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Page Plus Telling Some Customers That They Need to Replace Their Phones by April 1st


There's something strange going on with TracFone's Page Plus brand. Multiple Page Plus customers have reported on HowardForums that they have received texts from Page Plus saying that their phone "...is not receiving optimal network service from our network partner. In order to avoid further degradation, including full service interruption on April 1st, you will need to replace this device." Verizon is PagePlus's network partner. However, Verizon has not announced any network changes that would make any currently usable phones unusable on April 1.

I would dismiss this as an April Fools joke were it not the fact that the texts contain a link to the page below which is on the official pagepluscellular.com domain. Further confirming that these messages are no joke, two different Page Plus Dealers forwarded me the image above that they received from Page Plus today. The image is accompanied by this message; "Select Page Plus devices will no longer be supported on the carrier network. Your customers may receive an SMS notification regarding this update. If they receive this notification, it means their phone is outdated and requires an upgrade. To upgrade their phone, select from the TracFone Handsets on VIDAPAY."  VIDAPAY is the system that dealers user to process customer payments and to order SIMs and phones.


Interestingly no one at Page Plus seems to know what's going on. One of the dealers told me that they contacted their master dealer who contacted TracFone but was unable to get an answer as to what type of phones were getting kicked off the network and why.

There have been a number of theories posted on HowardForums as to what's happening. Some think Page Plus is kicking off grandfathered non-Verizon phones that were activated before January, 2015 when Verizon stopped allowing Page Plus and other Verizon MVNOs from activating non-Verizon phones. However users have reported receiving the message on many Verizon phones that were not flashed including a Verizon iPhone 6, Verizon Galaxy S5, Verizon LG G Vista and  a Verizon Motorola  RAZR HD. A user of one of the crippled 3G-only Samsung Galaxy S III phones from Straight Talk also got the message.

I really don't have a clue as to what TracFone/Page Plus is up to. It's bad business to tell customers that their perfectly good phones will stop working tn three weeks with no explanation. No other Verizon MVNO has said anything about phones being kicked of the network April 1 and neither has Verizon.  TracFone has a reputation for buggy billing and activation systems and poor communication to both customers and dealers so this fiasco doesn't surprise me. Is it a mistake, a joke or incompetence?

If you have received a message from Page Plus or any other Verizon MVNO saying that you have to replace you phone, please leave a comment saying what phone you are using.

Update: according to industry sources familiar with the matter Verizon will start blocking "unapproved" phones on all Verizon MVNOs starting sometime in May, 2017. Phones to be blocked include:

1) Flashed non-Verizon devices. (These were previously said to be grandfathered by Page Plus management so this will not be popular.)
2) Lost and stolen phones that got in on a loophole like swapping sims.
3) Prepaid Verizon devices that haven't fulfilled their obligations to be let out of the Verizon prepaid ecosystem.

"Universal" phones like Nexus, Pixel, Moto G3 Pure Edition, Moto G4  and non-Verizon iPhone 6 and 6s should be OK.

Source:  HowardForums

58 comments:

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  1. A great excuse (if you need one) to ditch one of the many brands of the disaster known as America Movil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct. Carlos Slim's companies have the worst CS I have ever encountered along with Skyview, Black Wireless, H2O, Simple Mobile.

      Delete
    2. Simple Mobile is a TracFone brand.

      Delete
    3. It is a rather unintellectual error to confuse personal anecdote with any sort of objective generalization or statistic.

      The Tracfone brands, when CS is looked at objectively, are no better or worse than average.

      Delete
    4. How do you measure something as subjective as perceived customer service quality objectively?

      Delete
    5. Consider such things as surveys of "perceived customer service quality" Start with Consumers Reports.

