Looking to revamp my Cell phone services

TheForce

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Things are changing in my family this year. I no longer travel much and no longer have a serious need for that big red Verizon map. But the security of a large coverage footprint is nice but maybe not affordable anymore. I want to have an open competitive playing field where cost is now more important than highest quality of service.

In addition, my wife just informed me that her company, a large regional Bank is switching from mandatory Blackberry to a company owned PDA smart phone using Microsoft Exchange server / Outlook this year. We do not know when this switchover will take place and until then, she has to maintain the personal Blackberry approved phone, the 8830. ( She hates it). Additionally, we get an expense allowance from her company for the BB but the company IT dept controls it's programming. To qualify for that we have to maintain the BB on a separate billing invoice.

I recently upgraded with a 2 year contract and an htc Touch Pro 2 and I also have a Dell internal Laptop card EVDO Rev A. I only use this for traveling, consequently it will rarely get used this year. Additionally, I can tether my TP2 to the Laptop.

With 3 lines and data plans, I have been paying $320 per month with a refund for her phone so the net out of pocket is $240.

When my wife gets the company phone she will not be permitted to use it for personal calls so we will need to get her a new phone. She has requested a simple phone with just e-mail. I have been looking at the Samsung alias and the LG EnV3 since both of these offer Qwerty and simple number keypad. She likes that idea.

I can drop my laptop card since I can tether my TP2 when I do need it.

The new bill for two lines with data plans on both will net me out of pocket $130 per month by using the family plan for 1400 minutes which is way more than I will use. We're not chatty phone users but I'm a data hog averaging 3-4 Gb a month on my TP2 and I suspect higher with tethering on those months I travel.
Verizon has advised me this week that my data plan will be grandfathered in with no 5Gb limit as long as I keep it on the tp2. This is why they didn't bill me for the overage in November when I had 9 Gb that month. I was not aware of this. It is also why I am allowed to tether and not be charged for that either. Nice!



I'm interested in any suggestions on a new basic phone for my wife for personal voice and e-mail and if there is anything I might do to save even more per month on the cost. What do you all pay for family plans? This is all new to me. Verizon has been good to me but I always knew I paid a top rates for what I got.
 

TheForce

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Anyone here using the LG EV3?

I have been looking at the features and it appears that this one will satisfy my wife's personal requirements. She seems to like it so far. We're not sure which Smart Phone she'll be getting for company use.

90% of her personal use will be simple phone and very little web browser.
 

Juan

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$10 a month data charge (Its a "multimedia" phone") Verizon chopped prices but snuck in an additional mandatory data charge for multi-media phones
 

TheForce

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Just completed the complete redo of my cell services.

The process was orchestrated by a very knowledgeable sales rep. He really saved me some money for now and made some suggestions on how I can save again in the future. With all things considering, I ended up with an extra LG EV3 phone and lost my laptop card number. Net cost savings will be $202.00 per month and after my wife gets her company phone we'll be at $192 savings per month. This was due to a loss of a company subsidy she gets for the Blackberry. We'll be dropping the BB and adding the LG EV3 at that time. After adding and subtracting out all the numbers we end up down by $10. BUT, I will have the option at that time of lowering the family plan and this will once again net me another $25. That includes the $10 "multimedia phone data charge"

The bottom line is we're paying $117 incl taxes for two phones with one unlimited data plan htc TP2, and the LG EV3 with limited data for 1400 minutes and 10 free talk unlimited numbers on any network. These plans do not include texting as we just don't use them.

If I were still traveling lots, I would have kept the laptop air card as it truly was unlimited grandfathered in but I just could not justify it at $60 plus tax a month. Besides, while it's a little inconvenient, I still will have tethering to the laptop from my tp2 using my own software.
 

digiblur

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If I were still traveling lots, I would have kept the laptop air card as it truly was unlimited grandfathered in but I just could not justify it at $60 plus tax a month. Besides, while it's a little inconvenient, I still will have tethering to the laptop from my tp2 using my own software.

There's always a software upgrade in your future to make it easy. Few buttons and you're done, hot spot in your pocket. Or there's always the USB way by picking Internet Sharing instead of DiskDrive or ActiveSync when you hook up the phone.

See the screenshots:
 

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meStevo

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I think it's time for me to address my phone stuff too... move wife and I to 1 plan on VZW (which could save us $70 or so a month at a glance). I now qualify for an early upgrade so I could get a Droid for $199 or an Eris for $179. Wonder if they've got a buy 1 get 1 coming up, because my wife absolutely hates her env touch, and waited too long to really come to that decision so she couldn't use the 30-day return policy and is stuck.
 

TheForce

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Not sure about your account, but the eris was free for upgrade and the droid was $99 using the new every 2 plus the mfg mail in rebates. The env3 was $49 after the mail in rebate for us.

Make sure you do your upgrades FIRST for the new phones, THEN make the plan switch to a single family plan.

I also saved a bunch of money because I dropped the laptop aircard number and sacrificed my "unlimited" status on that number. With tethering I just didn't need it as I have grandfathered "unlimited" on the TP2 as well. "Grandfathering in" transfers on account so you can keep the unlimited status with new supporting hardware as long as you don't drop the account.
 

TheForce

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Personal opinion but I spent quite a bit of time comparing the droid and the htc TP2 and I ended up with the TP2. Plus, now it looks like the tp2 will have an aftermarket android OS with dual boot. Sure you saw the thread. The reason I chose the tp2 was hardware, not OS.
 

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