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On Monday, August 3, 2015 at 3:45:41 PM UTC-4, Ron wrote:

My point was that the claim was made that you should just automatically get a new phone every two years because you're eligible again for a subsidized one. Per your own math, above, you're paying $145+ for a new phone, plus you're paying $20 or $30 a month more for a contract phone that comes with the bundled phone. If you want a new phone every two years and also want to pay the substantially higher contract rates that go along with it, that's your choice. But it's not free. Even the majors have no contract plans now where you can save $20 or $30 a month, but you don't get a subsidized phone. Do the math.

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On Mon, 3 Aug 2015 04:49:07 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

On my last contract renewal Verizon fronted $350 of my free Kyocera's price (List $350). And Verizon fronted $450 of my wife's $200 iPhone 6 (list $650).
To find the Verizon subsidy just divide the money Verizon fronted by 24 months. That is the money I would lose every month if I decided not to get a new phone at contract renewal time and just went month to month. As Ron said, his bill never changes no matter which phone he gets (or doesn't get) and neither does mine.
Verizon loves those on a contract who go month to month when the contract expires, don't get a new phone, and continue to pay the subsidized price.

Lots of plans/phone companies to choose from if you don't like Verizon. You just have to select the best one for you (YMMV).

Agreed. If you can live with it you can get plans and phones for peanuts from many sources these days. When traveling I many times am the only one in my group with useable service. I have on occasion even given others with no service a WiFi hotspot so they can check their email. I'm willing to pay a little more for good service, unlimited talk/text, free roaming (US) and the data I need for the places I go. YMMV.
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On Monday, August 3, 2015 at 6:03:41 PM UTC-4, J0HNS0N wrote:

List price is largely irrelevant, what matters is what you can actually buy it for, which is almost always less. What they "fronted" you, they are making up on the substantially higher monthly fees they charge you for the plans where they provide you the phone. $20 a month x 24 months and there's your "free" phone. IDK about you, but I don't need a new phone every two years.

I don't look at it as money lost if I decide not to get at new phone. I look at it as money saved by not going with a plan that is jacked up to subsidized the cost of a phone. I don't need a new phone every two years. If you go 4 years between phones on a non-contract plan, you save hundreds of dollars.

That's exactly what the carriers like and how they want you to look at it. Meanwhile, there are rate plans that were dramatically less for no contract phones. Today the gap has narrowed, but it's still substantial.

Of course. My answer to that is I have a no contract phone, which for me is a better answer than running down to Verizon every two years to get a new phone and sign up for another two years, whether I need a new phone or not, because V is charging me $20+ a month for it.
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On Tue, 4 Aug 2015 03:49:27 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

That's exactly what I said just a few posts back

My "free" Kyocera phone is a $15/mo subsidy.

I'll repeat what I've said many times here: YMMV.
I'm sure we're both damn glad you're not me.

I love new electronic gadgets and can afford them. It's actually a cheap hobby compared to what some old guys have for toys. And my grandkids love getting my old gadgets. The economy likes people like me. What's the harm? And of course...YMMV.

My Verizon service cost sans subsidy is less than $40/mo/phone.

I said at the beginning of this sub-thread is that if Ron is on a subsidy plan he would be wise to get a new phone at contract renewal time and not go month to month with the old one. Otherwise he paying for a subsidized phone he doesn't have. Good advice IMO. YMMV...
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Yer kidding, right!?
nb
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On Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 1:48:23 PM UTC-4, J0HNS0N wrote:

And my point in response to that were:
1 - Even with a contract plan, many people wind up paying extra for the phone. I believe you yourself said the iPhone, for example, is $200 extra. I was on contract plans with Verizon, so I too know what I got or didn't get. I was on one of their lower end plans. I used to get $100 towards a new phone. Then they lowered it to just $50 and that's what it was when I got fed up with V. So, it doesn't make sense to me to say that everyone should automatically get a new phone, just because they are eligible. Even if you can get one for "free", then you're locked into staying with that carrier for another two years.
2 - The bigger issue is the question of why you would want to be essentially paying for the phone on a time payment plan and then be locked in for 2 years anyway. If you're not locked in, then you don't have the issue of the phone being paid for, yet the plan rate stays the same whether you get a new phone or not.
I just looked at the the Verizon website and unless I'm missing something, they no longer have the $xxx credit towards a new phone after two years approach and are now just selling the phones either outright or on a time payment plan over 2 years. What they are doing for existing customers on old plans, IDK. So, when the phone is paid off, there is no need to do anything, no more so than you need to get a new car because your existing one is paid off in 4 years.
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On 8/5/2015 7:33 AM, trader_4 wrote:

[snip]

