How To Use A Smartphone On Assurance Wireless

by KJB

A number of people want to use a smartphone they already own on a prepaid wireless service such as Assurance. While Assurance refuses to allow smartphones in their program the fact that they use Virgin Mobile's service (which uses Sprint) indicates that the capability is certainly there. Essentially, the process is that a phone that is approved for the prepaid system you want to use becomes a "donor", transferring the serial number and various settings from that phone to the one you want to use. As far as the prepaid service is concerned, you're using an approved phone.


Something I need to make perfectly clear: IN NO WAY IS THIS CHEATING THE PREPAID SERVICE OR USING INFORMATION TO OBTAIN SERVICES THAT ARE NOT PAID FOR. If you are on the Assurance 250 min / 250 text monthly plan, that's still what you'll have on your newly re-programmed phone. Anything over that will still cost the same as it would if you were still using the JAX or any other phone on the service. If you want more data access, you pay for it when you would normally use a top-up purchase.

This just allows you to use a perfectly good phone you already own on a service that should be open to it anyway.

Feel free to ask any questions and I'll share what I know.

Comments for How To Use A Smartphone On Assurance Wireless

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Aug 13, 2017
"Smart Phone NEW
by: Debra Radish

I m interested in a smart phone through Assurance Wireless? Is that possible? I contacted Assurance 6 months ago. The man said he would send me a smart phone, however never received one??

Aug 12, 2017
smart phone on assurance wireless NEW
by: Anonymous

so where are the instructions on how to do the switch

Aug 09, 2017
Reprograming NEW
by: Anonymous

So.. how does one reprogram a phone? How are the settings changed?

Jun 27, 2017
Wow!
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for the update. Co-opting your phone like that when it's not even the month of expiration is unbelievable. Do they let you answer a few questions, then they complete the call for you, or you simply can't dial out at all?

It's actually a great idea, HOWEVER, it should only be used when you've passed your re-certification date. Even playing a reminder message before each call a month before wouldn't be that terrible, but completely taking over your calls this early is really inappropriate.

Jun 27, 2017
I Stand Corrected - Virgin Goes iPhone Only! by: PrepaidWirelessGuy
by: Anonymous

You do a great service keeping us up-to-date on what's going on, anyway! No apologies needed. I can't afford the fancy phones, even if they were all made available through Assurance!

Jun 27, 2017
Way Behind
by: Anonymous

I have some catching up to do on reading these comments. I just wanted to let you know my experience with re-certifying! I tried calling some contacts programmed into my phone & every single number I called Assurance Wireless answered. I asked them what was going on. They said they put a block on my contacts to remind me I have to re-certify! My deadline isn't 'til August 17 & it's not even July yet! This is BS!

I've been getting reminders for months now through texts on my phone. Then I had to hang up twice 'cause I couldn't understand a word those middle easterners was saying! I finally said "YES" to everything this woman asked me even though I couldn't understand her after asking her to please repeat.

I'm having a difficult time as it is trying to make it on $600 a month with a small savings....trying to hang onto my home of 46 years.....taxes, insurance on home & car, etc. Then we have Trumpty Dumpty lying through his teeth every time he opens his mouth! I just hope everyone who voted for him is happy 'cause down the road the middle class & the poor are going to suffer tremendously, if they aren't already!! You can take that to the bank!

Jun 27, 2017
I Stand Corrected - Virgin Goes iPhone Only!
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

So I missed the news update sitting in my inbox, which DID announced that Virgin Mobile is going iPhone only!

You have to purchase the iPhone from an Apple store or from their website, and you'll also get unlimited talk, text, and data for $1 for the first year. After that the same service will cost you $50/month. Note that you do have to pay taxes and other telecom fees on that $1, which is broken out into monthly payments. Note that this $1 offer is only available for a limited time.

Quite honestly, I'm very shocked. I think this is a massive risk, as iPhones simply don't have the allure, nor technological advantage that they did back when they were first available exclusively on the AT&T network.

Sure, they're trying to go upstream, and being exclusive gets them space in Apple stores, however, relying on Apple fanboys seems kind of weak.

It no doubt simplifies the business, however, I see more and more people who used to be dedicated Apple fans moving to Android products after frustrations over phone issues, and overall lack of value compared to non-Apple phones.

Anyway, it's certainly a bold strategy, and will be VERY interesting to see how this evolves.

I apologize for the mis-information the other day as I had missed this official announcement by a couple of days!

It will be interesting to see if Assurance will allow these Virgin iPhones to be activated on their service. I'm thinking the initial answer will be no, but you never know what the future holds!

Jun 23, 2017
Future of Assurance
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

To my knowledge, Assurance does not support BYOD, which means customers can't SIM swap; they need to buy a phone from Virgin/Assurance.

In addition, Virgin has hinted that they will have some kind of unique iPhone offering, likely involving selling "previously enjoyed" phones. They have not said anything about Virgin become a iPhone only offering. It wouldn't make sense for them to cut out the highly successful, higher penetrated, and more affordable Android phones from their business.

Unfortunately, you can't get any solid answers, as no one knows anything concrete, and their customer care agents certainly won't be the first to know.

Jun 21, 2017
Question for KJB
by: Anonymous

From the short list I was given by Assurance of phones I could purchase to use, it is apparent they don't intend to send out SIM cards, and will only allow prepaid phones that already have SIMs installed. But now Virgin is becoming an iPhone only company. Any idea where that leaves Assurance customers?

Nobody at Assurance customer service knows the answer to this. Most don't even know about the chance at Virgin yet, and are still giving out info on buying designated Android phones from Virgin.

May 27, 2017
phones assurance allows and how to get a human on the line
by: Anonymous

On May 24, 2017, I was told by assurance that I could buy a Kyocera Event, ZTE Awe, Reef, Quest-and some time of Samsung Galaxy; the pronunciation barrier could not be overcome to pinpoint which one. Assurance originally sent a ZTE Quest which didn't work and was replaced w/same, with same results. There is nothing on their list that I would buy.

To get a human on the line when you call Assurance, go w/the technical help with phone, mutter something the computer can't understand and , Voila-a human.












May 27, 2017
question about doing this
by: Anonymous

Assurance gave me a list of 5 phones I can buy-including the worthless ZTE Quest that they have sent me two already. If I use the identifiers off an LG that is not approved, but tell then it is a Kyocera Event (which is approved), they would actually activate the LG without knowing it wasn't a Kyocera Event?

May 22, 2017
Smartphone from Life Wireless
by: Michael

Life Wireless offers a variety of Chinese smartphones with small screens without a chance to select which one you get.

I got a larger screen and better Chinese smartphone by Ojji from Tag Wireless. I like Tag Wireless because you can get to a rep quickly using Chat. At least in California Tag offers unlimited, Talk, Text and Data. With Life Wireless I often ran out of data before the end of the month.

May 22, 2017
Android Smartphone through Life Wireless
by: Rosemary

Wanting information on which Android Smartphone is available through Life Wireless.

May 20, 2017
What Assurance Smart Phone works?
by: Anonymous

So I'm confused. What smart phone is available for Assurance Wireless. Assurance said the Samsung Galaxy J3 Emerge, but the website says the ZTE Quest. Anyone know the answer? Just want a smart phone so I don't have to text one letter at a time.

May 17, 2017
California Lifeline Administer (continued)
by: Michael

Regarding the message below, after calling the phone number 1-877-858-7463, you get into an endless loop of menus. The way to get a person who can help you, type: type: 000

May 16, 2017
California Lifeline Administrator
by: Michael

To resolve this problem or to ask a specific question about California lifeline, I recommend you call the California Lifeline Administrator at 1-877-858-7463. Go through the menu until you get a person. They are the one’s that cancelled your Lifeline and will give you advice of how to transfer it to Safelink. I have found them helpful in the past.

May 16, 2017
Hmm...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Yeah, I'm not sure how exactly that works, however, I would think that the 60 days only applies to when you first join, and not also 60 days following the anniversary of joining. That would be quite odd if it worked that way in my opinion.

Your problem probably just related to having two Lifeline services simultaneously; you should have canceled your Assurance account after activating your SafeLink account.

May 15, 2017
Thanks I Will
by: Carrie

I agree. Hey I was finally able to login to Safelink. My account didn't tell me all that much other than saying Unqualified. And also underneath that it said I was certified as of 03/31/2017. I had just completed my re-certification for Lifeline and my Assurance Wireless account kept showing my service expiration date as that date so I figured hey good time to switch over.

I know I read somewhere something about having to at least have had the other service for 60 days before you can switch, but maybe that clock starts over each year, therefore, since I just re-certified it hasn't yet been 60 days, even if I have been with Assurance going on my second year.

May 15, 2017
You Can't Do That
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I think you hit on the problem yourself; you can't have two free phones through Lifeline. It's actually good to see that they were able to automatically figure it out, and shut off one line of service. As you can imagine, fraud has been a huge problem, especially enforcing the one phone line rule.

What you should have done was to call SafeLink when you received the new phone and SIM, and asked them to transfer your existing Assurance phone number to SafeLink. That porting process would have automatically canceled your Assurance account, and left you with the same number on your new account.

In terms of getting your new account re-activated, I don't know that you can. Unfortunately, you're best bet is to contact them and request that they re-activate your account, and port your Assurance number over.

Even if you try re-applying, I think there would be a high risk that your account/name/address is now flagged as already having Lifeline service, and they may immediately disqualify you. You can try re-applying though and see what happens, as that may be easier than getting through to the right person. That said, if it were me, I would want to talk to someone over there to verify what the path of least resistance would be.

Let me know what they say!

May 14, 2017
Unsure What To Do
by: Carrie (not the movie lol)

Ok, so I have the California Lifeline dealio, and just re-certified and was approved for another year. I have been with Assurance since I signed up.

I started with a Jax phone and then read somewhere about people getting smartphones. I wanted to switch, because I communicate via texting more than phone calls as I have a hearing/comprehension problem and hard time understanding most everyone over the phone.

The buttons on the Jax were starting to hurt my left thumb, and not only that but those buttons are so damn loud and in some conditions feels like the whole room and or neighborhood or office can hear it.

So I call Assurance after reading on their site how to ask for one and it was no problemo.

Fast forward about a month or so ago, one or my broke female friends mentioned Safelink. I was curious to know what that was so I looked Safelink and went to their website to discover that they work with T-Mobile phones. I have had one for years now as a pay as you go phone. I decided to apply, and they sent me a SIM card and it worked. BAM, I was so happy, except for now having another new phone number that came with the SIM card.

It worked for about 3 weeks and then suddenly one night they deactivated me. I dont know if it was because I still have the Assurance Wireless phone and service. But as someone mentioned here, try to call Safelink, and it's an automated canned cycled system, and just keeps hanging up on me.

Apr 25, 2017
Porting Options
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

If you can successfully order a new Lifeline service while maintaining your existing one until you activate the new phone, that's perfect. As noted, the porting process will automatically cancel your old account, so the two won't be active simultaneously.

If that doesn't work, you can consider using Google Voice. You can port your old number there, then either use Google Voice on your new phone/account, or port it out to the new service. This, however, would result in you being without a phone while you apply and receive the new one.

Apr 25, 2017
Mar 24, 2017 Response to STFU by: Anonymous
by: Anonymous too

I want to thank you & all for defending those of us against a nasty excuse for a human being, STFU, & others like this person, who begrudges those of us the free phone, which enables us to call 911, our doctors [I have 6], other important calls plus maybe say "Hi" to a family member once in awhile!

I am 74 1/2 with many health problems, living on $600 a month after I pay my Medicare & a supplemental ins. I have gone blind in one eye, so, I could never use the internet over any cell phone.

I have just enough in the bank to supplement my utilities, taxes, insurances, etc., which keep going up, but, too much savings [if that's what you call it] to get food stamps! I go no where, but the grocery store & use an electric cart. I'd love to be able to do the things that others can do, like festivals, fairs, zoo, outdoor concerts, etc. in the summer, but there is no one to push me in my wheelchair & I cannot walk around anywhere...unable to!

I live in a well-known city with a well-known huge University with a big name football team, etc. There is no help for the elderly here except some Churches who are all booked up. The city does NOT help, whatsoever. The University will post things, but the students never respond! They have one program to help the poor & elderly in the Spring on 2 weekends & choose 20 of them to help in the worst of the neighborhoods, leaving out dozens & dozens of people! If we live in the vicinity of this University, our city expects our property to be in tip-top shape, especially on game days & graduation, special events, even though we are unable to do so!! I invite STFU to walk a day in my shoes & Heaven help you if tragedy ever befalls you.

Apr 24, 2017
There's Other Options
by: Vil7

So, soon it's my mother-in-law's birthday and I'm getting her an iPhone 5s. Just to make sure that it'll work with Assurance, I called in today and spoke with a rep about activating it (I tried to do it online, but it said that if it's an iPhone, you have to call in, so I did).

The Rep told me that there's no way that it'll be possible to activate, that she tried many times already and it didn't work.

Anyways, Assurance runs on the Sprint network, and my mother-in-law regularly visits the hospital, where there's no reception at all, except for Verizon. I was planning on switching her for a long time, just because of the coverage issue alone.

The other thing about Assurance is that if you're not a new customer, then you'll only be getting 500 min without any data, which defeats the whole purpose of getting a smartphone.

So after looking at some available options, I decided to go with Safelink instead. Hence, here's my short tutorial on how to port your number to a Safelink.

As of now, Safelink has two options; it's either you get a free Android phone that they offer,
or you get a BYOP SIM card for the phone that you already might have. If you choose first option, you'll get 350min/500MB of data. If you choose BYOP SIM, you'll be getting 350min/1GB of data.

Now, there's no option on the website to port in your number, which makes sense, as they need first to make sure that you're qualified to receive a free phone service. After you're qualified (which is instant if you already have any type of Lifeline), they'll ship out a phone or SIM to you with a new number.

After you get your phone/SIM, you need to call Safelink, tell them your new number that you just got, and ask them to port your old number in.

Now, Safelink is owned by Tracfone, and Tracfone runs on 4 major networks: AT&T (gsm-a), T-Mobile (gsm-t), Verizon(cdma-v), and Sprint(cdma-s).
Depending on your phone and coverage, you can choose the network that best suits you.

In my instance, I needed cdma-v SIM, but on the website they only offered me gsm-a and gsm-t. So I got gsm-t (which really didn't matter), went to eBay and ordered a Tracfone cdma-v sim card ($1/free shipping). After I'll receive both SIMs, all is left to do is to call in, and transfer the number from Assurance to a new cdma-v sim.

Few things need to be mentioned. Your phone has to support the network for the SIM card that you're getting. If you're transferring your number, you'll be needing your account and PIN from your old service provider. If you already have a Lifeline, after you port you number from it, it will automatically close, so no worries about having two Lifelines.

Apr 24, 2017
Can't Transfer
by: KAT

So after fruitless calls to Assurance and searching around, I cannot find a way to use Assurance with a decent phone- AND STILL can't understand WHY they don't sell upgrades like the other Lifeline services.

