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Page Plus "MEBILS" 5¢/MB Prepaid Data Now Live

Well over a month ago Verizon MVNO  Page Plus Cellular announced to their dealers that they would be making some changes to their monthly plans.

Two of the changes, more included data for the $29.95 and $39.95 plans, a standardized, lower overage rate of 5¢ per minute, text or MB of data for all monthly plans priced at $29.95 and higher, went into effect Nov 8th.

A third change involving the way that monthly plans that fail to renew due to lack of funds.

  • Up to now, if a monthly plan didn't renew it switched to pay as you go with rates of 12¢ per voice minute, 5¢ per text message and an outrageous 99¢ per MB of data.  
  • After the change, which reportedly went into effect today, if plan has a balance that's at least $5 but not enough for the plan to renew, it switches to the new overage rates of 5¢ per voice minute, 5¢ per text message and 5¢ per MB of data. These rates supposedly would remain in effect indefinitely provided the user adds at least $10/month to the account.  If the user adds enough money to cover the monthly charge, the plan will renew.

Five cents per MB is a good price, especially compared with the 99¢/MB that Page Plus charges on their pay as you go plan. In theory at least, someone who needed a little data at a low monthly cost could pay $29.95 to activate on a monthly plan, add $10 before the plan expired and another $10 every 30 days and enjoy one of the lowest pay as you go data rates available from any US mobile operator.

The news of the rate change as well as the idea that these new overage rates can be used for relatively low cost pay as you go come from Page Plus online dealer Kitty Wireless. Users on the the Kitty Wireless Forum have dubbed this new "plan" the Monthly Expired Bundle-in-Limbo Solution or "MEBILS" for short. Here's a cheat sheet from Kitty Wireless on how to use MEBILS:

To use get rates of 5¢/minute, 5¢/text and 5¢/MB of data indefinably:
  • You must start on an unexpired $29.95, 39.95, $55.00 or $69.95 Monthly plan.
  • Be sure that on your plan renewal date that you have a cash balance in your account that's at least $5 but less than your monthly renewal amount. That means:
  • TnT1200 customers should never have more than $29.94 in cash.
  • Unlimited  $39.95 customers should never have more than $39.94 in cash.
  • Unlimited $55.00 customers should never have more than $54.99 in cash.
  • Unlimited $69.95 customers should never have more than $69.94 in cash.
  • Be sure to add $10 or more to your account at least every 30 days but never let the balance hit the monthly plan renewal amount.
Keep in mind that we don't know for sure if this will work or not. I suspect Page Plus reduced the overage rate as a courtesy to monthly plan users whose plans fail to renew due to user or system error. They probably did't intend for MEBILS to be used as a replacement for the standard plan. Page Plus could easily make a change, like limiting MEBILS to 30 days or less that would put an end to the fun. 

I do hope this deal is for real and the change is permanent. Pay as you go is the most user friendly and fairest form of prepaid and the most cost effective for light use. The high cost of pay as you go data forces users who need data to buy monthly unlimited bundles that they don't really need.

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