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Finally Got Out From Under Those Crooks Called Verizon


ArmyofOne
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In 2007, I switched from T-mobile, to Verizon because I had no service in my home on the Army base at Fort Drum NY. But if I went outside, I had service. I had to FIGHT with Tmobile to cancel my service. They wanted to sell me another phone, one that worked off of WiFi (before smartphones were big).

No. Just cancel my contract. Finally got ahold of a military lawyer in the JAG (Judge Advocate Group) office, and she got T-mobile to agree that because I had no service in my home, I was not liable for the $250 PER LINE disconnect fee. I Called Verizon, transferred my numbers over and was happy. I had service in my home (and in Verizon's defense, virtually everywhere). Fast forward to a year ago. Smart Phones are HUGE. My wife and I get Droid's...the originals. Yeah, you know the ones, plagued by crashes, freeze-ups and reboots galore. Oh sure, they work fine for about 2 months. Then they spend more time flying through the air as the result of a dropkick, than actually functioning properly...And the bill, OMG. It's killing me. Not financially, (we are fine) but figuratively... DAYUM I hate the idea of paying $59.99 per line for 2 lines ($120 a month) PLUS $29.99 PER LINE for a data package on each phone...when I dont need it. (Thats $188/month on average after taxes. I know a few people with cheaper car payments.) Sure, Facebook and LexusOwnersClub from my phone is nice, but I pay for internet at home and I really could live without it. After giving them ample opportunity to replace the phones (3x they replaced my wifes, and mine 4).

So we go to the Verizon Kiosk in the mall. The guy says he knows a trick. He puts us in 2 non-smartphones (LG Cosmos Touch, not a bad phone for somewhat dinosaur 1X CDMA Tech), opens up 2 new lines. He then deactivates our droid's, and activates these new phones (which were free BTW, with the activation of 2 new lines)...you see where this is going. He puts the new phones on our old lines, takes the droids and sends them wherever he sends them, and all we pay is the $120 a month for the plan w/2 lines, and then the $10 per line for the additional 2 dormant lines...Seems like alot of trouble to save $40 a month right?

Well, I am glad we did it, an unexpected bill came up...one from YEARS ago...my wife's "fault", if you will (not really any blame on this one, if you are sick/hurt with no insurance and you feel bad enough, the hospital is where you end up). It hit us hard enough that the $40 we were saving from not having a data package on a couple of smartphones was keeping enough gas in the truck for me to be able to drive to work/back every day for a couple months. A.K.A. The poorhouse. She tried to find a job with no luck, so we pressed on, payday to payday for a bit. Eventually building the savings account back up.

Fast forward to today...I got my deployment orders. Dont you know first thing I did with them was go to Sears, got 2 Virgin Mobile 3g "smart"phones for $300, transferred my numbers AGAIN, and dodged about a gazillion dollars in disconnect fees? So long, Verizon.

FWIW, the disconnect charges would have set me back $350 PER LINE x 4 lines.

Thats...$1400 if I did my math right. So $1400 initial savings...minus the $400 it cost me for the phones (including 10.5% sales tax, and the one month of Unlimited calling/text/web/data/411 3G everything and best of all NO CONTRACT)...

Comes out to a total savings of $1000. All because I chose to do the footwork. Most Cell Carriers dont want you to know you can do this if you are military. Instead, they offer to "Suspend" your account, picking it up where you left off when you come home from combat.

Josh 2 : Icky Cellular carriers 0.

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Wow josh, why so many lines...We have two phones and pay $76 per month with no data plan....That includes 250 text messages per phone. (verizon)...OH and 700 minutes with free to fellow verizon and weekends and nights etc... but glad everything worked out for you. We both use LG phones with the real keyboards....

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Wow josh, why so many lines...We have two phones and pay $76 per month with no data plan....That includes 250 text messages per phone. (verizon)...OH and 700 minutes with free to fellow verizon and weekends and nights etc... but glad everything worked out for you. We both use LG phones with the real keyboards....

See...what happened was...*Grab a beer this could take a minute*...

In May of 2010, shortly before I came home from Iraq the second time, my wife decided to go upgrade our phones to Motorola Droid's. She did not discuss it with me, she just did it, as a suprise for me, mostly. And a suprise it was. We did not know the bill was going to be $188 all of the time, we were told more like $150 (I think even that is too much), The plan was $119, the Data package was $30 per line, and then taxes/fees.

In November (same month I bought my truck), The bill had been a solid $180-$190 every month since we had gotten the phones. I was *BLEEP*ed because we were throwing money away. Not because we could not afford it, but because I didnt want to afford it. I called and dropped my minute plan from 1400 to 700, because I was looking at the fact I was only using about 700 minutes a month. In December it went down $10 a month. WTF? Then in January, with the move it went up to $297. I went over the minutes. I dealt with it till April (after the move here and we got settled in), and we went to a Verizon Store where the guy did the swap thing I mentioned above. The bill was consistantly $130-$140 (my line was $90, then wife's was $10, and the 2 others were $10 each+taxes/fees). For 700 minutes, unlimited text/messaging, no data. Better, but still a little excessive. So when I got my deployment orders, I had a way out, and I took it.

