A relative has given us a Verizon pre-paid phone because she moved up a long time ago to a 2 year contract and knows we had bad experiences with our 2 previous attempts at trusting a phone company to provide wireless. She is a die-hard Verizone supporter so I assumed the brochure/terms of service would tell it in plain English. Apparently either they don't or we have lost the ability to read in our dotage! lol
The phone is a Samsung U350. The combination of plans we are considering is Pre-paid Core or Plus (99c or $1.99 daily rate) plus $10 Messaging Bundle. Depending on usage etc, we would obviously consider moving up but our requirement to use a wireless phone is limited and sporadic - for example, we think the messaging bundle might be worth the $10 but would be likely to use the phone a lot during some periods and not at all for months in between.
1. Am I right in thinking that we can't just pay the $10 per month to maintain activation - we must meet the pre-pay service requirement e.g. $15 for another 30 days, $30 for 90 days etc?
2. If so, is the $10 included? For example, if I purchased $15 every 30 days, we would have $10 deducted for the messaging bundle and $5 added to our balance each time and the service would remain active?
3. Does my unused balance expire if I maintain activation and if so after how long?
Please try to be specific as the following may or may not be double-talk - three statements on the same page of the downloaded brochure:
a. "Refill Amount: $15–$29.99 Expires In (once applied to account): 30 days" (with other amounts and periods tabled).
b. "Refill your account before it expires and your existing balance will be carried forward."
c. "Once activated, account balance will expire based on initial payment or in 60 days, whichever is longer."
So say I activate, make auto-payments every 30 days of $15 and for some time only use messaging within the limits of the $10 plan:
"a" would mean that after 30 days, I would lose the $5 balance remaining after the $10 was deducted; but
"b" would mean that the $5 would remain so my balance would be $10 and this would continue for as long as I maintained activation - so in 2 years time, I could make voice calls using a balance of 24 x $5 = $120 (unlikely that I wouldn't make calls that long but you take my point); but
"c" seems to suggest that each $5 would expire after 60 days.
(I did search for answers but note http://businessforums.verizon.net/t5/Prepaid-Plans/Prepaid-phone-unlimited-texting-picture-messaging-and-daily-fee/m-p/185829#M68 where a Wireless Employee gives an incorrect clarification only to be corrected by a customer. Hmmm!
Anyway, does my unused balance expire if I maintain activation and if so after how long?
4. If I set up auto-payments to add $15 every 30 days or $30 every 90 days, can I also set up the "minimum balance" trigger to add money if the balance falls below a certain amount or do I have to choose between one auto-payment method and another?
5. I know I can check VM using minutes or I can check VM by calling my number from my home phone and using a password. Can I also check VM online? (Both previous companies had this option but I can't find it anywhere in the Verizon system.)
6. MMS Messages: From the brochure:
a. "Additional and Unlimited Messages apply when sending and receiving ... Picture and Video Messaging Portal Messages"
b. "Plus, you can send Picture, Video and Voice Messages, a sound within a picture, for just 25¢ per message sent"
"a" suggests I can send MMS messages with pictures taken with the phone camera the same as regular messages without any cost that I wouldn't pay if the messages were merely text.
"b" suggests I have to pay 25c a time for them.
7. From the brochure: "Activation fee up to $25 may apply". So how much IS the activation fee?
8. Do pre-paid customers have the same access to things on the Verizon website requiring log-in or are those only for customers with long-term contracts?
9. "Limit of four Calling Plan changes in a 30-day period." So I could switch from $10 to $20 bundle mid-month and switch from Core to Unlimited Talk and back again and the only fees would be the extra $10 for the messaging bundle and the $3 per day usage fee?
10. Regarding the Samsung U350, can I get pictures out of it to, or onto it from, my PC without having to use minutes? On other phones, I could either plug a USB connector into the phone to upload them or pull the memory card out and upload them from that using a card adapter. Are either of these available on this phone (not mentioned in the User Manual downloaded from Samsung support site).
Sorry to ask so many questions, but personally I detest finding out afterwards that I have to pay for something I could have avoided using but was under the impression it was included in the service.