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Posted Aug 16, 2011
10:07:08 PM
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For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

I currently live in Australia, but have family in WA state in the US. On my latest trip, I purchased a prepaid GoPhone sim to use whilst in town and it was very convenient. I will not be traveling back to the US for at least 6 months but would like to be able to keep the same sim card and phone number each time I visit. Ideally, what I'd like to do is make sure there is money on the account, keep the sim card with me here in Australia and just pop it into my phone every time I visit the US.

 

Is that possible? If I have unused minutes/money on the account, will it stay active indefinitely? Or do I have to use the phone periodically to keep the same phone number?

 

Thank you for your help!

I currently live in Australia, but have family in WA state in the US. On my latest trip, I purchased a prepaid GoPhone sim to use whilst in town and it was very convenient. I will not be traveling back to the US for at least 6 months but would like to be able to keep the same sim card and phone number each time I visit. Ideally, what I'd like to do is make sure there is money on the account, keep the sim card with me here in Australia and just pop it into my phone every time I visit the US.

 

Is that possible? If I have unused minutes/money on the account, will it stay active indefinitely? Or do I have to use the phone periodically to keep the same phone number?

 

Thank you for your help!

For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 16, 2011 10:38:40 PM
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The duration of the account before cancellation depends on how much money you invest into it. For example, a $15 refill card will only give you one month to use it before your account expires. $25 will give you 90 days, or three months. And I believe $100 will give you up to a year.

As long as you keep money in the account, it will not expire. You do not necessarily have to use the phone/money in the account, but you'll just need to make sure at least some is there to keep your account, SIM, and wireless phone number active. If you have unused minutes/money on the account, it will stay active so long as you replenish the account periodically to keep it from expiring.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



The duration of the account before cancellation depends on how much money you invest into it. For example, a $15 refill card will only give you one month to use it before your account expires. $25 will give you 90 days, or three months. And I believe $100 will give you up to a year.

As long as you keep money in the account, it will not expire. You do not necessarily have to use the phone/money in the account, but you'll just need to make sure at least some is there to keep your account, SIM, and wireless phone number active. If you have unused minutes/money on the account, it will stay active so long as you replenish the account periodically to keep it from expiring.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 18, 2011 4:27:55 AM
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Sarakmassage wrote:

I currently live in Australia, but have family in WA state in the US. ...I will not be traveling back to the US for at least 6 months but would like to be able to keep the same sim card and phone number each time I visit. ...

 

...If I have unused minutes/money on the account, will it stay active indefinitely? Or do I have to use the phone periodically to keep the same phone number?



Sarakmassage, to keep your account dormant , but active, at a minimum cost one suggested strategy is:

 

  1. Buy a $25 refill card from an authorized distributor via PayPal (example, www.callingmart.com ).  This will save you WA state sales taxes (6.5%), where your prepaid account will be based, and a small but additional discount from the nominal $25 fee (2% off).
  2. Feed your account every (90-1) days, religiously.  This will provide to you "Rollover Balance" of the accumulated balance in your account.  The maximum accumulated balance allowed is $500.  [That says, you can do up to 20 recycles -- a lifetime!]
  3. Do not commit any money to feature packages (text and/or data), until needed, as these only have a 30-day expiration window and thus require refill every 30 days to provide cumulative rollover (2Gbyte cap on data refills).

Of course, all this is subject to change as prepaid has no contract.

 

I am sure others could add to this.

 

Good luck.


Sarakmassage wrote:

I currently live in Australia, but have family in WA state in the US. ...I will not be traveling back to the US for at least 6 months but would like to be able to keep the same sim card and phone number each time I visit. ...

 

...If I have unused minutes/money on the account, will it stay active indefinitely? Or do I have to use the phone periodically to keep the same phone number?



Sarakmassage, to keep your account dormant , but active, at a minimum cost one suggested strategy is:

 

  1. Buy a $25 refill card from an authorized distributor via PayPal (example, www.callingmart.com ).  This will save you WA state sales taxes (6.5%), where your prepaid account will be based, and a small but additional discount from the nominal $25 fee (2% off).
  2. Feed your account every (90-1) days, religiously.  This will provide to you "Rollover Balance" of the accumulated balance in your account.  The maximum accumulated balance allowed is $500.  [That says, you can do up to 20 recycles -- a lifetime!]
  3. Do not commit any money to feature packages (text and/or data), until needed, as these only have a 30-day expiration window and thus require refill every 30 days to provide cumulative rollover (2Gbyte cap on data refills).

Of course, all this is subject to change as prepaid has no contract.

 

I am sure others could add to this.