So SafeLink offers several smart phones, with some very inexpensive, however, their phone system is a closed loop circle.

I wanted to get that service and transfer my number. You can't even ask that over there, no email and like I said, voice prompts are a closed circle and do not let you speak to anyone LIVE to ask how to do it.

So I tried to make a new application, BUT it won't let you do so without FIRST dropping Assurance, leaving you with NO PHONE at all in the meantime!! And then of course you LOSE your phone number.

If any of you KNOW a phone that works with Assurance that can do camera and internet, transfer the data or number or whatever, I NEED IT.

Mar 28, 2017
Serial Number
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Both are valid serial numbers. Typically, however, the DEC is the more commonly used one.

Mar 28, 2017
Product Serial Number
by: Rusty Miller

RE: Kyocera Kona S2151

Back of battery case has two serial numbers, both 18 digits long. One is DEC: 268 435 462 502 753 095. The other is HEX: A00 000 412 A02 47 1308. Which one is the serial number of my phone. I am switching to a basic Smart Phone next month.

Mar 28, 2017
Posting In All CAPS Just Means You're Crazy
by: Miss Ma'am

Even if *any* of what you say about immigration or the economy (highest job growth in decades under Obama) were true, Lifeline phones are *not* paid by the Fed, but, by a fund collected by the wireless carriers, who know that they'll still make plenty of money on extras and upgrades. Not one penny of tax money goes toward your imaginary Mexican crack whore/Welfare Queen's phone.

Mar 24, 2017
TO STFU
by: Anonymous

DID YOU KNOW THAT MOST OF THOSE ON THIS PROGRAM ARE NOT JUST LIVING ON DOLE OUTS? THEY ARE MOSTLY UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE AN AMERICAN DREAM, THOSE ARE THE ELDERLY AND BECAUSE OF THE OBAMA YEARS HAVE BECOME UNEMPLOYED AND HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING A JOB. YES AND DO NOT CALL THIS AN OBAMA PHONE. HE WAS NOT THE ONE WHO INITIATED THIS PROGRAM. AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION THESE PHONE PROVIDERS ARE BEING SUBSIDIZED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND YET THEY SCAM THE SYSTEM. SO STFU.

Mar 24, 2017
Rresponse to STFU
by: Anonymous

Here's an idea. Use your brain you heartless pig who doesn't have a brain or heart to use! These people are low income and poor, and old, and disabled and have the right to complain about the phones they get and deserve a better phone to enjoy the service better. Users of this service should not be given crap phones. They're somebody, not a brainless nobody know it all like you!

The fact is everyone on this service has a right to complain about the crap phones we're given and we're somebody not a nobody like you who think there are jobs out there for everyone! Are you crazy? There are no jobs out there. WISE UP AND THINK WITH A BRAIN NOT WITHOUT ONE LIKE YOU!

Mar 20, 2017
STFU
by: Anonymous

To everyone complaining on here, here's an idea...SHUT UP AND GET A JOB!

If you want better service and better phones, get a job and pay $100 per month like everyone else does, while you sit on your fat lazy butt and complain all day about all the free shit you get. It's free. Deal with it or do something about it!

Mar 18, 2017
Are you on the Federal Lifeline Program for Wireless Phones
by: Anonymous

I assume that you are on the Federal Lifeline Programs for wireless service. I am on the program, but when I call their customer service I get connected to those in the Philippines or in Central America and they are very polite. Yes never trust those from India. Call Assurance again and tell them that you still have that old payLo phone and want to upgrade to a smartphone.

Mar 18, 2017
Assurance User
by: Anonymous

So basically AW is offering a new plan that includes a smartphone and data. Apparently old customers aren't entitled to an upgrade? I called them but got some really sketchy Indian guys on the phone. Assuming we were on the same page, they told me I had to pay $25 for the smartphone and my plan would "update" to the new one. I just hung up on them because there was no way I trusted them enough to give out my information on the phone.

Mar 16, 2017
Do Not Pay For An Upgrade
by: Anonymous

In 2013 I signed up for the Federal Lifeline Program for a free phone. Assurance Wireless gave this candy phone. I barely use it, and take it with me to check the time because it is very small. But I also have a Verizon prepaid account in case.

Last year while I was at a store this guy showed me his smartphone that Assurance Wireless is saying it is giving out to new customers, but the man said it is not true. When I called, at first Assurance was giving me the run around, but I was adamant, and they said since I have a good standing as a customer they will send me a smartphone.

I got this two year old ZTE Reef, which is okay since I live in CA and I get free unlimited text and talk. And I only use it for text and talk and no data because I use my AT&T Internet WiFi. So be adamant. Tell them that you have been a loyal customer.

Mar 14, 2017
Assurance Just Did And Is Losing Money.
by: Anonymous

I currently use Safelink, but their Verizon tower is too far away, and I have to play "Can you hear me now" in order to use it as a home phone.

I'm in the middle if signing with Assurance at this moment, as the reception is better than twice as good, but now I see this site, and I had planned on using myS3...definite deal breaker.

I couldn't even figure out how to get on the net with Safelink's flip, but once I changed it to one of my old Samsung smart phones, it's great. Well, except for the reception.

Not allowing smart phones is not a smart move, Assurance.

Mar 02, 2017
RE to Smartphone Use on Assurance
by: Anonymous

I am going to try what Kristan did---conversion through Access Wireless.

Mar 01, 2017
Unimax on Assurance Wireless
by: Anonymous

I was just told that the only "smart phone" available to use with Assurance Wireless service is a Unimax phone. When I looked up the reviews on it, I decided it would be better to just go with the old flip phone that they offer instead.

Every review stated that the Unimax is absolutely worthless for any function (calls included)!!! What's the point of putting us through the hassle of switching phones, etc. if the phone they allow us to use is a complete piece of crap???

Does it really make sense to give us this free service but then only supply us with a device that isn't usable? That is the equivalent of handing food stamps to those who are eligible, but then only allowing the benefit to be used to purchase food that isn't edible!!! It makes no sense.

Mar 01, 2017
Assurance Wireless Compatible Phone
by: Anonymous

Thanks for answering my donor question. I called AW Customer Service and was told the only compatible phones are the payLo Alcatel Onetouch Speakeasy, and the Samsung Galaxy Ring, which is not on Virgin Mobile's site, but AW offered one for $60.

Mar 01, 2017
PayLo Phone Not Working
by: Anonymous

I just bought a Virgin Mobile payLo phone HTC desire 626s. I go to enter the serial number by dialing ##MEID#, and it says it's not compatible. I am very mad. Can someone pleasexplain to me?

Feb 27, 2017
Donor Instructions
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Great question! I had found a guy on Facebook who advertised that he did this, however, he no longer does. Unfortunately, I haven't found a clear, easy way to accomplish this.

Given that a lot of Lifeline providers now offer BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), the demand/need for a donor process has been greatly reduced.

That said, I wanted to respond to your question, however, I unfortunately don't have a solution for you; sorry! Hopefully someone will respond with a practical solution. If not, you may consider changing Lifeline providers to one that either offers a phone you want, or supports BYOD!

Feb 27, 2017
Need Instructions
by: Anonymous

I live in California and am allowed a Smartphone on AW but was told my Samsung Galaxy Reverb (Virgin Mobile) isn't compatible. Have spent hours trying to find instructions on how to use my JAX MEID, etc. as a donor. Is there a source out there? Thanks

Feb 23, 2017
Other Sections
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

No worries. I suggest using one of the Prepaid Wireless Reviews sections.

Feb 23, 2017
T-Mobile and Other Paid Plans
by: Michael

I realize that this is the wrong place to provide information on T-Mobile or another prepaid plan. What is the right place?

Feb 23, 2017
Interesting Info...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

...re. Mint SIM and T-Mobile, however, people learning about Assurance in this thread aren't likely interested in a monthly recurring charge regardless of any deals ;-).

Feb 21, 2017
Smartphone use on Assurance Wireless
by: Kristan

I recently chatted with an i-Wireless rep and asked them about the status of the Assurance/Access wireless merger. Below is a transcript of my chat conversation:

Kristan: Hi, I am an Assurance Wireless customer. Will I be able to port my cellphone number over to i-wireless to use on a smartphone and remain an Assurance Lifeline customer?

i-Wireless: Kristan,
You can port over your number from Assurance, then you become an iwireless customer. You will need an iwireless account to port over the number.

Kristan: Okay, there was supposed to be a merger with Assurance and Access Wireless free Lifeline to allow users to use a smartphone through iWireless. Is that still in effect?

i-Wireless: Yes.

Kristan: Okay, I was unsure if the merger was completed. If I port my Assurance/Access wireless Lifeline phone number to iWireless would I still be able to receive the free Lifeline service? Sorry to sound redundant but I want to be sure before I invest in a smartphone.

i-wireless: Kristan,

The merger between Assurance and Access Wireless is still pending. As long as you do not have a port freeze on your account we can enroll you into the Access program. If you could call 866-582-9421 we can enroll you over the phone.

Kristan: Okay, I will call shortly. Thank you for your help!

i-wireless: You are welcome.

I hope this helps those of you that are confused as to what is going with the merger. I guess this is the option I will take to finally upgrade this "little black cellphone"...lol.

Feb 21, 2017
T-Mobile Simple Plan, Mint SIM and Verizon
by: Michael

Under Lifeline I am on the T-Mobile network, which I find has better Voice and Internet coverage than Virgin Mobile, Sprint and AT&T. Although this better coverage may be because I am using a better phone, the Moto 4G.

A friend asked me for a carrier recommendation. After some research on T-Mobile's various plans, I recommended the T-Mobile Simple Plan. T-Mobile is currently running a promotion where if you autopay with a credit card, for $37.50 you get double the normal 4GB of data to 8GB. However, when I read the fine print it said first month only. (In other words, a misleading and useless promotion). However, $37.50 for 4GB of 4G LTE data is still very good.

When the 4GB data limit is reached the data speed goes down to 2G which is still okay for most non-video applications and it is unlimited, i.e. it is not capped at 4GB where you can no longer access the Internet (like in Tag Wireless).

What is 2G, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE?
G stands for the generation of the technology
2G - up to 250 kbps (Reduced speed when data limit reached)
3G - 240 kbps to 3 Mbps (Most cell phones, most locations)
4G - up to 100Mbps
4G LTE - (Long Term Evolution)-up to 300 Mbps in 40% of the US, on phones that support it, on all major networks.
5G - 1-5 Gbps available in 3 years around 2020.

How much data does a user need? According to Verizon, the average user uses 650 MB per month. Heavy users use between 1-2 GB per month.

My conclusion is that 2 GB of data is enough for most users and 4GB is more than enough. The current marketing trend toward unlimited data is not worth the money.

There is another interesting option. A T-Mobile MVNO called Ultra Mobile has unveiled a sub-brand called Mint SIM. It uses the T-Mobile Network. Its gimmick is that you have to pay 3, 6, or 12 months in advance. For example, paying $199 in advance for a year, you get 2GB of data for $16.58/month or paying $299 in advance for a year, you get 5GB of data for $24.92/month. This is much cheaper than T-Mobile for the same service.

What is the problem with this plan? 1) You need the upfront money. 2) It is a calculated risk. If the company goes out of business mid-year, you lose the remaining money you paid in advance for that year. However, if you own an unlocked GSM phone, you can just sign up with another company. If it is T-Mobile or a spin off, your SIM already has the T-Mobile network and your phone number coded in it. But at $16.58 per month you are ahead of the game if the company stays in business more than 5 months. In the words of Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry "Do you feel lucky punk".

Feb 15, 2017
Technology
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Are you looking for just the technology that Lifeline providers use? On my Lifeline Providers page I list the carriers. From there you should be able to decipher what technology they use.

If you're asking because you want to know what compatible phone to purchase for providers that support BYOD, your best bet is to link over to their site (which I also list), and use their BYOD tool. Many of these providers support multiple technologies.

Feb 13, 2017
How to Determine What Technology Providers Use?
by: prg2002

There are 2, CDMA and GSM. How do we get a list of which uses what?

Jan 31, 2017
Merger & Phone Compatibility
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I'm with you; I thought Assurance would have been transitioned to Access by now. However, there are absolutely no signs of any activity as of yet.

The experience you described regarding talking to Assurance, Sprint, and Best Buy makes sense, and aligns with what I described below. Yes, from a technology perspective all Sprint phones are compatible with Assurance, Access, etc. However, they validate phones based on the brand. Even back in the day Nextel would block its phones from running on Boost; the Boost inventory was managed completely differently, even though the phones are identical (expect for color).

When they activate a phone it checks a pre-loaded list of IDs to validate whether it's "allowed" to be activate. If it's on a blacklist (reported lost or stolen), or absent from the list, it can't be activated. It would seem that all of the people you spoke to didn't understand this fact. It's not a technology issue, but rather a business decision.

I'm sure they'll open it up eventually as many other carriers have, however, they're obviously not there yet.

On another note, I have notes from awhile back regarding Tag Mobile and its prepaid plans. They're definitely now a Lifeline only provider; that was news to me!

Jan 31, 2017
Assurance Wireless and Virgin payLo Phones
by: Anonymous

It seems like Assurance is ripping off its customers. Assurance Wireless is getting Federal Money. Plain and simple. They keep telling us to use the phone and make several phone calls. We should report this company to the FCC so they will stop their unscrupulous activity.

Last year I got this ZTE Phone after telling them that I need a smartphone. This phone is about to die, the battery does not last even if it is idle. I cannot receive attachments in my messages.

My advice is that we should report this company to the Federal Lifeline who is in charge of this program. Let all of us who have Assurance report this company to the Federal Lifeline Service. I am going to report it.

Jan 31, 2017
New Assurance Phones
by: Anonymous

So I called Assurance Wireless. I asked if the ZTE phones that work on Access (since they are about to merge) will work on Assurance currently. The representative told me of course. I then called Access Wireless and inquired about other options than the ZTE phones, and the representative at Access told me that any of the 3 ZTE phones will work, but you can also go to the Kroger i-wireless website and select any of those phones which include Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7. I was like the Galaxy and iPhone work on Access? He said yep. As long as it's a Sprint CDMA phone it will work because we run on the Sprint network. I was like, so Assurance runs on Sprint as well? He said yeah, so it should work with them as well.

He gave me no update on the merger though. So then I called Sprint directly. The representative confirmed the information the Access representative told me. They advised that I go into a Sprint location, purchase a phone and return it if there is any issue, but there should be NO issue since Assurance is on the Sprint network.

I go to the sprint store, tell them about everything. Immediately they were like "Assurance Wireless, eh..." like they have dealt with all that before to no avail. They were like: look you can buy one of these phones, but once you try to link it to Assurance the MEID number leaves our database and you CANNOT return it. I was like, so I should go buy this phone at Best Buy then? They were like: yeah it's probably just standard inventory for them so they won't have a problem returning it.

