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Least wasteful way to switch a plan and phone

Discussion in 'Virgin Mobile' started by batvette, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Before you read, this is complicated, so run away if you prefer.


    I've had the motorola triumph on the $25 plan since its launch, and ordered an iphone 4 from radio shack on black friday/saturday sale (they were out in the store but the associate said he'd have one sent to my home from the warehouse under their direct to you program) which at the quoted 10 days should arrive around wednesday. I may take it right back to the store for a galaxy S3, but the point is I'm going to have to switch both phones and plans in the middle of this week- but my month for the triumph is up and I have to pay tomorrow or monday on that.
    As I understand it, starting a new month and plan at a different rate dumps your previous month and I'd be paying $25 to have my triumph active for 2-3 days.

    Is that right?

    I guess I could change plans to the $35 plan on monday, assuming I'm going to take the iphone back for the S3- then I'd only swap phones not plans later in the week.

    However if I kept the iphone with its $35-$5 plan with auto deposit I can't do that. It's a different plan so converting early and just swapping phones later is impossible- and this makes the decision tougher as now I can deduct almost $25 off the upgrade to the S3 because keeping the iphone DOES waste that $25 no matter what.

    Is everyone confused yet? What would you do?

    I guess it's dependent upon me making up my mind about whether I want to keep the new iphone or not, but here's the rub- I'm not sure they've even got the thing and they can't tell me anything about my order. When I ordered it the guy said 10 calendar days, just check your order status at radioshackD2U.com. I've done that and today 7 days later it continues to say "order received not shipped". I checked store inventory for a dozen major cities on both coasts and there isn't a single one in the system. VM took it off their site this week. I emailed customer service and they told me to go to the store. I went to the store today (to cancel the iphone and go home today with the S3) and they said they don't have any ability to find the status of my order and I have to wait till wednesday before I could do anything. (I believe the store just wanted to blow me off rather than look into it, is RS's order system that clueless?) So in essence I can't even make up my mind which phone I'm going with because I may or may not receive an iphone, the associate may have taken an order for something RS no longer has. If they had it and I was getting it by wednesday wouldn't the D2U status page say shipped by now?

    Has anyone ever ordered from RS D2U system? Was your order status updated and accurate? Am I stuck just paying $25 to use 2-3 days of my old phone/plan?

    (the reason I changed my mind about the iphone for the S3, is I find in the past week Sprint's 4LTE upgrade for San Diego will be complete soon. We've been on 3g forever and this changes everything about phone selection. Maybe I should just get off the fence and say I will go with the S3 regardless of whether or not the iphone arrives?)

    Even if you have no input, thank you for enduring reading about my private hell.

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  2. isilent

    isilent Lurker

    i too had a $25 month plan for optimus v. i got the optimus f3 now i was going to activate it until i found out i couldnt swap the phones and add money to my account for the $35 a month. i already payed $25 for the month since i didnt have the f3 at the time. if i activate now it'll be a waste of the $25 so yea getting the new plan will dump ur old one without giving u ur money back
    batvette likes this.
  3. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    So that confirms that. Some people wait till their old plan is up but I ain't waiting 27 days to use my new phone. In your case the thing to do would have been to bump your plan to the $35 plan instead of paying the $25 (but if you didn't know you were getting a new phone that's moot).
  4. TDOW

    TDOW Well-Known Member

    My daughter is on the $25 plan. Her old phone was an Optimus V. We just got her a new phone, the ZTE Awe last week, and I activated it right away (with 6 days left on her plan month) and did not have to add any money. The payment for her plan was due yesterday and it was still $25. So, at least for now, even on the new phone, she is still on the $25.00 plan.

    I am guessing that if you got the S3, you would be forced to bump up to $35 a month.
  5. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    AFAIK whether the new phone is an S3 or an Awe shouldn't matter. As I understand it it's not the level of quality of a beyond talk phone but whether the phone was in their system when they raised the price of the basic plan to $35. IIRC the Motorola Triumph was the cutoff on that.
    (I may be wrong for various reasons)
    My hunch is there was a glitch in your phone switch in your favor. Feel free to delete your post (and I'll delete mine) if this is the case so nobody tries the same thing and VM gets wind. You know how this kind of thing goes, if there's a deal everyone wants it and if they can't get it they'll ruin it for those that do.

    Edit: Did you get that at Target on black friday's $20 deal? That was a steal. Thought about picking up one just as a backup.
  6. tvrbob

    tvrbob Lurker

    No. See below.

    Not being bumped to $35 sounds like a mistake in her favor. I would not complain. Not having to add money last month is normal.

    Just a month ago, I activated my S3. [I also had an Optimus V.] Coincidentally, my S3 arrived the day before my payment was due. I was not sure what to expect upon activation, but was too impatient to wait another day until my current month "expired." I decided I'd activate it and see what happened. I started the online activation process and got a message saying something like: "Congratulations on your new phone. Your new plan will be $35 a month. The good news is you don't have to pay until your next month's payment is due." A little light bulb went on over my head. If I canceled the activation, went back and started my month a few hours early, I could save $10. So I did. Upon activation, I got the same congratulations message. My payment due date was not even moved a day sooner, so I effectively got my first month for $25. Last night was the beginning of my second month. As is normal, I was charged $35 for the second month.

