I am trying to figure out the best action for my 82 year old mother. She is currently and has been on a special contract, something like 65+ plan (don't know the exact plan name). She pays $29.95/ month with 200 anytime minutes. Her current contract ends in March 2013.
She is moving to an assisted living facility on July 8th where her only phone will be wireless and she will need much more than 200 minutes per month. Several weeks ago, (prior to the “share anything plan” was announced), I told her it might be best to switch to the $50 / month unlimited everything PREPAID plan. She needs to replace her ancient phone which is 6+ years old, and she doesn't need text or data, (wouldn't be able to figure it out anyway).
Does she need to do something before June 28th? Will the $50 per month prepaid plan be affected with the new “share anything” plan? All of her friends and family are on Verizon. I can't figure out a cost/benefit analysis because I don't know all the variables. Is it more cost effective to pay an early termination fee and switch prior to June 28th to a different plan? She will be using a lot more minutes beginning in July than what her current plan provides.
Please help with suggestions. My mom is counting on me and I'm counting on you. Thanks.
to start with, why is she even under contract if her phone is 6 years old? she should have been able to get a new, subsidized phone if she renewed her contract in 2011.....but this is beside the point.
i don't believe she will be affected by the new plans if she doesn't have or use data. you have a couple of options. you could call and just change the plan to increase her minutes (they will let you increase minutes without a new contract). or you could call or go into a store and just explain the situation and ask what her options are. they may work with you. also, (and this is a longshot) she may be eligible for an early upgrade. they did away with that program, but if she was eligible before they did away with it, then she will still be eligible. this would mean a new, cheap phone, and select a new contract. fyi.....her early termination fee would be about $100. however, if you terminate a contract, i think you would have to wait 30 or 60 days before you can become a verizon customer again. i also believe you would lose the number. my advice would be to just go in and talk to someone about it.
one more thing, you may be able to do an assumption of liability, where you take her line and add it to your plan (if you have a family plan).
When you say her only phone will be wireless, I assume that you mean "cellular".
Is cellular her best option? What about a landline only option with a wireless phone? That way she can still carry the phone with her wherever she is within her home. If she is going to start using "much more than 200 minutes per month" only because she is giving up her current landline, I would assume that the vast majority of her calling minutes take place within her home.
I guess one question is "will the increase in her calling plan be greater than the cost of the landline she currently has, or would it be cheaper to keep the landline and her current plan?"
Another question is what "need" does she have for cellular? Will she be out "alone" often if she is moving to an assisted living facility? If not, does she need the availability of cellular? If you are worried about her being out "alone" and getting "confused", will she be too "confused" to make use of a cellular phone?
In an assisted living facility, the building "could" interfere with her ability to actually receive a cellular signal within her home. Is this going to be a problem, since it seems her current calling habits have her sending/receiving the majority of her calls within her home.
I ask these questions from experience as my 92 y/o grandmother is also living in an assisted living facility and only has a landline phone with no cellular phone. She chose to give up her cellular phone 7 yrs ago when she moved in.
These are just a few questions to consider before switching over to strictly cellular.
another thing to consider is whether or not other carriers provide adequate coverage at the home. if so, she could port her number to another (cheaper) carrier. i would ask around there and see who most of the residents use for their cell provider. in some areas, these DIRT cheap carriers provide good coverage. if she won't be running around town or traveling much, then she would really only need a solid signal at the home. verizon typically has the best building penetration, but that's not always the case and i don't know if this is a large buliding so that may not even be an issue.
Thanks. I will look into increasing her minutes and eligibility of early phone upgrade. I would love to go into a store with her and talk to someone, however, I'm disabled and don't drive. She lives in NC, moving to VA, and I live in NJ. I have an individual $50 unlimited prepaid plan so I can't do an assumption of liability. Thanks for your reply.
I originally thought that "cellular" was the best option. The facility she is moving to charges an additional $30 per month for landline access. That would be in addition to the landline provider's monthly service charge, taxes, etc.
Yes, she will be out often. She still drives, walks an hour a day and plays golf often. I'm not concerned about her being confused enough to use the cell phone.
I'll have to look into signal strength in the building. Thanks for your response.
I had considered other carriers but since all of her friends and family are on Verizon I thought it was probably best for all concerned to stay on Verizon. You comment does bring up another question I have no idea about. I've heard of "Page Plus" as being a discount cellular provider that uses Verizon's network. How is Page Plus being affected with the new Share plan? If Page Plus is in fact using Verizon's network can Page Plus customers call Verizon customers with no usage minutes?