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Verizon Now Allowing Any Smartphone on $80 Prepaid Plan Except iPhones and LTE Devices

Verizon Wireless has made a major change to the $80/month prepaid smartphone plan that it launched last April. The plan includes unlimited voice and messaging and 1 GB of data, but until now it could only be used with a single device, the $169.99 Samsung Illusion Android phone.

The carrier is now allowing any clean ESN Verizon smartphone on the $80 plan, with the notable exception of iPhones and phones with LTE support, which are still blocked from Verizon prepaid.

BlackBerrys on the $80 plan get access to BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which is required by BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry push Email and some BlackBerry apps, including the official Facebook app.

With this change, Verizon is now allowing the same devices on their $80 prepaid plan that Verizon MVNO Page Plus Cellular allows on any plan. Page Plus is less expensive however, with plans starting at $2.50/month for pay as you go.  The flagship Page Plus plan is $55/month and includes the same unlimited voice and messaging along with 2 GB of data, twice as much as Verizon's plan for $25/month less. There's no BIS with Page Plus, however.

Verizon hasn't made any announcement of the new policy and there's no mention of it on the Verizon prepaid website. The change was first reported on HowardForums and I've confirmed it with Verizon in a chat session (transcript below):

info: Please hold for a Verizon Wireless sales representative to assist you with your order.  Thank you for your patience. 
info: You are now chatting with 'Josh K'
Josh K: Thank you for using Verizon Wireless Sales Chat Service. My Name is Josh K, I can help you with upgrading, adding a new line, or ordering some accessories. How can I help you today?
You: Can a Droid 3 or a BlackBerry be activated on the $80 prepaid smartphone plan?
Josh K: I would be happy to answer that, well yes they can!
You: Is BIS included for the BlackBerry
Josh K: Yes of course.
You: Are there any limitations at all as to what devices are now allowed on the $80 prepaid plan? Are iPhones allowed? LTE phones?
Josh K: I'm sorry at this time, those devices are not.
You: So any non-iPhone, non-LTE Verizon phone?
Josh K: Correect.
You: Thanks

With this new policy, Verizon's legacy prepaid smartphone plans, which offered truly unlimited data, are no longer available. Those plans, which also allowed all Verizon smartphones except iPhones and LTE devices, ranged in price from  $74.99/month for 450 voice minutes and pay as you go messaging to $124.99/month for unlimited voice, messaging and data.

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6 comments:

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  1. As far as April I thought this was the case? I know I was offered the option on an old phone we had just upgraded away from. BTW, your math is off. The Verizon plan is $25 more expensive than a page plus option. It explains why I rolled my eyes when I was offered to go prepaid with that device. Other than blackberry support, I see no real reason to ever use Verizon prepaid over Page Plus. Can you think of any? Begs the question, why the fuss over this news - just asking?

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    1. It's news because AFAIK it's a change in the Verizon offering.

      I think the biggest reason for this change is to give Verizon sales people something less expensive than $100+ (with taxes and fees) Share Everything plans to offer prospective single device, non-family plan smartphone customers.

      While it's not for you and me, some people may feel that Verizon's 24/7 support, convenient retail presence and customer support for smartphone issues are worth the extra $25/month (not $15, thanks for the correction).

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  2. According to Verizon prepaid CSRs, this was a response to numerous complaints from people who wanted the $80 plan (I guess they never heard of Page Plus) but were dismayed to learn only the Illusion and Citrus were allowed. Verizon kind of gave in by allowing MANY (not all) 3G smartphones and (ahem) "3g multimedia devices" (what a bs line) but took away unlimited 3g data at the same time (a very nice option ). Unlimited data plan users are grandfathered in but will lose it if they switch to a non unlimited data plan.

    It is INCREASED byod, NOT universal 3g smartphone byod as many older Blackberries (Pre OS 5) cannot be activated. However, it is a VAST improvment over the previously (horrendous) selection of the two Android phones (one of which, the Citrus , is a turd).

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  3. And I hate to say it but more of America has heard of Verizon (prepaid) then Page Plus. As expensive as it is, Verizon (prepaid) is a trusted brand name despite Page Plus's better value...

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  4. Way too expensive! I can that package for $55 from PagePlus - get unlimited talk, text and 2 GB of data. I can live without the physical retail presence, customer service and save myself $300/year. For $300, I can hire a tech to address my cellphone concerns.

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  5. The whole point is Verizon prepaid will get the customers who don't know and Page Plus will get the ones in the know. Unfortunately, there are more people who have heard of Verizon vs Page Plus.

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