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#388040 - 01/09/13 05:33 PM Some phone stuff guidance
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2842
Loc: Rochester, NY
I have been getting a headache reading/researching and would really appreciate some help with assessing what I want to do.

I have two cell phones (1 basic, 1 smart) on an expired Verizon Wireless (Vzw) contract. The contract is expired because when I renewed last time, they forced me to pay another $10/mo for a data plan on the basic phone even though I didn't have data capability on the phone. I now find that If I renew and upgrade phones this time, they take away my current Nationwide 700 plan and “unlimited” data and replace it with a new “Share Everything” Plan. This will force my bill $30 higher and give me less data. I am leaving Verizon because of the incredibly “stupid large” dollars for simple phone technology and their continued arrogance and complete disregard for Customers. A monthly tab of ~$150/mo for telephone communication is just ludicrous. Yeah, smartphone capabilities are nice, but I can do that mostly via wi-fi and without vital organs to pay a phone bill.

OK, that sets the stage. The decision is made and chewing on the wireless companies and trading war stories is not my intent in this thread.

Instead, what I am looking for is some guidance on the plan I have assembled involving three components:
1) I have decided on using a prepaid service from PagePlus. Gotta buy some phones, but no contract, would have to buy/upgrade phones on Vzw anyhow (pretty much a wash) and they get good marks. Plus it sits on the Vzw service network, so coverage & quality are good. Flexible plans and I can do two smartphones for about $67/mo if I can control our data to about 250mb/ mo. I’m testing that right now on the wife’s current phone and jusdiciuos use of Wi-fi.

2) I want to buy a device called on Obi202 (they also have an Obi100, but not an Obi Wan). This will do two things. One is to enable a cool use of Google Voice (see item 3) and also let me use the base set and 4 additional wireless handsets to ring throughout the house from calls on Google Voice/cell phones. Again, research yields good marks.

3) I will set up two new Google accounts and enable Google Voice, one each for me and the wife. That’s all those accounts will do (research directs you there). The GV phone numbers go into the Obi and I publish the GV phone numbers to friends and family. Using GV, I can forward calls to the cell phone. With a proximity awareness app, The cell won’t ring in the house (but the Obi enabled wirelss extensions will) and the cell WILL ring when we are out & about. Answering /making calls on the Obi extension phones using the GV number also saves minutes. Phones = data plans off, wi-fi enabled.

Here is what I THINK I need to do in the proper order and there are some questions and I could use some guidance.

First, I need to setup new dedicated and separate Google/ Google Voice accounts.

Second, buy, hookup and enable the Obi202. The house is hardwired for a network and my router is on the 2nd floor. I can , however, plug the Obi into a network switch port on the first floor and then plug the wireless phone base set in there (easy access to recording device).

Third, make the move to PagePlus.

BTW – I just saw the announcement about Walmart making the iPhone 4/5 available with their Straight Talk prepaid plan. I need to think about that, but it is more expensive/less flexible than the PagePlus options, although the option to pay for the phones at $25 per month with no interest is novel.

Does this plan make sense? What else should I be thinking about.

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#388131 - 01/10/13 04:41 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2842
Loc: Rochester, NY
chirp chirp


grin

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#388134 - 01/10/13 04:49 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16275
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I dunno, Ray. Honestly, thinking overwhelms me, lately.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#388141 - 01/10/13 06:27 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: pmbuko]
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2842
Loc: Rochester, NY
I hear ya. That's why I'm asking. grin

Technology is a three sided sword. It helps and does cool stuff, it hurts when it doesn't work right and it's complex, then neither one of those matters if somebody can sell it and make a buck from it and just make the whole mix worse.

I feel like a full time beta tester. Take all of the above and ask why is it so complex/hard/expensive to make a phone call?

I went to the local Virizon store today and found out that I can renew on the current plan I have with Vzw AND that includes a couple of phone upgrades. I had previously thought phone upgrades would force me off my (still overpriced) Nationwide 700 Share plan.

For the ~$20 (includes paying more for the phones on prepaid plans) I might save/mo., I'm not sure it's worth it to move off Vzw now. I can still do Google Voice and the Obi device.

I just dunno.


Edited by Ray3 (01/10/13 06:28 PM)

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#388142 - 01/10/13 06:34 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7047
Loc: Canada
Too bad they don't have the Obi Wan. Darth voice would be waaay cooler than Google voice.

