Verizon prepaid plans and the internet?
October 9, 2012 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Question about phones and plans for Verizon prepaid - do you have experience with them, and with the data plans, especially using the web on the $50/month plan?

My sister has a simple flip phone with Verizon prepaid. She would like to have a phone that can access the web, preferably youtube. However, she'd like to pay under $80 for it, and stick with the $50/month plan. (for "basic devices", according to Verizon's website)

I found her an under $80 phone, but when chatting with the Verizon rep, was informed that it would not access Youtube, and in order to access full websites, you'd have to pay for the $80/month plan. (for "smartphones")

She'd also like a phone that has no buttons on the front part - as she has a young child, and doesn't want buttons pressed by mistake. We're looking at the LG Extravertâ„¢ Prepaid - but the rep says she won't be able to access youtube with it.

She's in a rural area, and we know Verizon works for her, so she doesn't want to switch carriers (also, she can talk to other Verizon family members for free.) She's already explored Straight talk, and doesn't want that.

Does anyone know if she'll be able to access youtube and facebook with this phone, on the $50 plan? Is there anything I'm missing?
posted by needlegrrl to Technology (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That phone is not a smart phone with a data plan, it will not access youtube.
posted by HuronBob at 11:37 AM on October 9, 2012

with a 2 year contract she can get an iPhone 4 from verizon for free.
posted by HuronBob at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Page Plus Cellular resells Verizon's network. You can bring your own Verizon phone (and probably should, I think Page Plus only sells refurbished and/or crappy phones) and pay $55/month for unlimited talk, text and 2GB of data.

I don't know what Verizon android phones are good these days but it looks like the Droid Incredible is available for $100 on eBay with out a contract.
posted by ChrisHartley at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2012

Yes, you're going to have to pay for a data plan, and if she watches a lot of YouTube videos she's likely to burn through it very, very quickly - so be cautious. Unlimited data plans are pretty much gone unless you've been grandfathered in.
posted by NoAccount at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2012

She can't switch to a contract - she is on a limited income, and it's quite feasible that there's a month where she won't be able to afford the cell phone. The only type of plan she can get with them is going to be a prepaid plan.

She has to stay with Verizon, because she talks to other family members, and if she switches providers, it will cost them to talk to her.
posted by needlegrrl at 12:04 PM on October 9, 2012

She would like to have a phone that can access the web... and stick with the $50/month plan.

These two statements are contradictory. It's not going to be possible to do both.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:23 PM on October 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was considering doing prepay with Tmobile, but I found out that the prepay service does not include any roaming services and all support is directed to their Indian call center, as opposed to their domestic one.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:35 PM on October 9, 2012

needlegrrl, any chance any of your relatives are willing to add her to their family plan? it'd then cost her less than $50 a month to have a decent android and internet plan on it, maybe even an iphone.
posted by lia at 12:51 PM on October 9, 2012

FWIW, that phone you listed isn't a "smart phone" - it's a regular ("feature phone") with some data features.
posted by radioamy at 1:15 PM on October 9, 2012

If she switches to Page Plus she will still be considered in-network for other people on Verizon to call her. The nice thing about Page Plus is if you don't want to pay $55/month you can temporarily switch to either their $12/month plan (250 minutes, 250 texts, no data) or even just the per-minute (I think $0.04?)/per text rate.
posted by ChrisHartley at 1:18 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Page Plus. I was with Verizon but not coming anywhere close to using the minutes on the cheapest level. I switched over to Page Plus and have been pretty happy with it, and I still count as being on the Verizon network. If you're short one month and don't want to pay for data, you don't have to.

(It was Ask Mefi that pointed me towards Page Plus, actually. So I continue the tradition.)
posted by PussKillian at 2:07 PM on October 9, 2012

I tried just this, except all I wanted data for was email and very occasional mapping. I tried the $59/month plan. It failed entirely. The Extravert is a great phone. I love it for calling and texting. But the Web interface is pretty bad, and they seem to go out of their way to make email and mapping as hard as possible so that you'll pay for upgrades that have a monthly cost. The calendar interface was also not very functional for me if I remember right. Worse, when I gave up and tried to switch to a contract account (and get a discount phone), they said i couldn't. Somehow, having used the month-to-month plan barred me from being treated as a new customer?
posted by slidell at 5:55 PM on October 9, 2012

Straight Talk has a deal where it's $50/month unlimited talk, text and web. They have a number of web-capable smartphones for under $80 - and even an Android model for $99. I use their service with a Galaxy Nexus I bought from Google, and it's been very satisfactory so far... their service piggybacks on AT&T and T-Mobile's GSM network.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:14 AM on October 10, 2012

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