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[VZW] How to Get a Subsidized Phone on Verizon and Not Lose Unlimited Data

18th February 2014, 05:58 PM   |  #1  
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I asked for a Verizon forum to be created to discuss issues like this, but while the admins are deciding on that I thought I would post this here for other Verizon Moto X unlimited data plan users to see in the mean time.

The easiest way that has been working to get a subsidized phone using your unlimited data plan's upgrade without losing your UDP is to buy from Best Buy online. Now since Moto Maker uses the Best Buy system, at least one poster on another forum reported it worked using his upgrade on Moto Maker, too. I have not personally used this method but others on another forum have and have posted screen shots showing it worked for them to keep their UDP.

There is a glitch in the Best Buy system (and in Moto Maker since it is the same system) whereby if you use your UDP line's upgrade, it tells you that you are going to lose your UDP but it does not make you select a new plan before checking out. And when you complete the check out it says Keep Current Plan. This appears to be true for all phones except the Droid Maxx. To progress through check out with the Droid Maxx you have to select a new Share/More Everything plan. Why that is no one knows and I suspect this glitch will be fixed eventually for all phones as it has been fixed for the Droid Maxx.

You also need to ship the new subsidized phone to your home to do the activation yourself. Do not ship to the store because many stores will not give you the phone without activating it with the SIM card it shipped with in it. That is the step you want to avoid - you do NOT want to activate the new subsidized phone with the SIM card it shipped with in it. If you do, you will be switched off of your UDP and onto the 2GB data plan. Instead, you want to swap out the SIM card the new phone shipped with and replace it with your current SIM card. If they are different sizes get a SIM card cutter/adapter as needed.

All Verizon 4G LTE phones are shipping with the SIM cards already installed in them. All you have to do is turn them on and they connect to the network and this is all it may take to lose your UDP. So the first thing you should do when you get your new subsidized phone is remove the SIM card it shipped with and throw it out. Do NOT turn on your new subsidized phone before removing the SIM card it shipped with.

So here are the steps:

1) Order a subsidized phone other than the Droid Maxx from Best Buy online using the upgrade on your UDP line, choosing Keep Current Plan and selecting No Change each step of the way, and taking screen shots of the ordering process at each step to document;
2) Ignore the warning that you will lose your UDP;
3) Do NOT select a new plan; choose Keep Current Plan and select No Change at each opportunity throughout the ordering process;
4) Select ship to your home address and do NOT ship to store;
5) Before you check out confirm that it says Keep Current Plan;
6) When your new subsidized phone arrives to your home, do not turn your new subsidized phone on, remove the SIM card that shipped with the phone and throw it out, shut off your current phone and remove the SIM card from your current phone. Then put your current SIM card in your new subsidized phone - get a SIM cutter/adapter as needed if the SIM cards are different sizes;
7) Turn on your new subsidized phone - this should activate the new subsidized phone;
8) Log onto Verizon online and confirm that you still have your UDP on your line; and
9) Keep checking for the next 14 days to make sure you keep your UDP.


Again, I haven't done this myself, but I have read about others doing it on another forum and they posted screen shots. Kicking you off of your UDP appears tied to activating the new subsidized phone using the SIM card that shipped with the phone. My understanding is that this works because you aren't doing that and because the Best Buy system warns you that you will lose your UDP but does not make you select a new plan. The only exception so far is the Droid Maxx, but I am sure in time this glitch will be fixed for all the phones. But for now, from all I have read it is still working.

There has been 1 poster on another forum who claimed the Best Buy Method outlined above did not work for him and he was switched off of his UDP to the 2GB plan. However, he did not do the SIM card switch himself without involving Verizon. He said it didn't work and so he called Verizon and the phone rep did something to make it work and that is when he lost his UDP. Moral of this story - if you are going to do this do NOT involve a Verizon rep or a Best Buy rep for that matter. If it doesn't work for you for some reason, my advice is to return the phone to Best Buy and have your upgrade restored. You may or may not be able to get out of the restocking fee if the phone has never been activated. Whatever you do, do not involve a Verizon or Best Buy CSR in the activation process. Other posters have posted screen shots showing they kept their UDP when they didn't involve a Verizon rep. YMMV.