 

Good luck.

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 18, 2011 8:06:05 AM
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Edited by ilikewireless on Aug 18, 2011 at 8:09:10 AM

By requiring a refill one day before expiration, AT&T is years behind other prepaid service providers. In this computer age, there is no excuse for a major carrier not having a better scheme. Also I heard that GoPhone auto-refill is buggy. No excuse for a major carrier not being able to fix it.

By requiring a refill one day before expiration, AT&T is years behind other prepaid service providers. In this computer age, there is no excuse for a major carrier not having a better scheme. Also I heard that GoPhone auto-refill is buggy. No excuse for a major carrier not being able to fix it.

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 18, 2011 9:47:26 AM
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Edited by OnlytheShadowKnows on Aug 18, 2011 at 9:48:58 AM

ilikewireless wrote:

By requiring a refill one day before expiration, AT&T is years behind other prepaid service providers. In this computer age, there is no excuse for a major carrier not having a better scheme. Also I heard that GoPhone auto-refill is buggy. No excuse for a major carrier not being able to fix it.


 

ilikewireless, agreed!

 

Have you also noticed that they only offer auto-refill by fixed periods in time (every two-weeks, every 30-days, ...)?

 

And, not triggered simply by the account balance? 

 

Example, "refill my account by $15 whenever it drops below $5".  No such option!  [I can only guess this would produce less frequent refills, and thus would be less profitable.]

 

Also, on feature packages, I have not tried auto-pay for two reasons:

 

  1. AT&T recommends to renew feature packages one day before they are due, but offers no such option -- it gives no explicit assurance that  auto-pay in 30 days will trigger BEFORE the package expires. (If it expires before auto-pay, you loose the rollover balance), AND
  2. AT&T has known to "forget" applying the auto-pay at the scheduled date (buggy, as you said).

 


ilikewireless wrote:

By requiring a refill one day before expiration, AT&T is years behind other prepaid service providers. In this computer age, there is no excuse for a major carrier not having a better scheme. Also I heard that GoPhone auto-refill is buggy. No excuse for a major carrier not being able to fix it.


 

ilikewireless, agreed!

 

Have you also noticed that they only offer auto-refill by fixed periods in time (every two-weeks, every 30-days, ...)?

 

And, not triggered simply by the account balance? 

 

Example, "refill my account by $15 whenever it drops below $5".  No such option!  [I can only guess this would produce less frequent refills, and thus would be less profitable.]

 

Also, on feature packages, I have not tried auto-pay for two reasons:

 

  1. AT&T recommends to renew feature packages one day before they are due, but offers no such option -- it gives no explicit assurance that  auto-pay in 30 days will trigger BEFORE the package expires. (If it expires before auto-pay, you loose the rollover balance), AND
  2. AT&T has known to "forget" applying the auto-pay at the scheduled date (buggy, as you said).

 

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 20, 2011 4:13:43 AM
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Sarakmassage wrote:

Ideally, what I'd like to do is make sure there is money on the account, keep the sim card with me here in Australia and just pop it into my phone every time I visit the US. Is that possible?


I'm in an identical situation (American in Australia), and have been keeping my AT&T prepaid account going for over a year now. There are two issues here: keeping the money (expiry), and keeping the phone number (cancellation). They have two different drop-dead dates. Expiry depends on the amount added (ninety days for $25), while cancellation happens sixty days after expiry. That means, for example, that the money disappears after 90 days, but the number remains yours for another 60 days, for a total of 150 days from adding money to cancellation. As long as you add money before cancellation, the clock starts over again.

 

Because I typically return to the US only once a year (for Thanksgiving), what I do is let the money expire, and effectively pay AT&T about five dollars a month ($25 per 150 days) to maintain my account, which I feel is reasonable. I use "paygonline.com" (which links through to "myprepaidrefill.com") to monitor and refill my account. I'm glad I found this thread, though, and will look into the tax-free discounted online refill card option. Smiley Happy

 

[Going off on a tangent here, I sure wish AT&T allowed prepaid roaming in Australia, instead of just Mexico. My Australian Telstra prepaid SIM allows roaming in the US (through AT&T!), and that comes in really handy for things like sending one-time banking PINs from Australia to the US via SMS. Such PIN SMS services are typically only good for cell/mobile numbers in the same country the bank is in, but roaming extends the capability to other countries. I do banking in both the US and Australia, and thanks to Testra my Australian PIN SMS service works in both countries, but the US service only works in the US. Having AT&T prepaid roaming in Australia (via Telstra sure seems reasonable) would make the service competely symmetric. OK, tangent done.]