      Delete
    6. As much as I am against Page Plus newest policies since their purchase by TracFone and the many degrades in their service to customers and dealers, I have to say it isn't JUST Page Plus that this will happen to. As the owner of Wireless Services U.S. (another Verizon MVNO - NOT owned by TracFone), I received the following 2 days ago: Verizon will be making changes in May (Date is TBD) where any existing or new customers in ineligible devices will stop working.
      Our provisioners are working with Verizon on all the details on this, and more official communication will be coming in the next two weeks...I am sure Selectel, Rok, Eco and any other Verizon MVNOs will experience this eventually. I don't want to take guesses as to what it all will entail, I will wait for the further upcoming official info.

      Delete
  2. I am a Tracfone customer and I received the text message last week too. I am currently using a Verizon Moto X 2nd generation 4g LTE. The phones IMEI checked clean on Swappa and the phone has not been flashed or altered in any way. Hopefully somone at Tracfone fixes this issue or there is going to be alot of very unhappy ex Tracfone customers.

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    Replies
    1. I just got a Moto X second generation manufacturer refurbished and thought about putting it on Page Plus. Guess I better not.

      Delete
    2. Why not just use it with Verizon prepaid? Verizon prepaid has pretty decent plans starting at $40.

      Delete
  3. A postpaid verizon customer with a Samsung Galaxy S3 was sent a similar email two months ago and he pays $75 per month for 2GB of data with unlimited talk and text and his phone is working good

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    Replies
    1. Yes, but what shutdown date was quoted to him?

      Delete
    2. April 23rd when his payment is due it is a 90 day notice to upgrade his phone

      Delete
  4. Another Tracphone/Verizon "change the rules as we go" Debacle in the making.

    If you can use AT&T where you go instead, switch to Cricket. You'll do yourself a favor, IMHO.

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  5. Just another reason to go to true GSM with an At&t or T-Mobile carrier. Even if all of this is an April Fools joke, those CDMA, hybrid CDMA/GSM phones will stop working when Verizon finally shuts down its CDMA 2G talk/test network.

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  6. If they think this is an April fools joke they can laugh at a lawsuit in conjunction with the FTC for fraud.Thwn we will all see how funny that all is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not in the Trump era.

      Delete
    2. "Not in the Trump era"

      Maybe not the FTC, but did Trump buy out judges?

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Agree 100%.
      Within 18 mo. of Page Plus being acquired by Movil I transitioned all plans I admin. away, mostly to Selectel if continuing on VZW network was necessary.
      Now most are with boom! Mobile. Very happy with boom! I hope they can last for the long term.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. No, that can't be it. Dennis says iPhone 6 owners received the text message. This iPhone model is cleared for voLTE.

      Delete
  9. @Dennis
    Your site has a possible malicious ad that's been redirecting me away from your site for the past 3 or 4 days. This usually happens after I click on an article and shortly after the article loads. I'm using Chrome on Android and viewing the desktop version of the site. I'm being redirected to
    http://comumx.site/newip7b/index.php?s1=mas_jiami_otherc&pubid=4C16EE07FA7DBBD4AA788746945E768D&bid=43a486af1985913ef7d9a7aaf1040441#valid
    And to
    http://comumx.site/newip7b/index.php?s1=mas_jiami_otherc&pubid=4C16EE07FA7DBBD4AA788746945E768D&bid=43a486af1985913ef7d9a7aaf1040441

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I forwarded your report to Logan who handles our relationships with the ad networks.

      Delete
    2. I get the malware too. I know it is not the fault of you and your staff.

      I hope Logan uses his adamantium claws on the culprit.

