**Check out my one year update here.**
As I mentioned previously, one of my goals for 2014 was to reduce my cell phone expenses. My main objective was to save money but I also did not want to buy a new phone. I currently have an iPhone 4s that is still in excellent condition and I love it. What I did not love was the price I was paying. My monthly bill with Verizon was $118. This included unlimited text/data and 450 minutes of voice calls and cell phone insurance coverage. I know, ridiculous right? So, when my contract was up I knew it was time to move on.
Page Plus Cellular
I heard about Page Plus Cellular around the web but there was not much written about it. Page Plus Cellular is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that is powered by Verizon, therefore, Verizon phones work on their network. This sounded perfect for my situation so I decided to check it out.
I personally don’t know anyone who has tried Page Plus Cellular but while doing my research I read in different forums that people are happy with their service because they are on the Verizon network and they love the savings. However, some have complained about issues with customer service. I also read that if you go through an authorized dealer your experience could be better.
After spending some time on the Page Plus Cellular website and settling on a plan that was right for me I decided to look for an authorized dealer to make the switch.
I spent a few hours reading about Page Plus Cellular on various websites/forums. Many people recommended KittyWireless.com to make the switch because of their excellent customer service. Kitty is an authorized dealer for Page Plus Cellular and they have a great forum at Kittyforums.net. The forum has tons of pages with information from actual Page Plus Cellular users who have successfully made the switch from Verizon and other networks.
There I found most of the answers to my questions about bringing my native Verizon iPhone 4s to Page Plus. The iPhone 4s is a 3g phone, therefore, it works perfectly with the Page Plus Cellular structure as they do not allow 4g phones at the moment. This is because they currently only have access to the Verizon 3g network and not to the Verizon 4g network (though I read some people have had success with flashing their 4g phones and then using them on Page Plus). After spending sometime on the Kitty Wireless website and forum I was ready to make the switch.
Steps to making the switch
1) I Called Verizon to have my Sim card unlocked for international use. I read on the Kitty Forums that this is wise move to make because the iPhone 4s is a world phone that can be used internationally if you have Verizon unlock the Sim card. You have to call the Verizon Global Services Support Line to have them do this for you before you make the switch to Page Plus Cellular.
- When I called I just told them I wanted my Sim card unlock and they went ahead with the process no questions asked. Verizon advised me on how to remove the Sim card (instructions are on the Verizon Support Site) and that I should back up the device through Apple iTunes or iCloud before inserting the new Sim card as the device would be wiped clean when the new Sim card is inserted.
- The next morning I received a call from Verizon to participate in a customer satisfaction survey. It was automated but they said a Manager may follow-up to better understand my feedback. I made no mention of planning to leave.
2) Next, I logged on to my Verizon account online and downloaded any information I wanted and also figured out what my pin number was. You will need to know your pin number to make the switch. I also confirmed when my billing cycle would end so that I could switch to Page Plus Cellular right before the cycle ended. This way I would avoid paying double that month. Verizon does not reimburse you if you decide to leave in the middle of your billing cycle, so might as well make the switch right before your cycle ends.
3) After covering all these bases, I was ready to make the switch on the last day of my billing cycle. Kitty Wireless does everything via their website and via email. I have to warn you that their website is not the most professional looking but all the information you need is there and this was not a problem for me. I read that they are in the process of updating the site.
4) I submitted my port request at around 12 p.m. and in about 15 minutes I received an email from Kitty Wireless that the port was completed. They give you $2 to test your phone to make sure you are receiving calls. Instructions on everything you need to do are emailed to you by Kitty so I just followed them.
5) Next, I was ready to choose my plan and set up my Auto Payment. I did this through their site as well and it was simple. I went with the Talk and Text 1200 Plan for $29.95. Once I put in my request for my chosen plan I did have to wait about 3 hours before they got to my order. So my advice would be to do this on a day when you’re not really expecting many calls on your cell phone. In those 3 hours you will only have $2 in your account and that won’t cover much in terms of calls or texts. You will get an email confirmation from Kitty on everything you request. The emails will have your ticket number and instructions on what to do next.
I have to advise you that you can also make the switch directly through the Page Plus Cellular website and you can also sign up for auto pay directly with Page Plus. However, since I went through a dealer I cannot advise on how the switch or auto payment service would be through Page Plus Cellular directly.
I do want to mention a couple of services that are not available or are different through Page Plus Cellular.
1) They do not support Visual Voicemail – This is the service you get when someone leaves you a voicemail on your iPhone and instead of dialing into your voicemail to see who it is, with Verizon you will see the name of the person that left the message and you just have to click on the name a Viola, you hear the message. On Page Plus you actually have to call into your voicemail enter your pin # and then you will hear the message. Not a big deal for me.
2) International Calling (Puerto Rico included) – They offer international calling but Puerto Rico is considered international and will charge you extra for this. Now, this was a little bit of an issue for me because I have family and friends in Puerto Rico. Verizon includes Puerto Rico in its coverage map so whenever I travel there I never had to worry about using my phone because the service was included at no additional charge. This was not enough of a deterrent to prevent me from making the switch and since I had my Sim card unlocked I can probably get service in Puerto Rico by purchasing a Sim card while I’m there. Another option is to add a Pay As You Go pin to my phone and still use my phone in Puerto Rico. They will deduct the per usage rates from this pin.
I’ve been using Page Plus Cellular for an entire month now. It still says Verizon on the top left hand corner of my iPhone. I have noticed no real difference in service and I am completely happy that I decided to make the switch. I just went through the monthly renewal process and I was very happy with how it went. Kitty Wireless sent me an email the day before it was going to renew and I just followed what the email said, no issues.
I am now saving $88 per month and who’s not going to love that!?
(Note: I did not receive any compensation for this review)
This post was linked to the LivingWellSpendingLess.com Thrifty Thursday week 49
Photo by: Flickr