Putting Verizon phone on Straight Talk

Discussion in 'Android Support' started by starchild_dreams, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. starchild_dreams

    starchild_dreams New Member

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    I'm not sure where this belongs or even if it's a problem. I don't want people to think I'm trying to do something wrong or breaking laws. I will try and explain simply.
    I was on a family plan my daughter had with Verizon, for around 6 months. I got a phone from them (Galaxy S5) for $149 (with a contract). I was supposed to get a $50 rebate from that, but applied twice and never did (which is another topic) Anyway, I paid for the phone, I wasn't financing it.
    After a few months, the bills were so much more than we were told at the start, there were misc charges and extra data added (even though we had supposedly had unlimited, at first it was activation fees and they'd explain it in some confusing way) my daughter was always calling them and never got clear answers. The last time she asked if they could tell her why the bills were $200 or so MORE than they were supposed to be and was told "no". So she suspended the phones (they didn't turn them off) and said she would pay all she owed in Feb out of her tax refund.
    A month later, I looked into getting Straight Talk and put the phone's iemi number in on their website and it said my phone could be used with ST. I bought an activation kit, sim card and time and put it in, set it up with an online account, and it set up and gave me a phone number. The next month I set up auto pay, it takes it out of my bank and adds it to my phone and is only $43 a month. (I am a "Senior Citizen" and live on Social Security so this is a plus for me.) No problem, but the past few days I am getting VMs from Verizon (they don't call they put the VMs on directly) saying something like it's their fraud check dept and I am not authorized to use the phone and have to call Verizon and unlock the phone and it starts to dial without me even calling it. I hang up. I don't think they will unlock the phone without the contract being paid, which my daughter is going to do next month. But, before this we had ATT and I bought a phone outright, and used up the 2 year contract, got another phone and contract (and fulfilled it) and ATT wouldn't unlock either of the phones to use with something else. So, I'm not sure if Verizon will unlock it even if it's paid for.
    What confuses me is Straight Talk set it up with their sim card, and if it was under Verizon contract, and locked would they have been able to? And, what, if anything can Verizon do about this now it's on ST, besides keep putting on VMs?
    I don't want to break any laws, and if they can't/won't do anything I'm thinking of just waiting and when my daughter pays up the contract maybe they will unlock it or stop? But, if it's locked how is it set up now with Straight Talk? I'm also thinking of buying another phone, like a used one from ebay, that says "unlocked" and changing the ST sim card to that. I don't have a lot of money to spare, but it seems like this is what I need to do? If phones can be locked and not legal to use with prepay after being on a contract (I have 2 phones from ATT I paid for and fulfilled the contract with years ago that are locked) seems like there are a lot of useless phones around, maybe at some point being thrown out and adding to pollution in landfills, etc.
    I just don't want to be doing anything that's illegal, I have been trying to find answers in Google and found out that "unlocking" a phone (on one's own) is illegal. I didn't do this and wouldn't know how. And, Straight Talk said it was okay to put on and set it up, would they have done this if it wasn't legal?
    Can Verizon do something to my phone at some point like freeze it so I can't use it? I don't want to call them, they will just say it has to be paid for, and it's not my account. I like having a cell phone since I'm an older person, and live alone, I carry it with me like security.
    I hope this isn't too confusing and someone knows, and won't just tell me I am doing something illegal and to pay the bill :) I didn't know, I figured if I put the number in to Straight Talk and it said it can be used, than it could be.
    Thanks...
     
  2. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I would say that they should unlock it for you. It may be a simple situation of the phone being registered in your daughter's name since it was on her account. Even if you owe money on a phone, someone else should be able to still use it.

    I was on the device payment plan for my Note 4 and still owed them a couple hundred dollars when I got my Nexus 6P. I gave the Note 4 to my wife and there was no issue with her using it (on Verizon) while I continued to pay the device installment payments. She's still on a plan with her mom and sister because that's her mom's gift to them each year and they're on an older cheaper plan. (I used Christmas money to pay the rest off.)

    That said, the fact that she still owes them money according to their records may make this another story, but I would think she could call them if the phone is registered to her name on her account and tell them that she sold the phone to someone else that was trying to use it on ST and getting these messages and could they please unlock the phone for that person.

    As you said, it's strange that there was no trouble with ST activating the phone if it's locked. I'm assuming everything is functioning as it should. I'd have her call since it's her account and just tell them that she no longer owns the phone and the new owner contacted her because they keep getting these voicemails. If she's got you setup as an account administrator or whatever they call people authorized to discuss billing and etc, you may be able to call yourself, but I'd stick with having the account holder speak with them just to be safe.
     