So I go to Best Buy, buy the LG Legacy HD phone (only $60 at Best Buy, was $120 at the Sprint store LOL). The guy at Best Buy was like: yeah it's a Sprint CDMA phone so it only makes sense it will work on Assurance, if not just return it within 2 weeks.

Keep in mind the LG Legacy HD phone comes in a box that looks like the old payLo style phone, says Virgin Mobile on it and everything. The Best Buy employee informed me that payLo phones were discontinued and you can't buy them anymore. This is probably the closest phone to a payLo phone still in stores.

I get back home try to swap phones on the website with the MEID #.
Error message says THIS IS NOT AN ASSURANCE WIRELESS PHONE, YOU CANNOT USE THIS HERE.
It's 9:00 PM EST so of course I can't call Assurance now.

Next morning. Call Assurance. Talk to one of the representatives. Seems like one of three people I ever talk to over there, but it's the guy I like, LOL, so that's good.

I was like yeah I'm trying to swap my phone. He was like what phone is it? I was like it says "Virgin Mobile LG something or other" He was like OK, what's the serial. I was like where's that? Battery case. I read him the serial #. He was like no not the serial the MEID #. I was like ohhhh OK. Read him all the numbers. He was like OK... uh oh. So this phone is not in the system so we can't swap it. I was like WHAT? Why not, it's a VIRGIN MOBILE PHONE!! YOU GUYS ARE THROUGH VIRGIN MOBILE. He was like uhhh I'm sorry sir, but we have different systems, you can only use payLo phones. I was like THOSE DON'T EXIST ANYMORE. Walmart told me they haven't sold one in over a year. Best Buy told me they were discontinued. He was like, did you try Walgreens? I said actually yes. (Because I did the other day). They don't even carry any Virgin Mobile phones at all anymore.

How am I suppose to get a Virgin Mobile payLo phone if they don't exist anymore? My phone is busted and I need one today. What are you guys trying to pull? I need to get a replacement phone today but payLo doesn't exist. What am I suppose to do? He was like: I'm sorry sir, you can get payLo on the Assurance website. You can still buy Alcatel payLo there.

I look on the website. It's some old ass payLo phone that was discontinued 2 years ago, but it's still on Virgin Mobile's website. They literally have ONE payLo phone still in existence. Probably some old stock they're trying to get rid of.

Through all of this he is sending me a replacement phone, the HTC Android. If it's a shitty phone I will ask if I can buy one of the Access ZTE phones that are better for $80. I've seen reviews for stock ZTE phones that Assurance sends out. They range from something shitty with a 3.3" screen to something a little better with a 5.5-6" screen. Just luck of the draw from what I've heard. But if it's that ZTE Quest I'm calling back and demanding one of the better phones on the Access website to work with Assurance, if not, I'm done with Assurance.

I can't wait for this merger. WHY ARE WE STUCK WITH THIS SHITTY SERVICE WHEN ALL OTHER LIFELINE PHONE SYSTEMS CAN USE WHATEVER PHONE THEY WANT. WHY DO WE GET SHAFTED. Assurance needs to get swallowed up by Access, and the sooner the better.

For what it's worth, the Assurance rep told me their IT department is working on ALL VIRGIN MOBILE phones working with Assurance, but it's just not quite there yet.

Sounds like a bullshit response to me. It's Virgin Mobile, it's the Sprint network. They don't need any special coding to make phones work. They are just shafting us. This is ridiculous and I'm fed up with it. I can't wait to be treated like I need to be technologically crippled with phones that don't work on Assurance's Lifeline plan.

The Access Wireless rep was very friendly and was like: dude you can use whatever phone you want; it makes no difference to us, as long as it's a Sprint CMDA phone since we're on Sprint.

Get with it Assurance. Why are you all discriminating against us making us buy some Virgin Mobile payLo garbage, paying Virgin Mobile to buy their shitty phones to get rid of old stock for phones they don't even sell anymore?

Yeah we're poor, and we're probably gonna buy a cheap phone. But we want phones that actually work. Not your payLo garbage that's been all discontinued. Or your Chinese ZTE garbage phone you probably paid pennies for just to throw us some kind of bone when we complain. This is not acceptable. This is discrimination. Extortion. I am switching to Access if I can't use Access phones on Assurance already. And where's my 500MB of data? Access gives that to its members. WTF is up with that? I don't have 500MB of data!

Jan 28, 2017
Tag Without Lifeline
by: Michael

I called Tag twice and received a "No" answer both times.

The first time (abridged):

Me: You had given me these prices:
Minutes (Nationwide)
$4 Talk: 100 Text: 100
$8 Talk: 100 Text: 1000
$14 Talk: 250 Text: Unlimited
$18 Talk: 500 Text: Unlimited

Add High Speed Data (3G | 4G | LTE)
$3 100 MB
$12 500 MB
$20 1000 MB
How does she qualify for those prices?

Ellie: Yes, but they are for the Lifeline customers who wants to add extra minutes

Next Rep:
Me: Can I use your service if I am do not qualify for Lifeline?

I'm so sorry to inform you need to qualify for Lifeline to use the service

PrepaidWirelessGuy:
I will research your other tables to find some candidates.

Jan 28, 2017
Smartphones on Assurance
by: Smartphone Envy

This is extremely annoying. Assurance Wireless claims they only support "payLo" phones, yet I read that payLo was discontinued and isn't even sold online anymore.

Also, I've seen youtube videos and a guy on ebay offering a service to flash your phone to work on Assurance Wireless. Clearly there's a way for it to work, but the reps have no clue what they're doing.

I thought Assurance Wireless was supposed to be Access Wireless already? I'm hoping if they merge then we'll get an update on what we can/can't use. I would love to buy a decent smartphone instead of buying one of those HORRIBLE ZTE Chinese phones. They also claim you can't use "Android" phones, yet several of the phones (including the ZTE phone they are giving new customers) runs on Android. They are pretty damn dumb on this issue.

I have to say, however, compared to SafeLink Wireless, the support is MUCH better here. SafeLink uses Tracfone support in India and they are just retarded. A simple issue made me lose my phone number. I think Assurance Wireless outsources to the Philippines, which is a bit better then India.

I'm tapping my foot waiting for them to merge. They said months ago that they were going to merge, and I see no sign of it. Their website is still up and says Assurance Wireless everywhere. What's the deal on the merger? I just want to use a Virgin phone! There's some good ones out there for less than $100!

Jan 27, 2017
Non-Lifeline Plans w/ Hotspot
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Hi Michael - If your friend doesn't quality for Lifeline, why can't they use Tag? I'm not sure I understand how Tag can state they don't accept people who are on Lifeline. Anyone can buy any phone/plan, particularly prepaid where there's no credit check (not that Lifeline would show up on a credit history). i.e. I'm confused by that statement ;-).

Anyway, I do have a page that lists some providers with hotspots:

Mobile Hostpot Feature

Jan 27, 2017
Non-Lifeline Plans
by: Michael

Prepaid Wireless Guy:

I like your new table of Lifeline vendors. It supplies a lot of information to help people decide where to go.

I have a friend that doesn't qualify for Lifeline. She is currently with Virgin Mobile. She asked me to find her a better phone and better plan.

She only has one request. She wants a phone that can also serve as a hotspot.

I want to get her a prepaid mobile plan that supports a hotspot and uses a SIM to get T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon.

I called Tag Mobile and their phones support hotspots, but Tag Mobile only accepts people not on Lifeline.

Can you give me a few recommendations. She is in California.

Jan 27, 2017
Phone Compatibility Clarification
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

To clarify, even though a phone may be compatible from a network technology perspective, Sprint can choose to allow or disallow any phone model, type or origin (ex. Sprint, Virgin, Boost) that they wish to. So analyzing network compatibility/technology unfortunately won't help you.

Virgin Mobile payLo phones used to officially be compatible with Assurance. It seems the jury is still out as to whether that's still the case. I've contacted them go clarify, but to no avail.

They don't have an easy and friendly way to let existing and prospective customers know what non-Assurance phones are actually allowed on Assurance. Hopefully they'll improve on this deficiency!

I'm bumping the link I shared last month to a new page I created that shows a lot of the Lifeline providers, their network, as well as whether or not they support BYOP:

Lifeline Providers

Jan 27, 2017
Nano and MIcro GSM phones
by: Michael

Assurance phones do not use GSM phones. They are also on a dedicated sub-network of Sprint that only accepts Assurance phones (not even Virgin Mobile or Sprint phones).

The difference between Nano and Micro GSM phones is SIM size. An adapter is usually included to convert to any size SIM.

Do a Google search to find companies that provide Lifeline in your state. Go to the company's website and see if they have a BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) plan. Compare the number of voice minutes, text messages and data (Internet). The carrier the Lifeline company uses is also important.

If available use the CHAT option instead of calling directly. CHAT is much faster plus you have a written record of your conversation.

Here's what 3 companies provide in California. All support BYOP and unlimited talk and text.

1. Tag Mobile - Carrier T-Mobile
500 MB of 4G data and then unlimited 2G

2. Life Wireless - Carrier AT&T and others
200 MB of Data

3. TracFone - Choice of AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon
Unknown data

Jan 27, 2017
Alcatel Idol 3 and Idol 4S
by: FilmNut

I have an Idol 3 Android phone and my cousin has a newer 4S. The Idol 3 uses a micro GSM card and the 4S uses a nano card.

When I spoke with Assurance's rather unintelligible folks in the Philippines. It was difficult to actually get them to understand what I was asking. They finally SEEMED to understand and said that the ONLY smartphone approved for use with Assurance is an HTZ model, though, as you've noted, it would seem that ANY model that uses either standard or micro cards should work. What have you discovered?

Jan 17, 2017
Response to Crystal re. Access Wireless
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Unfortunately, every Lifeline provider will require you to re-apply as there currently is no way to simply transfer between providers.

Regarding what phone to use, your experience sounds extremely frustrating! Although I've heard Access does support BYOP, there's no official info on their website regarding what phones will work. Thus, your safest bet is to purchase one from their online store; the least expensive one they currently have available is $60.

My understanding is that if you don't use your phone once every 30 days, your account will be suspended. Another issue you need to keep a look out far as you attempt to stay on the program without a working phone.

Good luck, and please let me know what you end up doing!

Jan 17, 2017
Sign Up Twice For Lifeline
by: Michael

When you are on Lifeline and switch to a new Lifeline service, the new service asks you to sign up again. They then contact Lifeline for approval. In some cases, you may have 2 active phones and 2 numbers. Lifeline gets the new application and the old service is disconnected since you are only allowed one Lifeline phone.

Tag Mobile is an exception to the above. You can chat with them every few days and when you are approved they will give you the option of transferring your old phone number, or getting a new phone number before they ship you the phone. When you receive your new phone and activate it your old phone will be deactivated.

I have waited on the phone for hours for Assurance to do the same thing. I have had only pleasant experiences with Tag Mobile. One of the big differences is Tag Mobile allows you to chat, which is much faster.

To answer the question about Tag Mobile taking money from the Federal government, Lifeline is a Federal Program which is paid for by a line item on everybody's phone bill.

Jan 16, 2017
TAG Mobile
by: Anonymous

I have read the bad reviews about them, and here I am very dissatisfied with Assurance Wireless. I will stick with Assurance Wireless. Forget about BYOP if TAG Mobile will not even provide good customer service. And they are getting money from the Federal Government.

Jan 16, 2017
Switching to Tag Mobile
by: Anonymous

Why can't these people not understand that I just wanted to switch providers from Assurance to Tag Mobile. They wanted me to apply again, and provide the necessary documents when I just had my re-certification.

All I wanted was for them to switch me over. I kept telling them that I am already on the CA Federal Lifeline program and had it for four years, and explained to them that I had just been re-certified for another two years. And the reason why I wanted to switch to TAG Mobile is I can bring my own phone. It seems like the answers they are giving are being read from a training manual.

Jan 16, 2017
It Is Time To Switch Lifeline Companies
by: Michael

Crystal, Access is just one of many Lifeline companies, and in my opinion, one of the worst. Do a computer search and find which lifeline companies are in your state.

Lifeline is transferable from company to company. Most will provide you with a free smartphone. You can also read the articles below for suggestions on companies. Call customer support or do a Google search to find out if the smartphone the company supplies uses a SIM and supports a GSM network. Smartphones are expensive but SIMs are cheap. If you lose your phone they will replace the SIM and you can buy another smartphone. Or if you can't afford to buy another smartphone, Lifeline will let you go to yet another Lifeline company.

Over the last few years, I went from Access Wireless to Life Wireless to Tag Mobile. Each supplied me with a free smartphone with progressively better plans.

I am particularly impressed with Tag Mobile. When I log on their website, I click on "Live Chat" and I am chatting with a representative in seconds. The rep is friendly, answers my questions and gives me advice. I then copy & paste the chat in a Word document so I have a written record that I can refer to later.

You can do a Google search "What states are Tag Mobile in". The search shows: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada... Click the link and enter you zip code.

Jan 16, 2017
Please Help Me
by: Crystal B

I have a Lifeline plan with Access Wireless. I am a single mom of 4, and this is my only way to communicate with my kids' school! My cell phone was stolen, and I called and reported it to them. They said I had to replace the phone myself. I have called before and asked and paid for 4 different phones, and each time I call to see if the phone will work, the CSR tells me yes. I get it home to activate it, and then bamb, they say it won't work.

I have been without a phone now for several months because I can not get a straight answer as to what phone I can buy that will work with Access Wireless. Can SOMEONE, ANYONE PLEASE help me so I can find a phone that will work. Every time I call Access Wireless I'm told something different EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Please can someone tell me what phone I need to buy to get my services??? I haven't had this Lifeline not 6 months, and they are telling me I have to buy another one myself, but then they won't tell me what kind of phone I need to buy. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!

Jan 09, 2017
Some Answers
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Regarding payLo phones, what I said was that any payLo phone working on Assurance used to be their policy. However, now that they're accepting smartphones, and with the shift to Access Wireless, it's really not fully understood what Sprint phones will work. Once there's more definitive information, I will certainly post it!

Regarding your new limit on SafeLink, it's entirely possible that when you switched to a smartphone you were put on a different smartphone plan. As Michael noted, please check on their website for what your plan should be, which will depend on your zip and you phone type (smartphone vs. feature phone). If you still think there's a mistake, you'll need to call them to request that they activate the correct plan on your account.

Jan 07, 2017
Safelink Talk, Text and Data
by: Michael

Safelink offers a different amount of talk, text and data depending on where you live. Go to their website, safelink.com, and type in your zip code. For example, for my zip code, they offer an unlimited amount of talk and text and 500 GB of data. You also have a choice of getting a free smartphone or using your own GSM smartphone with a SIM. For my zip code, Safelink gives me an extra 500 GB of data, for 3 months, if I bring my own GSM smartphone.

This bonus data is typical of Lifeline BYOP companies. The smartphone they provide you for free cost them $30 to $50 depending on how good a bulk deal they can make with a Chinese vendor. The smartphone is bottom of the line with a small screen. If you use your own GSM smartphone, they save this money and can give you bonus data for 3 months which cost them less than a smartphone.

