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Annoying Verizon smart phone data plans

Dec 9, 2008 10:01AM PST

I wanted to buy a verizon cell phone but decided not too once i found out i had to pay atleast 30 bucks a month for the data plan. Even if it has wi-fi. So would i still have to sign up for that damn data plan if i bought a cdma phone off ebay or craigslist for example and activated my phone over the internet? anyway i can get around that stupid data plan?

Discussion is locked

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Find a handset where you can disable 3G data
Dec 9, 2008 10:48PM PST

If they offer a phone w/ windows mobile and wifi, you could go that route, as 3G data can usually be disabled and you can rely on free wifi. In general the discounted phone prices, at least with ATT, do require a data plan. I'm not as certain about Verizon though. They might let you bring your own Verizon branded CDMA/EVDO phone though. Have you called their customer support yet?


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Data plans
Dec 10, 2008 11:01PM PST

So might it be possible to purchase an unlocked phone with wifi and use it at ATT without having to purchase their #%*^ data plan for $30 + a month? I just want voice and text messaging! But I also want a good replacement for my old Palm Tungsten combined with voice and text in a single device.

This can't be the holy grail. Please educate me.

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Yes, you can/Si, se puede ;)
Dec 11, 2008 12:43AM PST

I'm doing it now with my ATT branded Tilt/HTC 8925. Wifi is practically everywhere I go during the daytime hours, so I couldn't justify the extra cost of a PDA plan. If you don't have access now as a current customer, you could buy one on ebay/craigslist/etc. pop in your ATT SIM and this would work similarly for you. FWIW, I downloaded a free program for Windows Mobile 6 to turn off the 3G data so there wouldn't be any accidental charges for data use if any program tried to connect to ATT's network without my knowledge. For a couple months I did add $15 medianet online to test out the speeds, but I probably wouldn't advise it if you plan on using a large amount of data each month. In the case where they decided to bill you the per kb charge could be steep potentially.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask. I recently started using Skype on my Tilt as well, which is a great way to call someone overseas if you (and the other party) have reliable broadband connections (in my case, Comcast HSI/wifi at home). There are some other neat programs you can use, such as Fring & Gizmo that permit VoIP calling & various permutations of IM.


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Holy grail - not
Dec 11, 2008 1:02AM PST

Thanks Pedro - that's what I needed to know. Does the phone need to be a device supported by my carrier? That shouldn't be a problem if it does (I'm on ATT), I'm just curious.

So you're using a windows mobile device? My daughter has a Blackberry, and doesn't want/need the data. Can I turn her data off too? She did connect a couple times and costs added up quickly.

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Dec 11, 2008 6:43AM PST

The device merely has to have the correct frequency bands for ATT for use. That's the tricky part about buying unlocked phones from sources other than the carrier, you have to be certain you're getting the handset that's compatible (north american version). Manually editing the data settings is usually pretty easy.

Sorry I don't know enough about the BB OS to be able to tell you if you can turn off their 3G. Try asking that one over @


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annoying data plans
Dec 18, 2009 4:10AM PST

good luck! im having the same problem with AT&T! you don't need a data plad for a cheap dollar store phone but if you want a good phone every carrier jumped on the same ship to require a data plan.
i replaced a lost BB from ebay and i can't send/receive pics without this data plan but i could with my exact BB i just lost. frustrating!

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No, plan is added automatically, always
Nov 12, 2010 12:00AM PST

No, verizon will AUTOMATCALLY (no way around it) add a data plan to any smart phone manufactured after ~mid-2008 at the time of activation. That is when you / rep enters phone's ESN number in VZW's system. It depends on ESN and NOT on where you got the phone.

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In reply to: No, verizon will AUTOMATCALLY add a data plan
Feb 8, 2011 6:29AM PST

I just joined this network which I came across after typing in how to avoid adding on the data set to a smart phone. Just wanted to respond to Garys response above. My husband and I got a palm treo in Oct 2008 adn while he wanted a data plan I had no intention of surfing the net or checking emails on my cell. However I did want the address book, calendar etc. and thus continued to use mine strictly as a cell phone. Since my husband always paid the bills I didnt have any idea as to what the monthly bills were. Until last year when I found out that I was being charged over 50USD over the usual cell phone charge by Verizon. I called customer service and they couldnt explain it either but said that this charge had been added from around ten months ago! I was aghast and wante dto get to the bottom of this. It took us several hours and finally the last one of the 3 verizon stores we visited solved the mystery. It seems that for some reason, a verizon branch in Indiana that I had never visited accidentally had added on the data plan against my account. Of course eventually they sorted it out and credited back almost 500$ to my account. However, I was told that since its a "smart phone" I would have to pay for a data plan as per the new system introduced last year. No way! I turned to using an old cell phone from 6 years ago but still use my Treo for the calendar and phonebook functions... I would love to get back to using the treo as a cell phone only w/o the data plan but seems this is not possible at all these days...

