This is part of an article at CNET.com. It's from a recent "Ask Maggie" column, where someone wrote to her claiming to have found a loophole in the upgrade process, and...well, it's easier to quote the article, which can be found here:
Confused about Verizon's Family Share plans? You're not alone | Mobile - CNET News
And here's the relevant section:
I heard today from a CNET reader named Aaron ____, of ______, who explained a trick that might work. Here's how: Aaron is on a family plan with his mother. Aaron has an unlimited data plan. His mother, who just got her smartphone in December 2011, has a tiered plan.
In general, Verizon allows customers to upgrade their phones every 21 months or so. Aaron's contract is up in July. If he upgraded his phone at that time, he'd have to either pay full retail price for a new phone to keep his unlimited data plan or he could take the subsidy and choose one of Verizon's older plans or a new Family Share plan.
But Aaron believes he has found a loophole. Verizon allows people on family plans to essentially swap upgrades. This means that Aaron's mom can upgrade her phone when Aaron's eligibility comes up. So Aaron can upgrade his mom's number with a phone he wants. Then after he has bought the phone and activated it on the account, he can switch the numbers. Aaron will now have his new 4G phone. And his mother will keep her phone with the new contract date. Aaron will have his mom's contract date. But he'll be able to keep his existing unlimited data plan.
The only catch of course, is that Aaron's poor mother may never get to upgrade her phone, since Aaron is always using her tiered account for the upgrade.
I asked a Verizon spokeswoman to verify that this loophole does in fact exist. She confirmed that people on family plans are able to swap upgrades. But she said she'd have to check on whether there would be some kind of limitation of keeping the old unlimited plan when the numbers are switched again. I'm still waiting for her reply and will add her comment to this story.
My question is...will this work? I mean, I know Verizon will swap upgrades on a family plan, I've done that. But that second step in the plan, switching phone numbers. Will that work? Is anyone else going to try it?