Sarakmassage wrote:

Ideally, what I'd like to do is make sure there is money on the account, keep the sim card with me here in Australia and just pop it into my phone every time I visit the US. Is that possible?


I'm in an identical situation (American in Australia), and have been keeping my AT&T prepaid account going for over a year now. There are two issues here: keeping the money (expiry), and keeping the phone number (cancellation). They have two different drop-dead dates. Expiry depends on the amount added (ninety days for $25), while cancellation happens sixty days after expiry. That means, for example, that the money disappears after 90 days, but the number remains yours for another 60 days, for a total of 150 days from adding money to cancellation. As long as you add money before cancellation, the clock starts over again.

 

Because I typically return to the US only once a year (for Thanksgiving), what I do is let the money expire, and effectively pay AT&T about five dollars a month ($25 per 150 days) to maintain my account, which I feel is reasonable. I use "paygonline.com" (which links through to "myprepaidrefill.com") to monitor and refill my account. I'm glad I found this thread, though, and will look into the tax-free discounted online refill card option. Smiley Happy

 

[Going off on a tangent here, I sure wish AT&T allowed prepaid roaming in Australia, instead of just Mexico. My Australian Telstra prepaid SIM allows roaming in the US (through AT&T!), and that comes in really handy for things like sending one-time banking PINs from Australia to the US via SMS. Such PIN SMS services are typically only good for cell/mobile numbers in the same country the bank is in, but roaming extends the capability to other countries. I do banking in both the US and Australia, and thanks to Testra my Australian PIN SMS service works in both countries, but the US service only works in the US. Having AT&T prepaid roaming in Australia (via Telstra sure seems reasonable) would make the service competely symmetric. OK, tangent done.]

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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Aug 20, 2011 10:38:14 AM
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nospamboz wrote:

...

I'm in an identical situation (American in Australia), and have been keeping my AT&T prepaid account going for over a year now. There are two issues here: keeping the money (expiry), and keeping the phone number (cancellation). They have two different drop-dead dates. Expiry depends on the amount added (ninety days for $25), while cancellation happens sixty days after expiry. That means, for example, that the money disappears after 90 days, but the number remains yours for another 60 days, for a total of 150 days from adding money to cancellation. As long as you add money before cancellation, the clock starts over again.

 

Because I typically return to the US only once a year (for Thanksgiving), what I do is let the money expire, and effectively pay AT&T about five dollars a month ($25 per 150 days) to maintain my account, which I feel is reasonable. I use "paygonline.com" (which links through to "myprepaidrefill.com") to monitor and refill my account. I'm glad I found this thread, though, and will look into the tax-free discounted online refill card option. Smiley Happy

 


Spot on, nospamboz .  There are two options:
  1. OPTION 1:  Refill $25 every [90-1]days, and accumulate 4*$25=$100 for cellphone talk/text/data splurging one year hence. (Prorated $100/4=$8.34 pre-month; full account at one year end)
  2. OPTION 2:  Refill $25 every [150-1]days, and have left $25 for cellphone talk/text/data use one year hence. (Prorated $75/12=$6.25 per-month approx.; $25 at one year end)

Both work.


nospamboz wrote:

...

I'm in an identical situation (American in Australia), and have been keeping my AT&T prepaid account going for over a year now. There are two issues here: keeping the money (expiry), and keeping the phone number (cancellation). They have two different drop-dead dates. Expiry depends on the amount added (ninety days for $25), while cancellation happens sixty days after expiry. That means, for example, that the money disappears after 90 days, but the number remains yours for another 60 days, for a total of 150 days from adding money to cancellation. As long as you add money before cancellation, the clock starts over again.

 

Because I typically return to the US only once a year (for Thanksgiving), what I do is let the money expire, and effectively pay AT&T about five dollars a month ($25 per 150 days) to maintain my account, which I feel is reasonable. I use "paygonline.com" (which links through to "myprepaidrefill.com") to monitor and refill my account. I'm glad I found this thread, though, and will look into the tax-free discounted online refill card option. Smiley Happy

 


Spot on, nospamboz .  There are two options:
  1. OPTION 1:  Refill $25 every [90-1]days, and accumulate 4*$25=$100 for cellphone talk/text/data splurging one year hence. (Prorated $100/4=$8.34 pre-month; full account at one year end)
  2. OPTION 2:  Refill $25 every [150-1]days, and have left $25 for cellphone talk/text/data use one year hence. (Prorated $75/12=$6.25 per-month approx.; $25 at one year end)

Both work.

Re: For how long can my GoPhone account go unused before it's canceled?

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