Will this work? Keep Verizon unlimited/iphone 5 without paying full price.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mrfatboy, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. Mrfatboy macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    My friend is currently on the Verizon Unlimited Grandfathered data plan with a feature phone and an iphone 4s. He came up with an idea to get the iphone 5 and keeping the "unlimited" data without paying full price for the phone.

    The idea being that he would have his parents(their own Verizon plan) get a subsidized iphone 5 and be upgraded to the new share everything plan. Then his parents would take the iphone 5 off of their plan and give it to him and they revert back to 2 feature phones on Share Everything (actually better for them).

    My friend now takes his parents new iphone 5 and adds it to his own Verizon Grandfathered plan and since it is not subsidized he is able to keep his Grandfathered plan and only pay the $30 extra for the new iphone 5 on the old grandfathered plan.

    Will this work? Or is this crazy talk?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    What does it matter since it is your friend?

    I assume it'll work though.
  3. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
  4. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
  5. baconsoles macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    This can be a little tricky... The reason I say that is because when my sister got the 4s with her husband's discount, upon activation, the phone took on her husband's phone number. She had to call Verizon to fix the issue (it took 2 escalations up for them to figure it out).

    Not sure how this would affect your friend's plan. Please do let us know how it turned out if your friend does intend to move forward with this method.
  6. REDTAZ macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2011
    Los Angeles, California
    Would also like to know if this will work since I'm currently on a old family plan and have Unlimited Data on my phone. We have a line on our contract which has had an upgrade available since 2010 and we can upgrade it without having to switch to the new stupid phone plans for some reason, but I'm not complaining. I was planning on getting the new phone on this line and then just switching it to my line so that I would keep my unlimited data. Would this work?
  7. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    The reason why I'm interested is two fold. 1) I just love work arounds. 2) I'm in the same boat and could possible have the same opportunity:D

    I just got off the phone with Verizon and basically the rep said it would work. Here is the break down.

    Current Plans:
    Family A - 1 feature phone, 1 iphone 4s (unlimited grandfathered data) 550 talk minutes shared, pay per text.

    Family B - 2 feature phones, 550 talk minutes, pay per text.

    The procedure:

    - Family B buys subsidized iphone 5
    - Family B gets switched to Share Everything
    - Family B turns off iphone 5 and reverts back to 2 feature phones. They still are on the new Share Everything plan. This is actually now cheaper for them by $10 or so. (Only $60/month)
    - Family B gives iphone 5 to Family A

    -Family A pays Family B for iphone 5 ($299 in my case for 32GB)
    -Family A adds the iphone 5 to the Grandfathered unlimited plan because it is essentially unsubsidized.
    -Family A then moves their iphone 4S to the old 2Gb data plan (additional $30/month)
    -Family A discontinues old feature phone.
    -Family A still shares the 550 minutes and pay per text.

    The Verizon Rep said this would be exactly how it would work. He seemed knowledgeable and almost I could hear him say under his breath (damn! they figured it out) :D

    That's all I know until my buddy or I actually try it. What do you guys think?
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Paying full price for a handset guarantees you keep unlimited plan.
  9. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008

    Yes, I know, but this is how to do it without paying full price ;)
  10. brandct macrumors member

    Sep 12, 2012
    I have been told by a couple of Verizon Reps that you can even do this within your own account and it still works. They actually advised me since we have 4 lines (1 Smart Phone 3 Feature Phones) to upgrade one of the feature phone lines to the iPhone 5 and then take it off and transfer it over to the smart phone line, and you will keep the unlimited data.
    They said they have been doing it for people on Android devices since the change over to shared plans, and have even in some cases told the person that it would be cheaper for them to add on a second line if unlimited data meant that much to them.
  11. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    This is interesting. However, wouldn't you have to switch to "share everything" first to get the iphone 5 thus nullifying your grandfathered unlimited? Or does the new share everything plan on kick in when you activate the iphone 5?

    It seems that you would need a verizon rep that knows what s/he is doing.
  12. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    I just got off the phone with Verizon a second time. Very interesting conversation. There must be a lot of misinformation out there or I misunderstood or both :eek:

    Anyway, getting an iphone 5 and keeping my Grandfather unlimited data is way easier than I thought. As Brandct suggested, the verizon rep told me that I could just upgrade my feature phone to the iphone 5 and still keep my grandfathered unlimited data. The iphone 5 would replace my iphone 4s which would replace the old feature phone.

    I only would have to pay an additional $30/month extra for the 2G data plan for the iphone 4s. I still would be on a 550 shared minutes and pay per text.