      Delete
  10. My first thought was that Page Plus was dropping 2G or even 3G phones but the phones listed are too new for that to be the case and I would expect that such a network change would be announced months in advance. Considering the short notice it sounds like Verizon is cutting off Page Plus on April 1 and Page Plus is moving customers to another network but that would mean that all customers would need a new phone with the exception of those with universal phones. But that doesn't seem to be the case either unless Page Plus is neglecting to inform the vast majority of their customers. The most likely explanation is that, as the article says, customers with non-Verizon phones are being kicked off and Page Plus is sending notifications to the wrong customers by mistake. Another possibility is that Page Plus is kicking off phones that were originally sold for another TracFone brand, such as Straight Talk phones. It's long been TracFone policy that phones sold for one TracFone brand can not be used on another TracFone brand but most Verizon-based phones would activate on any Verizon MVNO, including TracFone owned ones, despite TracFone's policy. TracFone might not want phones sold for a brand like Straight Talk, who's cheapest plan costs $45/month, being used on lower priced Page Plus plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, something really screwy is going on. If an iPhone 6 is on the list--a phone compatible with Verizon networks 1X-LTE and technologies such as voLTE and HD Voice, you know something screwy is going on.

      Delete
  11. They may be basing it on the phone originally registered on the account rather than the phone currently in use.

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  12. Go to GoPhone.

    ReplyDelete
  13. i own a prepaid cell phone store, and from talking with other store owners, it seems to be a combination of a lot of the above. anything that was flashed or is not verizon native wont work. also, on verizon network, the imei of the phone was not verified by the network. so a lot of people activated phones that were on contract, unpaid bills, lost/stolen. you could not officially activate those imeis, but you could use a different imei, put the active sim in the bad phone and it would work. it seems like that is no longer the case. it was a loophole that some were exploiting actively, and now they are regretting that choice, at least the dealers.

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    1. It is exactly this. Also - you'll notice that the wording put out there for customers/dealers doesn't directly state it's because of VZ, but I would say it implicates it.

      Delete
    2. Interesting. I know that MNOs for sure share their lists of blacklisted IMEIs. If what you're saying is true, it's possible Verizon might be cracking down on PP regarding phones that aren't supposed to be on the Verizon network. Whether Verizon's demands are legitimate in each individual case, I don't know.

      But what I do know is that when people are clearly in the wrong and they know it, most of them aren't dumb enough to get vocal and complain.

      Delete
  14. "also, on verizon network, the imei of the phone was not verified by the network. so a lot of people activated phones that were on contract, unpaid bills, lost/stolen. you could not officially activate those imeis, but you could use a different imei, put the active sim in the bad phone and it would work. it seems like that is no longer the case. it was a loophole that some were exploiting actively, and now they are regretting that choice, at least the dealers."

    I would say that the above is what is at the center of this issue.

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    1. ......the problem being why have not other Verizon MVNOs sent out these same cryptic messages?

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    2. I have heard from reliable sources that whenever a sim card is put into a phone, the imei is broadcasted back to the carrier

      Delete
    3. That's correct, Verizon sees the IMEI. I don't know if they share it with TracFone/PagePlus or not.

      Delete
    4. "......the problem being why have not other Verizon MVNOs sent out these same cryptic messages?"

      Maybe because Tracfone is a larger MVNO/brand, so they are really hustling on this?

      Which begs the question: have other TF brands that are Verizon MVNOs also sent out these texts? Or is TF having to clean up--albeit after quite a while--PP's lax activations?

      Delete
  15. "I am a Tracfone customer and I received the text message last week too. I am currently using a Verizon Moto X 2nd generation 4g LTE. The phones IMEI checked clean on Swappa and the phone has not been flashed or altered in any way."

    Did you swap in a SIM that was already activated?

    Dale

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I did not. The SIM in the phone was ordered through tracfone specifically for that phone.

      Delete
  16. Sure the system would reject activation of a bad imei device. Using an active sim in a bad esn device would lock the account/sim. Customer service would have to release it before that account/sim could be used again.

    The only loophole was using foreign bad esn devices (sprint/boost, uscc, etc) that could be activate prior to 1/15/2015.

    Nothing about this makes any sense.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The problem here, of course, is a total lack of knowledge and lack of transparency on the part of TracFone or PagePlus...

    are these warnings random or is there a pattern? is it a system glitch or will lots of phones stop working April 1st?