    So, that was my long way of telling you not to worry about wasting $25 for just a few days of use. You will actually be saving money by doing that.
  7. metsfan99

    metsfan99 Well-Known Member

    I switched from the $25 plan when I got an EVO last year. I tried to swap phones on the same plan, but the system would not let me, so I just waited about a week when my month was up. I guess the safe thing would be just to switch to the $35 plan now, since it will only be a couple of days that you are paying the higher rate with the old phone, and it only works out to a few cents. You could also try what the previous poster said, and see if it works for you as well. BTW, I don't know if it varies by state, but when i was on the $25 plan, I had to pay sales tax every month, and on the $35 plan there is none, so it's actually only about $7.50/mo more for me.
  8. aml1025

    aml1025 Android Enthusiast

    My recent experience has been like tvrbob's. Out of curiosity, I tried to put an Optimus F3 on a $25 plan, and got a message indicating the plan needed to change to the $35 one, but I would be allowed to finish out my current month at the $25 plan. (This is a change from the prior, immediate starting of a new month at the new payment rate.) If you wait until just after your new month starts, then swap to your new phone, you will get an entire extra month at the lower rate.

    If you do choose a 3G only phone like the Awe, it appears at this time the plan rate change is NOT triggered, regardless of how new or old the phone is. This seems to be some kind of system glitch, but its coincidence with Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales made it possible to get a great deal on a new phone to put on the cheapest plan around. If you're not interested in LTE, this may be the way for you to go right now.

    The only phones I haven't heard reports on have been the iPhones - but I would guess that because they are treated differently in VM's system from other phones, they would trigger a plan change as well. No evidence supporting this, though :)
  9. metsfan99

    metsfan99 Well-Known Member

    That must be something VM started after I switched. I never had an option, as I couldn't activate the phone until I switched plans, which I had to do separately, and then I had to wait until later in the day until their system was updated to reflect the new plan. Maybe they got a lot of complaints from people who switched to the $35 plan right after they paid for the previous month. I'm sure a lot of people on Autopay don't even think about it, because it just gets charged or deducted every month. If that's the policy now, then the OP should definitely wait until they have the phone they will be keeping.
  10. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Sales tax: In california if you pay by cc or auto debit you pay sales tax. If you buy a top up card in a retail store like 711 you do not.

    So I'm just gonna pay my 25 and hope I can use whatever new phone I end up with on that plan for the remainder of the month. Thanks for everyone's input. This was kind of what I was hoping for when I posted all those details, that I was wrong about one.
  11. metsfan99

    metsfan99 Well-Known Member

    I'm in California and on autopay, and when i switched to the $35 plan they stopped charging sales tax even though I was charged sales tax on the $25 plan.
  12. tunaman2

    tunaman2 Newbie

    Well, FWIW, I upgraded my phone back in September, and they're still charging me $25/month. I somehow missed your thread when I posted this today.
  13. TDOW

    TDOW Well-Known Member

    That is funny. I am also in California and have never paid sales tax on either mine or my daughter's plans, regardless of how I paid.
  14. metsfan99

    metsfan99 Well-Known Member

    Even on the $25 plan? Maybe it has to do with the specific county or city.
  15. TDOW

    TDOW Well-Known Member

    Yes. My daughter is on the $25 plan. Have had it on autopay, off autopay, top up cards, debit/credit card, etc. No tax ever.

    We are in OC.
  16. metsfan99

    metsfan99 Well-Known Member

    I'm in West Hollywood, which is La county. I've always been on autopay since I started VM, and I was always charged sales tax on the $25 plan, but as soon as I switched to $35, there was no tax. Is anyone whio is on the $35 plan paying tax in Calif., or anywhere for that matter?
  17. TDOW

    TDOW Well-Known Member

    That is so weird. I have no clue why I would not be paying sales tax one county to the south of you.
  18. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    AFAIK sales tax being paid on a nationwide telecommunications carrier would be a state matter to preside over, and the California Board of Equalization does have a specific regulation regarding phone cards (top ups) sold in a retail establishment being a non taxable item as it represents a service and not an item of tangible value itself. HOWEVER if you are paying VM through a financial institution I think another set of rules comes into play regarding telecommunications, and this may be the source of some inconsistency as one financial institution may be treating your payment different from someone elses- and this may be due to the location of the financial institution being inside or outside the state or even in a different county which may have different laws governing their actions on the matter. Like two banks are in California operating under CA telecommunications carrier taxes equally but LA county says tax this or that and OC says don't and their headquarters are in each.
    Or maybe the system is so ****ed up they're all just doing whatever because they can't figure it out.

    Given our tax laws that's as plausible as the longer explanation.
  19. TDOW

    TDOW Well-Known Member

    Ah, that makes sense. Our bank has no branches here in California. I think the nearest brick and mortar location may be either in Las Vegas or somewhere in Texas.
  20. storageman

    storageman Member

    Well I'm in Arizona, and have always paid sales tax on VM. Didn't make a difference if I was on the $25 or $35 plan. I use autopay also.
  21. batvette

    batvette Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    FWIW this is how this all worked out:

    Went with the Galaxy. Tried to swap phones not plans online, said I had to choose another plan. Let me use the remaining 27 days on the 25 buck plan. The shift to the 35 is mandatory because of the 4lte data.
    Love the S3. Playing GTA Vice City on it now. Wow.

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