If you opt for the free smartphone and later want to upgrade to a better smartphone that's easy to do. Just buy a GSM compatible smartphone, remove the SIM from the free smartphone and place it in your new smartphone. It will work immediately without having to call tech support.

Before you buy anything, check with the Lifeline supplier for their requirements. Usually any unlocked GSM smartphone will work but sometimes smartphones are designed to work on a particular network. GSM networks include AT&T and T-Mobile. CDMA networks include Verizon and Sprint. If you shop online you will see smartphone descriptions like "Unlocked AT&T smartphone". That smartphone will be compatible with any GSM network.


Jan 07, 2017
When Switching My Phone To A Smartphone
by: Anonymous

After sitting on the phone for 45 minutes, I finally got my phone switched over to a Tracfone smartphone for Safelink. But I didn't notice until just now when I checked my balance that I now I have a limited amount of texts. Can anybody explain to me why I do? I am going to call, but I didn't know if somebody would know the answer? It's supposed to be 500 minutes and unlimited texts per month.

Jan 06, 2017
Response to PrepaidWirelessGuy
by: Anonymous

Do you mean we can use all Virgin Mobile payLo phones on Assurance Wireless? What about smartphones like Samsung Galaxy Ring? Will they work on Assurance Wireless?

Jan 05, 2017
MVNO & Lifeline Clarification
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for your note Michael. To clarify, it's important to understand that MVNO does not equate to Lifeline provider. An MVNO is any carrier/brand that doesn't operate their own network. A Lifeline provider can be owned and operated by any carrier that owns its own network, or by an MVNO.

A good example is i-wireless. They are an MVNO of Sprint and offer prepaid wireless plans. They also have a Lifeline brand, Access Wireless. Assurance Wireless was a sub-brand of Sprint (i.e. NOT an MVNO), which was sold to i-wireless to be combined with Access Wireless. Thus, Assurance will become an MVNO of Sprint b/c it will now operates under i-wireless.

Many of the MVNOs on that list went bankrupt due to poor management, poor products and services, or simply due to fierce competition in the prepaid wireless space.

Jan 05, 2017
MVNOs are getting more Government Financial Support
by: Michael

I noticed from your excellent article on MVNOs that many have gone bankrupt. I believe that the March 31, 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order will help MVNOs stay in business, become profitable and expand.

Before that date, MVNOs were paid by the Federal Government just $9.25 per cell phone for voice. After that date MVNOs were paid an additional $9.25 per smartphone for 500 MB of data at a speed of 3G. Getting $18.50 from the federal government and more from state governments should make it easier for MVNOs to be profitable.

Jan 05, 2017
MVNOs vs. Sub-Brands
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Yes, you are absolutely correct. There are plenty of carriers that only use one network, and are still MVNOs. The ones you note that use multiple carriers are certainly MVNOs of each of those host networks.

The relationships and financials of sub-brands vs. MVNOs is completely different of course. I have a page discussing this here: Prepaid Wireless MVNOs

Jan 05, 2017
Owners of Subcarriers
by: Michael

I agree that Virgin Mobile and Assurance are subsidiaries of Sprint and that most carriers have prepaid subcarriers.

However, I know of examples where this is not true. For example, Tag Mobile uses T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon depending on the city of the customer. Life Wireless also uses several carriers including AT&T for Los Angeles.

I believe that these subcarriers pay a fee to the major carriers to use their network.

Jan 05, 2017
Virgin Mobile payLo
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Well that's interesting advice. Yes, their previous policy was that any payLo phone could be activated on Assurance. However, payLo was discontinued early last year. That's not to say that they won't still work, however, sending you to a retailer is quite odd.

You can Google it to find a retailer with inventory remaining. You can also check out eBay, though make sure that it's not a blacklisted ESN (read the description closely).

Jan 05, 2017
Smartphone With Assurance
by: Carol N

I called Assurance and asked what phone I could upgrade to, and they suggested any payLo Virgin Mobile phone from Best Buy, Walgreens or Target. I have not had any luck in finding anything. Where do I go to find one? They also said you can not buy a Walmart phone! Any suggestions? I just want an updated phone, not a flip phone...thanks for any input! xox

Jan 04, 2017
Foreign Customer Care
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I hear you! Companies outsource abroad for the simple fact that it's much less expensive. A lot of carriers (and other companies) have been moving customer care onshore in recent years due to the poor customer experience of offshore providers. That poor experience has resulted in lost customers, and overall increased costs, essentially negating the call center cost advantage of doing it offshore.

That said, there are different skill levels companies can pay for, as well as different levels of training and overall quality control. As a thin margin business, it's likely that Assurance will stay offshore for sometime. The key is to keep the service simple, and minimize the need for calls to Care. However, with smartphones, complexity naturally increases, and will generate more costs for the program. Hopefully they can better train these reps!

Jan 04, 2017
Capture in Chat
by: Anonymous

Your comment: "It would also be preferable to capture this in a chat, or otherwise get it in writing so you have proof of what you were told."

EXACTLY! I don't bother even calling Assurance anymore due to misinformation from those working for them. It makes me so mad that we have to go through people in other countries...India, Pakistan & whomever. Why can't they hire Americans? Not that Americans will always give the right info, but at least we can understand them. Anyway, I have never gotten the same info from any two people!

Jan 03, 2017
My Assurance Wireless Experience
by: Gale in northern CA

I've been on the Lifeline program for 20 years or so, first with a land line for many years, then a cell phone a few years ago, then a smart phone last spring (2016).

The first smart phone they sent me was a Kyocera (older model), and I had it for a few months but it crashed all the time, and you couldn't download many apps or use them even when I added a micro memory card.

I called and told them this and they sent me a ZTE phone which is better, but still doesn't seem to have enough memory to download or run many apps; you have to keep deleting other apps or stuff.

The battery has to be charged a lot and doesn't last very long. I've never tried to download anything large like a movie or something, if it would even let me.

I have a computer at home and use that more for the internet. It's just a million times faster. Portability is nice in a smart phone, but it's still slow, at least on this phone.

I wonder why they use AT&T xfinity Wifi. It seems like that's very congested most of the time & I rarely see more than 2 or 3 bars on the signal. I guess it will get better going forward. I love the Lifeline program. It has saved me a lot of money.

Jan 03, 2017
Some Anwers
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Virgin and Assurance are both Sprint sub-brands, and run on the Sprint network. They do not lease time/minutes. There is an internal cost structure (i.e. funds transferring between divisions) to ensure each brand is running a profitable business, however, they are not MVNOs, and aren't charged as such.

Thus, the only reason why certain phones work on the different brands, while others don't, is completely artificially implemented. There is a list of "allowed" ESNs (the serial numbers of the phones) that are permitted to run on a given brand. It's the same story for their other prepaid brand, Boost Mobile.

When an activation is attempted, it checks these authorized ESN lists, and either permits or declines the activation. Historically only Virgin Mobile payLo phones could be activated on Assurance, however, it appears as though that rule is changing.

At this point it's unclear as to whether any Sprint phone can be activated on Assurance/Access. However, given that smartphones are now in circulation on Lifeline programs, it would make sense for Sprint to allow a Sprint phone in good standing (i.e. not on contract or already activated on another account) to be activated on Assurance/Access. That said, we don't know definitively what rules they have implemented at this point, so it's best to call and ask them before you purchase anything. It would also be preferable to capture this in a chat, or otherwise get it in writing so you have proof of what you were told.

In terms of Access supporting BYOP, there's no mention of it on their website at this point in time. You can, however, purchase an upgrade to a smartphone from their online store. I have heard rumors that they do support BYOP, though not clearly articulating that on their website is concerning, and certainly doesn't provide confidence. Unless I'm missing it on their site?

In terms of SIM cards, many of these "Sprint network compatible" phones do have SIM cards, however, that's for international roaming, and, as noted by others, in the U.S. are activated as CDMA non-SIM phones. Thus, buying a SIM card won't help you. There are dealers who will flash the phone to be compatible, however, it's not guaranteed that all services will work. Years ago I flashed a Sprint Palm Pixi to Cricket in this manner. It worked reasonable well, though MMS wouldn't work. This is a risky approach that I don't recommend unless the dealer will do it for you in the store, and not charge you until you activate it on your account to prove it works.

Regarding the LG K3 that was purchased at Walmart, perhaps try calling back to see if someone else can complete the activation. Failing that, I would attempt to return the phone to Walmart and get your money back!

Whether Internet access on a smartphone will meet your needs (for the person with the vision problem), you're probably the only person who can answer that question. Is the screen on a smartphone large enough to meet your needs, compared to a computer or tablet with a much larger screen where you can easily zoom in? In terms of speed, if you're just reading, you really should be fine I would think.

Great discussion; keep it coming!

Jan 03, 2017
i-wireless
by: Anonymous

This is in reply to Kristan. I am have been with Assurance Wireless since 2013 and it was only last year that they started giving out free smartphones. I have a ZTE smartphone. It does not have all the bells and whistles but it does serve the purpose for me because I need only for sending text messages and for making phone calls but the only thing is I cannot send messages with attachment like pictures. I live in CA and we have been getting free text and talk for two years now and recently Assurance gave us 500 mb data which I do not use because I use the wifi on my internet. I have an old MOTO G . I used it when I still have Verizon wireless on a prepaid plan. I need to find out from Assurance if I can BMOP. I checked the i-wireless website and I am going to find out what they will say.

Jan 03, 2017
An Option to BYOP with Assurance/Access Wireless
by: Kristan

Assurance/Access wireless customers can now BYOP! I recently contacted i-wireless via their website: www.krogeriwireless.com. Assurance can now port a cell number to a Sprint smartphone that is in good standing.

Jan 03, 2017
Assurance Wireless Entouch Wireless
by: Christine

Question? (hopefully someone can answer it)

I switched from Entouch wireless to Assurance Wireless and received a Android Zte. I like Assurance better then Entouch except for the phone. I like the other phone a lot better, which is a Pantech Ad 8995. So I was wondering if the Zte has a SIM card can I use it in the Pantech phone?

Jan 02, 2017
Sprint and Virgin Mobile
by: Michael

Virgin Mobile and Assurance Wireless lease time on the Sprint Network. Sprint uses CDMA except for their high end phones, which use CDMA for voice and GSM for data. Since Virgin Mobile and Assurance Wireless only use CDMA phones without SIMs, you cannot use your own phone with these carriers.

All Virgin Mobile and Assurance Wireless phones use ROMs and there is no "Bring Your Own plan". There are people on the Internet that will upgrade your ROM for a fee. Check older messages below.

Jan 02, 2017
Response to: Virgin Mobile LG k3 and Assurance Wireless NEW
by: Anonymous

I was under the impression that Assurance Wireless used the Sprint Network and NOT Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile and Sprint are CDMA phones---which means they don't use SIM cards in their phones. You will be wasting your time and money if you get a SIM card.

Jan 02, 2017
Access Wireless BYOP?
by: Kristan

I understand that Assurance Wireless merged into Access Wireless and uses the Sprint network. I would like to use a Sprint smartphone with my Access Wireless account. Does Access Wireless participate in the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) Program?

Jan 02, 2017
Virgin Mobile LG k3 and Assurance Wireless
by: Anonymous

My son has been begging for a smartphone so I purchased the LG K3 at Walmart. I had spoken with a rep from Assurance Wireless who told me I could activate the phone onto my account. After having trouble, the tech rep tells me Virgin Mobile phones from Walmart don't work on Assurance. Meanwhile I'm stuck with this phone. Can I get a SIM card? Are they fooling me? Help. Thx.

Jan 02, 2017
Response to Using My Prepaid Phone
by: Anonymous

I talked to four people at Assurance Wireless. They said we're getting smartphones and 500 mins plus free Internet service this month. It will help you get online and enjoy the service better with a better phone, and it's not just for new customers, but all customers of Assurance Wireless.

Jan 02, 2017
TO: Using My Prepaid Phone
by: Anonymous

Where did you hear about getting free Internet? I am going to have to drop my AT&T Internet, which doubled in cost & I'm barely getting by as it is, and it's hard for me to pay it.

I am wondering if Internet on my phone would work for me, since I am blind in one eye for about a year! My only entertainment is searching the Internet! Where is everyone getting their info on Android phones, free Internet, etc. I've been with Assurance for a long time & have heard nothing!

Jan 02, 2017
Hoping for the Best
by: Walter

I had Assurance and then went to SafeLink. Big mistake. At first the phone from SafeLink was OK, but now nothing but troubles.

They replaced the battery, but I still have the same problems. They don't want to replace it, so I'm going back to Assurance, and waiting for a new phone because I'm now considered a new customer. I truly hope they will let me use my old ZTE from three months ago.

Dec 30, 2016
Response to Using My Prepaid Phone
by: Anonymous

If you want a better phone, call customer service and tell them the phone doesn't work, and you can ask for a different phone like the Cool Pad 3300a.

I heard it's a better phone. It works better and looks better. They can send you one because that's the phone they're giving all Assurance Wireless customers, including 500 mins plus free Internet service, and not just to new customers!

It will be next month because some customers are
getting them right now, so call customer service at 1-888-321-5880 and they'll send you a better phone. Don't give up!

Dec 30, 2016
Using My Moto G Prepaid Verizon Wireless Phone
by: Anonymous

I am getting frustrated with Assurance Wireless being that they do not want me to use my old prepaid phone, which is a Moto G. I live in CA and we have the Freedom Plan with unlimited text and talk and 500 free data each month.

In Feb. Assurance started sending their CA Lifeline customers smartphones. They sent me a ZTE smartphone. I only use the phone for text and talk. The phone's battery drains a lot even though it is just sitting there without any calls, and I would get a notification that I only have 14% or 10% battery life.

I do not know why Assurance does not want me to use my Moto G when it has a slot for a sim card.

Dec 23, 2016
How Lifeline is Funded
by: Michael

Lifeline is a federally mandated program that reimburses phone companies with a monthly subsidy which is currently $9.25 for voice and $9.25 for data for each low-income customer. Each State can add to those subsidies. California provides the largest subsidies which is why it is able to negotiate the best Lifeline programs.

The program has allowed millions of persons living under or just above the poverty line to acquire cellphones or smartphones — once considered a luxury — for free.

Lifeline is funded by telecom customers who pay a Universal Service Fee as part of their phone bills. The fee technically is not a tax but a cross subsidy, the rules of which are determined by the Federal Communications Commission.

Dec 23, 2016
Lifeline Program for Low-Income Consumers
by: Michael

The following should dissuade fears that Lifeline will be going away soon. In fact, it will be getting better each year.

Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on Tribal lands.

The Lifeline program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC is responsible for data collection and maintenance, support calculation, and disbursement for the low-income program. USAC’s website provides information regarding administrative aspects of the low-income program, as well as program requirements.

