Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Get it fast with In-store & curbside pickup or same day delivery.
Please Help Me Decide on Device Upgrade & Plan Change

Hello Verizon Community!

My contract is now over (as of October).

When I bought the phone (MTC M8) 2 years ago I paid $200 for the phone and had a promo rate for an individual line with unlimited text and calling and 2GB of data for $60 (so I pay around $70-$72/month after taxes and such).  I'm still on that plan and just paid for next month but have 6 days left in my billing cycle.

Now I get messages to "Upgrade my Device" and sometimes the verizonwireless site screen shows that I can buy a new phone (Apple, Droid, Samsung, etc) and get up to $300 for trading in my old phone.  However, when I go back and log on to the verizonwireless website, I again get the "Upgrade" eligibility notice but it says "Your estimated device trade-in value is $40" What?  It's quite misleading because then I see I can only save more than $40 on trade-in is by taking on another 2 year contract.

I never, ever use 2GB of data.  I average under 0.5GB data (last month it was 0.3GB usage) so I'm paying for basically nothing.  Rarely, when I'm out, I'll use the "Map" app for directions and rarer yet, I'll check my email or voicemail.  The reason I don't use the 2GB is that the phone screen is too small for my eyesight and my fingers are too big to type emails on the phone (really the keypad is even too small for texting, but I manage).  I use wi-fi on my phone and laptop at home and wherever there's a wi-fi connection.  Since my laptop, which I love, is a 17" and quite heavy, I'd like to be able to use the Verizon Ellipsis 7 tablet (given to me 'free.') when I'm out and about or just for surfing the net/reading.

What to do?  The phone I have works perfectly fine.  I don't need a new phone but I do want to be able to use the data that I pay for.  So, here are my options (and questions) as I understand them:  I’m hopeful that your answers will help me decide.....

First though, I just wanted to clarify something.  Did I read correctly that, even though I’m already going to be paying for a new phone one way or another, Verizon is going to charge me an additional $20 fee just because I’m upgrading my device?  That sure seems like one of those ‘stick it to you nonsense add-on fees’!!!

Option #1) Buy a new phone & pay retail price now or over 24 months, but under no contract and keep the existing plan.

Option #2) Buy a new phone & save quite a chunk of change by opting for a new 2 year contract and keep the existing plan.  I’ll still be paying for 2GB of data that won’t be used.

Option #3) Same a Option #2 but switch to the new “Small” plan (saves $5/month.  “Small” plan is $55 -- $35 + $20 line access --for 2GB data & Unlimited talk/text.  Same 'benefits' a current plan but here's the million dollar question with this option.... Online, the description says this plan includes "Mobile Hotspot on capable devices"  but is there a hidden cost?  Do I have to pay extra to use this 2GB data with the tablet?  Small print at bottom of plan page states “Line access fees: Smartphone $20/mo. Tablet & Hotspots $10/mo. Connected devices $5/mo.”  If there’ an additional charge for the tablet, exactly how much is it? Is the tablet considered a ‘Connected device’ for $5/mo or is it a Tablet & Hotspots for $10/mo?

Option #4) Same as Option #3 but save a lot by keeping my old phone

Option #5) I don’t know if this is possible, but just wondering….  Could I just ditch my old phone and use my Ellipsis 7 tablet (or buy a new tablet with capability) exclusively for camera, calls, texts and data?

Of course if I did this, I’d opt for a larger data plan, since I’d carry around the smaller tablet in place of my laptop and the data would get used. 

Is this even possible; to keep my existing Verizon phone number but not the phone, and use the tablet exclusively?

If I buy a new phone…. Which one?  Never owned an apple product.  I’ve had several Android Motorolas, an HTC MyTouch, current HTC M8, several LG phones, and the only issue with any of them has been small screen size and low volume. The only real preferences I have (other than large screen and good volume) is that there’s an SD card slot and that the battery be replaceable.

If I buy a new tablet… Which one?  The Ellipsis 7 that was given to me is the only tablet I’ve ever owned. Almost bought a Kindle Fire as Amazon was offering it at a real low cost when purchasing a monthly subscription to an unlimited magazine account.  I just need to be sure that whichever tablet I buy, if I buy one, will be compatible so as to use the Verizon data.

Cellphones, cars, new rental units, etc….  all very stressful for me each time it comes time for a change as cancer therapy gives me ‘chemo-brain” and the information overload on the internet is just plain confusing.  Every task, though seemingly small, takes all the focus & concentration I have – and then some – which is why I’m looking to you for guidance here.  Believe me, it took me a lot longer to think about and type this than for you to read it, but still….. I’m well aware I’ve inundated you with a lot of information and many questions here, so if you’re still with me, please know that my appreciation of your patience is genuine.

