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General Tips for Porting Your Phone Number to Page Plus

Did you know you can switch to Page Plus and keep your current phone number? Page Plus allows you to keep your number through a simple process called a port-in. Here’s how to do it:

  • Don’t terminate your existing service. Your old operator account must be active at the start of the port. Porting will automatically close your old account. If you cancel service before the port completes, your account will be closed prematurely and you will lose your number.
  • Gather the information you need. All carriers require a minimum amount of information needed: the number you are porting and the account number and a PIN or password. Most also ask for the account holder’s name and billing address.
  • Initiate a number port with the carrier you are switching to. Most carriers let you do a port online. A few require you to call.
  • Ports usually complete within 24 hours, often in an hour or less. During the porting process there may be a short period, usually less than five minutes, when neither phone works. Please allow up to three (3) hours before contacting customer service to check the status of your port.

Dennis Bournique (@yeswap) covers the US prepaid mobile industry at www.prepaidphonenews.com

Freedom of Choice

A couple of years ago, we did a wacky (I mean creative) YouTube video called “Page Plus Gives You the Freedom to Control Your Cell Phone Bill.” It was based (loosely) on the movie Braveheart – the actor was running around in blue and white face paint yelling “Freedom!”

The video got a whopping 1,600 views – hardly viral. But despite the lackluster performance of the video, the concept of “freedom” still applies to no-contract (prepaid) wireless service from Page Plus. In fact, with new wireless customers choosing no-contract service over contract service by a ratio of 10 to 1 (Entner), it’s more relevant than ever. Here are four reasons why:

1. No Contract: Of course, not having a two-year contract is the most obvious example of freedom. People are realizing in droves that they not only can have the freedom of not being stuck in a two-year contract, but that no-contract service is actually cheaper than postpaid! The last statistic I saw was that over 25% of U.S. wireless customers are now on no-contract service, and that percentage is growing by 23% a year. Of course that still pales to other countries (in Western Europe, for example, 70% of wireless customers are on prepaid), but the point is that the trend is growing rapidly here in the U.S.

2. Switching Plans: The ability to quickly and easily switch plans is another “freedom” you have with Page Plus. Since your service is month-to-month, if you find that your plan isn’t big enough for your usage this month, you can simply change to a higher plan next month. And even better, you can even customize your service plan if your usage happens to fall between two plans. All you have to do is carry an extra cash balance on your account to be used for “overages.” For example, if you run out of data a couple of days short of your renewal date, but you still have voice minutes and texts left, you can continue to use more data at the overage rate of your plan and just pay for it out of your cash balance.

3. Control Your Budget: One of the primary benefits of no-contract service is that you have the freedom to control your budget. Because the service is prepaid, it eliminates the possibility of “bill shock” – the surprise postpaid customers can get when they (or someone in their family) rack up a huge, unexpected bill. With prepaid, there is no bill. You use what you pay for. Of course there are a couple of ways to continue your service if you run out of something (minutes, texts or data) – you can add cash for overages, as described above, or simply renew your monthly plan early. No matter whose cell phone you’re paying for – your own, or your teenager’s or college student’s – YOU control your budget.

4. Phone Selection: Some companies only let you use their phones on their service. They don’t have BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Or they’ll limit you to only use feature phones (not smartphones) on certain plans, or require you to pay for a data plan with certain smartphones. With Page Plus, you can use any of our phones on any of our plans. You can use any of the phones available directly from us or from our dealers, plus all the 3G CDMA phones that we’ve approved in the past. That’s freedom of choice!

So get out your blue and white face paint everybody, and celebrate YOUR freedom!

The Advantages of Page Plus’ Hybrid Payment System

The no-contract, prepaid world of cell phone service works a little differently than traditional postpaid. Traditional postpaid customers are used to receiving a bill every month for the services they’ve used in the previous month, and having to write a check and mail it, or pay their bill online. In prepaid, however, you pay upfront for a set amount of usage. People have their preferences for different reasons, but Page Plus combines the two into a “hybrid” payment system that combines the best of both worlds.

