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Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

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Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

I'm hoping folks in the forum can provide advice.  I looked around and didn't see this exact question asked.

 

My Dad has had a GoPhone for years.  Every year he refills his account with $100 which keeps it active for another year.  It's a very basic phone, and he doesn't use it much right now since all it really does is voice, so he has over $400 on it.    (I think $500 is the max). 

 

My brother and I want to buy him a nicer GoPhone for his birthday.  I went to the AT&T store and found a nice Android GoPhone.  It was $149.  I think it was the AT&T Avail.(TM).  The salesman explained that all of my Dad's information (phone number, the over $400 balance, contacts, etc.) is on the sim card and would just automatically transfer to the new phone once the sim card is moved.  It all sounded great.

 

Then I asked about the data plan - I know my Dad will want to use data and since it is a Smartphone he will need a dataplan..  As discussed in these forums, you can buy a data plan at these rates:

 

  • $5 for 10 MB
  • $15 for 100 MB
  • $25 for 500 MB

Also in these forums, there is a thread about how you could buy the $25 plan for one month, and then keep buying the $5 plan each month after, and any unused data rolls over from month to month.  That sounded great as well. 

 

But then the salesman explained that this data plan has to be paid for separately - it isn't paid for with the gophone refills (online or with a pay as you go refill card) that my Dad has been doing every year.  That means that my Dad wouldn't be able to use the $400 plus balance he has on the phone's sim card to pay for his data.   That is a bummer.

 

So my questions are......

1)  Does that sound correct?

2)  If so, then how do you pay for the data plan?    Do you have to use a credit card and buy it online (separately from how you buy pay as you go credits?

3)  If you have to buy the data plan online, do you have to sign on every month to renew it or can you tell it to auto-renew?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. 

 

 

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Message 1 of 11
Scholar

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone


GottaLuvTheBand wrote:
 

Then I asked about the data plan - I know my Dad will want to use data and since it is a Smartphone he will need a dataplan..  As discussed in these forums, you can buy a data plan at these rates:

 

  • $5 for 10 MB
  • $15 for 100 MB
  • $25 for 500 MB

Also in these forums, there is a thread about how you could buy the $25 plan for one month, and then keep buying the $5 plan each month after, and any unused data rolls over from month to month.  That sounded great as well. 

 

But then the salesman explained that this data plan has to be paid for separately - it isn't paid for with the gophone refills (online or with a pay as you go refill card) that my Dad has been doing every year.  That means that my Dad wouldn't be able to use the $400 plus balance he has on the phone's sim card to pay for his data.   That is a bummer.

 

So my questions are......

1)  Does that sound correct?

2)  If so, then how do you pay for the data plan?    Do you have to use a credit card and buy it online (separately from how you buy pay as you go credits?

3)  If you have to buy the data plan online, do you have to sign on every month to renew it or can you tell it to auto-renew?

 

Thanks in advance for any help. 

 

 


1.) Partially correct.

2.) Two ways of buying the data package - online and by calling customer care (611). If you buy the data package online, it does require you to use a credit or debit card. However, if you buy the data package by calling 611, it gets deducted from your account balance. Given your dad has $400 worth of credit, I suggest he choose the latter option (611).

3.) Regardless of how you buy the data package (online or through 611), you can manually sign up for it every 30 days or you can set it up for auto-renewal. Most people here tend to sign up for it manually every 28~29 days to make sure the balance doesn't expire in case there's a glitch in AT&T's system..

Message 2 of 11
Professor

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

I bought a data plan online and it got deducted from my airtime balance. No credit card required.
Message 3 of 11
Contributor

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

Thank you both for your replies - very helpful.  I  see you both have the LG Thrive.  Would that be a better choice for my Dad than the AT&T one I was looking at?  Thanks again.

Message 4 of 11
Scholar

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone


ilikewireless wrote:
I bought a data plan online and it got deducted from my airtime balance. No credit card required.

Interesting. It seems there are two sites from which you can access your account: https://www.paygonline.com and https://www.myprepaidrefill.com. Looks like if you use the paygonline site, it deducts the package cost from your balance. If you use the myprepaidrefill site, you'd have to pay with credit or debit card. I was using the latter. I'll be certain to use paygonline from now on.


GottaLuvTheBand wrote:

Thank you both for your replies - very helpful.  I  see you both have the LG Thrive.  Would that be a better choice for my Dad than the AT&T one I was looking at?  Thanks again.


