Can I use a blackberry with a normal voice plan?
January 11, 2009 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Can I use a Blackberry on Verizon Wireless without the special expensive Blackberry plan?
posted by Maia to Technology (10 answers total)
not 100% sure about with verizon but you can use one with Alltel if you pay for the blackberry outright (the full price, about $500ish) - you can put it on any plan you wish instead of having to go with the blackberry plan (~$45 a month for Alltel)
posted by knockoutking at 12:21 PM on January 11, 2009

Sure. You can use it like any other phone, but if you want push-email, internet access, GPS, and other features you have to buy into their BB packages.

If a Verizon rep tells you otherwise, hang up and call back until you get someone who knows what they are talking about...
posted by wfrgms at 12:22 PM on January 11, 2009

Not any more.

Several companies used to be of the "If you buy a smart phone from us, you have to get the data plan" mind, which was bypassed by getting a phone elsewhere. I bought my blackberry on Craigslist, called up Sprint and activated the phone, and I'm still on the voice only plan.

But now Verizon (and I've been looking for a way around this for a friend) basically says "if you have a smart phone, you have to get the data plan". Ostensibly, this is to keep people from using Pay-As-You-Go Data plans without knowing it and getting charged thousands of dollars, but it really plays out to be everyone paying an extra $40 something a month, even if that won't be stupid and use services not on their plan.
From reading various articles on Consumerist and other sources, it's my understanding that this is built into the system. No sweet talking your way out of this one.

My (woefully uninformed) opinion is that over the next few months, Verizon will lose enough people to this that the policy will go away, but for the mean time your stuck.

That, or soon everyone will force us to all get Data plans.
posted by niles at 12:22 PM on January 11, 2009


If a Verizon rep tells you otherwise, hang up and call back until you get someone who knows what they are talking about...

That's what, for lack of a better term, is scary about Verizon's new policy. To the best of my understand, it's built into the system - a smart phone cannot be activated without that data package. The best we can do right now is vote with our dollars, as it were, and maybe write a few letters to the higher ups.
posted by niles at 12:24 PM on January 11, 2009

I paid $9.00 on eBay to unlock a AT&T Blackberry. Then it worked like any other phone with my T-Mobile sim card (I later added T-Mobile's BB plan because it's cheap...)

Worst case, unlock your phone (only takes a second) and just use it as you would any other.

Not sure how this works if you buy the phone from Verizon, as they may make you sign up for the plan at purchase, but I imagine you could cancel any additional data features, etc.
posted by wfrgms at 12:56 PM on January 11, 2009

Response by poster: Hmm, interesting. Verizon doesn't use SIM cards..
posted by Maia at 1:29 PM on January 11, 2009

If you buy a subsidized product, you have to play by their rules.
posted by gjc at 1:30 PM on January 11, 2009

Please note that the personal data service is $30/month. It's the corporate plan that's $40/month.
posted by NortonDC at 2:48 PM on January 11, 2009

No, Verizon uses a different technology than AT&T/Tmobile (thus no SIM cards). The handsets are really bound the the carrier and cannot be unlocked. The only way I believe you can do this is if you purchase a used Blackberry from craigslist/ebay/newspaper that is made for the Verizon network.

Then log into your VZW account online and look for the ESN change function. Find the ESN of the blackberry (usually under the battery on all phones) and type that in. Wait a few mins and do *228 Send to see if you're activated.
posted by ijoyner at 3:07 PM on January 11, 2009

To my knowledge, no.I asked about the difference between Verizon's regular data plan and the one you have to get for the Blackberry here. Ticked me off enough that there was a premium charge for what seemed pretty much the same service, that I chose another phone. Now I wish I'd waited for a Pre. Though we don't get much of the Sprint out here.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:12 PM on January 11, 2009

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