    Basically, existing customers DO NOT have to move to the SHARE EVERYTHING plan if upgrading to a new phone.
  13. STC1709 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    And are you paying 199 for the iphone 5 or 649?, if your paying 199 then i was told the opposite this morning
  14. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    I would be paying the subsidized price of $299 for the 32GB ($199 for 16GB). I have talked to 3 different verizon reps that confirm you can keep your old plan. Just make sure you talk to them before you activate it.
  15. STC1709 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    guess im going to have to call 3 different people tomorrow too
  16. tdar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2003
    On the Space Coast
    No it does not. It guarantees that you keep your unlimited until a) your current contract ends and b) Verizon decides to change their mind (again).

    A full price handset does not extend your contract and when it ends, Verizon can take away that unlimited data at any time.
  17. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    Yeah, basically this whole verizon old plan/new plan has confused the heck out of me. Most of the old plans are available to existing customers and you get to keep your unlimited grandfathered plan if you upgrade correctly. Good luck
  18. tdar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2003
    On the Space Coast
    Only if you have a family plan. Single phone users are totally screwed.
  19. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    That's not what the rep told me but who knows. They are being very cagey. They really want everybody on the share everything plan. You just have to push or get the right rep.
  20. aohus macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2010
    it's a stretch, but depending on how long you've been a Verizon customer, ask them to transfer you to Customer Loyalty Department and work with them. They seem to be more flexible.
  21. infinity12402 macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2012
    this is exactly what i was planning on doing. my mother has a dumb phone, and she has an upgrade, i have unlimited data and dont want to lose it. so i was going to pre order it tomorrow from the verizon website. i know theyre going to make me add a data package, that i can either cancel or wont be activated once i activate the phone on my line, but do i have to call them to have it activated on my line without a major problem?
  22. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    The rep told me to call them before I activate it. They will make sure everything gets setup correctly.
  23. Caravan Shaker macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    Another VZ rep votes "Yes, you can" ...

    I just wrapped up a phone call with a Verizon cs rep, and with the usual caveat that if you talk to three people you're likely to get three different answers, I figured I would ostensibly share the information with others currently seeking answers. (My ulterior motive is that by the time I complete this summary, I'll be more likely to actually remember what I was told.)

    First of all, everyone's situation and objectives are unique to them, but there's often some degree of overlap, if not a lot, and so I'll just relate what I was told in the context of my specific circumstances, and hopefully there will be bits and pieces that some will find helpful.

    And without further adieu, my current situation is as follows:

    Plan: Loyalty something-or-other 550 with two lines; mine and my daughter's
    Phones: iPhone 4S (me) / Droid 2 (daughter)
    Data plans: Grandfathered (and rumour has it therefore throttled) UNLIMITED on both lines
    Upgrade eligibility: June 2013 for me and now in the case of my daughter
    Other factors: We live 800 miles apart, and so going to a Verizon store together is more expensive than the premium for an unsubsidized upgrade.

    My primary objective is as follows:

    - Upgrade my iPhone 4S to an iPhone 5 by "stealing" my daughter's upgrade and then giving her my iPhone 4S as recompense (I've been paying her bill for years so that's fair, right?)
    - Manage the swap "remotely" without impacting service on either line (meaning I can ship my old phone to her, and neither of us will have to loose service for more than a nominal few minutes)

    I also have a wish list of objectives that I'm shooting for, while knowing that some are mutually exclusive and others are not even possible. They are:

    1) Retain the UNLIMITED data plan on MY line
    2) Be able to pre-order the iPhone 5 in the wee hours on Friday morning like I did for my 4S
    3) Upgrade my phone directly (via the upgrade transfer) so I don't have to hassle with activating on her line first and then getting CS involved to move it to my line

    The VZ CS guy was very helpful and willing to take the time to run through various scenarios and he seemed to be knowledgeable enough regarding the topic. With that said, here's what I "found out":

    1) He confirmed that it is NOT POSSIBLE to just transfer the upgrade eligability to my line in advance, so that when the pre-ordering commenced, the system would see my line as the upgradable one. (Well, I had to at least ask.)

    2) He stated several times that "they haven't told us yet when iPhone 5 pre-ordering will begin through Verizon". When I suggested that I thought it was supposed to begin early Friday morning, he would only say that it very well might but "they haven't told us anything yet".

    3) He stated that when the Verizon pre-ordering begins it WILL BE POSSIBLE to use the "transfer upgrade" feature on-line to upgrade my line to an iPhone 5 directly. (I AM VERY SKEPTICAL of that based one numerous forum posts relating how it went last year.) When I asked him if he was certain given the inability to do that during 4S pre-ordering, he didn't seem to be aware of that, but under normal circumstances it would be possible to do a combined transfer/pre-order and "they haven't told us that they're changing anything".

