. I think one other thing to account for when looking at contract phones is that on top of it all there's an upgrade/activation fee of something like $30 per new phone.
     
  11. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #11
    OP here. Wow! This is amazing info!
    --I did go to a Verizon company store today (before all of the detailed info was posted here) and the rep. told me that Edge is rarely better than contract. I asked about BYOD and he claimed to know nothing about that.
    --I am going to study all of your great info. I will need to figure out the contract/Edge/BYOD issue. I am also considering getting hubby a Jitterbug type phone with an alert button or some other EASY prepaid phone so he wouldn't even be on this contract. He only uses about 15 minutes of phone time each month, no messages or data. In any case I don't think I will be getting 10 gb data so my BYOD savings would only be $10/phone.
    --I need to find out if bff wants to shop for plans with the iPhone 5 or just go on the shared plan with me. I rarely use more than .5 GB per month data because I am mostly on wifi. I think that will probably be the case with her also, at least initially. 12 year old niece lives in the boondocks where internet is hard to come by so her family has Verizon mifi, and the kids are not allowed to do anything online that eats up data, so I expect she will use quite a bit of data on her iPhone. I might give her younger brother my 3rd generation Verizon iPad and add it to the plan so he can do Netflix, etc. If bff wants to go on the shared plan then I will sell the iPhone 5 and buy her an iPhone 6 too.
    --MOST IMPORTANT!!! Thanks to all of you for coming to the aid of a confused senior. Your kindness is much appreciated and will be paid forward in some way (not tech related!) I still have some decisions to make and things to figure out (like where and how to get the plans and phones lined up on iPhone 6 launch day). But this info is invaluable to me and I can only say again THANK YOU!
     
  12. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #12
    If you want Verizon's network for the hubby but not add him to the relatively expensive shared plan, go with Page Plus.

    The above numbers are based on 10GB plans which looking at your mentioned usage may be too much (although that really depends on how your niece's and nephew's usage are like). If you get anything less than 10GB, the 2-year contracts are a lot cheaper than EDGE/BYOD. Individual plans tend to be more expensive than shared plans so it will probably save your friend quite a bit of money monthly if she just piggybacks on your account.
     
  13. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #13
    Thank you for confirming what I am thinking. If bff goes on a shared plan with me and g-niece then I can look at the percentage of usage and she can just pay the line charge and her percentage of the usage. I am really leaning towards 6GB plan to start and buying bff an iPhone 6. I should be able to recoup a good part of the cost of that iPhone 6 by selling my iPhone 5.
    Regarding Page Plus: I am not familiar with them. I just looked online and their FAQ say that they only guarantee their service will work for phones they sell. I don't see a SIMPLE flip-type phone that they sell. Their prepaid minute plans are sure cheap. $10/100 minutes would last hubby a long time.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #14
    Options for your husband if you don't keep him on your Verizon plan:

    -Verizon prepaid: $35/month for 500 minutes, 500mb of data, and unlimited text, and you may be able to keep the phone he has; at that point though it may be worth it to keep him on your plan and pay the $30/month for his line.

    -Cricket Wireless (AT&T prepaid): $25/month for unlimited nationwide talk and text (no data), $30 for a basic Samsung flip phone.

    -Straight Talk (available at Walmart): $30/30 days for 1500 minutes, unlimited text, and 100mb of data; they piggy back off of several of the major networks, so you may be able to keep the phone he has and use Verizon's network. You would need to get Verizon to unlock the phone though, which they are supposed to be able to do if your contract is over. If you need more information, you can go to your local Walmart and talk to someone there.

    Personally I'd go with Cricket since it's the cheapest plan for the most offered. You may even be able to have them port over your husband's phone number so he can keep it. Otherwise I'd probably just keep him on your Verizon plan for simplicity.

    If you're getting three iPhones and keeping the dumb phone, I'd look at the 6gb data bucket. It's $80 plus $40 for each iPhone and $30 for the dumb phone. Adding the iPad is $10. You may want more data than that though if the kids will use a lot. My family pays about $250 for that exact plan, and my dad gets a work discount. You may save some money if you finance the iPhones with Edge and get 10gb or more data. Then after 20 months your bill will be lower, or you can upgrade to new phones.
     
  15. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #15
    Excellent info. It does seem to be a pretty easy solution to just keep hubby's dumb phone the shared plan. I really have no idea about how much data to buy. This will be the 12 year old's first smartphone. I don't want to be overly restrictive but I know she is used to having pretty tight reins from her parents and I don't want to undermine the good job they are doing raising their kids. Thanks for stating this in such an easy to understand way.
     