Let’s start with postpaid. For people who are not familiar with prepaid, this is the only way they know. You use however much talk, text and data services this month, and get billed for it next month. And of course there are all the additional fees, taxes and “overages” that can inflate your bill. So many additional fees, in fact, that a survey by the FCC determined that 30 million Americans – or one in six mobile users – has experienced “bill shock.” In traditional postpaid you typically get locked into a 2-year contract, and it is the most expensive option for service.

No-contract (prepaid) service works differently. You pay in advance for a monthly plan that includes a set amount of voice minutes, text/picture messages and data. When you run out of something, that service simply stops working until your plan renews the following month. (Except if you are a Page Plus customer, you can add an additional cash balance to your plan to continue using a service if you run out early). Therefore, prepaid customers do not experience the dreaded “bill shock,” and prepaid service is cheaper than postpaid.

Then there is the convenience factor. Some people want to get a cell phone bill every month so they remember to pay it. In prepaid, it is the customer’s responsibility to take the action of purchasing airtime and applying it to their account before their plan expires each month, or they will find themselves without service.

Page Plus takes the convenience factor of postpaid, and combines it with the less-expensive, no-contract advantages of prepaid, into a hybrid payment system that combines the best of both worlds. The system is called Auto Refill. With Auto Refill, you don’t get a bill that you have to pay, and you also don’t have to take any action to renew your prepaid plan each month. You simply set up an online account, register for Auto Refill, and your plan will be automatically renewed each month and charged to a credit card.

Many Page Plus customers find that setting up Auto Refill on their accounts allows them to enjoy the “set-it-and-forget-it” convenience factor of not having to worry about having to do anything to renew their plan every month. Combine that with the benefits of nationwide coverage, cheaper plans, and not having a contract, and why would anyone want to stay on traditional postpaid?

Why Everyone’s Moving to No-Contract Cell Phone Service

 

Today, nearly everyone uses a cell phone, but not everyone wants a two-year commitment. Most people don’t even realize there is an alternative to contract cell phone plans. That alternative is actually quite simple – no-contract (prepaid) cell phone service. According to the NPD Group, a global information company, in the first quarter of 2013, one-third (36 percent) of smartphone sales were represented by prepaid. Furthermore, according to CTIA’s semi-annual report, the total number of prepaid users grew 23.4 percent to 76.4 million in 2012 from 71.7 million in 2011. You may wonder – why are so many people switching to prepaid? The popular answer would be that it’s cheaper. However, there are several other rewarding benefits causing people to switch to prepaid.

As already stated, the primary benefit to no-contract cell phone service is saving money. If you’ve read the blog post Keeping it “no-contract” Since 1998, you’ll be familiar with the fact that you can save over $1,000 over the course of a two-year contract by choosing Page Plus Cellular. It’s hard not to save money when our prepaid cell phone plans are nearly half the cost of most contract plans. Not to mention, there’s no “bill shock” with Page Plus – you don’t receive a bill in the mail so we won’t deck you with pesky overages. That’s the beauty of prepaid – you pay for what you need ahead of time. If you happen to run out of usage, simply add more minutes, messages or data to your account (see blog post: How to Get More Data on Your Monthly Plan for more information). Essentially, you have the freedom to do what you want. If you want to switch to another plan, just switch. If you want your account to be replenished automatically month-to-month, just set up Auto Refill. We believe in cell phone freedom without the red tape and we’ve been doing it since 1998, so it’s safe to say – you’re in good hands!

Another reason our no-contract cell phone service is becoming more popular than ever is the fact that we’re straight up about our service. You may have heard that some of the major contract carriers are offering payment plans on their phones now. What they don’t tell you is that you’re really not saving any money in the long-run. Considering they haven’t lowered their service plans, you’re essentially paying the same amount (if not more), but in monthly increments. With Page Plus, we sell you phones at competitive prices, match you up with the best monthly plan for your needs and don’t require you to sign any contracts whatsoever. As mentioned before, we’re straight up about our service – no hidden fees; no gimmicks.

Everyone’s moving to no-contract cell phone service for the right reasons – it’s simple, convenient and smart. In addition to the general prepaid benefits explained above, Page Plus offers some extra benefits. To learn more on why you should choose Page Plus as your no-contract service provider, click here.