    4) He explained that I have two basic choices to make this happen:

    (a) Pre-order the phone on her line and then "activate it on mine" (more on that in a moment). After I have an activated iPhone 5, I can send my 4S to my daughter who can have it activated on her line at her convenience. He said I could pre-order the phone [ON HER LINE] either directly from Apple or from VZ once VZ starts the pre-ordering (implying that VZ may not start as soon as Apple does, but I expect that they'll start at the same time.)

    (b) Simply wait until the VZ pre-order site is live and then do a combined transfer/pre-order to upgrade my phone directly. He said I CANNOT do the transfer via the Apple store, and I am sure he is correct on that point.

    5) He confirmed that WHICHEVER line is UPGRADED will lose the UNLIMITED plan, but the other line will retain the UNLIMITED plan and that will not be affected by transferring phones between lines. In other words, if I UPGRADE my daughter's line and then transfer the iPhone 5 to my line, I WILL RETAIN my UNLIMITED data plan. (The thought left unsaid that I just know he had was that I'm likely to receive a lump of coal from my daughter this Christmas should I choose this greedy self serving path.)

    6) Regarding option (a), he explained that process in more detail as follows:

    I could pre-order the iPhone 5 on HER line, which would ship to me, i.e. the billing address. I cannot truly just “activate it on my line” directly. He said “the SIM will be tied to her line” and so when I activate it, it will in fact usurp her number and de-activate her Droid 2 in the process. But then, *all I need to do* (hmmmm. Famous last words) is have CS immediately activate it on my line and then re-activate her Droid 2 on hers. He said this could be done in a matter of minutes and as long as I let her know when it’s going down, she should be fine. Finally, I would ship my 4S to her, and she can activate it at her convenience.

    Okay, sounds like a plan, but there was one more caveat. I will need a new SIM to reactivate the iPhone 5 on my line after it is initially activated on hers. He said I could go into a VZ store and get the new SIM for free in advance of initiating the activation shell game.

    Now call me paranoid, but as straightforward as option (a) sounds, I’m thinking of at least of a couple of things that might not go exactly according to plan and result in a major ordeal before it’s straightened out. Plan (b) sounds much safer (assuming it is actually possible), but then I’m guaranteed to lose my unlimited data plan.

    Well there you have it. I am reasonably certain now that you can in fact upgrade a different line to the iPhone 5 and then swap it to the ultimately intended line to avoid losing your UNLIMITED data on the latter. I am reasonably certain that you do in fact need to replace the SIM in order to transfer the iPhone 5 to another line. (I don’t know if that applies to the 4S). I am reasonably sure that if you plan to transfer the phone to a non-eligible line AFTER acquiring it as a direct upgrade of an eligible line, then it makes no difference whether you pre-order it from VZ of from the Apple Store.

    The part about being able to perform an upgrade transfer via VZ’s pre-order site; I’m not so sure, and I’d probably bet money that won’t be possible.
  24. Mrfatboy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 15, 2008
    Thanks for the detailed info. I was just reading another NBCnews article that again stated that Verizon grandfathered unlimited data customers are going to be out of luck upgrading to the iphone 5 and still keep their plan. However, the devil is in the details and this is NOT 100% true. It really depends on your situation.

    As for Caravan Shaker, he has to sacrifice his daughters unlimited to get a iphone 5 unlimited. :D LOL. I would do the same if I were paying the bills.

    In my case, my wife has an old feature phone to upgrade. So no lose there.

    I am weary of the midnight online upgrade. Last year it was a disaster upgrading to the iphone 4s via the website. I didn't go to bed until 3am and had to go thru 2 customer reps to get it ordered.

    There was two problems. First, I have PO box as the billing as the billing address. The verizon system could not handle that. Second, the verizon online system did not recognize the old Loyalty 550 minute plan as up-gradable and kept crashing the system. Hence, getting a Rep involved to do some system trickery to make it work. I fully believe I will have to resort to talking to a rep again tonight to make it work.:rolleyes:

    Just as a precaution, I will stop by the verizon store today and pick up a sim just in case. However, I don't think it will be necessary in my case.

    Thanks for the tip.
  25. Caravan Shaker macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    More info on the Upgrade and Swap gambit

    You are welcome. :) I also posted to a VZ communities thread, and one of the replies shed additional light on the matter. Here it is:


    Also, I doubt you'll have any luck picking up a new SIM until after the pre-ordering starts at best, but probably not until after they go on sale in stores on the following Friday.

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