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  3. cr6

    cr6 Super Moderator
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    First and foremost, having only paid $149 for the S5, you didn't purchase this device "outright", you paid the fee required to get you into the device, (as you said), "on contract". Being that you are "on contract" with this device, you'll need to pay it off and/or pay the fee in order to get out of the contract you signed. Legally you can't put this device on another plan, but your device won't show up as being locked for quite a few months. And not at all if you're still paying on said plan.
    You'll need to contact Verizon to see about getting out of your contract. This could be difficult depending on how long it's been since you originally signed up for this plan. Explain to them you're on a fixed budget and that you weren't fully informed about exactly how much your monthly bill would be. Depending on how that works out, they may release you from said contract or have you pay a fee. Once you've done that, they can unlock the device and you can "legally" go with Straight Talk. If in fact the S5 will work on their network...I don't know much about ST, so hopefully someone else can chime in regarding that carrier.

    S5 tap'n
     
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  4. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    I too think that you started into a 2 year agreement with this phone.. You'll need to settle up the bill or pay off the phone or it will be blacklisted in most cases...being as its big red..that's probably the case...
     
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  5. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Oh man. Good catch. Somehow, I missed the $149 part. That's a subsidized phone, which you can only get by signing a contract.
     
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  6. Domestic violence

    Domestic violence Active Member

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    Did you purchase the subsidized phone at an actual Verizon store or an 'authorized retailer'?

    The retailers always seem to have something shady baked into their "deals"
     
  7. starchild_dreams

    starchild_dreams New Member

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    I seem to have more complicated problems than most people :) I thought the phone was less because it was reconditioned. I got it from the Verizon wireless page, it showed all the "deals" with phones. I figured I would have to get out of that first, I asked around (my grandkids, young people I thought knew) and they said to put the number in the ST page and see if it would let me use it, which it did.
    I asked my daughter about calling them and she said she tried to with one of the other phones on our plan and they said she has to pay them $4000 first.
    Kind of confusing, but we had 5 phones on a family plan with AT&T for years, I think I went through 6 years, and got 2 phones (one an upgrade) The bills seemed so high and Verizon advertised $45 per line, we switched to that and got Verizon phones. It was supposed to be $285 or something a month, but it was never that, it was more like $400 (they'd say it was activation fees) and the last 2 months $580. We never went over data, if it got to that my daughter would buy more. One time she called them because it was so high and they had charged us for more data than we used and took $50 off for this. We struggled to keep the bill paid, but $580 was a lot more than we had thought when we started. One charge on it was $75 for "misc feels and taxes". She kept calling them about it and they'd say something like it was extra data and wouldn't be on there next month but it was. the last time she asked them "can you tell me why the bill is so high?" the person said NO. I have googled this and found others saying the same that the bills were much higher than they expected or the Verizon ads make out.
    Aside from that... Straight Talk set it up, so I assumed it was my phone and the plan is under my daughter's name. Also, I had bought a phone for my grandson (on ebay) and that had been on the Verizon plan, and we set that up with ST too, and he hasn't been getting VMs, So, apparently they can't or won't do anything with a phone the person buys elsewhere, even with a contract.
    When I got the first VM it started to call as it finished playing, I Googled it to see what it might be, and all I found was places that said phishing places and scams do this, they leave messages saying you owe money and your phone has to be unlocked and you call and they get your account info (and maybe money) so I wasn't sure about that, either.
    I don't want anything to do with Verizon, I don't want them connected to a phone I have, and even though they are probably legally in the right, my plan now is to buy another phone on ebay (I found S5s that are reconditioned for $179 or so) and put the ST SIM card in it and maybe go through setting up a new phone with ST, and that should work. I can use the Verizon one with WiFi they shouldn't be able to get in the way of that?
    As to getting a new phone (Jonny) and your wife using the previous one on another plan, they probably didn't care because you had another phone and still paying them for their plan. After my experience with the cost and dealing with these companies (AT&YT a now Verizon) I don't know why anyone would ever get a family plan and contract. They make it sound so easy and affordable in the ads. I live in a rural area and don't have too much to choose from as for plans there are only those 2. And the prepaid ones.
    My phone should be okay until the beginning of next month when I can get another one? I just didn't want to do anything that could be seen as illegal, and I thought where ST said I could use it and set it up, that meant it was okay.
    Sometimes I feel so old and confused. :)
    thanks for all the feedback, and being nice... I have written on some computer tech groups where they act like I'm dumb, and I'm sorry after that I asked.
     
  8. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    When these companies advertise their prices, they don't mention state & local taxes & other fees.

    For myself alone, I have unlimited calls & texts & a 6GB data plan. It's just under $100 for me. This is actually the first time in a very long time I can remember my bill being under $100 a month.

    I get what I pay for though. I live in a similar area with only AT&T, Verizon, and the prepaid services. Verizon has the best coverage & speeds in my area & I'm rarely without coverage on trips between the UP of Michigan where I live & Kansas where I'm from.