From May 2010 to April 2011, I gave Verizon about $1,980 to have 2 smartphones (more than that if you count the overages). End of this month sometime, I leave for afghanistan, and I can stop paying for my prepaid phone. That means instead of $80 a month for unlimited everything, my wife will pay her line, which will be $40.

So in the next 11 months, I will pay Virgin Mobil $440. In that time, I will save $1,540.

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Ahhh, yes the data plans can be real expensive...That is why I dropped mine this year and went back to just straight phone and texting....If I need info I go home and get on the computer...kind of like the old days...

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I don't quite understand what your qualm is with Verizon though...despite their service being expensive, what did they do wrong? How are they crooks?

I have Verizon and my bill is $235 a month by the way, so I know they're expensive.

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Just that they are expensive, thats all. LOL. I have been paying them entirely too much for too long.

And Steve, while expensive, I am sure you make a SUBSTANTIAL amount more money than I do. LOL. :cheers: Just sayin'. The fact that the service is expensive is not really what bothers me, so much as the fact that my wife put us in that situation while I was deployed and I thought we were stuck. "Crooks" is my way (in this case) of saying I was simply throwing money away.

Verizon's fault? Somewhat, they could be cheaper. Mine (or rather my wife's)? Probably more so.

What is the reason for a $350 or whatever dollar disconnect fee anyway? Mine says $375 per line, but maybe that changed? Idk.

Really the biggest reason I wanted to go prepaid is because I like being able to just shut it off if I need to. Many times I have gone somewhere for training where we arent allowed to have phones for 1, 2 or even 3 months at a time. Not to mention deployments. While verizon allows you to suspend your line, they do not continue ticking time on your contract, and they also suspend your upgrade. So If i suspend my contract 8 months in, for 1 year, I added a year before I can upgrade to a new phone. Prepaid just works better for me I guess.

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But to call them crooks? Why should they be cheaper? They seem to have plenty of customers. People are free to do as you did, to move on to a different carrier if they don't want to pay. Its a free market economy baby.

You have to understand, when they sell you a phone that retails for $600 for $100, or give you a phone for free, they have to lock you into a contract to be sure they don't get screwed for the discount they gave you. If they allow you to suspend your service and not pay while you are deployed thats great, but why would anybody assume that they would not also suspend the time remaining on your contract? They're not making any money off of you, and remember they gave you that big discount on your phone.

As for why is there a disconnect fee, again...they gave you a multi-hundred dollar discount on the phone...so there has to be some protection for them that you aren't going to just hop to some other carrier as soon as they have a phone you want. Its higher for smartphones because smartphone users tend to be early adopters and quicker to leave for a new model only available on another carrier. Plus...the discount they gave you on that smartphone was a lot of money...a lot more than on some cheap flip phone.

Plus, you can get Verizon service with no contract, or with a 1 year contract instead of two, you're just going to pay more for the phone upfront. Verizon has prepaid services also...

As for your overage...you reduced the minutes and went over. Not their fault. Anyways, had you called them and told them your situation, they would have at least split the overage charges with you if you upgraded back to the old plan for one month. Its happened to me before too...

So...I just don't see how Verizon are crooks. Its a premium service that costs more, by your own admission you got Verizon because they were the only provider who was reliable and worked...

You made the right decision for you and that was smart, but don't deride Verizon because its services weren't what you needed ;)

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You made the right decision for you and that was smart, but don't deride Verizon because its services weren't what you needed ;)

Yeah....leave that for your TV cable company! :lol:

I've got both AT&T (personal) and Verizon (business via Blackberry). I live in the 3rd largest city in the US. I work in one of the most famous areas of that city (Oak Park). I have an AT&T tenant in this office who teaches newbies how to sell the services. And when I try to call my wife on my personal phone...it might as well be a CB Radio, if it works at all. 3rd largest city and market in the country...can't get service worth a damn.

My blackberry (aka nag-berry), which is on Verizon, works everywhere....dangit.

Our AT&T bill every month, $120 for both phones, one of which is an iPhone with the required (you're my drunk prom date) data plan.

My Verizon bill every month = $250, for something that is used 99.9% of the time for emails.

I'm with Lenore on the data plans. Wanted my wife to have instant access to the internet where ever she and the kids go. Me? Wifi. And if I can't find Wifi, then I don't need to know what I'm looking for at that moment. For the record though...McDonald's has free Wifi that reaches out to their parking lots. Buy a 32gb Ipod Touch from Costco for $200. It's all you'll ever need.

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