FWIW, Verizon advised me that I was eligible for a new phone on my plan as I went off contract at the end of the two year period. They also adjust their Data allowance which, IIRC, doubled the amount of data on the plan at no additional charge.
Here's the kicker though. If I chose NOT to get a new phone, they offered me a credit on each line. As I'm paying for three phones, it was a healthy savings. Bill went from ~ $200/mo to $130/mo.
A twist on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
In this instance "If it ain't broke, save money."
I am not under contract, have a sweet deal with Verizon, good phones (Samsung Galaxy SIII) and I'm free to switch to any carrier I wish this afternoon if I so desire.
Little to no chance of that happening as Verizon's service is just fine for the areas in which I use it.
ymmv
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On Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 9:24:33 AM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Verizon has gotten a lot more reasonable in the two years since I left them. Back then, I was paying $55 a month for a basic plan, basic phone, without data. And they only gave me $50 every two years towards a new phone, so I had kept the same one for probably 5 years. I couldn't even get a smartphone to use with wifi data, unless I had one of their data plans. The least expensive data plan was $80 a month, which was not worth it for the amount I would use it.
So, I went to Zact, which was a new start-up VMNO that, like most VMNOs, used the Sprint network. They had an unbelievable deal, a ZTE Awe smartphone with 4 months free service for $100. So, I went over to BestBuy and bought it. Zact was prepaid service that you could change on the fly from the phone. If you wanted 300 mins V, 100 texts, 100MB of data, that's all you paid for. If you needed more, you could change it instantly right from the phone. So, I got 4 months free and I think it was like 500/500/500 of service that was included, so all I paid was the $6 monthly line charge. When the free period was up, with my usage, my bill was ~$12 a month. So, I went from $55 to $12 and on top of that, got 4 months free.
It didn't last all that long. Six months later, Zact sold their service business to Virgin Mobile, which rebranded it Virgin Mobile Custom, to be sold exclusively through Walmart. But when they sold it, first Zact gave me half a month of free service, then VM gave me a full month of essentially unlimited service. VMC came up with a rate plan that was similar to what Zact had, that you still could change on the fly, etc. Most months my bill has been $12. Even if I used it more, like I did back in the days I was with V, it probably would be $20. So, I'm very happy and feel like I made out like a bandit. How long it will last, IDK. VMC only tried to sell this phone concept through Walmart for 6 months. No air cover, advertising, that I ever saw. No in store displays, brochures explaining the concept either. So, then VMC stopped selling it, but we existing customers are still on the old plans, rates, etc, at least for now.....
I will say that here in the NJ area, Verizon has better coverage, I always had a lot of signal bars. With VMC which is part of and on Sprint, I typically only have 1 or 2 bars, but it still works very well. Can't say I've had dropped calls, poor voice, or anything like that.
If Verizon had a more reasonable plan back then, I would have not even gone looking. Now, V like most carriers, has a plan for unlimited V/T and ~500mb of data for ~35 to $40. If I used the phone enough that it was costing me $25+ at VMC, then one of those plans that V now has would look like a reasonable alternative, given the better coverage, etc.
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Not exactly. Verizon phones use CDMA and are not compatible with many other carriers.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp
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On Wed, 5 Aug 2015 05:33:12 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

Nope.
I said I paid a TOTAL of $200 for an iPhone 6 with a 2 year Verizon contract. The list price of an iPhone 6 was $650 at the time.

I have no idea what Verizon plan you were on so it's difficult to comment.

I didn't say EVERYONE.
I said those ON A 2 YEAR CONTRACT PLAN should.
Because they are paying for the phone with a higher subsidized plan price whether they get the new phone or not.

I also said that in an earlier post.
I NEED Verizon for the coverage. It was a no brainer for me (remember that phrase?). YMMV.

Because I did the math and that was the best Verizon plan for ME.
YMMV.

Verizon now has a plan where you only pay for service. You pay for the phone separately as a time payment and get $10 to $25 off the service. No 2 year contract, you can quit anytime.
When my contract comes up, I do the math again and see what's best FOR ME. YMMV.

Dunno about the website but go into any Target or Best Buy and their Verizon phone displays still give 2 year contract discount prices.

If Verizon does away with 2 year contracts I'll just do the math and get the best plan FOR ME. YMMV.

I usually get a new car every three years when the warranty wears off. Like my electronic toys it's because I want one not because I need one... ;-)
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On Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 1:32:43 PM UTC-4, J0HNS0N wrote:

Well, that is $200 extra, by my book. The carrier gives you some allotment toward a phone and you pay the difference. You're 2 year contract is up and if you want an new iPhone, it costs you $200 out of your pocket, plus the additional cost of the 2 year contract you're locked into.

