Those of you who were lucky enough to sneak into the Unlimited Data plan before the data cap know just how important it is to keep that plan grandfathered. Unfortunately, Verizon has decided to do whatever it takes to switch both new and existing users into their new Share Everything Plan. So what does this mean for you? If you choose to upgrade your phone at the subsidized pricing, you not only extend your contract for an additional two years but you also lose Unlimited Data and move into a tiered data plan. So how do you keep Unlimited Data while upgrading your phone? Well, there is actually a loophole in Verizon’s evil plan. I was able to take advantage of this loophole and upgraded to their new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (eBay). This will not work for everyone, but for many this will give the opportunity to upgrade to a newer phone and still maintain Unlimited Data.
First criteria, “are you on a family plan with at least one basic phone line?” Basic phone referring to a dumb phone with no current data plan. If this does meet your current situation then please see the next requirement. Second criteria, “is that basic phone line eligible for an upgraded phone?” If that is also a yes, then congratulations because you can utilize Verizon’s loophole and upgrade your phone without losing Unlimited Data! Be warned though, there are a few crucial steps you need to follow but these steps are very simple.
Walk into a Verizon store and let the customer representative know that you would like to upgrade one of your basic phone lines to a smartphone of your choice (eBay). Make it absolutely clear that you do not want their new Share Everything plan and that you must keep your current Unlimited Data plan for your existing line that already has a smartphone. All you want to do is add a new smartphone to the basic line and have a tiered 2 gigabyte data plan for that line at $30 a month. Go ahead and pick the phone you want and the representative will activate that new phone onto the old basic phone line after you make the purchase. Before finalizing your purchase, be completely positive that nothing has changed on your account except the additional $30 a month for the tiered 2 gigabyte data plan. This will, however, extend your contract for the additional line by 2 years. This extension shouldn’t be an issue for most people.
Don’t even bother setting up the new phone unless you have an uncontrollable urge to play around with it. Just have a good nights rest and when you wake up the next morning, the real fun begins! When morning arrives, fire up your web browser, head over to www.verizon.com, and log in to your account. On the summary page of your account, you should see an option to “Activate or Switch Phones”. Go ahead and choose that option and then select the new phone that was on the basic phone line. What you want to do here is switch the new phone back to the original basic dumb phone. You will need to have the old phone’s ESN number in order to make the switch. This number is found on the back of the phone after removing the battery. Follow the prompts on the screen to make the switch. Once the old dumb phone is activated again on its original line, Verizon will indicate that you need to select a new data plan for this phone. The “Pay Per Use” plan will most likely be the option you select. Your old phone is now activated and the $30 tiered 2 gigabyte data plan is removed. View your overall plan summary and you should see that everything has been reverted back to its original state. Everything should be back to where it was before you even left your house towards the Verizon store. However there is one big difference, you now have a brand new phone that is deactivated and not tied to any phone lines.
Now that you have a brand new deactivated smartphone (eBay), it is finally time for you to activate this phone on the line that has Unlimited Data. Go back to “Activate or Switch Phones” and repeat the process of activation by entering in the ESN for the new phone. Verizon will once again prompt you to choose a new data plan. This time you will see the option for choosing your current Unlimited Data plan because you are grandfathered in to the program. Best of all, you actually will be upgraded to the 4g LTE network moving your speeds up from your original 3g network! Don’t panic though if it takes up to an hour for your new phone to register with your current phone number. It is perfectly normal and just be patient.
There you have it, you have successfully exploited a loophole in Verizon’s upgrade policy. Be happy! This is the only way to upgrade your phone while keeping the Unlimited Data plan as far as I know. If you have accomplished this in a different fashion, please leave a comment below. I would definitely like to hear about it!
On a sidenote, this article was completely written on my new Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (eBay) 🙂