  16. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #16
    It's hard to know. My first smartphone was a blackberry, and I used maybe half a GB per month. Then I got my iPhone 5 and was suddenly burning through 5GB. That was before I started using wifi most of the time. If your great-niece and nephew don't have good wifi at home, they will probably need more data. Netflix uses a LOT. A 10GB plan with Edge discounts may be worth it for you. But I would definitely sit down with great-niece and nephews parents and discuss what you and they think as appropriate usage. Kids need access to tech in today's world, but they also need to spend time disconnected and doing other things like playing outside ;). They also need to be protected, and iOS 8 will help with some of that. Apple is adding some new family features to the App Store and other areas.

    Keep in mind that you can always change the data bucket size to reflect your usage. If you choose too much, you can downsize, and if it's too small you can get a bigger one. You're not locked into that certain amount for the length of your contract :)
     
  17. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #17
    You can look at the family share plan. You can share 4GB data and have unlimited talk and text. This is a good plan especially if you are mostly using wifi. If it's 3 phones then maybe 6GB but I think you should be good with 4GB. I went over 1GB this month because my home service was down.

    You can call Verizon and ask them what plans they offer with FIOS and ask about the senior citizen discount. The senior citizen discount will save you on the phone usage. At any time you can adjust your data plan.


    The twelve year old you can turn off their cellular data or limit their use. Lock the phone so that they cannot change the Settings.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4213?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    http://netsecurity.about.com/od/fre...-Controls-On-An-Ipad-Ipod-Touch-Or-Iphone.htm
     
  18. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #18
    More great advice. I did not know about senior discounts! And I think a discussion with g-niece and her family will be in order. The 12 year old is on a competitive gymnastics team and her younger brother is into multiple sports so they actually have a limited amount of time to burn up data! ;)
     
  19. The Doctor11 macrumors 603

    The Doctor11

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #19
    I laughed really hard when reading that :D
     
  20. Jstuts5797, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

    Jstuts5797 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    #20
    Is there a "Phone Plans for Dummies" website?

    I have nothing to offer this thread other than NICE JOB everyone! My mother is a senior citizen and she always tells me how lucky she is to have me around for these sorts of things and I often wonder what other seniors do when they don't have someone around to help. You all were extremely patient and gave excellent info to the OP. You all should get stars next to your name, lol.
     
  21. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #21
    So well said!!
    Caution: OP mounting soapbox
    A couple of my old folk friends are not on friendly terms with technology. They are afraid of scammers and I do understand that. But even old "technology" like landlines has it's share of crooks. We get calls almost daily from those targeting seniors. (I wish hubby would agree to dump the landline.) My physical world is becoming much smaller as hubby's medical issues mount. But my cyber world has grown thanks to kind strangers like those on this thread. I wish that all seniors were able to use technology to escape being isolated. Thank you all!
    P.S. I am now leaning more towards 10GB Edge plan. We will see.
     
  22. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #22
    Did the Math on 4GB - 6GB plans.

    2-year contract

    3x iPhone 6 16GB
    Base 4GB
    $70 x 24 months = $1,680
    Line Access
    (3x $40) x 24 months = $2,880
    Upfront Cost
    3x $200 = $600
    Monthly Total
    $190
    2-Year Total
    $5,160


    3x iPhone 6 16GB
    Base 6GB
    $80 x 24 months = $1,920
    Line Access
    (3x $40) x 24 months = $2,880
    Upfront Cost
    3x $200 = $600
    Monthly Total
    $200
    2-Year Total
    $5,400


    Verizon EDGE

    3x iPhone 6 16GB
    Base 10GB
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Line Access
    (3x $15) x 24 months = $1,080
    Device Installments
    (3x $32.50) x 20 months = $1,950
    Upfront Cost
    $0
    Monthly Total
    $242.50 (first 20 months), $160 (last 4 months)
    2-Year Total
    $5,430


    With upgrade/activation fees, the 6GB contract option can actually be more expensive than 10GB Edge.

    Since your husband uses very few minutes every month, I recommend going with a Pay As You Go per minute plan paired with something like the Samsung Gusto 2, $10 or Samsung Gusto 3, $20. That will probably save you $80-260 per year over adding him to your shared plan. TracFone uses Verizon's network, I believe and their Pay As You Go and Monthly Value plans are fairly cheap. :)
     
  23. jekjones1558 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    #23
    Thanks for the pay-as-you-go suggestions. I am looking online to see which phone is the easiest and has fairly good sized keys. It does make sense to consider this route rather than pay a monthly line fee for so little use.
     