Sorry Ray, that's as close to thinking as I can get after work.
_________________________
Fred

-------
Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

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#388157 - 01/10/13 10:20 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8290
Loc: Tacoma
Ray, YOU are my guide on this stuff. I'd like to help you, but you've out geeked me.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#388158 - 01/10/13 10:28 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
richeydog Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Ray3
1) I have decided on using a prepaid service from PagePlus. Gotta buy some phones, but no contract, would have to buy/upgrade phones on Vzw anyhow (pretty much a wash) and they get good marks. Plus it sits on the Vzw service network, so coverage & quality are good. Flexible plans and I can do two smartphones for about $67/mo if I can control our data to about 250mb/ mo. I’m testing that right now on the wife’s current phone and jusdiciuos use of Wi-fi.


Any reason why you need to buy new phones for Pageplus? AFAIK you can use your existing Verizon phone(s) with them. All you have to do is port your number(s) over.
_________________________
*Michael*
AV123 Refugee - X-LS Encore, X-Voce, X-Omnis, Elt-Dpa's
Denon AVR-591
Magnavox NB500MGX BDP


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#388338 - 01/13/13 04:56 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: richeydog]
Ray3 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/02/04
Posts: 2842
Loc: Rochester, NY
Yeah, the phones we have are over 2.5 years old. Mine in particullar is in pretty rough shape.

An update - more thinking and some doing.

My research led me to decide to go to Page Plus. I would buy a couple of phones and convert over. Looks like I would end up at about $55-$75/month, plus the full retail price of the phones. Add the phone cost in and I would look at about $20-$25/mo if I spread the retail cost out over 24 months. That would be per month.

For our current Vzw Nationwide Talk Share 700 Plan, we are paying $102/mo (with discounts) and it is a good plan (min/text/data) for us. If we upgrade to better but less expensive/subsidized phones on the same plan than PagePlus, add $10/mo to get to a Vzw total of $112 for comparison purposes. This is a $12-$37 premium over Vzw

I did the research because the Vzw site indicated we would be forced off our current off our plan to a Share Everything Plan. With upgraded phones, that would come out to a total comparison price of about $140.

I had some reservations about PagePlus. 1) using older phones (non-4G), less capable software), 2) the annoying process of shopping for/activating the phones, 3) difficulty to involve human contact and 4) sketchy customer service. The reviews were good enough to give it a try based on paying $75- $100/mo rather than $140.

I decided to stop at the local Verizon Dealer store yesterday just to see what the actual price would be for the Share Plan and make sure I didn't miss anything.

Quite an illuminating conversation. The gentleman there told me 1) we could upgrade our phones with the standard 2 year agreement and 2) he could renew us on our CURRENT plan - we didn't have to go the the more expensive new plan. He explained that the stores have different and more flexible offerings than the website. I was shocked and he grinned when he told me about it. He said my reaction was the same as everyone else that wandered in for a discussion and found this out.

So, for what amounts to a roughly $20/mo premium, we can keep what we have, get new phones (without an annoying process) AND have Vzw's (pretty good) customer service available. Plus, it solves another concern I had - the family uses the free Verizon minutes for V to V calls and nights/weekends. By canceling and going to Page Plus, those freebies turn into paying calls for you guys.

The net result is that understanding our usage and the other factors mentioned above, we will be upgrading phones and renewing with Vzw.

Sorry I raised all of the dust, but it was a good exercise to go through to understand usage and see alternatives. Still not happy with the premium, but I can understand it since it pays for their infrastructure, retail stores, cell tower construction and customer service folks.

Looks like my wife's choice of phone will be the iPhone 5. That will tie right into our Ipad 3 / iPod 4 / AppleTV 3 / iTunes Match / iCloud / rest of family iPhone infrastructure. Plus I like the idea of iOS upgrades going to everything at the same time as opposed to Android updates being spotty and freezing a phone 2-3 versions back over time

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#388343 - 01/13/13 06:21 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10898
Loc: Central NH
Ray, have you looked into an Iplunger?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#388353 - 01/13/13 08:36 PM Re: Some phone stuff guidance [Re: Ray3]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8290
Loc: Tacoma
Seriously.

Thank you, Ray.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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