On March 31, 2016, the Commission adopted a comprehensive reform and modernization of the Lifeline program. In the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, the Commission included broadband as a support service in the Lifeline program. The Commission also set out minimum service standards for Lifeline-supported services to ensure maximum value for the universal service dollar, and established a National Eligibility Verifier to make independent subscriber eligibility determinations.

Below are highlights of the reforms made in the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order for the next few years:

Dec 1, 2016 Voice 500 Minutes Speed: 3G 500 MB
Dec 1, 2017 Voice 750 Minutes Speed: 3G 1 GB
Dec 1, 2018 Voice 1000 Minutes Speed: 3G 2 GB

Dec 22, 2016
Defeating The Purpose
by: Andrea

One of these days there will be no more free phone or service for those of us who truly need it! Too many people just can't be satisfied & those who have to pay for all these goodies, now, are going to start complaining!

I agree that the phone we got free in the beginning is junk, although I know someone who is still using theirs & for a long time....I had 3 that didn't work right or at all! BUT if people keep complaining & want Smart phones & the very latest out there for free, it's going to ruin it for us who DO need this free service! If you have to have the best, then you can afford to pay for it!

Dec 22, 2016
Thank You PrepaidWirelessGuy
by: MIchael

I live in California so I already have a great deal through Life Wireless: 1200 minutes of voice and text and 200 MB of data. I have run out of data several time before the end of the monthly cycle.

Because of your chart, I found Tag Mobile is offering a better deal: Unlimited Everything with some restrictions. 500 MB of 4LTE data and after that limit is reached 2G (really 2G and not 3G?) but at least I can get on the Internet.

What isn't in your chart, is what carrier is used. Tag Mobile uses T-Mobile in Los Angeles. Life Wireless uses AT&T.

According to Tom's Guide download speeds are dependent on where I am in the city.

Here are the average breakdown of download speeds for Los Angeles in Mb/s for the different carriers:

Verizon: 19
AT&T: 16.4
T-Mobile: 13.2
metroPCS: 11.5
Sprint: 8.8
Virgin Mobile: 4.1
Straight Talk: 6
Boost Mobile: 3.1
Cricket: 2.5

Since I will be getting T-Mobile, it is number 3 in download speed which is still pretty good. I know I am lucky to live in California. Thanks again PrepaidWirelessGuy.


Dec 21, 2016
New Page With List Of Lifeline Providers!
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I've added a new page that includes a list of Lifeline providers, including plan details and other notes. For those looking to change programs in order to get a smartphone, this should come in handy! Please check it out:

Lifeline Providers

Dec 20, 2016
Can I Use My Current Phone With My Free Government Cell Phone
by: Michael

I extracted data from the above Internet Study and added a lot of other information.

If you just want to see the companies and states supporting "Bring Your Own" smartphones, skip to the end first.

"Can I use my current phone with my free government cell phone service?" is one of the most frequently asked questions we get at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net. And no wonder: Millions of Americans have spent hundreds of dollars to purchase their own cell phones and really want to hear that they are compatible with the free government cell phone program.

With that in mind, we put our team of ace research assistants to work gathering the official policies from each and every company that participates in the Lifeline Assistance cell phone program.

There are five major Lifeline companies whose business is nearly national in scope, plus another dozen or so smaller, regional companies that are substantial enough to be included in this compendium."

Lifeline companies provide service by leasing the networks from the major carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint. The following Lifeline companies are listed by the number of states they support or in the flexibility of their "Bring Your Own Phone" plans.

Can I Keep My Old Phone Number?
The possibility of losing your old Phone Number is a deal breaker for many people. Some Lifeline companies are willing to transfer your current phone number after you receive your new phone if you call technical support, while others are not. They don’t like to do it since it is extra work for them and it takes several days.

You must provide them with the following information from your previous carrier: Phone number, Account number and PIN. You may have to call your previous carrier to find out this information since many of us don't get a bill or we don't view our account online.

To avoid this potential problem, before you switch to another Lifeline carrier, the following will make your life easier.

If you have access to a PC, open a gmail account and get a free Google Voice number (from a long list of numbers) or for about $20, transfer your old cellphone number to Google Voice. Then when someone calls your Google Voice number, you can set Google Voice to also call as many phone numbers as you like including, of course, your smartphone.

A Google Voice App on your smartphone is also a good idea. When you call someone with your smartphone, it shows your Google Voice Caller ID and phone number instead of the native phone number of the smartphone. Otherwise when someone receives a call, they call you back on your smartphone and ask "Did you change your phone number", and if they leave a message, you may not know if it is stored by the smartphone company or Google Voice.

If you use Google Voice as your primary phone number and you don't answer the call, Google Voice will record the call, save the audio and transcribe into a text message. It will then put the audio and text in an email that you can look at on your PC or smartphone and/or you can have Google Voice send you a text message of the transcribed message.

Google Voice makes switching to a different Lifeline company easy because phone numbers do not need to be transferred.

What companies allow a "Bring your Own Phone" which is unlocked, supply SIMs and provide service on a GSM Network like AT&T or T-Mobile?

Life Wireless – Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia

Budget Mobile – Arizona, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Cintex Wireless - Arkansas, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island and West Virginia

What companies allow a "Bring your Own Phone", requiring inactivated phones, which do not use SIMs and provide service on a CDMA Network like Verizon or Sprint?

Wireless for Hope – Arkansas and Louisiana

FreedomPop – The US, UK and a total of 25 countries. It supports CDMA and GSM and can be used worldwide as can other phone supporting GMA.
.
What companies do not allow you to bring your own smartphone?

Assurance Wireless – Only phones purchased and activated by them for service on Sprint.
Assist Wireless
Safelink Wireless
StandUp Wireless
Tag Mobile
Care Wireless
Alaska Wireless

Dec 19, 2016
Unlocked iPhone with SIM card
by: Michael

Assurance uses the proprietary and soon to disappear CDMA network. The CDMA network doesn't support SIMs. Since Assurance doesn't use SIM cards, you are stuck with a low end smartphone or dumb phone. Perhaps you are wondering about Assurance's parent company Sprint.

Many Sprint and Verizon phones now have SIM cards, but that isn't because of CDMA. The SIM cards are generally there for Sprint's and Verizon's 4G LTE networks, because the LTE standard also uses SIM cards. The phones may also have SIM slots to support foreign GSM networks as "world phones."

What does a SIM card do? It identifies you, your phone number, etc. Without a SIM, this information needs to be burned in a ROM making switching between carriers difficult.

You can thank congress for passing a law requiring most smartphone vendors to use SIMs. Why did the Republicans and Democrats actually agree on something? It is simple. They all use smartphones.

Dec 19, 2016
Can I use my unlocked iPhone 7 from Sprint
by: Elena

I have an unlocked iPhone 7 from Sprint that is CDMA and GSM capable. Can I request a SIM card from Assurance Wireless and use the iPhone? Also, I'm in Arizona and not sure how many minutes, texts, and data is given to new customers?
Thanks in advance!

-Elena

Dec 18, 2016
We're Getting Smartphones in January!
by: Anonymous

I talked to someone at Assurance Wireless, and they told me we're getting smartphones and 500 mins plus free Internet service next month! It's a great way to welcome in the new year. By the way, they said they're upgrading everyone to the same plan, and giving us all smartphones!

Dec 09, 2016
Use Samsung Galaxy 3 on Lifeline Carrier.
by: Michael

There are two things to look for to determine whether your smartphone can be used on Life Wireless or SafeLink Wireless.

Does it support GSM?
Does it use a microSIM?

Since the Samsung Galaxy 3 supports both, check the minutes and data available for both of the above companies and determine what makes you the best deal for your state. Sign up and have one of them mail you a microSIM (there is no charge). Insert the microSIM into your Galaxy 3 and you will be online in minutes.

Most phones satisfy these two criteria with a few exceptions:
1. Assurance and Virgin Mobile don't use microSIMs
2. Verizon’s older phones didn’t support GSM or microSIMs. However, their new phones do.

Dec 09, 2016
Switching phones
by: Anonymous

So how do i switch to my samsung galaxy 3

Dec 08, 2016
Lifeline Programs Comparison
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Wow, thank you Michael for your thoughtful comments, and for taking the time to share all of this detail with visitors to this page! For people who can afford to purchase their own unlocked phone, the Moto G4 is an awesome option.

I do have a list of popular Lifeline programs listed here:

Free Cell Phone Service Options

However, given all of the discussion, I've decided to create a new page that has a comparison table. These tend to be hard to keep up-to-date as plans are always changing, however, it should still it seems like a valuable tool! I'll post a link to this new page once I've completed it.

Dec 08, 2016
Best Lifeline Alternatives to Assurance – Access
by: Michael

Many thanks to the PrepaidWirelessGuy who had kind words to say about the comments I write for this Blog.

Plans from all Lifeline companies have different number of Voice Minutes, Number of Text Messages and Internet Data. Often a text message counts as one minute. You need to decide what is more important to you: the number of Voice Minutes or the amount of Internet Data. Often you can change your mind at a later time.

Life Wireless: https://www.lifewireless.com/ Life Wireless covers most of the United States with the AT&T network. The AT&T network accepts unlocked smartphones with SIMs. Life Wireless has tables in many stores around the country where they will give you a smartphone with a 4.5 inch screen that will work when you leave and sign you up for Lifeline.

For some states they will allow you to sign up online, and they will mail you either a dumb phone, a smartphone with a 4.5 inch screen, or a SIM. All 3 choices contain a SIM allowing you to use any UNLOCKED smartphone.

A SIM is a tiny card that slips into the smartphone. When you see a smartphone for sale at a cheap price it is because it is LOCKING you into a contract with a vendor for 2 years.

SafeLink Wireless, www.safelink.com, is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

You can also verify if SafeLink Wireless is available in your state by entering your home zip code on their website. SafeLink will give you 500 MB of Internet Data if you sign up under the BRING YOUR OWN PHONE plan.

SafeLink gives you twice as much data as Life Wireless which means your monthly data allocation will last longer.

I do not recommend a $90 smartphones, because they have 4.5 inch screens, tiny keys and work poorly.

Instead of buying a smartphone from SafeLink or Life Wireless, buy the brand new Motorola G4 unlocked for $180 to $230 from Amazon, Costco, Best Buy or directly from Motorola. Motorola is sending emails with incredible deals on these phones.

Amazon also has an excellent promotion. Become an Amazon Prime member at $10.99 a month and commit for one year, and Amazon will give you a $50 gift card. There are many Amazon Prime only benefits, including 2 day shipping, Prime Streaming Video, and Prime Only prices below their normal discounted prices.

For example:
Moto G Play 16 GB 5 inch screen $100
Moto G4 16 GB 5.5 inch screen $150

Use the SIM from Life Wireless or SafeLink and put it into one of these Moto phones. The Moto G4 has a 5.5 inch screen and the latest technology including high speed charging, all day battery life, high performance camera, etc. The prices depends on how much memory you are willing to pay for, either 16 GB or 32 GB.

The above prices contain ads on the lockscreen, which reviewers say are not annoying and can be eliminated. You also don't spend much time on the lock screen. Ad free phones cost $10 more.

Dec 08, 2016
Losing Assurance Phones
by: Michael

Assurance had a policy of one free replacement of their cheapest dumb phones per year (Not PayLo). I am not sure what Access Wireless is doing.

My recommendation is to buy a Moto G Play for $100 with an insurance policy for loss. The phone uses a SIM, which is a tiny card that slides into the phone that you get from your Lifeline vendor. A PIN is necessary to check your email or to get online.

If you want to buy a cheaper phone, buy one that is unlocked AT&T compatible. The Motorola phones will work with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, but not Assurance. Assurance phones are locked and don’t use SIMs.

Dec 08, 2016
Switching to another phone or lifeline plan
by: Krista

Hello. I would like to switch to a new phone within Assurance. However, I'm also debating switchin over to a different carrier. I'm in Southern California. Any info on another option? Thanks in advance.

Dec 08, 2016
Other Lifeline (Assurance ) Carriers
by: Sue S.

My mom accidentally broke her 2nd phone. I am trying to find a nice one, but Assurance says I can only get a PayLo phone.

1) They are not avail in any store in my area.

2) The one the rep wanted me to buy from their site was $19.99 (good price for someone who drops phones), but it has 4 hours of talk time and was discontinued in 2013!!

3) The rep said on Dec 2, 2016 that they were all allowing an Android phone, but has no info on it yet. (I called on 11/30).

Is there another carrier that I can change my mom to that will allow her a decent phone without the keys being so small she can't see to use them?

My sister bought her an AT&T GoPhone, and it is $30 a month, and mom lost the PIN #, so it's useless

What carriers in Orlando can accept her government issued plan so we can get away from Assurance and get a good phone?

Dec 06, 2016
Smartphone Are Convenient & We All Should Have One
by: Anonymous

Michael did not make a good point. The fact is some have a smartphone and some don't; that's not fair!

When we're being faithful and loyal users of this service are not given the right to upgrade our phones. Sure they give us more mins, but not a good phone to enjoy the service! That's not fair!

We should have the right to upgrade and not be stuck with a bad phone, and not able to enjoy the service better, and see the texts better! The fact is this if they can afford to give new customers a smartphone they can give their faithful and loyal users smartphones too. Why should they only enjoy the convenience of a smartphone!

Be fair and let all users of this service have smartphones this holiday season!

Dec 06, 2016
With All Due Respect...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

...None of us know the underlying business metrics behind such a conversion to provide all existing customers with smartphones. Michael makes a great point, which is certainly part of it. There are other factors around sourcing, warranty, repair, support, etc.

Even for paid programs (wireless or not), there are often new and better deals to attract new customers. Yes, it can be upsetting and frustrating, however, they need new customers to grow, and offer marketing incentives.

Sometimes customers can complain to companies (in general), and get offers as existing customers. I know I have to call my cable company every year to reduce my bill as they always increase it, but have much better pricing for new customers. They'll usually have programs to offer existing customers an incentive to stay, but often not without a fight.

I've been in meetings where teams have discussed whether to give new pricing (for a new wireless plan) to existing customers or only to new customers. It's often a decision whether to automatically migrate everyone to the new plan, or require customers to proactively request it.

There's a cost to have customers call in with questions, concerns, to just make the change, and even to continue supporting the old plan, however, the cost to provide it automatically is often much greater. Many customers simply won't know about the new plan, or not bother to call in; this saves the company a lot of money. These costs vs. customer experience factors are weighed to make a final decision.

You should consider changing providers to become of of THEIR new customers if Assurance won't oblige!

(Site note: Please stop writing all your notes in ALL CAPS. It takes me a lot of time to go in an fix that. Thank you!)

Dec 02, 2016
RESPONSE TO MICHAEL
by: Anonymous

What are you thinking? We faithful and loyal users of Assurance Wireless have a right to have the phones we want, not the ones they give us if they want us to keep using the service!

We're the customers. We have rights, and no matter the cost. The customers is always right, not you! Because some can have a smartphone some some can't, what are you thinking? That's so unfair when they have the tech to make these compatible, and they make a lot of money. They also allow Virgin Mobile payLo phones to this service. It's a no brainer!

