Verizon Wireless has taken new measures to ensure customers on retail plans cannot take advantage of discounted prepaid handsets. Earlier this month, Verizon launched prepaid Motorola V3c RAZR phones for $119.99.
Activating prepaid phones on standard plans has always been a touchy subject for wireless carriers. Prepaid phones have generally a higher subsidy to attract people by reducing up-front costs. However, prepaid phones are also attractive to existing postpaid customers, usually looking for a replacement phone. Customers not yet available for a handset upgrade often opt for prepaid phones, sometimes even at the suggestion of sales staff. However, all carriers discourage internally the use of prepaid phones on postpaid plans. Verizon however, appears to be the first that has taken actions to prohibit such use.
Customers that call in to activate a prepaid phone on a postpaid plan are informed by customer service that the phone is not supported. However, users have reported success in activating the prepaid phones online via Verizon’s My Account feature. Verizon employees have stated to PCS Intel that representatives are being trained to not activate prepaid phones on postpaid accounts, however, that certain activation processes (like online activation) do still work.