Also, other posters on the other forum that have made mistakes and not followed the protocol precisely have been able to return their phones to Best Buy, get their upgrade restored and get their UDP back as long as they did it within 14 days.

If you want a Moto X Dev Ed, which you can't get using an upgrade, I suggest you use your upgrade to buy an iPhone 5s and sell it and use the cash from the sale towards purchasing a Moto X Dev Ed. I worked out the math on that in this thread:

Using Your Upgrade to Buy an iPhone 5s to Sell So You Can Buy a Moto X Dev Ed
Last edited by Cozume; 22nd February 2014 at 05:33 AM.
18th February 2014, 06:04 PM   |  #2  
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Transfer UDP Upgrade Method
There is another method that works if you have a family plan and at least one line has a basic phone or a capped data plan on it. This works because you can transfer your upgrade from your UDP line to the basic or capped data plan line and then upgrade and activate the new subsidized phone on that line. Then you switch the new subsidized phone to your UDP line and you will not lose your UDP. I have done this personally so I know it works. If you want a Moto X Dev Ed, since you can't get one using an upgrade, I suggest you get a subsidized iPhone 5s with your upgrade and sell it and use the cash from the sale proceeds to put toward purchasing a Moto X Dev Ed.

If you are transferring your UDP line's upgrade to a basic phone line, you will have to pick a data plan when you purchase a new subsidized smartphone on the basic phone line. You can later drop that data plan but the only three retailers that will let you do this without charging you a secondary ETF of $400 are Verizon, Best Buy and Costco. So don't buy from any other retailers if you are using a basic phone line to transfer your UDP line's upgrade to. And when you do buy from those three I mentioned, double check that they are still not charging a secondary ETF for downgrading a data plan before 181 days are up. It is hit or miss whether a Best Buy or Costco rep will know how to do the upgrade transfer properly. I have done this once at Best Buy and the rep was very knowledgeable so it worked without a hitch but I have read others have not been so lucky. The safest way is to do it yourself through Verizon online. I avoid the Verizon stores because some of the reps get ticked off that this works and refuse to do it for you. YMMV.

Also, you cannot transfer an upgrade from an UDP line to a line that currently is eligible for its own upgrade. You have to use that line's upgrade first. That is no problem though because you can just then transfer your UDP line's upgrade to that line when you are ready to get a new phone for that line.

Here are the steps if you have a capped data plan line on your family plan and are doing this through Verizon online:

1) Log onto Verizon online and click Shop;
2) You will now see which lines in your family plan are eligible for an upgrade - the CDP line you are going to use to transfer your UDP line's upgrade to cannot be eligible for an upgrade;
3) Select your UDP line and click Transfer on your UDP line and select the CDP line to transfer the UDP line's upgrade to;
4) Purchase a subsidized phone of your choice on the CDP line and have it shipped to your home;
5) When you get the new subsidized phone at your home, turn off the CDP line's current phone and follow the instructions to activate the new subsidized phone on the CDP line - THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP THAT MUST BE DONE;
6) Turn off the new subsidized phone and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the CDP line's original phone back on the CDP line by following the directions; and
7) Turn off the phone currently on your UDP line and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the new subsidized phone on your UDP line by following the directions.


Steps 6 and 7 also can be done by putting the new subsidized phone's SIM card into the CDP line's original phone after activation and then putting the SIM card from the UDP line's original phone into the new subsidized device if all of the SIM cards are the same size.

If you are using your UDP line's upgrade to get a subsidized iPhone 5s to sell, you stop after Step 6 and then the iPhone 5s is off of your account and available to sell. Remember to take the SIM card out of the iPhone 5s and discard it before you ship your iPhone 5s to its new owner.