  24. edc415 macrumors newbie

    edc415

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #24
    A lot of great information here. Verizon has some great offerings and the price breakdowns are awesome, but they don't take monthly taxes into consideration. I would make sure and find out how much their charge for taxes and add it to your spreadsheet. I used to pay $13 on a $50 postpaid plan at T-Mobile. My main reason for going pre-paid was to be able to reduce my monthly bill. $13 x 24 months = $312 in taxes on service I don't pay anymore. I now pay $0 taxes on a $35 pre-paid/auto pay plan at Cricket Wireless.

    I've been a happy T-mobile @ $50 a month , unhappy Verizon customer (iPad experience - too expensive and customer service wasn't very nice when I had trouble activating), melancholy Straight Talk customer (customer service doesn't answer the phone and they don't have visual voicemail on the iPhone - service is also $45/month). I am super happy with Cricket at $35/month.

    If you live in an area that has good AT&T Prepaid Coverage, I would definitely consider Cricket Wireless. Your service per phone for unlimited talk/text/mms/data is $35/month including taxes. It includes 500MB if high speed data, then the speed gets reduced to a lower speed which is still fine for maps and music. I ported my number to Cricket and the SIM card worked beautifully in my unlocked iPhone 4 (AT&T). It took less than 15 minutes in the store. You can port your old number over and do it on the website for $10 SIM fee, or in person at the store for a $20 SIM fee and they handle all the details for you (check with individual stores, your mileage may vary). Here in San Francisco, I have found that AT&T and T-Mobile have better coverage than Verizon.

    They also have deals where you can get your 12 year old a less expensive starter phone, or you can actually use an older model iPhone as well. I picked up a Nokia Lumia 630 for $49.99 - $50 rebate = zero cost except for the tax on the device. It is definitely not an iPhone but it does have enough features and games to keep a new smart phone owner happy for minimal cost. Cricket is owned by AT&T and is their "brand"of prepaid wireless. The beauty of using a prepaid company is that you don't pay the extra $$$ in taxes that postpaid accounts levy on customers. Cricket also sells iPhones, but I would suggest buying the phone at the Apple store for the same price and unlocked. Apple offers free shipping and special financing.

    Cricket also offers a discount for adding multiple phones. If you are on the $40/month unlimited plan you can save a lot of money:

    First Eligible Line No Discount
    Second Eligible Line $10 Monthly Discount
    Third Eligible Line $20 Monthly Discount
    Fourth Eligible Line $30 Monthly Discount
    Fifth Eligible Line $30 Monthly Discount
    The maximum monthly discount is $90 when you have 5 eligible lines on your account.

    Compared to the excellent Verizon EDGE breakdown, here is what Cricket will cost you:

    Cricket Wireless
    Basic Unlimited Monthly service:
    Line 1 = $40
    Line 2 = $30
    Line 3 = $20
    Line 4 = $10
    Total = $100
    Each line gets their own 500MB of 4G LTE speed, then gets reduced. If you want a line with 2.5G of high speed data, add $10, 5G of high speed data, add $20. You can customize each line as you see fit, but so far the 500MB has suited me well.
    $100 x 24 months = $2,400
    Device Cost for 3 new iPhone 5s 16GB
    3x $649 = $1,947 (plus tax)
    Upfront Cost
    $80 SIM/Activation fees (could be waived depending on store/doing it online)
    2-Year Total = $4427 (plus tax on the iPhones)

    Compare that to the other carriers.

    If you decide to go with Cricket Wireless, they are having a referral promotion that if you get referred my a current customer, you get a $25 credit after 45 days as so does the person referring you. If you decide to go that route, please send me a private message so we both can take advantage of the credit. If you want to do it with another forum member that suggested Cricket, that is fine as well, just take advantage of the promo.

    Hope this helped and made some sense. Your hubby can use your iPhone 5 as a full smartphone. Verizon iPhone 5 GSM is carrier unlocked due to an FCC ruling so it should work on Cricket without any problems. That also makes your iPhone 5 have better resale value due to the versatility of being unlocked.

    Cricket was one of the least painless switches I have made, and I have been using the iPhone on alternate carriers since 2008 to save money.

    You can always test Cricket in your area by just having them put a SIM card in your phone at the store and seeing what the signal is like. Doing a test for a month as well might be a good idea - and easy since there is no commitment.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
  25. rui no onna, Jul 31, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

    rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #25
    Unfortunately, unless you're familiar with all the taxes and fees charged by the feds, your state, your county, your city, etc, estimating taxes isn't very straightforward. :rolleyes:

    That said, Cricket is a good option if you've got good AT&T service. Of course, you just need to pay upfront for your phones and you'd need a separate plan for the iPad as I don't believe Cricket has data plans for tablets.
     

Share This Page