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fishacura

join:2008-01-25
Phoenixville, PA

Can I buy my own phone?

My contract is eligible for an upgrade next month and I am looking into options. Not sure if there's a benefit to buying my own phone or not but I thought I'd see if it was even an option. Can I purchase a phone that Verizon offers on my own and then go to VZ for activation?
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People who don't get good service on average tell 10 others while people who do get good service on average tell 1.


Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
If you buy your own phone you can activate it and go monthly with no contract. Otherwise you are locked into a new 2 year contract with the upgrade.
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navyson

join:2011-07-15
Upper Marlboro, MD
reply to fishacura
Buying your own phone outright can be costly. An iphone on Verizon could cost you upwards of $700.


compuguybna

join:2009-06-17
Nashville, TN
Reviews:
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that's about right...... straightalk has an iphone4 16gb for $649.00 at walmart that runs on verizon. $45 month unlimited.

said by navyson:

Buying your own phone outright can be costly. An iphone on Verizon could cost you upwards of $700.


fishacura

join:2008-01-25
Phoenixville, PA
reply to Jim_in_VA
said by Jim_in_VA:

If you buy your own phone you can activate it and go monthly with no contract. Otherwise you are locked into a new 2 year contract with the upgrade.

Yeah...I don't know that not having the contract really buys me anything so probably not worth it.
--
People who don't get good service on average tell 10 others while people who do get good service on average tell 1.


Shrapnel64
Premium
join:2001-01-24
VA, USA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

If you're on an Unlimited Smartphone data plan, you will be required to buy the phone outright ($649) to maintain the Unlimited data plan.

If you want the $199 price, you will forfeit the data plan and be automatically switched over to the $30/month 2GB data plan.

buckweet1980

join:2011-12-31
Allen, TX
reply to fishacura
If you're going to buy outright it only makes sense if the phones are 400 and under.. And only makes sense if you go pre-paid plans (low cost). Otherwise the ROI is 18 to 24months depending on your exact plan.

I had the VZW Galaxy Nexus and just went to the Nexus 4 along with switching to ATT (work paid plan) and am so glad I did. VZW service wasn't very good at my new home which prompted my move.

Having an unlocked phone is a nice option and makes me feel free not having VZW/ATT bloatware on my phone. If/when I go back to personal pay I would look for a pre-paid company that uses the network of your choice. You can get ones that work on ATT, Verizon or Sprint. I would seriously give TMobile a look though, their have very low cost plans and usually have great coverage within city limits. Typically you can cut your bill in half by going pre-paid and get more minutes, txt and data.


Hall
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-28
Germantown, OH
kudos:2
reply to Shrapnel64
said by Shrapnel64:

If you're on an Unlimited Smartphone data plan, you will be required to buy the phone outright ($649) to maintain the Unlimited data plan.

If you want the $199 price, you will forfeit the data plan and be automatically switched over to the $30/month 2GB data plan.

That's the boat we're in.... my wife and I are both eligible for new phones in ~2 weeks but we have the unlimited data plan and based on our usage, it will cost us more to switch to even the 2gb data plan (which we routinely exceed each month), not to mention switching to the 4gb plan to be "safe" from overages.

I am strongly considering buying a used phone (probably a Galaxy Nexus unless the price of the Galaxy SIII drops substantially when the S4 is released). Not sure what my wife will want...


Shrapnel64
Premium
join:2001-01-24
VA, USA
kudos:1
We're in the same boat as well. I have 4 lines with 3 Smartphones. I am by far the biggest user of data and have the "Unlimited" LTE Hotspot feature on my line as well.

There really isn't a good way to justify going full retail, but if you plan to upgrade every year or so, you could (in theory) maximize ROI by reselling your phone on eBay, Craigslist, or to one of many other 3rd parties (Gazelle, CellItUsed, etc.).

I was one of the crazy iSheep who bought the iPhone 5 full retail last year when Verizon released it. As it stands now, I can get up to $400 for trade in. I normally try to take really good care of my phones (no scratches/blemishes, shield protectors on both sides, and holster rather than pocketing). Essentially, if I get $400 back, then I really only paid $350 for the phone (rather than $299), to which I could pay ~$350 for the next phone. Apple devices tend to hold their value pretty well.