If they can allow it in Cali and they allow new
Customers to have smartphones, we all should have a smartphone.

They can afford to do this from the money they get from the gov for this program!

Dec 02, 2016
Why not give old customers a smartphone? Because...
by: Michael

It is partially a matter of cost. Cellphones cost about $10 and Smartphones about $70. The Feds and the State pay Assurance for Internet service and a smartphone for each NEW customer. They only pay for the service for OLD customers. They don't pay for an upgrade to a smartphone. Assurance would have to pay that $70 on their own to give you a smartphone. If they did that for all their OLD customers it would cost them millions. They would rather lose you as a customer.

The only way to get a smartphone is to become a NEW customer at a competitor. And Assurance smartphones are junk, they are locked (they can only be used on Assurance) and they don't have SIMs. With a SIM you can upgrade your smartphone to a better one.

Why fight it. Switching is easy. You don't have to reapply for Lifeline. The competitor does all the work. The competitor may even transfer your Assurance telephone number but that isn't guaranteed.

Dec 02, 2016
How is it that new customers can get a smartphone and we can't?
by: Anonymous

Why is it that new customers are allow to get a smartphone, while we loyal and faithful customers can't get one!

I see one these workers who work for Assurance Wireless in NY giving new customers new smartphones, and when I, a loyal and faithful customer of many years, tried to get an upgrade they said no.

Dec 01, 2016
Smartphone on Assurance
by: Michael

What many of you don't realize is that Assurance isn't being mean, they are a business being paid by the Federal Government and each state to offer Lifeline services.

They provide smartphone in California because California has millions of Assurance customers and made a special deal with Assurance. They are paying Assurance a higher fee for the smartphones and the internet service. A dumb phone cost Assurance about $10 and a smartphone cost them about $70.

Congress passed a law a few years ago requiring vendors to use SIMs in their phones. But that law had some loop holes in it allowing vendors, like Assurance and Verizon, time to complete this transition. But Assurance may never complete the transition.

Your best option today, is to drop Assurance and go to one of their Lifeline competitors. That transition is easy and their competitors will do the work for you.

Nov 30, 2016
Response re. Customer With Arthritis
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Your options are:

- Call Assurance to request a new feature phone (with buttons).

- If you're in CA, you can request a smartphone.

- You can find an old (but doesn't have to be used) Virgin payLo phone that you like, and call
Assurance to see if they'll still activate it for you.

- Now that Assurance is being combined with Access Wireless, you can purchase a smartphone upgrade from the Access website.

Side note: Thank you to Michael for your detailed and thoughtful response to Dana!

Nov 29, 2016
Bring Your Own Smartphone for North Carolina
by: Michael

I did a Google search for Dana who requested a Lifeline plan supporting a smartphone in North Carolina. The Google search yielded 3 vendors providing wireless support in her state. The best was SafeLink Wireless. Here is the plan I recommend:

BRING YOUR OWN PHONE*

- 350 Minutes For Local and Long Distance Calls
- 1GB of Data for 3 months.
- After 3 months, 500MB of data each month.
- Unlimited Nationwide Text Messaging
- Roaming at No Additional Cost
- Free 911 even Without Minutes†
- Voicemail / Caller ID / Call Waiting
- Data & Minutes Do Not Carry Over if not used

Enter Zip Code to begin your enrollment process!

Not all zip codes in North Carolina are supported. Similar plans may be available in your state.

Bring your own phone means that SafeLink supports SIMs. SafeLink, like Assurance, is not a cell phone carrier. SafeLink leases access from the major cell phone carriers including: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint.

I recommend the Motorola MotoPlay or MotoG4 since they are unlocked and a vendor contract is not required. Prices vary from $100 for the MotoPlay to $230 for the 32GB MotoG4 to $300 for the 64GB MotoG4 Plus. The MotoPlay has a 5 inch screen and the MotoG4 has a 5.5 inch screen. A good compromise is the 32GB MotoG4, which sells from $180 to $220.

You can buy it at Costco, Best Buy, Amazon, etc and there will be many special promotions as we approach Christmas.

You can buy the 32GB MotoG4 on Amazon which has two interesting promotions. If you buy a Prime Membership for $100 they will give you a $50 gift card. You can then buy the 32GB MotoG4 for $50 less than Costco. In other words, a free Prime Membership. The Prime Membership has many benefits that you can look up on Amazon including free 2 day shipping on any size order.

The other Amazon promotion may no longer be offered since I don't see a price difference with or without it. You may get a further discount if you allow Amazon to put an ad on your lock screen. Most users don't care since it doesn't affect their home screens.

Nov 29, 2016
Does Assurance currently only offer keypad phones as free?
by: Anonymous

Just wondering if since Assurance gives unlimited text on their govt program, if the only phone they have available are the 2 tiny keypad Kyocera phones? The question I have isn't so much about using a smartphone, but at least a touch screen for the text part. Arthritic fingers make pressing the tiny buttons 16 times to get 1 letter from a number on the keypad a bit challenging.

If they don't have any that they send free, is there an option to replace this original one I have had that the buttons don't function on anymore since it's still the first one they had given me? Could I just buy an upgrade touch screen as a replacement to switch that plan to? Or do they limit you to the option of one of the 2 tiny push button phones?

Nov 29, 2016
Dear Mitch
by: Dana

I live in NC.

Nov 29, 2016
Unfortunately...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

...Assurance isn't going to tell anyone when they plan to open up their program to smartphones or BYOD. No doubt many people within their own company don't even know the details.

Mich brought back a good point; there are other options, and nothing stopping people from changing to another one that meets their needs (i.e. smartphones/BYOD). You just need to lookup what's available in your particular state. Let me know if you've had a chance to do that. Cheers.

Nov 28, 2016
Other Lifeline Companies
by: Mich

Other Lifeline companies allow you to use your own phone. Assurance doesn't because their phones don't use SIMs. Let me know the State you live in and I will check alternatives Lifeline suppliers in your State.

You sign up for Lifeline from that vendor, get a free smartphone, remove the SIM and put it in the smartphone of your choice. It's that simple.

Nov 28, 2016
Response to PrepaidWirelessGuy
by: Anonymous

How long must we wait? We're faithful users of the service. We should not have to wait. We should have the right to pick our own phones!

Stop saying the wait is on. Nobody wants to hear that. They want hear when it will happen. So talk to someone at Assurance Wireless and tell them we have the need, and want the Bring Your Own
Device program.

Nov 28, 2016
Regarding Missing Minutes
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations and issues! Unfortunately, you will need to call them to find out what's going on with your specific account. I see no mention of minutes rolling each month. It's possible that there was a mistake when converting your account from Assurance.

Regarding the greater cost of adding minutes, you may find that you don't need them as often, because you'll be getting more monthly minutes with Assurance. Hopefully over time they'll decrease the cost of adding minutes though.

They have an FAQ about the conversion that you can review at:

https://www.accesswireless.com/changeinprovider/

Nov 28, 2016
My Mistake!
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Please accept my apologies! I was answering similar questions on different threads, and mistakenly said that Access allows BYOD. It's actually SafeLink that offers BYOD. Access Wireless allows you to purchase some smartphones from their website, but has no mention of BYOD.

So sorry for the confusion. The wait for BYOD on Access continues!

Nov 26, 2016
Response to PrepaidWirelessGuy
by: Anonymous

You said that Assurance Wireless that's part of
Access Wireless has a Bring Your Own Device program. Where is it?! I looked on their website, and I can't find it.

Bring Your Own Device Program is a great idea and suggestion! If they can do it in Cali, they can do it anywhere they have Assurance Wireless that's part of Access Wireless. That's the right and fair thing to for the faithful ones who still
have and enjoy the service right now! SafeLink and Ring Plus has the Bring Your Own Device program.

Nov 26, 2016
Missing Minutes
by: Andrea

I had to purchase extra minutes last month. I thought I was going to run out! When I got my new minutes from Access last week [11/21/16], I was surprised to see my leftover minutes rolled over plus I got 500 free minutes for a total of 791.

Now, I see my balance is 447. That would mean I used well over 5 hours already in just 5 days?????? No way!!! Nowhere close! If my rolled-over minutes were deducted later, it would mean I used 53 minutes, which is hard to believe 'cause I made one important phone call that lasted 49 minutes, plus a few that lasted 3-10 min....no more!

I'm not understanding what's going on & hate having to call & talk to a middle-easterner that you can't understand & very few know their job! Either way, these minutes are not right! AND unless their site needs to be updated, I see if I need extra minutes, it's going to cost $10 for 200 min. Assurance charged $5 for 250 min! I am confused!

Nov 24, 2016
Smartphones
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

As I'm sure you can see from the discussion below, this is a very popular topic! Assurance has been doing a trial with smartphones in California. I have heard no news regarding expansion of that program.

That said, now that Assurance is part of Access, they're available. You can either purchase from the Access website, or you can check to see if the smartphone you have (or want to get/use) will work by using their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) check on their website.

Is this answer straightforward enough for you? ;-) All the best, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2016
phone upgrade?
by: Anonymous

I'm curious... as an Assurance wireless customer with a crappy paylo flip phone....if Assurance/Access Wireless has decided yet if touch screen phones(smartphones like Motorola, Androids, etc. are available to use with this lifeline service?
No one gives me a straight answer when I ask them this and hopefully I can find my answer here?
Thanks

Nov 21, 2016
Upgrading From Razor 2
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Yes, when they're referring to smartphones, they're talking about Android phones, as they don't currently sell iPhones.

In terms of getting one for less than $60, you're best bet is to check Amazon, eBay, and even Gazelle. You can find a link to their site from here:

Phone Recycling

In addition to recycling phones, they also sell refurbished phones at a great value. You can link over to their site by clicking on their logo in the table.

Best of luck, and let me know what you end up getting!

Nov 21, 2016
Access & Smartphones
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

If I understand your question correctly, it sounds like they converted your service plan from Assurance to Access, however, they say that you can't get a smartphone in your area yet.

I know that Assurance was in trial with smartphones in California. Access looks like it offers smartphones as part of its standard service. What happens if you try to order a smartphone through the Access website? Or is the agent telling you that they can't activate it for use in your area?

Nov 18, 2016
The Smartphone Issue
by: Virgin mobile/assurances user

I have the razor two. It works. I don't see why everyone thinks that the big word "Smartphone" is what you need. It's what you want more or less. But I would just like to upgrade to an Android phone. Are the smartphones the same as the Android?

I don't need data as I have my Kindle Fire if I want to go on the Internet @ home or when I'm out.

I just want to know which ones now that it's not Assurances Wireless anymore and it's Access Wireless. They only gave me three expensive ones: ZTE Flash, Copland Quattro, & ZTE force. All over $59.99. So if anyone has one of these cheaper, or knows what store carries them I'm in Michigan. Thank you.

Nov 18, 2016
Now Access Wireless Just Took Over
by: Virgin mobile/assurances user

Well, I just got my minutes situated a few days ago. I read a text that said the Access Wireless network will be taking over Assurances Wireless in October.

I checked my minutes yesterday and it gave me more; instead of 250 I have 719. Sweet, but when I asked the live adviser about the smartphone they said it's not in my area yet. Well Access has 3 smartphones, but wonder if I can't get that change. I got a Samsung Razor 2 and would like to change to something easier to see.

I'm on a Kindle fire and it's great big letters etc. Don't need an expensive one just under $50 or less would work for me. The razor is the 2nd one I've had thru Assurances Wireless. I have seen a lot of people who probably spend their whole paycheck or goto rent centers to buy their phones.

I love my phone service I've had Virgin mobile for years, and when Assurances Wireless Lifeline came up I took it. My phone because it has Sprint as the carrier I have better service than my boyfriend's; he has TracFone.

But if you can answer my question it would be great, and thank you for having this webpage to voice our concerns.

Nov 01, 2016
Responses
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Michael - Great suggestion! There are so many Lifeline providers now that customers should consider using one that allows an unlocked phone to used. I haven't been able to find any dealers that actually currently support this process; it's simply too complicated to do at this point.

Regarding delayed text messaging. I don't know whether you're using Assurance or another provider, however, if you flashed a phone to use on Assurance, there could be an issue with how the phone is being registered on the network, which is preventing it from sending/receiving texts, or causing delay issues.

It would make more sense if it doesn't work at all. Delays are usually a network issue and not a phone issue. The only thing you can really do is to remove the battery, and hope that when you re-insert and re-start the phone that it registers correctly. Otherwise, you're really stuck taking it back to the place that flashed it for you. However, they're likely to tell you that they can't guarantee that all services will work correctly on a flashed phone.

I used to have a flashed phone for use on Cricket (the old CDMA Cricket). MMS (i.e. picture messaging) never worked. That was a known issue that I accepted at the time.

Good luck, and please do let us know what happens!

Oct 29, 2016
New Phone on Assurance
by: Michael

New customers can get a new smartphone on Assurance wireless. If you are in a city that provides this service, you might find a table set up in a store (like a 99 cents store) that does this. You just go to this table, fill out a few pages, and take your smartphone.

However, if you already have a dumb phone received directly from Assurance and lose it, the situation changes.

Assurance will give you one free dumb phone per year if you lose or damage yours. However, smartphones are more expensive and it is unlikely that they will replace your phone for a smartphone for free.

My recommendation is to drop Assurance and find another Lifeline carrier. Do a Google search for (Lifeline carriers for your state).

Most carriers have virtually identical plans to Assurance and many supply better smartphones and smartphone networks.

For example, I selected Life Wireless. They support my state. They use the AT&T network. Their smartphones use SIM chips. The SIM has your phone number on it and other information from Life Wireless. If you want to buy a better smartphone, buy an "unlocked smartphone" which supports severals carriers. Then remove the back of the smartphone, the battery, and the SIM. Put the SIM in the new phone and it will work immediately. It is not necessary to contact Life Wireless or to flash the ROM.

Oct 29, 2016
how can i switch phones now
by: Anonymous

I would love to know how to switch phones right now cause I have a phone that I really like and just wondering how to get this started.

Oct 15, 2016
Text Delays
by: Anonymous

My phone's texts don't go through very well. They either take a few minutes, or don't go through at all. Is there anything that can be done? This was after the phone was flashed.

Oct 13, 2016
Please Elaborate
by: Sketchytboi

How exactly can I use my smartphone with assurance wireless service? I reported my phone as lost and stolen reason late, and I've been trying to get a replacement phone. After reading the current post on this site I am still a bit clueless as to how I can go about doing this. Meaning can someone please explain in detail if possible, how can get I change my phone over?

Oct 06, 2016
Transferring Serial Number
by: Anonymous

How do you transfer the serial to make your phone a donor phone so you can use it?

Sep 30, 2016
Consider These Factors
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I think it's pretty obvious that all Lifeline programs will ultimately have smartphones available. Here's some factors that people should keep in mind that may be slowing things down:

- Smartphones are more expensive, and will overall increase the cost of these programs.