Here are the steps if you have a basic phone line on your family plan and are doing this through Verizon online:

1) Log onto Verizon online and click Shop;
2) You will now see which lines in your family plan are eligible for an upgrade - the basic phone line you are going to use to transfer your UDP line's upgrade to cannot be eligible for an upgrade;
3) Select your UDP line and click Transfer on your UDP line and select the basic phone line to transfer the UDP line's upgrade to;
4) Purchase a subsidized phone of your choice on the basic phone line, pick the 2GB data plan and have the new subsidized phone shipped to your home;
5) When you get the new subsidized phone at your home, turn off the basic phone and follow the instructions to activate the new subsidized phone on the now 2GB data plan line - THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP THAT MUST BE DONE;
6) Turn off the new subsidized phone and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the basic phone back on the line by following the directions;
7) The 2GB data plan may or may not drop off when you complete Step 6 - if it doesn't, you can block data on the basic phone line and the data plan will drop off or you can call Verizon and tell them to take the data plan off of the basic phone line and they will do it; and
8) Turn off the phone currently on your UDP line and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the new subsidized phone on your UDP line by following the directions.


Step 8 also can be done by placing the UDP line's original phone's SIM card into the new subsidized phone if the SIM cards are the same size.

If you are using your UDP line's upgrade to get a subsidized iPhone 5s to sell, you stop after Step 7 and then the iPhone 5s is off of your account and available to sell. Remember to take the SIM card out of the iPhone 5s and discard it before you ship your iPhone 5s to its new owner.
Last edited by Cozume; 19th February 2014 at 06:31 AM.
18th February 2014, 06:05 PM   |  #3  
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Add A Line Method
If you have a family plan and do not have at least one line that has a basic phone or a capped data plan on it to transfer your upgrade to, you can add a basic phone line and get a subsidized iPhone for that line to sell to recoup the cost of the added line. You can do it if you have an individual plan, too, but it is not cost effective to convert an individual plan to a family plan as selling a subsidized iPhone will not recoup the added cost of a family plan.

You need to have a Verizon basic phone to add to the basic phone line or you can put the ghost ESN on the line. Keep in mind that Verizon prepaid phones can't be used for this unless they have met the requirements to be put on a postpaid account. Also keep in mind that some people claim that putting the ghost ESN on your line yourself is a violation of Verizon's TOS. Other people say Verizon reps will do this for you and it is not a problem. Idk what the correct answer is. The Ghost ESN = 13800000400. NEVER PUT THE GHOST ESN ON AN UDP LINE AS YOU WILL LOSE YOUR UDP IF YOU DO!

Since you will be dropping the data plan on the new line before 181 days to make this cost effective, you can only do this at three retailers - Verizon, Best Buy and Costco - since all other retailers will charge you a secondary ETF of $400 if you downgrade a data plan prior to 181 days. And of course, double check before you add a line that the three retailers still have this policy in place when you are ready to do it.

If you have a special plan, like the any mobile to any mobile for $5 promotion that ran a couple of years ago, you can't add a line online and keep that plan. You will have to call Verizon to add a line or do it in a store. Supposedly Best Buy reps and Costco reps know how to do this, too, but YMMV.


Here are the steps to add a line to your family plan through Verizon online:

1) Buy a used Verizon basic phone off of ebay/craig's list that is eligible for use on a postpaid account (skip this step if you are using the ghost ESN);
2) Log onto Verizon online and click Add a Line;
3) Select the subsidized phone of your choice and pick the 2GB data plan for the new line;
4) When you get the new subsidized phone at your home, follow the instructions to activate the new subsidized phone on the 2GB line - THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP THAT MUST BE DONE;
5) Turn off the new subsidized phone and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the used basic phone or ghost ESN on the new line by following the directions;
6) The 2GB data plan may or may not drop off when you complete Step 5 - if it doesn't, you can block data on the basic/ghost phone line and the data plan will drop off or you can call Verizon and tell them to take the data plan off of the basic/ghost phone line and they will do it - caveat emptor if you use the ghost ESN as some people claim that is a violation of your TOS and others say it is not and the reps will do it for you, idk what the correct answer is; and
7) Turn off the phone currently on your UDP line and click My Verizon Activate or Switch a Device to put the new subsidized phone on your UDP line by following the directions.


Now that you have a basic phone line, you can use it to transfer any of your other family plan UDP line upgrades to by following the instructions for doing that in my previous post.