I’m looking forward to everyone’s response and opinion.  Thank You!

Labels (1)
Re: Please Help Me Decide on Device Upgrade & Plan Change

No tablet is capable of making voice and text messages directly from the phone number associated with that device. You still need a separate phone number attached to the phone handset.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

Re: Please Help Me Decide on Device Upgrade & Plan Change
Sr. Leader

Hi there!  You HAVE given this a lot of thought, and seem pretty clear on your options.  Yoiu've articulated your needs and preferences very well!!  So, let me give you my thoughts, as a smartphone user with typically, about 1GB or less per month (and I do a LOT of email and stuff on my phone, but most on wifi). 

You can keep your existing phone.  Just because you are eligible to upgrade, and Verizon inundates you with tempting offers, you don't have to do anything at all and your plan and pricing will just continue until you make a change.  That said, it sounds like you need, or want the larger screen that the tablet offers.  The tablet will not make phone calls or text on it's own, as Ann154 pointed out. 

If you add the tablet to your plan for $10/month, it will share your data pool (and you would need to change your plan to a shared data plan, since I believe you said you were on an individual plan no longer offered).  The new Verizon plan, with the off contract device you have, is $20 line access plus your data bucket for the phone, and includes the mobile hotspot.  So you can use your tablet as a wifi only device, and set it up to use your phone as a wifi connection and share the phone's data.  You can also use the tablet on wifi when out and about, either through your phone OR local wifi hotspots.  No need to pay the $10 for line access when it will pull from the same data pool anyway.  But  you may not always want to carry two devices - and you may consider the extra $10 a month worth it for the added connectivity.

Be aware that your data may increase if you start using the tablet and end up doing more texting, facebook, and other things.  With the new plans you do have carryover of leftover plan data for one month, and you can slow data speeds when you reach your limit and not get dinged for overages.

You may find the Ellipsis 7 to be slow and short on memory when you try to use it as a substitute for the phone - and it's NOT a phone. Good for Facebook, reading, texting on a larger screen though.

Post back if you need any clarification.  You don't HAVE to buy a new phone, and a newer device will likely gobble data faster than your current device.  Based on what you've stated, I would simply change to one of the newer plans (start with the Small, enable the Safety Mode to prevent overages, use the phone hotspot for the tablet, and see how that goes for a month or so.  You can always increase the data plan and/or upgrade later.

Re: Please Help Me Decide on Device Upgrade & Plan Change

Thanks for your response!

I didn't mean to ignore your kind and helpful reply, I just haven't been back to this site for awhile, obviously.

However, today they're offering the holiday deals, so I'm considering upgrade to a new phone and switch to the new plan.  Then I'll still have my Ellipsis 7 which I can use with Wi-Fi as you said, and with the new plan I'll have the mobile hotspot capability. 

Now I just have to decide between the iPhone7 (total device cost $240, $10/mth over 24 mths) , iPhone7+ (total device cost $360, $15/mth over 24 mths), Samsung Galaxy 7 (total device cost $240, $10/mth over 24 mths) or the HTC 10 which I can get with $200 credit for trading in my current HTC ONE M8 (total device cost $448.08, $18.67/mth over 24 mths).

I "Chatted" with three different Verizon reps today.  I was really irritated because I spent a total of about 3+ hours 'chatting' and they all gave me different information; each one saying the other rep was wrong .

I just hope that when I "Upgrade" I'm offered these Holiday Deals that I see on my screen.

We'll see.

Re: Please Help Me Decide on Device Upgrade & Plan Change

I can't find any documentation on the $60 2GB Loyalty Plan, but I think it may fall into the same category as the plans in the link below.  If so you would receive a $15/month credit by entering into a device payment agreement on that plan. Then purchasing one of the $10/month holiday deal phones would actually reduce your bill by $5 during the device payment term.  So you might want to do another chat to see if the $15 credit would apply to your current plan before switching to the new plans.

$60 1 GB and $75 2 GB Smartphone Single Line Plan FAQs | Verizon Wireless

  What's the monthly line access charge for a smartphone with a Verizon device payment agreement on a single line plan?    

  • If you have a smartphone on a Verizon device payment agreement, you'll receive $15 off the monthly access on a single line plan. For more information, visit our Verizon Device Payment FAQs.