    I have a flashed LG Boost phone that was activated on PP just before the 01/15/2015 deadline for non-VZ phones... I use it very little on the standard PP plan and no unwelcome text so far... but the rest of March may be a long month

    Really makes me want to look elsewhere than America Movil... incompetence is the subject of the day over there

    PayGo non-TracFone options don't exist or are very scarce using the VZ network

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  18. I've gotten this message on 6 devices. 4 were bad esn, 1 was a IPhone 6 (non Verizon unlocked originally at&t clean esn), and last one was clean Verizon 6 plus. Not sure what's going to happen in April.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Page Plus making sense? Tracfone being clear? Isn't that like Sprint actually being a winner?

    ReplyDelete
  20. They are requiring phones with VoLTE capability. Verizon will shut down their CDMA (2G and 3G) network soon, so the voice and SMS won't work anymore on phones without VoLTE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People with VoLTE capable phones have said they got the notice. I think the speculation above re flashed/not whitelisted/ESN issues etc. phones is a better guess than your theory/guess.

      Of course with Movil it is all guesswork and nothing is ever clear. Over million people a year fleeing Movil brands aren't wrong, the smart consumer leaves America Movil abuse brands.

      Delete
    2. That is not it at all. Verizon is still selling new devices without VoLTE capability. Also, there are no plans to shut down CDMA (at least the voice portion--1xRTT) before the end of 2019.

      Delete
    3. Agreed, the 3G shutdown is at the end 2019, that's 2 years and nine months away. It's much too early to block non-VoLTE devices.

      Delete
  21. So 4g is not VOLTE?
    Also, will the phones still work on tmobile and ATT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VoLTE is not 4G. VoLTE is Voice over LTE.
      4G is a marketing term typically used to denote high speed data such as LTE. VoLTE requires LTE but is a separate standard.

      I don't know what phones you are referring to, but PagePlus blocking phones on their service does not change whether a phone will work on AT&T or T-Mobile or not.

      Delete
  22. América Móvil will come out just fine. They will sell a lot of replacement phones because most people won't walk away from their cash balance, won't want to bother trying to port and still want the Verizon network. Their old phone will probably fail to clear with another MVNO anyway. The overseas CS staff will get an earful, but the company won't hire any more people and probably won't even pay overtime for any extra staffing. Customers with flashed and stolen phones, and with phones that came off no-pay accounts will just have to suffer the hassle, delay on hold and expense of another phone. It was fun while it lasted, but the bragging is over.

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  23. Any good low cost options now for a non-LTE Verizon Moto G?

    Backup/loaner phone with less than 50 minutes usage last year.


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  24. I wonder how many people/phones are actually affected by this issue. I'm guessing it's only a minuscule handful based on the lack of posts recently, and BTW, I'm just an unaffected spectator here, probably like most of the other posters :) .

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  25. I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 and I received the message Mar 1 2107. It seems weird that they keep asking for my payment even though they are saying my phone is not compatible.

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  26. My wife uses a flashed Moto G on PagePlus and hasn't received the text.
    (I think we started with Boost Moto G, non-LTE, and flashed them over to Verizon. Geez, it has probably been close to three years ago now)

    ReplyDelete
  27. just received this text message from Page Plus on my Verizon prepay Moto g4 play that was activated by unlock and sim swap. "Good News We were able to secure an exemption with our network partner for you at this time. Your current phone is still not certified for the network, and you may be required to purchase a replacement certified device in the future." I never received the first message that this article is based on.... Thanks PrePaid Phone News for the heads up.

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  28. April 1 came and went and nobody that was notified got kicked off. This also includes a few TracFone and Boom users who got messages in early March. Reported notifications have not been seen for a good while.

    So is this all a "smoke and mirrors" threat? Why no update from the "industry sources familiar with the matter" that was alleged to know about a punitive action by Verizon in May?

    ReplyDelete
  29. It's the eve of May - . Any updates on this thread?

    Happy Cinco de Mayo comin' up Friday :) .

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