(VERIZON) The New, Improved, Updated Guide on HOW TO KEEP YOUR UNLIMITED DATA

Everybody wants to know how to retain their unlimited data plan. Before I get into how to keep it, I want to explain how to lose it.

The following scenarios will drop your unlimited data plan:

  1. Buy from Verizon or a retailer on a two-year contract with the unlimited line initially activating the equipment.
  2. Buy from Verizon on the twenty-four-month Edge payment plan.

There are four ways to upgrade and keep your unlimited data:

Buy from a third-party without a contract (eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, a private individual - as long as it’s a Verizon-branded phone and not being purchased on a two-year contract). This is called activating a device as Customer-Provided Equipment.

  1. Buy at the full-retail price from Verizon or a retailer all at once.
  2. Buy at the full-retail price (plus a $24 finance charge) from Verizon on the twelve-month Device Payment Plan.
  3. Buy from Verizon or a retailer on a two-year contract with any line other than the unlimited line initially activating the equipment, then swapping it onto the unlimited line. The line getting the two-year contract does not matter - the line activating the equipment initially does.

The first three are pretty straightforward, but the fourth confuses a lot of people. Here’s how it works:

  1. Upgrade any line on the account that does NOT have unlimited data. You can use any available upgrade, including the one on the unlimited line, so long as the unlimited line isn’t the one actually getting upgraded (by which I mean, activating the equipment initially).
  2. Reactivate the previous device on the line you just upgraded.
  3. Activate your new device on the line with unlimited data.

Example scenario:

555-1234 has unlimited data; 555-5678 is a basic flip phone. 1234 has an upgrade. You can use 1234’s upgrade to get a subsidized phone for 5678. Activate the new phone on 5678; 1234 now has a two-year contract (we used 1234’s upgrade to get the phone) but retains its unlimited data. Reactivate the old phone on 5678. The new device is now inactive. Activate the new device on 1234.

The reason this works is that Verizon’s system can’t tell the difference between a phone you bought yourself from a third-party and a phone you bought on a contract and then deactivated, so it activates as Customer-Provided Equipment and preserves the unlimited data.


The same caveats vis-a-vis warranty and insurance still apply - while the manufacturer will still honor warranty defects, Verizon won't - so if you want to still get your device replaced at a Verizon store, you'll need to have the $8 TEC or $10 TMP feature on the unlimited data line. This will carry over to CPE devices, so you'll still have a warranty and insurance on the new device.