Page Plus to Verizon Prepaid Experience

I’ve been using Page Plus for about 5 years. Outside of their ridiculously slow-loading member pages, I had no issues. Actually, I think I started out with 2GB or 3GB of LTE data per month and ended at 8GB per month for the same price — that part was solid. However, I was moving on from using a series of cheap LG G3s then LG G4s ($60 or so on eBay) to a LG V30, and I was concerned I’d lose my hotspot with foxfi / pdanet. Which, to confirm: you can use FoxFi with a non-root LG G4 with Page Plus. I assume any other carrier that doesn’t offer a mobile hotspot by default as well.

Either way, Verizon Prepaid gives you hotspot access with some of their prepaid plans, and the 5GB/month package goes down to $25/month after 9 months with autopay, so the move would’ve saved me money and wouldn’t potentially require me to root my phone. I’m not opposed to rooting in the least, but just don’t have much time anymore for fun things.

Getting pin / account number from Page Plus

The information I found online about your account number and pin for porting your number from Page Plus was inaccurate. I had to call them, but after they verified some information about my account payments, they gave me my account number and pin. It was less than a 10-minute phone call.

Online signup

I signed up online for Verizon Wireless prepaid: it may actually be cheaper that way than going into a retail store, and I supposedly have 10GB data per month for life vs the advertised 5GB:

I don’t hardly use 2GB of data any month,but that’ll be nice if true. I had to input the account number and pin I received from Page Plus when signing up for the account.

SIM delivery

I placed my order on Verizon on July 28th. I received my SIM card on July 30th. There was some concern as it was shipped with “signature required”, though I didn’t see that as a requirement when placing the order. Thankfully, it appears the delivery driver must have signed for the package her/himself because it was delivered despite nobody being there. Here, however, is where I found what I deem to be a major flaw with Verizon’s automated systems. More on that later.

Number porting: Page Plus / TracFone to Verizon

There was some lag here. Despite it supposedly taking 4-24 hours to port a number, apparently with TracFone, which owns Page Plus, its “24-48 business hours”. Which, by that I must assume 8 hours per work day calculated toward the 24-48 business hours rather than simply 1-2 business days. It took 3 business days or 5 days total to port my number from Page Plus to Verizon after I received the confirmation from Verizon that my port request was accepted.

Worth noting: My service with Page Plus expired at Midnight on August 2nd, but my port didn’t complete until the 3rd. I confirmed with port support that I didn’t need to keep the service active in order for the number to transfer, and that was accurate.

Problems with Verizon’s automated systems

From the very beginning when I was concerned about not getting my SIM card I ran into an infinite loop of automated hell. I thought it would be over when my number port completed and service technically started, but that isn’t the case.

For the contact methods I found on Verizon’s website, you need to be a registered customer in order to communicate with them. So, if your reason for contacting Verizon is because you cannot register for some reason, you’re kind of screwed. Live chat, phone, Facebook messenger and community support all require you to have an active phone number to get help*. I’m sure this short-sighted setup is there to improve efficiency, but people who get stuck in corner-case situations have to figure something else out or just drop the service for a reseller that might be easier to get in touch with.

* I was able to talk to a human on Facebook Messenger eventually, after reiterating that I could not verify my identity because the reason I was contacting them was because I couldn’t register an account. Which is required to verify my identity. Ultimately, it was nice to get a human, but they were of no help. I ended up finding a Verizon port status number on Reddit, which as of this writing is 888-844-7095. I think they asked for my account security code, I don’t remember how I bypassed it, but I did get an answer about my port status and assumed that being unfinished is why I couldn’t register.

Verizon account security code woes and registration

After my number was successfully ported and service activated (I simply shut off my phone for 5 minutes after the time the port was to complete, phone activated automatically), I attempted to register an account to get billing setup. However, it asked for a security code, which apparently was either given to me at the time of my order, when my phone was registered or was sent as a text message. If I needed a security code resent, I could do so from the My Verizon app on my phone. None of this is true. Maybe Verizon sent me a security code via text after my Page Plus service ended but before service with Verizon started, but I looked at everything: this code doesn’t exist.

After some screwing around, I somehow triggered Verizon to send me a temporary account security code via text. However, when I entered the code from the text they sent, I got a message stating it doesn’t match the information they have on file:

I managed to do it again, and ended up getting my account locked in the process:

Verizon Wireless Prepaid - Account Locked

Frankly, this has been the most maddening experience I’ve had with any company that I remember in my lifetime. Part of that sentiment is due to my high workload and low free time, but it’s sadistically comical that a system is designed to prevent you from contacting support unless you register an account, and being unable to register an account is the reason why you’re trying to contact support in the first place. Then, the whole thing with them sending me a temporary security code, saying it doesn’t match their records less than 1 minute later, twice, then locking my account.

Page Plus to Verizon Wireless Prepaid

Cell service coverage and LTE speeds are probably going to be the same, more or less, on any of Verizon’s MVNOs or Verizon’s own prepaid service. Some MVNOs may have lower speed caps or hard-limit monthly GBs without unlimited 2G data to back it up, and different phones supporting different frequency bands may alter your experience in an area, but from my experience using several different Verizon-backed services over the years, it’s all pretty much the same, especially the last couple of years when MVNO / reseller speed restrictions have come off.

I don’t have anything bad to say about Verizon’s network or Page Plus outside of what is written. But, if you’re looking for new mobile service, I’d recommend looking around: if you’re looking to save some money or even get more monthly data / hotspot usage or even unlimited usage, there are more options available today than I ever recall in the past.

Eventually I plan to touch on some LTE / mobile broadband topics, in part because I find it interesting, and in part because today’s cell phone service providers are becoming viable options for some people for home internet service.

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