Thursday, November 13, 2014

Donut Holes, UDP and MIA

Those 4 day shifts at Amazon which have a day off sandwiched in between day 2 and day 3 are known affectionately as the "donut hole shifts"......shift 6, our shift, is one of those donut hole shifts.  We work two days, then have off one day (Wednesday for us), then work two more days, and then have off two days more.....at first we did not think we would like that, but in retrospect we love it now that we have experienced our first 'donut hole' day off....Wednesday was our first "donut hole" off day, and what a day it was!

As I wrote previously, this past Saturday night we had dinner with our nomadic friends (Chris, Cherie, Paul and Nina) who were spending a few days near Washoe Lake as they worked their way south to warmer climes.  During dinner I asked Chris about an article he and Cherie had published about the Assumption of Liability of an existing Unlimited Data Plan currently owned by someone else.  UDP's (Unlimited Data Plans) have no limit on the amount of 'data' you can use on your cell phone.  Most of the civilized world labors under monthly data limits.  When TLE and I first hit the road we had a total of 6 gigabytes of data we could use per month without paying overages.    That worked well for a long time, but technological advances also bring higher data use requirements, so we bumped our limit up to 10 gigabytes.  Then, when all the wireless companies went crazy a month, or so ago offering essentially twice the data for the same price we went a little crazy too and increased our monthly data allowance up to 40 gigabytes.

Before the past month I hardly gave a thought to our 'data usage', but was kind of aware that some people had a UDP plan (unlimited data plans)......no monthly limits on their data usage.  When I partially read Chris and Cherie's article explaining how one could assume someone else's UDP for probably less money per month than they were spending now for a limited plan I was intrigued.  So, in response to my question, Chris replies that through some sort of 'loophole' people have bought up a lot of these UDP plans and then were selling them off at a profit.  Unfortunately, Verizon (my carrier) had announced that as of 11/13/2014 the ability to take over these plans would end.  All four of our friends virtually insisted, in the most loving way possible, that I get one of these UDP's.  Of course, Saturday was November 8th, and it was a Saturday....so I had, essentially, 3 business days to get this done.

First I had to get my hands on an inexpensive Verizon smart phone to which the number could be assigned, then find someone who would either sell, or give me their UDP plan.  Naturally, since the drop dead date of the 13th was approaching, and all of these plans are on 2 year contracts these guys who had bought up these plans were under the gun to divest themselves of these plans, otherwise they would be on the hook for two years of payments for UDP plans they did not need.  As a result many of these guys were literally giving away the plans to anyone who would take them over.  I found such a guy on a site called Howard's Forums that had 7 to get rid of before the 13th, and was giving them away.  I sent him a text message saying I was interested in one of the seven, and he texted me back within 30 minutes.  By 2 pm we had reached a deal (free for me), he called Verizon to give them my information, and then I called them to take over the UDP line.....the process took about 40 minutes on the phone, but I got it done!


"UNLIMITED!" (NOT a screen shot of my phone)

The next step was for me to drive over to a local Verizon store to buy a "SIM" card for this new phone I had purchased on Amazon.com Sunday afternoon, and had received Tuesday morning, the 11th.  Since we had worked Monday night and I didn't get up until after 12 pm Tuesday there was no time to get this done before we left for work that night, so I had to get this all done on Wednesday, the 12th (our day off). I headed over to the Verizon store around 3pm, got the new "SIM" card installed (for free, also), and was home by 4:30.  The bottom line is we are now the proud owners of an Unlimited Data Plan, and our monthly costs for data will go down a net of $30.....I was paying an extra $70 for the 40 gigabyte plan, and now I'm paying $40 for the UDP!

I have to say that the entire process went way smoother than I thought it would.  The CSR lady at the Verizon Assumption of Liability desk was amazing.....she went above and beyond the call of duty to get my deal done.  Then the guy at the Verizon store gave me the "SIM" card for free.....he probably spent an hour getting it done, including downloading the software to my new phone that was needed.

In conclusion, I wish I had been more aware of what was going on sooner so I could have avoided all the last minute 'fun' I went through Wednesday, but I would recommend you subscribe to a website run by Chris and Cherie called RV Mobile Internet Resource Center and become an MIA (Mobile Internet Aficionado).  I wish I would have sooner....the article (to which I referred to above) Chris and Cherie published provided a step by step process for getting one of these lines....without that information this process would have been almost impossible for a neophyte like myself to figure out.  They continually update this site with all the current wireless internet news, and belonging will keep you abreast of all things wireless.  If you would like more information you can "click" on this link to go to the membership page that explains how the MIA program works.

So, that was our Wednesday.....well almost all of our Wednesday.....one of the benefits of owning a UDP plan is that you can stream content without fear of going over your data allowance.  The TV we bought last October has the ability to stream internet movies, and other internet content, but we had only been able to use that capability a few times when we had access to WiFi hotspots (not our own).  Well, we spent a few hours watching season one of the "Black List" (starring James Spader) using Netflix.  We had begun to watch near the end of the most recent season, but wanted to start from the beginning to catch up.....now we can!

Thanks for stopping by!


1 comment:

  1. Yay UDP! It is so liberating not having to worry about ridiculous things like refreshing web pages and whether I should wait til next month to update an app. Just hope VZW doesn't decide to conduct a big inquisition!

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