After you have upgraded all of your UDP lines, you will have 1 extra upgrade available and you can use that to buy a subsidized iPhone 5s to sell to recoup the cost of the added line.
Last edited by Cozume; 19th February 2014 at 06:32 AM.
19th February 2014, 05:53 AM   |  #4  
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If I am getting the iPhone 5s with plans to flip it, do I pull the sim card before sending it to the new owner?
19th February 2014, 06:04 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseyatbt

If I am getting the iPhone 5s with plans to flip it, do I pull the sim card before sending it to the new owner?

Yes. Once you have activated a phone on your line, the SIM card will be attached to your account for a period of time before it becomes inactivated, could be active for up to 90 days. Now the new owner could reprogram the SIM card for their account, but no way would I trust they could do it right. And if they don't do it right, it will only cause you problems.

If the new owner is on Verizon, all they have to do is go into a corporate store and they will give them a SIM card for free to use if they need one. Or if they call Verizon, they will mail one for free. They can even ask for one online and it will be mailed free. Non-corporate stores charge for SIM cards but corporate stores do not.

If the new owner wants to use the phone on a GSM network, the Verizon SIM card wouldn't work anyhow.
Last edited by Cozume; 19th February 2014 at 06:14 AM.
19th February 2014, 11:43 AM   |  #6  
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OK I get all of this one question my UDP plan has an eligible upgrade now. I can transfer that to another line and get a new phone and not lose UDP on this line. Also does the line I transfer to have to be eligible for an upgrade. All two of my lines upgraded in the last 8 months can they upgrade again.

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19th February 2014, 02:34 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

OK I get all of this one question my UDP plan has an eligible upgrade now. I can transfer that to another line and get a new phone and not lose UDP on this line.

Correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

Also does the line I transfer to have to be eligible for an upgrade.

No, just the opposite - it cannot have an upgrade of its own for you to be able to transfer an upgrade to it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

All two of my lines upgraded in the last 8 months can they upgrade again.

I am not sure what you are saying here. If there is an upgrade available on a line, it will say so when you log on to your Verizon account.
19th February 2014, 04:53 PM   |  #8  
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Let me explain better what I mean is I have a phone my wife has a phone my daughter has a phone they're all under my name I use my wifes upgrade to get my max i used my daughters upgrade to get my wifes RAZR M. I I use my wifes upgrade in August and signed a two-year contract I use my daughters upgrade in June and signed a two-year contract. My question is if I give one of those lines my upgrade would I be able to get subsidized phone. Since they're both only about six to eight months into a2 year contract. Can I still use my upgrade on one of their lines.
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19th February 2014, 06:53 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

I use my wifes upgrade in August and signed a two-year contract

That extended your wife's contract by 2 years.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

I use my daughters upgrade in June and signed a two-year contract.

That extended your daughter's contract by 2 years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigv5150

My question is if I give one of those lines my upgrade would I be able to get subsidized phone. Since they're both only about six to eight months into a2 year contract. Can I still use my upgrade on one of their lines.

Yes of course. That is the whole point of this process - you transfer your UDP line's upgrade to a capped data plan line or a basic phone line and the capped data/basic phone line cannot be eligible for its own upgrade when you do the transfer. You must first activate the new phone on the capped data or basic phone line, then switch the new phone to your UDP line.

After you do this, your UDP line's contract will be extended 2 years.
Last edited by Cozume; 19th February 2014 at 07:05 PM.
19th February 2014, 08:21 PM   |  #10  
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Got it so after activation on the capped line my UDP line keeps unlimited but I get stuck in a 2 year contract again. Sounds good I didn't think I would be able to ever use this upgrade again I have been sitting on it over 6 months. I may just wait and see what is up all the manufacturers sleeves and just get a new phone. I love my maxx but this locked boot loader is a pita. Or I may get a new phone sell it and my maxx and buy a Dev maxx. Thanks for the info when I checked with Verizon they told me if I switched my upgrade to another line this line would lose unlimited. I guess they are trying to keep these work around to a minimum and lie to the customers. That is great customer support. If they don't want us to do this then close the loop holes. Don't lie about it that is just shameful.

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