How to replace lost phone when I have a new one due?
May 18, 2011 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I think I lost my Verizon phone. I had the same phone for the past 3 years, and I know that I was due for a new one for the past year. I do not have insurance, not that I know of at least. So, how do I go about replacing this phone? I am so confused... Will I have to pay for the new phone? (I am from another country, so I still do not fully understand how the cell phone stuff works here.)
posted by kuju to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
(I'm assuming that by "another" you mean "other than the US" and you are in the US)

You can get a new one at the discounted rate if you sign a new 2-year contract (probably). You will not need to pay full price. The best thing to do is call/go into a store, and they can give you more specific advice for your situation, though.
posted by brainmouse at 6:20 PM on May 18, 2011

Cell phone companies generally offer two different prices on a phone with a contract, one for new contracts and one for upgrades. New means you don't have an existing contract, upgrade means you're upgrading the phone (and extending the contract in some cases). Since you probably are no longer under the terms of your original contract 3+ years on, you can likely get the "new" price.
posted by axiom at 6:23 PM on May 18, 2011

Do you have a My Verizon account? You can input your information and look everything up online. It will tell you if you're eligible for upgrade, but you should be if you haven't picked up a new phone in 3 years. You'll pay what a new customer would and may even have an upgrade credit.
posted by kpht at 6:27 PM on May 18, 2011

Yes, I am currently in the US.
posted by kuju at 6:41 PM on May 18, 2011

If you're not sure if you have lost phone insurance, call Verizon to check.

It depends on the replacement phone you decide on if you pay anything out of pocket. Cell carriers offer a variety of phone models that range from "free" to a few hundred dollars. These phones will require you signing a 1 or 2 year contract, in which you promise you'll stay with Verizon for the duration of the contract or else! Or else means you'll owe them an getting-out-of-the-contract termination fee as well as possibly owe them some prorated portion of your phone's non-subsidized cost (the subsidy is the amount Verizon is willing to eat in exchange for you signing a contract promising to be their customer for x years).

Alternatively, you might be able to pick up a used phone off craigslist that will run on Verizon's network and that can be reassigned by Verizon to receive phone calls to your old phone number. This will allow you to skip the 'signing up for a new contract' part but listen carefully to what the CSR is telling you during the activation process as cell phone companies really want people to sign those contracts and will steer customers to sign one even if it is not necessary to obtain service. You also run the risk of buying from a scammer who is trying to sell a phone that cannot be cleared to connect to Verizon, usually because the phone was reported stolen. I've heard the best guard against this later scam is to have the seller meet you in a Verizon store and pay them only after the phone's ESN has been cleared for activation; I suspect getting two strangers to coordinate their schedules that way will be a challenge but it sounds like it's worth doing.
posted by jamaro at 6:48 PM on May 18, 2011

I lost my phone one week before I was due an upgrade. I just called, and without mentioning the lost phone, said I wanted to upgrade to a new, better phone for the reduced rate. I got a new Blackberry for the price you get when you sign a new contract (I think $25 for me) and everything worked out.
posted by hepta at 7:01 PM on May 18, 2011

You need to tell your phone company that the old phone has been lost, because if you don't, you'll have to pay for all the long distance bills racked up by whoever finds your phone.

It's like losing a credit card. You need to get it cancelled.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:24 PM on May 18, 2011

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