    However, given what you've told us about yourself, I doubt you use your phone like I do, so I can't blame you for wanting to pay less.

    I am under the assumption that there's a "do not activate" list that carriers can check. I would also assume that ST has that ability. We had a member here who wasn't opposed to doing shady things who'd been blacklisted for not paying one of the carriers. I think it was Verizon. He was trying to scam and get his phone activated on another carrier without paying.

    We don't condone that here & he's no longer a member for other reasons, but I would assume you'd be blacklisted if this was legit. Maybe call ST & see what they say, or call Verizon directly to see if they've got something in your account that says that phone couldn't be used elsewhere.

    Buying a phone on eBay or elsewhere is like buying a phone outright without a contract, so it makes sense that your grandson isn't getting these messages.

    But I'd still be leery of going through with that automatic call. I'd call Verizon directly if I call them.

    And we pride ourselves on having a membership that's welcoming & helpful, so I'm glad you've gotten a good response!

    Sent from my Nexus 6P
     
  9. starchild_dreams

    starchild_dreams New Member

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    Thanks! I wasn't trying to get away with not paying, or doing anything illegal, since my daughter cancelled the plan she said she would pay it from her tax refund (since she has good credit and doesn't want to ruin it).
    From what I know now, I'm thinking where she suspended the phones on the Verizon plan, and THEY didn't (like shut them off for non payment) it didn't go on any blacklist at the time and when I got ST a month later, it didn't come up as a locked and do not active one? Now it's sort of catching up.
    They make it sound so affordable and easy, with cheap phones and upgrades, etc. Now, I've had people tell me to buy my own phone, even on a plan.
    I don't use the cell phone much, I have a landline one (through my Charter cable) and the cell is a back up, and if I go anywhere. I hardly ever use it for calling, mainly with my WiFi or texting. So far I like Straight Talk and they give $5 off for setting it up auto pay and auto add the time so no having to buy time or cards and put it in. I looked up my number in a carrier search and it says it uses Verizon lines. That might be because it's a Verizon phone? If so, I want to look for one to buy that is Verizon and unlocked, I was looking today and found quite a few.
    I like buying from ebay with PayPal because they will get involved if there's any problems.
     
  10. starchild_dreams

    starchild_dreams New Member

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    After I went off here, I caught a news segment here (VT) where they were giving percent of people (from a study) that were getting overcharged in various ways for cell phone service. They were showing people saying how they were paying much more than they thought they would and the bills had gone way up in the last few months, and they weren't sure just why.
     
  11. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    starchild_dreams, I tend to believe that these calls you are receiving are phishing scams. I would not answer them and would have them blocked. In my experience, when Verizon had a phone still under contract and not eligible for transfer to another carrier, the imei is listed as a bad imei for anyone (including all carriers, any individual, swappa, eBay, etc) looking it up. For example, Swappa (a very reputable used phone retailer) will not allow a seller to list their phone for sale unless it has a clear esn/imei/meid and checks this themselves before your phone is approved to sell. Swappa also has a link on their website where you can check to see if the esn/imei/meid is blacklisted (ESN / IMEI / MEID Check (Free) | Swappa). Always, in the past, when a phone was still under contract and not eligible to be activated with another carrier or not eligible to be activated by another individual, that esn/imei would be listed as a bad esn. That bad esn prevents any carrier or individual the ability to activate the phone with any carrier or any account (the only activation possible would be on a line of the original account owner).

    So, it is my opinion that your phone is fine, otherwise ST would not have been able to activate it... and that the calls you are receiving are a phishing scam. Those type calls are not calls I've ever heard of Verizon doing. My guess is that your new ST number was probably previously owned by someone who received these calls and that's why you are now receiving them.

    My recommendation would be to check the imei using the link above to be self assured and to block the phone number giving you these calls.



    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
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  12. starchild_dreams

    starchild_dreams New Member

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    Oh thank you! The thing is the vm are not coming in as calls, I just noticed (on Jan 11) the notifications said "you have a new VM Jan 7" and I listened to it. By the end of the call it had started to call and ring, so I quickly hung up (I wasn't sure what it was) I have seen in notifications since "new VM" and the time, once a day since but didn't play them. if this is phishing how do I get it to stop? Can Verizon put a VM on my phone just going by the IMEI number (since they wouldn't know my new phone number to call, unless they can somehow look it up)
    Before I did this (ST) I Googled it and asked question like "can I use my Verizon phone for Staight Talk" ? and someone gave me the ST page with the space to put the IEMI number in to check and mine said it could be used. I also noticed that ST is part of Verizon, or something? (I used to think it was At&T) and thought that might have something to do with it. I'll check it with that link
     
    #12 starchild_dreams, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
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