Now that you know why no-contract cell phone service is trending, give us a call at 1-800-550-2436, or visit www.PagePlusCellular.com today to make the switch to one of the leading providers in prepaid cell phone service.

There’s Still a Need for Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phone Service

While many cell phone users today are on some type of monthly service plan that includes allotments of voice minutes, texts and data, there is still a fairly large segment for whom a “pay-as-you-go” plan is still the most economical way to go. These are the people who have a glovebox phone for emergencies, or have multiple devices for different uses, or whose minimal usage simply does not justify a large monthly plan of talk/text/data that they will never use. These “low-usage” people come from all walks of life, from children to the elderly.

Long before Page Plus Cellular offered monthly talk/text/data bundle plans, pay-as-you-go cell phone service was the only service it offered. While the demand for it has certainly diminished over time with the explosion of text messaging and data usage, there is still a sizeable niche for the pay-as-you-go crowd. It is still a very affordable option for those whose limited cell phone usage makes it the most economical way for them to go. For example, an $80 Standard (pay-as-you-go) plan from Page Plus provides 2,000 talk minutes and lasts for a full year. That’s just $.04 a minute. Or, at the very minimal usage, a $10 Standard plan provides 100 minutes and lasts 120 days.

While there are other service providers out there who also offer pay-as-you-go service, Page Plus remains one of the most competitive. For example, you may have seen TV commercials from Consumer Cellular that show a group of retirees sitting around a camp fire talking about how their monthly cell phone bill can be as low as $10-$15. But in a direct comparison, their pay-as-you-go service is not nearly as cheap as Page Plus Cellular’s. Since the Page Plus plan lasts for 120 days (only 30 days for Consumer Cellular), here’s a direct comparison for 80 minutes of talk time over a 4-month period:

Consumer Cellular

Page Plus Cellular

Monthly Service Fee

$10.00

$0.50

Per Minute Rate

$0.25

$0.10 (or less)

Total Cost for 80 Minutes Used Over 4 Months

$60.00

$10.00

 

As you can see, Page Plus is clearly the more affordable way to go, saving you $50 over a 4-month period compared to Consumer Cellular. And this is based on Page Plus’ highest per-minute rate of $0.10 – consider that if the $80 plan is used, the per-minute rate is just $0.04/minute, and the savings are even greater! So, if you fit into the low-usage group, you should consider no-contract, pay-as-you-go cell phone service from Page Plus Cellular for more affordable rates. To learn more, visit the Page Plus website at www.PagePlusCellular.com.

Keeping it “no-contract” Since 1998

If you’ve tuned into the latest mobile news, you’ll notice the “big guys” are throwing around “no-contract” as their hot new buzz word. Fact is, Page Plus has been “no-contract” since day one! That’s right – since 1998, we’ve been saving our customers money by providing no-contract prepaid cell phone service at affordable prices. Quite frankly, we believe in cell phone freedom without the red tape. Every day there are advertisements promoting brand new smartphones for less than $100 with a contract. In reality, you end up paying a whole lot more in the long run because these smartphones are heavily subsidized to make them “seem” like they don’t cost that much. In other words, if you’re paying $99.99 for a $600 phone, you end up paying the difference over the length of the two-year contract.  Let’s look at an example –

Say you purchase a Samsung Galaxy SIII for $99.99 (retail $599.99) with a two-year contract. Now, your new contract requires you to pay $100 per month to have unlimited talk, unlimited text and 2 GB of data usage. So, let’s do the math –

Samsung Galaxy SIII $99.99 one time purchase
Two-year contract $2,400.00 ($100 x 24 months)
Total cost $2,499.99

Okay, so the total cost after two years comes out to be $2,499.99 if you choose to take the contract route. And that’s not even including taxes, surcharges or overages, which can easily spike up your monthly bill. Now, let’s take a look at the cost of purchasing a brand new smartphone from Page Plus and activating it on The 55 plan over the course of two years without ever signing a contract –

Huawei Ascend Y $149.95 one time purchase
No-contract prepaid $55 plan for two years $1,320.00 ($55 x 24 months)
Total cost $1,469.95

Wow – that’s a total savings of $1,030.04 over the course of two years (not including taxes and overages) compared to a contract plan! Not to mention, Page Plus eliminates “bill shock” altogether. That’s the beauty of prepaid – you pay for what you need ahead of time and when you run out, simply add more minutes, messages or data to your account.