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Always check your account once a month
Feb 9, 2011 12:51AM PST

This is how you keep tabs on what the carriers are up to. Even the person not paying the bills should have access to account info just to have a second set of eyes involved in the process.

If ATT or T-Mobile works where you live/use the phone, you could switch to either and bring in your own unlocked/unbranded smartphone like you were using previously w/ the Treo. Switching back to a 6 year old phone sounds painful <shudder>.

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The LG finesse
Mar 9, 2011 3:21PM PST

The LG finesse makes use of verizon's CDMA/EVDO network, and you can get it from Straight talk, who only charge $45 a month for unlimited everything, including data. That should more than take care of annoying data plans, and promote savings.

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Feb 12, 2009 7:33AM PST

i am also wondering if you have been able to buy a verizon phone like the omnia form e-by and getting it put on your account without the 30 dollar data plan

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Data plan required
Feb 12, 2009 7:50AM PST

I've been told by several sources that if it's a 3G phone, a plan is required. That's the whole point, to use it for internet and all.

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Data plan required
Feb 13, 2009 12:32AM PST

I've been told by several sources that if it's a 3G phone, a plan is required. That's the whole point, to use it for internet and all.

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Aug 30, 2009 10:56PM PDT

I hate people who say "the whole point" of having a phone like the Omnia is the 3G data access. HECK NO ITS NOT! "The whole point" is having an awesome all-in-one device that has: phone, windows mobile (so I can load software like a spanish-english dictionary), 5Mpixel camera, and mp3 player. Where else are you going to find a device like that? If I occasionally need Internet access I'll use the WiFi. I don't need no @#%! $30 data plan!

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data plan
Aug 31, 2009 1:47AM PDT

While you may say "I don't need no $30 data plan", the point is that your carrier says otherwise in their terms and conditions of service. Sorry about that but I call 'em like I see 'em.

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The "point" should be what plan Verizon's consumers want.
Sep 27, 2009 1:48PM PDT

The "point" should be, what plan the consumer wants/needs. We as consumers need to start speaking up. Maybe if Verizon can't offer the plan the consumer needs... the consumer should take their business elsewhere. I'm sure if Verizon lost enough customers, they'd be able to find a way to block the on-line capabilities. And better yet... stop cramming features, that we don't need/want, down our throats.

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yes boycott
Feb 20, 2010 11:34AM PST

i'm ready to leave greedy verizon. time to upgrade my son's phone ( for this 16th). when we looked at phones last month, we could get the chocolate & other "smart" phones. now this month you can't! don't buy their "this is how the manufacturer sends them" crap. let us buy Just what we want/ need. making me want to try Boost with their 50 unltd. afterall what good is this $10 plan. I don't want it but if they are going to force me to buy it i might as well switch!

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R U kidding??
Feb 20, 2010 12:42PM PST

A boycott?? That is real funny.

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A boycott?? That is real funny.
Jul 28, 2010 9:40AM PDT

I think it is hilarious, I left those greedy ^%$#@ at Verizon and took my *Droid* to Page Plus Wireless. They activated it, on Verizon's network, and I can use it by the minute, on their 1200min 50mb data plan, or their unlimited talk/text 20mb plan, for as little as $2.50 per month. I actually tried that ten dollars for 120 days, but I had too many calls - right now I'm on the 1200 minute plan.

They used to activate BBs on all their plans, but stopped, apparently by request from Verizon. But if you signed up before the "ban" you can keep your BB on the net.

It's easy to boycott those greedy pigs.

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Lets Tell Verizon What We Want
May 26, 2010 2:55PM PDT

I went to the Verizon store toay to get an EnV3. When i get there i dfind that now Verizon came out with this amazing new thing called a required data plan. It's so helpful because instead of paying the amount of a normal contract i have to pay and extra $120.00 a year for a service that isnt even good on these types of phones. wow Verizon aren't you just dandy!