- Smartphones have a higher support cost due to their complexity. For example, calls related to how to setup email and other apps, apps not working, causing the phone to freeze, calls about getting OS upgrades, calls about issues after OS upgrades, some apps not working on certain OS versions, etc.

- Higher costs due to replacements as smartphones are more breakage prone (drops, water damage).

- Higher program cost from increased data usage.

I'm sure you think of other additional factors that requires a LOT of thought and work to support smartphones on free cell phone programs, including the need for trials.

As I noted this will will; it's only a matter of time. Some providers are already offering the option to purchase a smartphone at relatively reasonable prices. Note, however, that this doesn't solve all of the support costs I noted.

Sep 30, 2016
Response to the Reason Why
by: Anonymous

Ring Plus lets you use Samsung smartphones. Why can't Assurance Wireless? They have the tech to do it in Cali. Why not everywhere else? That's the right and fair thing to do! Why is the law is so different in Cali so they can have smartphones, and not elsewhere? That's not fair!

We have the right to have the joy of having a smartphone. That's the right thing to do!

Sep 26, 2016
Flashing Service
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

See the link on July 28 for a 3rd party flashing service that you can reach out to.

Sep 26, 2016
Flashing
by: Anonymous

I've been reading through most of the comments but can't find how exactly to use a 3rd party flashers on a phone. I have one of my old iPhones still and I'd like to give it to my mother to use but they told me she can't use it. She has the original Kyocera and it sucks. The numbers are too small for her and she can't even read most of her texts.

Sep 13, 2016
Free Minutes and Data!
by: Anonymous

If you are looking to wise up your life with a smartphone, try RING PLUS. It runs on the Sprint network, and they have plans that run from free to paid.

I used my older Virgin Mobile prepaid Samsung Galaxy ring and had service within minutes of filling out the online form, which is as basic as basic can be. No credit card, no address, you don't even need your real name.

This phone doesn't have an SIM card that is accessible, so I don't have texting at this point, but I'm sure if I called Virgin to get me an ICCID (basically the SIM card number) I would!

Try it. I get great data coverage through my WiFi, and use the Sprint cellular network while I'm out, so I can still make calls while away from my home WiFi, unlike Google voice, messsenger, etc. Plus you can't beat free and pretty good customer support as well!

NOTE: This won't work on AT&T or Verizon phones even if they are unlocked!!

Sep 01, 2016
Samsung phone
by: William A

To Aug 17 Anonymous. I have a Samsung phone with the keyboard. I can do videos with it.

Sep 01, 2016
Response to Susie
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

TracFone and Safelink are completely different from Assurance and Sprint/Virgin. TracFone is generally a lot more flexible in terms of what phones can be used, and apparently porting that phone to a Safelink account appears feasible.

For Assurance, if it's even possible, you'll need to go thru a 3rd party flashing service (see below) as it's not officially supported by Sprint/Virgin.

Aug 30, 2016
The Reason Why
by: Anonymous

The reason why Cali has smartphones is because they have different laws. I work for a.w.; Cali is a whole different animal.

Aug 24, 2016
How's It Complicated To Have Smartphone On Assurance Wireless?
by: Anonymous

Explain to everyone who has Assurance Wireless why
It's complicated to allow smartphones? When they have it in Cali and elsewhere.

Tell us when we can upgrade our phone when we want,
and pick out our own phones when we want. That's
the right thing to do! When's the date it will
happen? It's the fair and right thing to do for
us to make us feel like grown ups and not kids!

For everyone on Assurance Wireless, may we all have the right to have smartphones or pick out own phone, so we can enjoy the service better!

Aug 19, 2016
How Do I Do This?
by: Susie

OK, see if you can walk me through this:
1) I'm currently on Assurance Wireless, using the tiny Kyocera phone that they provide.

2) I have a perfectly good iPhone 4 from back when times were better.

3) I was told by a friend on Safelink that she bought a Tracfone SIM card and was able to install it in her old iPhone 4s, and somehow make it work with her Safelink acct.

4) Now, do I need a Tracfone Sim card or someone else's and HOW DO I DO THIS?

I don't have a home computer, laptop or iPad, so my old iPhone 4 is my only internet access, the little Kyocera will connect to the web but is worthless with its postage stamp size screen and inability to send or receive any pictures or images. Any and all help is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Aug 17, 2016
smart phones
by: Anonymous

I don't care to learn how to operate a smartphone! I am almost satisfied with my phone except it doesn't take videos.....just photos!

Aug 17, 2016
Patience
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I understand your frustration. If you read my note below, you'll understand that supporting smartphones can get complicated. When they roll it out everywhere, they need to ensure it works properly and is a good experience.

Unfortunately, there's no known roll-out time frame, so at this point it's really all about being as patient as possible!

Aug 16, 2016
They Have A Trial For Smartphones In Cali Why Not Every Where
by: Anonymous

It's not fair that they try out smartphones in Cali, but nowhere else. That's so unfair and crazy! Let's be fair and try out smartphones where there is Assurance Wireless. That's the right thing to do, and stop saying it will be soon; may it be asap!

Everyone should have a smartphone. That's the right thing to do to be fair, and allow us to have a smartphone on their service!

Aug 16, 2016
When Will It Happen?
by: Anonymous

When will it happen? When is the date it will happen? It's taking too long, and they have tech to do it!

They're doing it in Cali; why don't they do it elsewhere? Give us a trial now!

Aug 15, 2016
It Will Happen!
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Assurance is currently doing a trial in California to allow smartphones. Try to keep in mind that it's an entirely different operational complexity. Smartphones require a lot more customer support required. There's also usually more issues with lost, damaged, and stolen smartphones compared to feature phones. Smartphone users also have much different data needs and expectations, which requires new plans, and a completely different cost structure.

They're trying to provide a free phone and service, however, smartphones introduce a much greater cost and complexity. Obviously things are migrating to smartphones. Unfortunately, it will take some time and your best bet is to be patient.

Aug 14, 2016
Smartphones Should Be Allowed On Assurance
by: Anonymous

I'ts not fair that you can't get a smartphone on Assurance Wireless when there a list of them online. They say it will work with Assurance Wireless, and when you try to hook it up they
say no. That's not fair. They should allow us to
pick out our own phone; that's the right thing to do!

Let all the states, not just some states, get them. Allow us be be humans and pick out our own phones. We're not kids who say noting. Let us pick out our own phones to help us keep in touch with family and friends. Let us pick out our phones and have this service and be happy!

Aug 07, 2016
Obama Phone
by: Anonymous

In the first place, there is NO Obama phone! He had NOTHING to do with it! Long, long, long ago a tax was put on your home telephone, which I understand pays for these phones for the POOR & elderly so they have a way of contacting someone in an emergency, etc.!

It's getting a little bit out of hand when people think they are entitled to an Android & other smart phones! The free phone is plain & simple & most do not work very well if at all! I never had one that worked right, so went out & bought another cheap [but better] phone acceptable to the program!

I know people who have had the free, cheap phone for a very long time with no problems! Where you got an Android & figure it should be free is beyond me!!!

Aug 07, 2016
Android Smartphone Quit Working, Why?
by: Donna Vance

Why did my Android smartphone quit working; now what? I thought this Obama government cell phone was a lifetime cell phone. I thought this was too good to be true. Donna

Jul 28, 2016
Flashing Contact
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Is this the flashing service you're looking for?

https://www.facebook.com/assuranceflashing/#sthash.dBFAcngx.dpuf

Jul 21, 2016
Flashing
by: Anonymous

Can LG phones be flashed, and also how to find the person on Facebook?

Jun 25, 2016
Assurance Wireless Phones
by: Anonymous

I was doing an internet search on how to flash a Sprint or Virgin Mobile CDMA smart phone over to Assurance wireless. Only certain smarts phones from either will work as I have had a Samsung Galaxy S2 flashed over to Assurance wireless. There`s a guy on Facebook (Assurance Flashing) who does it for a fee. That's how I got my Galaxy S2 from Sprint flashed over.

Jun 16, 2016
Transfer Lifeline between Assurance and Life Wireless
by: M

If you are on Lifeline with Assurance and you are unhappy with your phone, you can transfer your lifeline account to another service, e.g Life Wireless.

Call your Lifeline Administrator in your State and tell them that you would like to switch providers. There may be 1 to 3 month waiting period before you can transfer your service.

Jun 16, 2016
Kimberly: Frustrated Girl
by: Michael

Assurance Wireless only supports their own smartphone. My experience with this phone was that the Android implementation was poor and the camera did not produce usable pictures. An upgrade to a better phone is not possible.

If you wish to use your AT&T smartphone, signup with Life Wireless instead. Life Wireless also supports Lifeline and you can use any unlocked AT&T smartphone by inserting a Life Wireless SIM card. If the phone is not unlocked, your former carrier will unlock it for you for free. Life Wireless also supplies a free smartphone. It is acceptable.

Jun 16, 2016
Smartphone With Home WiFi
by: Michael

Using your smartphone with your home WiFi is not dependent on your smartphone carrier. On your phone go into Settings and then Networks. If you don't know how to do this, look it up in your phone user manual. Under Network, turn on your WiFi. All the local WiFi hotspots should be shown; yours should probably be on top. Select it and enter the passcode requested. Unless it was changed, the default passcode should be on the router.

Jun 16, 2016
Help! Step-by-step smartphone activation process on Assurance Wireless needed!!
by: Anonymous

How do I use a smartphone on assurance wirelwess. I have wifi so I won't need data. Please tell me the steps.

May 27, 2016
So confused... please help!!
by: Kimberly

I went and got a phone at an Obama phone tent and think my phone service is assurance wireless? Well my question is how do I use this service on my old unlocked phone Samsung galaxy S5 mini? When I was using it I had an AT&T go phone plan on it so I dunno what to do or where to start.... I'm a very frustrated girl! Please lead me in some direction... thanks! Xoxo

May 18, 2016
received the zte android
by: Anonymous

i've been a customer of assurance wireless in california since 2014, i had the crappy kyocera or whatever. i called last week after seeing their new commercial about the android they were offering. Initially the guy on the phone seemed to be avoiding telling me about it, it seems like they might have a limited supply. a few minutes into the conversation i explained to him that my phone had a lot of issues then he asked for was my address. he said it would take 7-10 days but i called on a saturday and received it on monday. it's the ZTE 800, not bad compared to what i used to use. maybe if you complain about the old one like i did they'll be more likely to swap it for you. they also provide 250 mb of data now. it's a big improvement

Apr 25, 2016
Assurance Smartphone Received
by: Anonymous

Today I received a Kyocera Event Smartphone from Assurance Wireless as a replacement for the Alcatel OneTouch basic phone I had, which had stopped working. When I was on the phone with customer service I told her I was in California and was aware that smartphones were being rolled out in CA, and if at all possible I would like one. She said she would make the request but could not guarantee if one would be provided or if it were what make/model it would be.

Haven't tried it yet, it's on the charger now...

Runs Android!!!

Apr 17, 2016
I'm trying to get Lifeline (Assurance Wireless) on my Smartphone
by: Frank

Should I be purchasing a Samsung Galaxy S5 from Virgin Wireless using a Sprint network, then do I need to root it and re-flash it? Do you have a technical walk through for this, or a youtube demonstration? Thank you.

Apr 14, 2016
It Needs To Be...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

...a phone that is on the Virgin whitelist. It can't just be the same phone from another carrier (locked or unlocked).

Apr 13, 2016
Using Virgin Mobile phones on AW
by: Ant

I've noticed a lot of these on eBay. I'd like to get the Rumour Touch to use. I'm on AW and the ZTE Quest is GARBAGE after about 6 months. It overheats and slows, even when the apps are minimal, then eventually it resets itself over and over. There's a list of phones on the AW site. Could I get any one, punch in their numbers, and use it, or do they need to be unlocked from their old carrier?

Apr 12, 2016
Assurance Smartphone
by: Michael

Assurance supplies you with a free smartphone. It is decent, but a low end unit. It has an adequate size screen and runs Android 4.4. What do you want for nothing?

Since Assurance doesn't use a SIM to tie their phone to their network you can't buy and use a better smartphone.

To swap a cheap smartphone with a better smartphone, get Lifeline from another company that uses SIMs, for example Life Wireless. Do a Google search for Lifeline carriers in your state. I don't recommend the Sprint network (Assurance), or Verizon, that has the same problem. I recommend buying an AT&T unlocked phone which uses a SIM and connects to Lifeline vendors using AT&T.

The iPhone is another that supports a variety of networks.

Apr 09, 2016
smartphone in assurance wireless
by: Anonymous

what smart phone I can use in Assurance wireless service please???

Apr 06, 2016
how do I go about doing this?
by: Anonymous

How do I go about doing this??

Mar 19, 2016
LG VOLT Flashed For Assurance Wireless For Sale $100
by: Anonymous

I have an LG volt I got about 2 months ago and I had it flashed by Assurance Wireless. It has a case and glass screen protector. Looks immaculate. Anybody interested please email me ayasays@yahoo.com

Mar 19, 2016
Assurance Plan
by: Michael

Each state can have a different plan. There are 2 parts to the plan: 1) voice/text and 2) data. Up until a few months ago, Assurance only offered a dumb phone with voice/text. The amount of voice can vary between 250 to 500 minutes and texts for most states to unlimited for California. A few months ago, Assurance started offering an Android smartphone option for new customers. The smartphone allows you to run apps on the Internet like on the iPhone. They give you 250 Mbytes per month which is enough to look at your email, facebook, etc.

Assurance will only work on the phones you get from them. If you are on a 250 min/250 txt plan without a data plan, the smartphone will be virtually useless.

Call Assurance and give them your phone number and pin and ask them what plan you are on and if you have any data options.

Mar 19, 2016
Assurance
by: Kiri

Please tell me about using the smartphone on Assurance Wireless. Currently I am on 250 min/250 text plan.

Mar 19, 2016
Screen Protector and Case
by: Michael

I don't recommend a screen protector. Today's phones, stronger scratch resistant screens eliminates the need. If you use a case, use a soft one to place the phone in while you are walking. A form fitting case can cause the phone to overheat.

Mar 19, 2016
Screen Protector and Phone cover
by: Sharron

Do you know where I can find screen protectors and a cover for the Assurance Wireless phone? I asked the representative where I purchased my phone and he told me to go to Boost Mobile. Boost Mobile said that they do not have covers for these phones.

Mar 03, 2016
What program do you download?
by: Jessica

What program do you download to flash the phone???

Feb 27, 2016
Michael
by: Anonymous

Even though Assurance is a subsidiary of Virgin Mobile, the two are separate companies.. If you are signing up to Assurance, ask for a smartphone.

Feb 26, 2016
Hello
by: Carrie

Do you explain on here how to use a virgin android phone with assurance? I am looking at this on a phone so something might be missing because I don't see any directions.

Feb 18, 2016
Lost My Phone
by: Anonymous

There is another thing you can try. Assurance will replace your phone if it is lost or broken once per year. If you "lose" your phone, Assurance may be willing to send you a smartphone to replace your lost phone.