That's what I was referring to. Take a look at what UnquestionablyConfused just posted about his experience:
"Here's the kicker though. If I chose NOT to get a new phone, they offered me a credit on each line. As I'm paying for three phones, it was a healthy savings. Bill went from ~ $200/mo to $130/mo.
So, why should he have gotten a new phone just because his two year contract was up? BTW, the carrier is Verizon.

Better take a look at the Verizon website, because that's not how it works now. Also, UC just proved it.

UC has Verizon.

Maybe it's time to look at the Verizon website? And even if they are giving you 2 year contract pricing, so what? At BB an iPhone still costs $100 to $300 with a 2 year contract. So, contract is up, why should everyone automatically shell out $100 to $300 just because they're eligible again for a new phone?

So that means that guys like UC should listen to your advice and automatically get a new phone every two years? I didn't say *you* shouldn't get a new phone. I just said that everyone that's on a contract plan where they are eligible shouldn't necessarily get a new phone every two years because it can involve $$$ out of your pocket and it also locks you into another 2 year contract. UC's experience with Verizon proves the point. If it's worth it for you to pay to get a new iPhone, you enjoy it, and you're OK with being locked in for another 2 years, I have no issue with that.
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On Wed, 5 Aug 2015 10:59:17 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

It's very simple. I paid $200 for an iPhone 6.

Exactly.
I did the math and that was the best plan for me. YMMV.

I never said anyone/everyone should just because the plan was up.
I said don't go month-to-month on a subsidy plan without getting a new phone or your are paying for a phone you don't have.
Lots of people do that believe it or not. Verizon loves it.

My advice was for all carriers, not just Verizon.

I bought my last two phones at Best Buy. They currently have the iPhone 6 for $99 with a 2 year Verizon contract.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpage.jsp?nrp &cp=1&seeAll=&browsedCategory=pcmcat209400050001&ks0&sp=-bestsellingsort%20skuidsaas&sc=Global&list=y&usc=All%20Categories&type=page&id=pcat17071&iht=n&sttegoryid$pcmcat209400050001&qp=modelfamily_facet%3DModel%20Family~Apple%20iPhone%206^modelfamily_facet%3DModel%20Family~Apple%20iPhone%206%20Plus

UC obviously changed plans and is no longer on a subsidy plan.

Plans change. I'll do the math again at contract renewal time.

Not everyone. Only those who are month-to-month on the subsidy plan should. Everybody who is month-to-month on a subsidy plan and didn't get a new phone is paying for the phone anyway.

I'll try one more time:
Many folks like Ron get a new phone on the 2 year contract plan. They still really like their phone after 2 years so when the contract ends they just keep using it, don't change plans, and keep paying the same bill they always did. This is called going month-to-month because they are no longer locked into the contract. However they are still paying the inflated subsidy service price. That is a bad idea because they are paying a subsidy for a phone they don't have.
Many on the Verizon group who liked their old phone got a new free one at contract renewal time and sold it online.
Anyway, if you don't understand after these many explanations there's not much else I can say. You can have the last word...
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On 8/6/2015 12:14 AM, J0HNS0N wrote:

I have no idea what you mean by a "subsidy service".
If I go to an AT&T store tomorrow and get an iPhone 5c for $99.99 I will be billed a $45 upgrade fee (used to be $18) on my next bill.
After that my bill will be the same that it's always been for the past 5 or so years when I got my first smart phone (I've only had 2). Before that I was on the same plan as my mom is on (see below) and paid the same price (around $50) for some many years I can't even remember how many.
AT&T makes most of their money on data plans. That's why they make you pay for a data plan even if you don't won't one. For example, my mom is with AT&T and uses an older flip phone for talking only. She doesn't give a damn about texting (had the service shut off because of spam) or using the internet on her phone. Her phone bill is around $50.00 a month and has been for years (it's AT&Ts lowest priced phone plan).
If I were to give her my iPhone AT&T would automatically attach a data plan whether she wanted it or not. Which I personally think is bullshit. I have a Samsung Sunburst just setting in a closet right now that is very easy to use (she like easy), but I can't give it to her to use because of the data plan.
That's all I have to say about this subject. You are trader can have at it. lol
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On 8/6/2015 12:39 AM, Ron wrote:

BTW, if you do some Googling you will see that the carriers are eating the price on those phones but making it up on data plans.
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That's a generic term for a plan that provides you with a new phone for free or a deep discount in return for a 2 year contract. The phone company's service price for that plan is inflated to pay for the rest of your free or discounted phone. Thus it is subsidizing your phone.
Many carriers now allow you to use your own phone, thus there is no contract and the service price is reduced.
And Verizon now has a plan that splits the difference. You can buy your phone with time payments and the service for that plan is discounted in price.

