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Question

Verizon S4 on other carriers

by browns329 / December 28, 2013 7:53 AM PST

I have 4 Galaxy S's on a Verizon plan for 1 month. I have been very happy with the coverage, but very unhappy with customer service and price. Can I use the phones on another carrier like Tmobile or Metro PCS?

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All Answers

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Answer
This seems to be asked before.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 28, 2013 8:29 AM PST
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phones
by browns329 / December 28, 2013 9:50 AM PST

I have tried Google but there seems to be some older conflicting info. It sounds like some of the more recent Verizon S4's may work.

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phones 2
by browns329 / December 28, 2013 9:58 AM PST
In reply to: phones

I am familiar with subsidized phone pricing on contract s but a vzw rep told me tonight that the phones are mine with no fees. I guess we could find out later that the rep was wrong...

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1. Yes you will find conflicting info.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 28, 2013 11:21 AM PST
In reply to: phones 2

And we can't firm it up for the reason you see in the link provided.

2. A simple way to check out the phone is or not subsidized is the price. If you paid nothing to about 99 bucks, it's tied to the contract.
Bob

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carriers
by browns329 / December 28, 2013 11:30 AM PST

VZW said I can cancel the contract and keep the phones for free.

Regardless, my OP was asking if the Verizon Galaxy S4 can be set up to use on another carrier. The link was for the opposite situation (Tmobile to Verizon).

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Unless you paid full price......
by birdmantd Forum moderator / December 28, 2013 11:37 AM PST
In reply to: carriers

....you get to keep the phone and pay an Early Termination Fee. They don't charge you for the phone per se, just the ETF. I think you misunderstood what the CS rep told you.

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ETF
by browns329 / December 28, 2013 12:15 PM PST

I specifically asked about the ETF (which I believe is usually $350), and they said it would be waived since I am within the return period. It doesn't make complete sense to me, but if it is true and I can use the phones on another cheaper carrier, I figured it was worth checking into.

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?? Nope. 30 days is normally the return period AFAIK
by Pepe7 / December 28, 2013 12:31 PM PST
In reply to: ETF

Maybe you are using a Mayan calendar? Wink

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To avoid an ETF....
by birdmantd Forum moderator / December 28, 2013 12:35 PM PST
In reply to: ETF

....you would have to return the phone to the place of purchase. Again, you are confused about the process. You couldn't cancel and keep the phone without some penalty while still under a contract like you explained. Hence the phrase "return period".

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Good to hear that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 28, 2013 1:48 PM PST
In reply to: ETF

You can get out and let them have the phone. The next carrier has deals on that model phone so get out, then go shopping.
Bob

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It's possible to net ahead sometimes
by Pepe7 / December 28, 2013 11:26 PM PST
In reply to: Good to hear that.

All the subsidized phone nonsense really can distort the economics of these wacked out family plan options. I swear my friends netted ahead $500 a couple of iPhone models ago with a previous carrier. <looking at my empty wallet from constantly paying ATT...>

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Returns
by browns329 / December 29, 2013 12:03 AM PST

They initially said return period was 14 days but it is extended until Jan 15 for the holiday. Maybe I'll try calling again and see if another customer service rep tells me the same thing about keeping the phones.

Regarding deals with other carriers, I haven't really found any better deals unless I paid for the 4 phones up front.

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So what is the goal here?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 29, 2013 12:09 AM PST
In reply to: Returns

Is there a carrier or coverage issue?
Or is it the money? (the deal.)

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The Issue
by browns329 / December 29, 2013 1:06 AM PST

Verizon coverage has been great which is what I expected in my area of southern NJ, so no complaints there.

I did a lot of research on plans for 4 smartphones and went with Verizon since it seemed to be the best deal with an 18% discount through my employer, and I did not have to shell out any up front money for the phones. (Best Buy had a sale for $0 phones and $0 activation fees.)

Well, due to Verizon issues, it took us about 3 hours in the store to get the phones activated, so we weren't off to a good start Then, I wanted to transfer a cell number from work to the account, and I spent hours and hours on the phone with customer service getting different answers each time I called (and that is still not completely resolved). Now, I went to confirm my corporate discount through my emlpoyer, and they said the discount only applies to the cost of the shared data package, not on the 4 line charges. So, that is about $10 off per month instead of the $40 that I was expecting.

Even if I can keep the S4 phones for free, I am a bit nervous that they will work with full functionality and have decent coverage on another carrier. I mentioned Tmobile and MetroPCS in the OP since it looks like they offer family plans for $100 for 4 smartphones if you BYOD which is much cheaper than VZW, but coverage could be an issue.

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Problem with that handset
by Pepe7 / December 29, 2013 2:40 AM PST
In reply to: Returns

The issue is, T-Mobile & Metro PCS will be using the 1700 frequency band, at least part of the time still, AFAIK. The Verizon S4 version lacks that band, hence you have gimped devices on your hands.

That said however, T-Mob has re-farmed some areas for 1900 service, and added LTE, so you may have some luck there. Whether or not that applies to your situation/location it's hard to say w/o much research/testing. I suggest you also post your questions @ howardforums.com, one of the better sites to help with this type of thing, or at least get very granular level feedback from real users, some in your actual area. Lots of <vocal> Jersey folks on Hofo, luckily. Personally, I would be hard pressed to use T-Mo w/o having 1700 under the hood, especially if under contract, and using a non-carrier supported model. YMMV, of course.

<stepping onto the soapbox>
You should have asked about porting the corporate number/discount before worrying about the phones/service. Most sales situations/discounts are not necessarily set up/based on any sort of transferred corporate discounts, as many are often grandfathered.

FWIW, you corp arrangement seems a bit odd, at least how described. Normally you see a percentage discount off the primary line only and also sometimes that line's data plan, or the shared data plan. Weren't they willing to knock off 15-20% off the primary line too when you port?

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Frequency
by browns329 / December 29, 2013 3:48 AM PST

I am certainly no expert at this stuff, but I looked up the specs on my S4 (SCH-I545), and it says it has LTE Band 4...isn't that 1700 MHz?

I posted my original basic question on HoFo, but no replies yet.

I probably should have asked for more details on the discount before signing up, but Verizon said that is how it always works. The discount is off of the "plan" cost, which in my case is the shared data, and there is no discount on the line access charges. They said if I went with another plan structure that costs more $/month, the discount would apply to more of the bill, but the numbers worked out that I would still be paying more in the end than the plan that I am on now.

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Customer service again
by browns329 / December 29, 2013 5:51 AM PST
In reply to: Returns

Well I spent over 1.5 hrs on the phone with VZW again today. This time they said if I return the phones I will not be charged the ETF, but if I keep them I will be charged $350 per phone. That makes more sense, and of course the rep yesterday did not document that she told me I could keep the phones at no charge.

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Thanks for the update.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 29, 2013 5:55 AM PST
In reply to: Customer service again

It's much clearer to me now.

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Return policy
by birdmantd Forum moderator / December 29, 2013 6:39 AM PST
In reply to: Customer service again

The phone return policy is not something that can be overridden by a CS rep.

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Re: 1700 frequency band
by Pepe7 / December 30, 2013 12:52 AM PST
In reply to: Returns
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Verizon...for now
by browns329 / December 30, 2013 12:22 PM PST

Thank you for all the responses...in order to maintain the good coverage and speed, I think I'll just pay the extra $ and keep Verizon for now.

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