I need a phone to hold me over until my upgrade on Verizon
August 17, 2012 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I need a Verizon phone to carry me over until the new iphone release. What's a decent cheap phone to get without doing the contract renewal or using up my upgrade?

My 2-year-old smart phone's screen has died. It's an LG Ally. I want to wait to get a new phone (using my upgrade credit and contract renewal) until the new iphone comes out next month. How can I get a phone (smart phone or other phone) to work on Verizon to hold me over for the month. What can I do? Is it possible to buy a used phone or a cheap phone and get it activated on my existing contract until the new iphone comes out?

I am not interested in other recommendations for phones to use with my upgrade/renewal. I just need a phone to hold me over until the new iphone comes out, and I realize it might be longer than a month before I can actually get the iphone.
posted by msbrauer to Technology (15 answers total)
Best answer: You can totally get a used Verizon phone and have them activate it on your current plan. I myself currently have two Verizon phones sitting in my junk drawer that still work, perhaps a friend or coworker does too. Ask around, put it on Facebook, you probably will find someone to give you a phone for free (or memail me and I can ship one to you).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:10 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

It is very easy to do what you want. In my case, I asked about a half dozen friends if they had an old VZ phone lying around I could borrow for a while. Within 2 days I had in my hand 3 different phones from which to choose. (If I can find them now, I will send one to you.)

You could also get a prepaid phone that will cost about $20 and work on the VZ network
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Can I get a prepaid phone and have it hooked into my current plan? Unfortunately no friends where I am right now use verizon.

Thanks for the offer to ship a phone to me, rabbitrabbit. I'm traveling for the next week and a half and need something before I will be at an address where I receive a shipment.
posted by msbrauer at 10:15 AM on August 17, 2012

Best answer: I want to wait to get a new phone (using my upgrade credit and contract renewal) until the new iphone comes out next month.

It's probably better to save the credit for the new iPhone and instead buy a cheaper phone to tide you over.

You can get a used phone on eBay or Craigslist and transfer the plan to it, so long as it has a "clean ESN" (otherwise Verizon won't activate it). You can even transfer the plan to the new phone online without talking to customer service. I have done this several times with no problems, as there was a period when Mrs. exogenous was going through Droids like the Imperial Army.
posted by exogenous at 10:18 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was told by a VZ rep. you can buy a prepaid VZ phone and when you call to activate it, tell them you want to put it on your plan. (I did not actually do it as I was given phones as per above.) Call VZ or go to Walmart/Target/KMart/Sears type store and check the packaging on one of the phones. There will be a number to call for questions.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2012

Actually I am not sure if transferring the plan to a new phone as I mentioned above will let you keep the contract renewal credit date - probably best to check with Verizon.
posted by exogenous at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2012

Craigslist if it is available in your area, search for verizon and you'll find TONS of phones.

If you want to go cheap, new phone, I bought this as a replacement. $46 and 2 day shipping. Doesn't last long with abuse (mine lasted about a year), but it's smart phone and works well.
posted by sandmanwv at 10:19 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you bring any Verizon phone into a Verizon shop that is not stolen and works, they should switch it for free.

Craigslist if you're in a rush. Used working Verizon phone, $10 to $30 dollars, should be the ad.

If you have a few days, their are many companies online selling used phones. pick one. I have used "thebluedot" before, worked fine. I have bought 2 phones on ebay, worked fine.
posted by couchdive at 10:21 AM on August 17, 2012

Target has no-contract phones. Just buy any of the ones marked for Verizon.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:25 AM on August 17, 2012

Just a note, Verizon will not let you use a data capable smartphone without having a data plan. That shouldn't be an issue because you had a smartphone previously, but along those lines you will likely have to continue paying for data even if your temporary phone doesn't support it.
posted by shinynewnick at 11:24 AM on August 17, 2012

You can get a pre-paid phone, get one from Verizon. Just swap out the SIM card and you're good to go.

I did this with an AT&T phone when Husbunny ran his through the washing machine.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:16 PM on August 17, 2012

Response by poster: Verizon doesn't use sim cards in most phones. I talked with a rep and he was under the impression that using a prepaid phone wouldn't work because they need to be used with a prepaid plan for 6 months. I think the recommendation to get an unlocked phone on amazon or Craigslist will be the way to go.
posted by msbrauer at 12:21 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

yep, get an old cheap phone for a month or two till you can get the puppy you want
posted by couchdive at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2012

Best answer: I don't know about the prepaids, but you are correct that VZW doesn't use SIM cards (well, not the way that AT&T does). But once you get your hands on a VZW handset (it doesn't have to be "unlocked," I believe that term means that it's not carrier-specific), you call and tell them you want to do an "ESN Swap." ESN="Electronic Serial Number" - basically you are telling them to activate your new handset on your current line.
posted by radioamy at 9:16 PM on August 17, 2012

Response by poster: Used an old Verizon phone to do this. In order to activate a phone on an existing plan, the phone needs to be not active on another plan. I achieved this by doing the factory reset (under privacy in settings on my Android). Then, when the phone turns on, it prompts you through activation and setup of the phone. To do the activation manually, you dial *228 (verizon only) and follow the prompts.
posted by msbrauer at 12:01 PM on August 24, 2012

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