That sounds like a subsidized plan to me. If you have to commit to another 2 year contract to get the $99 iPhone it is.

If you don't like AT&T's policies look elsewhere. But if you have a smartphone most (all?) of the big boys require a data plan.

She is overpaying. Have her check the prepaid phones at Walmart or Target. She can do way better than that for a flip phone.

If the carriers make a profit on you, and they certainly do, they aren't eating anything... ;)
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| She is overpaying. Have her check the prepaid phones at Walmart or | Target. She can do way better than that for a flip phone. |
Indeed. I just bought a new $20 Tracphone card, which keeps me set for 3 months. It's 60 minutes. They always double it for free. That's expensive on a per-minute basis, but at present I have about 1,300 minutes saved. I just don't use the phone very much. I think they have a year-of-calling option for people who use it more. Replacing a lost phone is $10-20.
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On 8/6/2015 8:49 AM, Mayayana wrote:

Guess it depends on your needs, what you can afford, and if you are willing to deal with the hassle of having to renew minutes (which there in no way in hell she would just to save a few dollars - my little sister on the other hand.....)
She uses her cell phone a pretty good bit. Some of her friends and all 3 of her "kids" (she's in her 70s) have AT&T so those minutes are unlimited.
This is her plan including how many rollover minutes she has right now.
Nation 450 with Rollover
Plan Minutes 450 Mobile to Mobile Minutes Unlimited Night & Weekend Minutes 5,000 Rollover Minutes Summary Last Month's Rollover Balance 3,409
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I pay Verizon $55/mo total for a subsidy plan that gives me a "free" SMARTPHONE, free nationwide (US) roaming. unlimited talk/text, and free data roaming. If I remove the $15/mo for the "free" smartphone my cell service actually costs me $40/mo.
That your mother owns her own FLIP PHONE and is paying $50/mo just for the cell service alone seems like highway robbery to me. YMMV.
And while we're on the money subject, earlier you posted:

IF I did the math correctly, you got TWO subsidized smartphones in the past FIVE years. That seems to indicate that you went for ONE YEAR paying month-to-month a subsidized cell service bill for which you did not get a subsidized smartphone. If that were my current "free" smartphone that would be a waste of $15/mo x 12mo = $180.
And IF the above is correct you are one of the folks I mentioned that AT&T loves. That's because you added an extra $180 to their bottom line.
My earlier advice stands. IF you are on a subsidy plan be sure to get a new smartphone at every contract renewal. Otherwise you are wasting money.
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On 8/6/2015 2:35 PM, J0HNS0N wrote:

I have the lowest data plan that AT&T offers (I don't use the internet that much on my phone and at home it's on a router). It doesn't matter if the phone is "paid off". There is *NO* lower priced data plan to be had from AT&T, period.
Look, you are happy, I'm happy, my Mom is happy, and that is all that matters.
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On Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 2:56:06 PM UTC-4, Ron wrote:

You know, I was going to say something along those lines too. When I started with Verizon many years ago, it was like you say, there was a contract plan that included a subsidized phone and that was it. It was $xxx per month and if you signed a 2 yr contract, you could get a phone at a reduced price. At some point, they started also giving me a $100 credit every two years towards a new phone. However, if I took advantage of that, I'd then have to agree to keep the service for the next 2 years. If I dropped it before that, I was responsible for the full price of the phone. Also, if the phone was any better than a minimal one, I had to pay an additional fee to get a new one. So, it didn't make sense to me to immediately upgrade every two years, just because I was eligible for 3 reasons:
1 - I had to also pay an additional fee to get the better/most phones
2 - I was then locked in to another 2 years with V
3 - If the new phone was lost, stolen, damaged, then I had to pay for a new one at full price. If I had kept the new phone option, instead of using it, I could use it then and get a new phone.
When I left V 2 1/2 years ago, it still worked that way and they would only give me $50 credit towards a new phone. Also, at that point V didn't have any plan that was different. That was precisely why I left. I was paying $55 a month for a plan with no data. Whether I got a new phone or not, didn't change the cost of the plan. To get a smartphone, their lowest cost plan would have been $80 a month with or without a subsidized phone.
How each of the other carriers handles all this today, IDK.

I don't think any of us are really on totally different pages. I would say that if you still have a traditionally plan and you're 2 years contract is up, you should consider the options. If the carrier has options where you can go to a different plan, that's one option. Apparently that's what you did at V I think all the carriers have prepaid too now, but that is a bit different than the normal bill after you use plan. That's what I went with and why I went to another carrier. And if you're on a plan where you are eligible for a new phone, then consider how satisfied you are with the phone you have and what it would cost out of pocket to get a new one, if you want to be locked in another 2 years, etc.
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