But anyways i asked one of the sales asociates if many people have complained anout this new requirment that Verizon has. She said yes so that means if enough people complain to Verizon mabey they will change their polocy. If they are trying to make it better for their costomers to have a required data plan for $10.00 they arn't making it any better for me. They should make it optional because some people dont even ned their phone to check their email because there is somthing called a computer.

thank you for listening to my stories of my difficluties with Verizon

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Only solutions
May 26, 2010 11:57PM PDT

There really only are a couple of helpful solutions. Contacting Verizon won't help either since by law this are permitted business practices thanks to a lax FCC & incredibly strong telecommunicationis lobby.

You choices are, either cancel your Verizon service and encourage your family/friends to do the same, or, start writing and calling your local congressional representatives. Tell them to stop accepting monies from the big telcos or they will not get your vote in the Fall. Verizon/ATT will only change if forced to do so by legislators/consumers in this fashion.

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Data plans should be illegal
Mar 6, 2011 2:25AM PST

I have written my senators and some congressmen (SC), but do not expect much help. They are all Republicans and get paid by and cave in to the wireless lobby.

We consumers need to do something though. I should be as simple as wanting, or not wanting a data plan. I was asked by one Verizon clerk why I would want a smartphone and NOT want a data plan? Well, synch with my PC, WI-FI, music, video, applications, games, etc, etc, etc. All can be done, and well, without a stinkin' data plan.

It should be illegal to force consumers to have a data plan, plain and simple. Our congress is letting us down.

We could get rid of the cell phones, and I am tempted, but they are ubiquitous and part of our way of life. How can we as consumers fight back? I am willing!

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Odd idea.
Mar 6, 2011 2:27AM PST

While my kid has a 25 buck a month "plan" are you telling me that this is too much? He has that Virgin droid phone and data/text is unlimited at 25 a month and so many minutes of voice.

Wouldn't a smart consumer just go with a system that fits their needs or are you telling the world you want more government?

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Seems possible already.
Mar 6, 2011 3:01AM PST
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The Dems take telco monies too(!)
Mar 6, 2011 8:26AM PST

Kerry and the lot are certainly no different. Money is money to them, similar to the Republicans who have been in office for a long time.

Why *don't* you simply switch to ATT or T-Mobile where you could use a smartphone w/o the forced data plan(?) If you want more info on the specifics please don't be afraid to ask more questions.

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Really ???
Mar 6, 2011 7:04PM PST

Can we keep politics out of the conversation, please ??

Your advice in the second paragraph would have been sufficient.

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What choices?
Mar 7, 2011 7:46AM PST

I did take a look at the other wireless providers. Maybe offers are different from area to area. I would prefer to stay on Verizon only because of "in-calling" and most of the family on Verizon.

I am for less government, but without core protection for consumers, we would be in a lot more trouble. I have to admit, the data plan requirement is strange. It seems like the providers are moving towards offering very limited GB per month, and that makes sense, as I doubt they could handle everyone on 3G streaming a movie at the same time. If that is the case, why not let folks like me opt out of the data plan? The most important point to make on this thread is that smart phones are quite useful without a data plan, providers should offer one, but we should not be FORCED to have one. Yes, you could just quit cell phones altogether. To me, that is the same as saying that you could just quit electricity, or water/gas in your home. Many utilities are regulated by communities to protect us and I am not sure what would happen if they weren't. Yes, we can boycott, just as they did for meat producers way back when, but we are much too attached to our mobile devices.

So, as a consumer I will have to choose the action. Most likely, I will give up on the smart phone, stick with a plain phone, and stop paying them for something I do not want. I still think it sucks though.

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Take another look at T-Mo & ATT
Mar 7, 2011 1:01PM PST

Both will still let you bring in your own smartphones w/o a data plan. T-Mobile is more lenient than ATT, but with ATT, as long as you don't have an ATT branded it is still possible. Give me your billing zip code and I can quickly check if you would be covered.

Of course giving up your curtent family plan/in-network calling of Verizon would be the kicker.

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Using smart phone at AT&T without data plan: specifics?
Oct 2, 2011 1:49PM PDT

Why *don't* you simply switch to ATT or T-Mobile where you could use a smartphone w/o the forced data plan(?) If you want more info on the specifics please don't be afraid to ask more questions.

I'm presently with AT&T (contract expired) & would seriously like info. on how to do this? If I purchased a Samsung "Focus" (Windows 7) phone at Walmart or Amazon that was "unlocked"... or? Love to avoid the data plan "Albatros"

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Not correct....
Oct 2, 2011 9:48PM PDT

At&t requires all customers using a smart phone (in or out of contract) to have a mandated data plan as per the Terms & Conditions of Service. If the billing system detects it is missing, it can and will add the feature automatically.