The AT&T Avail is a newer phone. The LG Thrive is just $129.99 on Amazon, though. Here's a comparison from phonearena.com

Message 5 of 11
Professor

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

I can't say for sure if the LG Thrive would be a better phone than the Avail. The Thrive does have good surrogate reviews from the LG Phoenix, and LG Optimum that essentially have the same engine under the hood.
Message 6 of 11
Master

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

The salesman was pretty much spot-on correct, but data packages can be purchased from the phone itself using the $400 current account balance. There is no credit card required. The cost of the data plan would be deducted from the $400 your father has in his account balance.

$400 is a lot of money to put in an account. I certainly wouldn't want it to go to waste by just discontinuing the use of the phone, so upgrading his phone sounds like an excellent idea. Although I don't know much about the Avail, it seems like it has nicer specs, taken from the comparison link hnzw_rui provided.

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



Message 7 of 11
Professor

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

If your Dad loves to take pictures, the Avail has a 5 MP camera that he can use, compared to the Thrive's 3 MP camera. In either case, there's no camera flashSmiley Sad

Message 8 of 11
Master

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone


ilikewireless wrote:
I bought a data plan online and it got deducted from my airtime balance. No credit card required.

Just to add another voice - I also generally use the online account functionality to purchase my messaging and data plans each month - they are deducted from my account balance (via the paygoonline webpage).

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 9 of 11
Contributor

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone

Thanks for all the help here.   We got my Dad the LG Thrive and overall he loves it.  He set it up for auto-renew on the data plan (in spite recommendations in this forum against it).  I'm concerned it won't auto-renew on time.  I think he should manually renew as suggested here.  From reading this forum, it looks like he is especially heading for trouble if the auto renew day is 2 days after expiration, but that it works ok if renewal date is one day past expiration.  Does this seem correct? 

 

My Dad has had three problems with the LG Thrive though...anyone heard of these?

1)  He likes the Watch ESPN app on his ipod.  The Android Marketplace refuses to download the app to the LG Thrive saying it isn't supported.  Why would that be? 

2)  He tried to update his Android OS from 2.2.1 to 2.2.2 to hopefully fix the ESPN app thing, but it won't upgrade.  Has anyone seen that? 

3)  He says that even though he has wifi turned on and is connected to a wifi network, it is sometimes using the data package he bought.  He'll be browsing on wifi and then go look and see the amount of data MB he has left has dropped.  Why would it do that?   Is there some way he can turn off 3g while on wifi to make sure it doesn't use it?

 

Thanks in advance.  Everyone in this forum is so helpful!

 

Message 10 of 11
Scholar

Re: Upgrading my Dad's prepaid GoPhone


GottaLuvTheBand wrote:

 

My Dad has had three problems with the LG Thrive though...anyone heard of these?

1)  He likes the Watch ESPN app on his ipod.  The Android Marketplace refuses to download the app to the LG Thrive saying it isn't supported.  Why would that be? 

2)  He tried to update his Android OS from 2.2.1 to 2.2.2 to hopefully fix the ESPN app thing, but it won't upgrade.  Has anyone seen that? 

3)  He says that even though he has wifi turned on and is connected to a wifi network, it is sometimes using the data package he bought.  He'll be browsing on wifi and then go look and see the amount of data MB he has left has dropped.  Why would it do that?   Is there some way he can turn off 3g while on wifi to make sure it doesn't use it?

 

Thanks in advance.  Everyone in this forum is so helpful!

 


1) The LG Thrive is a low-end Android smartphone. The problem here is the WatchESPN app probably has minimum hardware requirements that the LG Thrive does not meet (likely processor-related). I actually had Netflix installed on the Thrive but it was so slow as to be unwatchable. To put things in perspective, the LG Thrive has a comparable processor to the 1st generation iPhone and iPod Touch. I can assure you, neither of those support WatchESPN either.

 

2) I've had no issues updating any of our LG Thrive's to 2.2.2. If you're having trouble updating, try going to Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications -> All -> "com.lge.omadmclient" and select "Clear data". It's not going to help with WatchESPN, though.

 

3) The data usage isn't instantly deducted from the balance. There's some delay between when you use cellular data and when it shows up on data balance inquiry. This is probably just what he's seeing. AT&T did include a nifty widget/shortcut to quickly turn-off 3G data. If you swipe to the right of the home screen, you'll notice 2 widgets at the bottom. Tapping the widget on the left (Data Network 3G) will enable/disable 3G data.

Message 11 of 11
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