Upgrading a Smartphone and keeping your Data Plan

by Jim Guld

We have been using Verizon Cellular Data about as long as it has been available. Unlimited data was an available choice when we signed up, so we took it. We often use our phones as Hotspots, tethering data to our other devices. Those plans are no longer available. So when I needed a new phone, I had to make sure I could keep my Data Plan. I was told I could keep my plan if I paid full price for the new smartphone. The lower prices on new phones or upgrades are subsidized by contract renewals.

My phone was a Motorola Droid RAZR. It was a fine phone for it’s day. The battery was non-replaceable and was losing the ability to hold a charge.

Time for a new phone. But which one? I had heard good things about the new Samsung phones with big screens. Especially from Honey who joined us for our Smartphone Tips Webinar. Time for more research.

I visited the Verizon store in Bushnell, Florida where I was informed they were required to change our plan to a defined limit each month. I think the young lady assisting me was under-informed, and they didn’t have the phone I wanted, so I left.

When we got back to civilization, and I had some time in one place for a while, I checked out the local Best Buy store for their offerings. They had the Phone I wanted, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The nice salesperson assured me that my plan would not change with the full price purchase of the phone and he would take care of the whole transfer thing. That’s what I wanted to hear.

Things seemed to take longer than I expected, but the new phone got my old number, and once I put in a few accounts, the phone started to look familiar. All my contacts, calendars, and documents are available.

I checked my Verizon account info on the way home. The new phone was updated and the data plan still indicated unlimited. Looking good!

I saw a couple of emails from Verizon regarding changes in my plan. I expected some about the new phone on the plan, but now they were talking about Data Exceeded. The email said I was already 26GB over for the month! Not good When I checked my account, it showed a limited Data Plan! I did not request a change.

What should I do? I could call Verizon, but I decided to try my luck back at Best Buy. The same salesperson was there assisting a customer. A manager type came over to me and asked if he could help. He referred me to the original salesman after he heard my story.

I am glad I did it this way. A call to Verizon from the store eventually got everything straightened out. My unlimited data plan is back where it should be. I have a nice new phone. Now Chris will make some new Tutorial Videos about it.

I probably could have saved a few bucks buying on the web, but with our travel and life schedules, I like getting some stuff from a store where I can touch it and walk out with it and have a live sales rep.

Note from Chris: Just fyi – the full price for this phone was a heart-stopping $800!  But, if you do the math it’s still well worth the price to keep the unlimited data plan, and it is also an amazing phone.  Even with my $1,000 digital SLR Canon camera, I think I’m going to be envious of the pictures Jim takes with his Samsung Galaxy Note 3!


4 replies on “Upgrading a Smartphone and keeping your Data Plan”

  1. I follow your emails and have followed the cell phone ones of recent, and now I see you have a Samsung note great phone ( have played with it, and my cousin owns one) BUT where I have issue with everyone is and I quote( I think I’m going to be envious of the pictures Jim takes with his Samsung Galaxy Note 3!) there is no phone that is going to compete with a DSLR camera!!

    I just had to get this off my chest as so many people say a similar thing, for posting to the net cell phone photos are fine, for photography there is now choice!!

    • Absolutely true. I would not give up my Canon DSLR – especially for the zoom. I think the most remarkable thing is the phone’s screen – looking at the picture you just took with the phone is so satisfying! It’s beautiful. Looking at a picture I just took with the Canon, on that little preview screen – not so much!

  2. My first smartphone was the Galaxy Note 2 so I had a lot to learn. I wanted to share this You Tube Channel with you as it’s a fabulous source of information about the Note 2 and now Note 3:


    You mentioned the battery issue with your previous phone. One of the best accessories I bought for my phone is an extra battery and charger. It’s about the size of a makeup compact, so when it’s fully charged, I throw it in my purse so it’s always with me. It has consistently stayed charged at 100% when I have popped it into my phone even after carrying it around for several days. Between using the big bright screen, the GPS, the camera, and radio/audiobook player etc., my battery drains fairly fast in comparison to previous cell phones. With the extra battery, I never worry about it!

    I think you’ll love your new phone!

  3. Hi. My wife and I were in the same boat you were. We each had Motorola Droid X phones since they first came out with Verizon. We also had unlimited data on our 1400 minute Friends and Family shared plan. We did not have texting and did not want it. Our contract had expired over a year ago, but we kept plugging along waiting for Verizon to come out with another unlimited data plan. One night on our way to dinner with friends we walked past a small neighborhood Verizon store. This was after talking with numerous Verizon agents on the telephone who assured us there was no way we could possibly retain our unlimited data plan once we upgraded our phones since it would change the plan we still had.

    Wrong…The young man in that Verizon store told us initially the same thing you were told that if we bought new phones at full price we could keep that part of our plan just like they told you, but he added that there was another way too. Now interested and after a lot of research really wanting to upgrade to Samsung Galaxy S4 phones we let him tell us more about that other way too. It ended up that by upgrading to the new phones we wanted on a two year contract keeping the same plan again we could do so by paying only $200 for each phone and adding another line for one of our old cell phones without data (or limited data at an additional charge) for an additional $10 charge monthly.

    With that information we decided to go ahead and do it so we are now proud owners of the Samsung Galaxy S4 phones each on a two year plan with the same unlimited data etc. and the older Motorola Droid X sits in a drawer, turned off and gathering dust. Bottom line is we paid only a total of $400 for the new phones, and are paying only $10 more a month for that new line and new phone number while keeping the details of our old plan intact. I think we also have texting now too, but that is of little interest to us and since it did not increase our cost nor our interest in doing such we just let it hang in there unused.

    That sales person had his company and the system down pat. He had more knowledge of details than the numerous other Verizon personnel we discussed the same matter with for several months combined. Mind you that included special salespeople trained to retain clients and claimed to have the authority to move mountains to keep a client on board with Verizon. Had that sale person not known how to make the system work as he did Verizon would have lost two people who had been on board with them since they became Verizon many years ago. We would have left and gone with a different vendor and we probably would have been sorry to have left Verizon,

    We stayed because of that sales person who knew their job so well and we are now happy campers about it. By the way, it was in anticipation of use that keeping a real unlimited data plan was so important to us. We never in the past nor still now use but a small amount of data monthly but it is there still when we do want to use it which we will do when Winter ends and we begin to travel more.

    It was a WIN-WIN for Verizon gaining $10 a month in the process and also gaining a reasonable price for the two new phones. Couple that with keeping two long term clients happy and locked into at least another two year contract when actual data use is still so relatively small. It’s so important in today’s world to continue to expect great customer service and not to give up until one can find the right person no matter who the vendor is. Employees are trained to a much lower degree than they were in the not too distant past and good customer service is almost a thing of the past these days. Companies need to train their employees more, bring customer service back to our country, and care about the clients who pay their salaries and the dividends to their stock holders.

    Thank you for all your emails and the topics in each. We appreciate them and the time you spend doing so many things too.

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