Order of operations: phone and plan when plan is paid for by employer
February 19, 2017 4:42 AM   Subscribe

My employer will be paying for my phone plan but not for my phone. I'm currently out of contract with Verizon and an iPhone 5S. I'll be joining my employer's Verizon plan and also want to get an iPhone 7 plus. I am trying to figure out how to do this in a way that minimizes cost since Verizon seems to be doing things differently than they used to. My existing account also includes my husband's phone, so it will continue to exist. It is also time for him to get a new phone.
posted by sciencegeek to Technology (4 answers total)
If you own the 5s, take it to an Apple Store and trade it in for the phone you want. You will own the new phone outright. Set it up with your employer's Verizon plan.

Your husband can do the same, and is free to connect his new phone to Verizon or go with a cheaper option like Ting or whoever he likes.

Buy the phone from the people who make the phone.

The old way of doing things (which is what Verizon and T-Mobile have moved away from) was like buying a car with a loan issued by a gas station, and promising to only go to that gas station for the first 2 years. And it wasn't actually any cheaper in the long run.
posted by caek at 7:03 AM on February 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

Are they reimbursing you for a personal phone plan, or are they adding you as a line on their business plan? Depending on which it is, it will affect what options are available to you - Verizon Business doesn't play well with consumer-oriented promotions/plans.
posted by misterbrandt at 9:06 AM on February 19, 2017

They are adding me to their fancy new business plan.

In the past, they reimbursed me for my personal phone plan (or rather the fraction of that plan that was my phone and not my husband's).
posted by sciencegeek at 9:44 AM on February 19, 2017

OK, I have been through this - I had been on a personal AT&T plan (and the Apple iPhone upgrade program), and then my company moved me to their Verizon business account.

What I found was that pretty much all advertised promotions and offers require you to have a personal account, not a business account. For instance, Apple's in-store software pretty much cannot even handle Verizon Business accounts. Also, once you are on the business account, you need authorization from whoever controls the account (in my case--50 person firm--it was my CFO) to make changes to the account.

My firm did offer employees a discounted phone on a 2-year contract, but I was not willing to do that, so I ended up with a full-price unlocked iPhone.

I would ask your employer if their business plan offers the subsidized phone w/ 2-year contract. They should. If they don't, you can try to call Verizon and see what plans they will offer you. (Note that there is NO Verizon phone number for business customers -- you have to call the main 800 number like any other peon). If Verizon is not helpful, you can call Apple Business Sales -- they were extremely helpful, but do not necessarily have access to deals for you.
posted by misterbrandt at 7:47 AM on February 20, 2017

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