The bottom line is that we’ve been in the no-contract business since 1998, and saving our customers money is what we’re all about. So, while you continue to hear more and more no-contract advertisements from the “big guys,” just remember, Page Plus has been saving cell phone users from contracts for the last 15 years!

Switch to Prepaid and Cut Your Mobile Phone Bill in Half

Is your monthly mobile phone bill getting out of hand? If you are using a traditional postpaid plan, you are probably paying more than you need to. Most customers can cut their cell phone bill in half by switching to a prepaid. The average US customer using a basic phone pays nearly $60 a month, the average prepaid customer only about $25. Postpaid smartphone users with unlimited voice and messaging plans and 2 GB of data per month pay around $100/month, prepaid smartphone users with similar plans spend about half that.

Do you think you are ready to try prepaid? Here are some tips for making a smooth transition so you can begin saving money.

1) Watch out for Early Termination fees. Call your mobile phone provider and ask them when the contract on your line and each family member’s line runs out and how much your early termination fee (ETF) would be if you canceled now. Termination fees can be very high, as much as $350 per line. In most cases you will want to wait until your contract expires before switching.

2) Check coverage. Rule out networks that don’t give you the coverage you need. There are many prepaid operators but most of them rely one of the big four operators (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile) for the bulk of their coverage. At the national level, AT&T and Verizon provide service in more places than T-Mobile and Sprint. But all four have areas that they don’t cover.  Use the coverage maps to eliminate operators that don’t have service where you need to use your phone. Page Plus has an excellent interactive coverage map that lets you zoom and view block by block coverage, but some other prepaid operators have very poor maps. I’ve created a page on Prepaid Phone News with links to detailed coverage maps that you can use for all prepaid carriers.

3) Determine your current usage. Go over your last few mobile phone bills and add up the maximum number of minutes and texts and the number of megabytes of data you or each family member uses per month. Be sure to include “free” night and weekend and mobile to mobile minutes in the total as most prepaid plans treat all calls the same.

4) Pick a prepaid operator and plan. Once you know many minutes, texts and megabytes of data you need it’s time to find the best provider and plan for your budget. A good starting point is the Page Plus Plan Picker Web App. It will recommend the best Page Plus plan for you based on your average monthly usage of minutes, messages and data.  There are also a couple pages on the Prepaid Phone News site that summarize plans and prices from many operators to help you make an informed choice. If you are a data consuming smartphone user go here: The Best US Prepaid Data Deals. If you just want to talk and text, see: The Best U.S. Prepaid Voice and Text Deals.

5) Make the switch. You probably want to keep your current number. That’s called “porting” your number. Thanks to the FCC’s number portability rules it’s now relatively easy to do. Here’s how:

  • Don’t terminate your existing service. You will almost certainly lose your number if you do. You old service will be cancelled automatically when the port is complete.
  • Always initiate a number port with the operator you are switching to. You will need your phone number, zip code,  account holder’s name and billing address and your account number, which should all be on your bill, if not call your current provider and ask. You will also need the account PIN code or password if you set one up. For a quick and painless port it’s essential that this information is accurate and complete.
  • Ports usually complete within 24 hours, often in an hour or less. During the porting process there may be a short period, usually less than five minutes, when neither phone works. When the port is done you may get a welcome text or voice message from the new operator. Or the new phone may just start working without any message. If the number hasn’t ported within 24 hours you need to call your new operator.

6) Enjoy the savings!