I was thinking about the GS4 when it drops, but Verizon hasn't released any particular details on the phone.

jbeenemd

join:2002-05-14
Willard, MO
reply to fishacura
I am on the unlimited plan also. Signed up right before they dropped unlimited. At the time the LTE phones were not very desirable and we did not even have LTE here. So got a cheaper 3G phone. Well to my surprise we got LTE within 6 months of signing on. Found a used Rezound that I was able to get for $250. All I had to do was go online and request a free LTE sim card. When it arrived I inserted it into the phone and then on their website changed out the phones. Worked without a hitch. AND NO STANDING IN LINE AT A VERIZON STORE. Now I was lucky with this purchase. If you buy from an individual then would do the transaction at the store after the phone has been verified to be legit and not "lost", stolen, or have money due on their account. Oh, I was also able keep my unlimited account. Also I have been told that you do not have to pay for the hotspot on LTE. This is a decree from the FTC.
Jackie

navyson

join:2011-07-15
Upper Marlboro, MD

1 edit
said by jbeenemd:

I am on the unlimited plan also. Signed up right before they dropped unlimited. At the time the LTE phones were not very desirable and we did not even have LTE here. So got a cheaper 3G phone. Well to my surprise we got LTE within 6 months of signing on. Found a used Rezound that I was able to get for $250. All I had to do was go online and request a free LTE sim card. When it arrived I inserted it into the phone and then on their website changed out the phones. Worked without a hitch. AND NO STANDING IN LINE AT A VERIZON STORE. Now I was lucky with this purchase. If you buy from an individual then would do the transaction at the store after the phone has been verified to be legit and not "lost", stolen, or have money due on their account. Oh, I was also able keep my unlimited account. Also I have been told that you do not have to pay for the hotspot on LTE. This is a decree from the FTC.
Jackie

Not necessarily true. I believe that as a part of a settlement agreement between Verizon and the FTC, Verizon can no longer block tethering apps such as Foxfi from the app store. I do not believe Verizon always "free tethering" using their mobile hotspot feature for those on unlimited plans. However, you can download Foxfi and other tethering software.


Shrapnel64
Premium
join:2001-01-24
VA, USA
kudos:1
reply to jbeenemd
As navyson See Profile pointed out, the FCC ruling reverses the decision by Verizon to have any tethering apps removed from the Google Play Store.

However, the FCC ruling DOES NOT apply to Unlimited Data users (such as myself).

In such cases, we are allowed to be charged a monthly fee by Verizon to activate the "Unlimited" Tethering/WiFi Hotspot on our phones. The charge is $30/month (before any feature discounts...I get 15% off) for LTE service. If you're still on a 3G plan, they only have the 2GB for $20/month plan available (last I checked).

For the users who are on tiered data plans (2GB for example), they are allowed to download/use the Tethering apps...which is more or less why the "Share Everything" plans now allow Tethering "for free."

jbeenemd

join:2002-05-14
Willard, MO
reply to navyson
Well, I've not had any problems. Guess, we will just have to wait and see.
Jackie

navyson

join:2011-07-15
Upper Marlboro, MD
reply to Shrapnel64
Even if you are on the unlimited plan, you should be able to download Foxfi and other tethering apps and use it. I have the 4G data plan and I use Foxfi regularly to share internet access with my tablet when I am on the road.

navyson

join:2011-07-15
Upper Marlboro, MD
reply to fishacura
I believe Verizon customers are somewhat lucky in this respect because I think Sprint and AT & T blocks Foxifi use unless you root your phone.


Shrapnel64
Premium
join:2001-01-24
VA, USA
kudos:1
reply to navyson
Yes, I could use the programs to tether. However, it is grounds for termination if Verizon were to crack down on it like AT&T has done in the past.

navyson

join:2011-07-15
Upper Marlboro, MD
said by Shrapnel64:

Yes, I could use the programs to tether. However, it is grounds for termination if Verizon were to crack down on it like AT&T has done in the past.

Actually, a Verizon phone rep told me(of the record though) that I could just download Foxfi if I wante to tether.