 

Dennis Bournique (@yeswap) covers the US prepaid mobile industry at prepaidphonenews.com

Switch to Page Plus and Keep Your Phone Number

Nowadays, we’re tied to our cell phone number like our social security number. We never want to lose our number, and are inclined to go off the deep end if it happens. That’s why it’s important to find a cell phone provider who makes it easy to keep your phone number when making the switch. That’s where Page Plus Cellular can help you out. Page Plus allows you to keep your phone number through a simple process called a port-in. A port-in request asks to transfer your phone number from your current provider to Page Plus.

Prior to porting to Page Plus, you need to make sure your account is in an active status with your current provider. Page Plus will not charge you for porting in; however, you will need to ask your current provider if you will incur any charges from them when porting out. Your current provider may charge you an early termination fee (ETF), or for any past-due balance on your account. But there is no need to cancel your account with your current provider – we’ll handle that in the porting process. (Cancelling your account before porting to Page Plus would cause you to lose your number, and we don’t want that!)

If you are switching from another wireless provider, the port-in request should take no more than a few hours. If you are switching from a wire line (landline) provider, it usually takes five to ten business days, but can be up to forty-five business days. Port-in requests from wire line providers may take longer than their wireless counterparts because wire line companies must go through third party account verifications and schedule a disconnect before the number can be transferred.

It’s easy to keep your number when switching to Page Plus. We know how important your phone number is to you, so let us take care of the switching process. To submit a port-in request and switch to Page Plus, click here.

Cell Phones and Kids – When Is The Right Time?

September 26th, 2012 1 comment

Considering a cell phone for your child and thinking about what age is the right age? The real question is not if, but when.

 

A YouthBeat survey from the first six months of 2012 found that 13% of children ages 6 to 10 already own one and that 12   is the most common age for that first device. 18% of kids get theirs at that age. Middle school is the clear-cut time according to Gwenn O’Keeffe, a pediatrician who last year co-wrote an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report on children and social media. She reported, “There’s a huge developmental leap between fourth and eighth grades.” Of course many experts will still say that it still depends on many factors. Here are factors most often to consider when making that crucial decision:

Here are some factors for parents to consider offered by PBS Parents Magazine:

How independent are your kids?

—Do your children “need” to be in touch for safety reasons — or social ones?

—How responsible are they?

—Can they be trusted not to text during class, disturb others with their conversations, and to use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly (and not to embarrass or harass others)?
—Can they get behind the concept of limits for minutes talked and number of texts or do they need an inexpensive, unlimited text and talk plan like Page Plus offers?Other points to consider:

—Do they lose things easily or forget them?

—Do they understand that the device is not a toy and not something that can be replaced at will, over and over without a great expense?

—Are they aware of the potentials of invasion of privacy or security and identification breaches?

—Can they take care of technology?

When will your child be ready? At the end of the day it still depends on your child’s level of maturity, responsibility and need and guess what? Once the cell phone conversation ends, the ‘when to get a car’ question is right around the corner.

We want to hear your success stories. Please share with us.

Do You Really Need Unlimited Data? Not Likely.

 

 

 

From time to time, comments crop up that “Page Plus needs to offer more data.” Some people actually believe – falsely – that they must have an unlimited data plan. In reality, however, the vast majority of smartphone users do not use more than 2 GB (gigabytes) of data per month, according to research firm NPD Connected Intelligence. The data was collected from smartphone users of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. In fact, if you single out Verizon Wireless, only 3% of customers use more than 3 GB per month.

The “power users” in that 3% group simply tend to be more vocal about “needing” more data. They tend to stream a lot of audio and video, and don’t take advantage of Wi-Fi hot spots to supplement their cellular data usage.

And that’s strictly smartphone users. If you include feature (non-smart) phones, the average U.S. mobile subscriber uses just 450 MB (that’s megabytes, not gigabytes) of data per month, according to Q1 2012 data from research firm Nielsen.

We all need to analyze our actual data usage, use Wi-Fi when practical, and choose the plan that’s right for us. The Page Plus “55” plan, for instance, provides 2 GB of data per month, which is more than enough for 97% of people. Plus, it includes unlimited talking and unlimited texting, all for just $55 per month. So the next time you hear someone say they need unlimited data, you can do them a favor by showing them how they can save money, and at the same time get as much data as they are likely to actually need.