Feb 17, 2016
Smart Phones for Assurance Wireless
by: Mike Green

If you find an Assurance agent in your area, ask the agent for one of the smartphones they have on hand. Then come back a few days later and ask the agent to deactivate your old dumb phone. This has to be done before your application makes it up the chain to Lifeline.

Another option is to get a Lifeline phone from another vendor. You can find many vendors with a Google search. I recommend Life Wireless since they use the AT&T network and have an excellent voice and data plan. If you call Life Wireless in the morning they will tell you the location of agents at stores or street corners near you. Like an Assurance agent they will hand you a working smartphone. You must bring eligibility documents. Tell the agent you are switching from Assurance to Life Wireless. The smartphone uses AT&T and a SIM card. The SIM card can be used in any unlocked AT&T smartphone. You can apply online but you won't know if you will be getting a dumb or smartphone. Used unlocked AT&T smartphones are available on eBay and Amazon.

After 3 months, if you are unhappy, reapply to Assurance as a new customer to get their smartphone.

Feb 17, 2016
Where are the smartphone California?
by: Anonymous

To Mike Green and others,

I live in Sacramento and I'm trying to trade my LG Aspire for a smartphone, but Assurance Wireless is playing dumb (only new customer get smartphone). I can not find any PayLo smartphone, and I also do not want to pay someone to flash a smartphone either. I just want to go to my Virgin account and swap.

Does anyone know if a Virgin pre-paid phone is OK to buy from Best Buy or Walmart?

SAMSUNG Galaxy J3
HTC Desire 626
Huawei Union

Feb 06, 2016
ZTE Smartphones
by: Mike Green

I sign up people for Assurance phones in my Community Center in Los Angeles, CA. Starting about a month ago, Assurance is giving the option for new customers signing into to their website to get a smartphone. The current smartphone received is by ZTE, which is a decent smartphone running Android 4.4.4.

At my local 99 cents store, Assurance set up a booth for people to sign up and get a ZTE smartphone on the spot. One of people I got a Jax phone for, was able to trade it in for a ZTE smartphone.

I called Assurance and asked a question about the ZTE smartphone. The representative denied they were supplying it. I told her, I have a box mailed directly from Assurance with the ZTE smartphone in it with the data plan: unlimited voice and text and 250 MB of data. She still insisted that the only option is a PayLo phone which does not have a smartphone.

It is possible that this is a special program just for California, but I doubt it. California made a deal with Assurance where they have the best plan in the country.

Or it could be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

Feb 06, 2016
Help Would Be Appreciated
by: WA4CHM

A paraplegic friend of mind uses a flip phone through PayLo. He desires to get a low end smartphone. According to him the phone must be compatible with DEC 268XXXXXXX. There is a lot of information online to digest so I would appreciate your thoughts and advice on how he can purchase a phone and use it on his existing PayLo plan.

Jan 27, 2016
Disappointed
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I'm sorry to hear your negative thoughts. This site is not affiliated with any particular service, and I don't have a flashing service to sell anyone. This is a forum where myself and others can share our thoughts and help one another by sharing our experience and info.

There's a lot of good info in here, including someone who says they offer a flashing service. It's apparently not a simple process that anyone has been able to clearly articulate with a step-by-step. That's an unfortunate reality.

It looks like you've grossly misstated as I have nothing (let alone 2) things to sell anyone....

Cheers.

Jan 27, 2016
ARE YOU KIDDING ME????
by: Anonymous

Bummer, you know I can not get the 5 minutes of my life back!!! It took that long to realize that this was not a DIY tutorial on how to trade my Obama phone for my smartphone that does not have service. Smart though, this guy manages to advertise his/someone's phone company/services TWICE!!! We are seeking an answer and PWG gives us HIS solution!!!! And is smart too!!! This guy is not gonna get sued he IS though in my opinion a liar, a con man, probably in MY non-judgmental opinion would make an EXCELENT car sales man!!!

Jan 16, 2016
Switching from a dumb phone to a smartphone
by: Anonymous

There is nothing answering the question. How do I switch my Obama phone from assurance to a virgin smartphone that I bought?

Jan 15, 2016
Which phones
by: Alex

So any phone from any carrier can be used ? Or is it just phones based off of virgin mobile ?

Jan 07, 2016
HELP ! - IM IN CELL SERVICE HELL !!!
by: Anonymous

KJB - Hello! Heres the confusion im in :

Im a low-income person eligible for a Lifeline phone service.

In July, for $150 (plus tax) i bought a BLU Studio 0.5 LTE smartphone (a GSM phone) at BestBuy, then had it activated at a BudgetMobile (BM) sidewalk booth for the Lifeline service thru T-Mobile. Then i discovered the phone had a defective microphone, so i removed the microSIM card and sent it to BLU for a replacement, which i soon recd and put the microSIM card into it, and it worked fine for weeks....

But because, while waiting for my BLU replacement) i had mistakenly signed up again with BM for a simple non-smartphone, which i soon recd and started using. Then BM soon sent me a notice saying the accounts for the BLU phone and the temp phone were both CLOSED because i had TWO accounts, which they do not allow....

I called BM and explained the above. They said that even if i opened a new account, the BM service would no longer work on my BLU phone (!!!???)....

But because my BLU phone DID work on the BM service, i believe all i need is a new BM microSIM card activated by BM. Right ?....If not, what are my options ?


Jan 05, 2016
Flashing
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Officially only certain Virgin payLo phones can be used. However, you can unofficially flash a compatible phone. Assurance doesn't support that process, so you'll need to use the info in this thread to find a deal who can do it for you.

Jan 01, 2016
Can use a Sprint or Virgin Android with Assurance???
by: Nic

So are we able to use Sprint & Virgin Mobile Android phones, and that's it. I mean, that would be great, but is it any Android, or just Sprint & Virgin Mobile??? And the term "Flash" is that something you have to call Assurance about and request? Thx.

Dec 29, 2015
Upgraded Phones
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

That would be great! I find it hard to believe that they would proactively upgrade everyone's phone. Hopefully people who receive these free upgrades will report back here so we'll know if this is in fact a proactive upgrade program!

Dec 26, 2015
Assurance Sending Out New Phones
by: Chip S

I spoke to Assurance Wireless about upgrading my cell phone, and they told me I should wait because they are shipping out new free upgraded phones to current customers.

Dec 08, 2015
christyjackson492
by: Anonymous

How do I bring my iPhone 4 to free government services?

Nov 10, 2015
HERE IS YOUR SOLUTION
by: Anonymous

https://www.facebook.com/assuranceflashing/

They can flash your phone, check their site out on Facebook, they can flash smartphones to work with assurance wireless

Nov 03, 2015
Data is Extra
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

That makes sense, no? Assurance gives you an allocation of voice and text messages, or unlimited if you buy up. If you have a smartphone and need data, you'll need to pay for it by purchasing topup cards.

Nov 03, 2015
Smart Phone on Assurance via Sprint.
by: awe ZTE N800

I have a Android Smart phone on Assurance. It is a Virgin Mobile Awe ZTE N800. I was also told that I would have to apply a payment for additional data if I reach my limit. So I consider this more like a prepay. If I don't pay, I don't get Internet data.

Oct 29, 2015
Sprint iPhone
by: Anonymous

Would I be able to flash my Assurance phone to a Sprint iPhone?

Oct 29, 2015
Smart Phones for Assurance Wireless
by: Mike Green

Currently Assurance does not support the HTC Evo V because they do not support smartphones. But I talked to a rep promoting Assurance, and he told me that will change soon. Within a month or two, Assurance will provide a smartphone option. The rep refused to provide any details of the phone or the plan.

Based on previous experience, you should be able to use any phone which you buy through any of the Virgin Mobile companies: Virgin Mobile, Assurance or PayLo. Buying Sprint phones or used phones probably will not work, e.g. the HTC Evo. Virgin Mobile companies do not support SIMs with the possible exception of iPhones.

I recently switched from Assurance to Life Wireless for my Lifeline plan. Life Wireless uses the AT&T network. Their Android smartphones, which are also free, use SIM cards. That means that if you wish to buy a decent phone, you can buy an AT&T unlocked smartphone, and simply plug in the SIM card. The SIM card already has your data encoded on it so there isn't even the need to call customer support.

As a final note. The Life Wireless smartphone is not shown on their website; they only show dumb phones. I was handed a smartphone when Life Wireless was in my area looking for new customers. It is a decent smartphone, but don't expect too much from a Chinese phone given away for free, which probably cost Life Wireless $10 to $20. I just ordered a new LG L2 smartphone for $200. It was $580 in Nov 2013. I will finally have a smartphone I can enjoy with 1250 minutes of voice and 250 MB of data (in California) with no monthly fee. It can be upgraded to the latest Android operating system. Not a bad deal.

Oct 29, 2015
Question Never Answered
by: Sam

What are the instructions for flashing a sprint phone (HTC Evo) to Assurance Wireless?

Oct 29, 2015
???
by: Sam

So where are the instructions for flashing Sprint phone (HTC Evo) to Assuance wireless?

Sep 17, 2015
Want to Buy the LG Tribute
by: Anonymous

I want to buy the LG Tribute; it's brand new and I believe it holds a SIM card.


How would I go about getting the Assurance service on it, and will it work properly???

Sep 14, 2015
Kyocera Verve
by: Mike Green

Some cell phones have a SIM cards slot, which allows a cell phone to connect to any cell phone service. All cell phones must allow this within a few years according to a recently passed federal law. But today only a few carriers support this law and when they do, only for a few cell phones.

This allows customers to compare prices and take their phone to a carrier with a better plan, which is helping to reduce prices.

Virgin Mobile/Sprint does this with a few phones. Assurance, also on the Sprint network, does not.

When you buy a phone, the retailer scans the bar code and sets the phone to work on a specific network.

Assurance is very hard nosed about this. The phone can be compatible with their network, but if you don't buy it from an authorized dealer, they won't accept it. For example, they may accept an Assurance phone bought at Best Buy but not Walmart. When you buy a phone online you don't know who the original seller was.

As I said elsewhere, Assurance isn't the only vendor of Lifeline phones. Do a Google search for carriers in your state. If the phone is compatible with AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile and supports a SIM, you can use any phone.

Sep 14, 2015
Using a Kyocera Verve
by: Anonymous

I really want to use another phone other than the one they sent me from Assurance Wireless. I have one that I'm no longer using, and want to know if it is possible to use this phone from another carrier. If there is any way possible please let me know. Thank you!!

Aug 21, 2015
Coolpad Arise
by: Anonymous

Assurance is very reluctant to let you use a phone you bought elsewhere. They really only support the 3 phones on their website. I was able to get them to connect to a phone that they used previously but they gave me a really hard time.

Aug 21, 2015
Life Wireless
by: Anonymous

As many others have said, the Assurance Wireless free phone is very poor. It is difficult to hear and the receiving party has difficult hearing. I finally got fed up with the phone, the refusal of Assurance to let me buy my own phone, and the poor reception of the Sprint Network.

I wanted a phone using AT&T or Verizon. I found a company called Life Wireless that also supports Lifeline. Life Wireless offers free smartphones at booths that move around different areas. A rep signed me up and handed me an activated new smartphone with about 280 minutes on it so that I can make calls while waiting for Lifeline approval.

The phone is a Logic X1 smartphone. It comes with 2 plans: unlimited voice and text or 1250 minutes of voice & text and 250 MB of data. It has excellent sound quality and comes with Android 4.4.2. 250 MB is just enough for limited use, e.g. email. The rest of the time I hook it up to my home WiFi or an external hotspot.

Okay, now the downside. Life Wireless is only available in a handful of States: www.lifewireless.com. Fortunately for me, one of those states is California. The other problem is you can't sign up (at least in California) over the phone. You have to find one of those small booths. I found one by word of mouth.

You can find a provider by Googling "Lifeline Providers" and entering your zip code.

Aug 20, 2015
Coolpad Arise on Assurance
by: Anonymous

I am wondering if I can use a Coolpad Arise with Assurance Wireless. I bought it at a Kroger store, and found out they use the Virgin Mobile network (Sprint). I do not need to use data with the phone (I use WiFi for that). I only need the cell network for Voice Calling. Does anyone know if it is possible to do this? Thanks!

Aug 03, 2015
Free Phone
by: Anonymous

This free phone is supposed to be for low income & senior citizens! It's true, it's very hard to see. Also, mine never worked correctly. After the 3rd phone, I gave up & bought another one!

I now have a Kyocera Contact. They were getting rid of that model! It took me awhile to learn it, and I still don't know everything! It is supposedly the same as the Kyocera Verve.

I wanted a phone that I could hear. I could hear well on the speaker phone, but even that isn't so good anymore. Try finding a battery for it. I've checked everywhere & the only place I found it was Kyocera. It cost double what the phone cost. So, when my battery gets weak I'll just buy a new phone, but not a Kyocera.

I, too, would like a phone that is easy to see & is clear & loud to hear. Any suggestions will be appreciated, but I can't afford an expensive one. I paid $20 for this one. The regular price was $70 & up, and it has lots of features. I don't want one with all the fancy frills that I will never use. Thanks!

Aug 02, 2015
No Smartphone
by: Anonymous

I have a Free Assurance Wireless account. I'm new with them. The phone they gave me is not good at all. I called 611 and they told me that I can use another, however, no smartphones. It has to be a Virgin mobile "payLo" phone only.

Jul 31, 2015
Swap Phone on Assurance
by: Mike Green

Before I try to swap my HTC Evo 4 for my Kyocera S1360 on Assurance, I tried to swap another Kyocera S1360. I logged onto my Assurance Account and clicked "Swap Phones". The program asks for my MEID number. I tried several formats: 268-435-462-504-871-xxx, 268435462504871xxx, 268 435 462 504 871 xxx where the last 3 digits are intentionally hidden.

I get the error message "There was a problem with the MEID/ESN provided. Double-check it was entered correctly and try again. Otherwise, please call Customer Care."

Did I do something wrong? Should I call customer service and give them this number but enter the information they give me in my smart phone?

Jul 16, 2015
phone
by: Anonymous

my assurance phone is very hard to see & use- can you help me find a free one that is better for me?

Jul 15, 2015
LG Optimus Fuel
by: Anonymous

How do you link this phone with Safelink? The people at safelink are telling me it's not possible to link a smartphone...can it be done? Please email me at shoshgifter@excite.com if there are any instructions....

Jul 08, 2015
Help Swapping Handset
by: nydia r

I'd really appreciate if you can email me at nydi_1@yahoo.com with instructions on how to swap handsets to a smart phone.

Jul 08, 2015
HOW
by: Anonymous

I see many questions as to use a smartphone on Assurance Wireless...but no answers on how to do it...Could you tell me please?

Jun 22, 2015
You Don't Need 4G
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I understand your concern. If you can get 3G data, you shouldn't have a problem accessing virtually any page, and filling out any forms that you need to. The connection certainly won't be as fast as 4G, but really shouldn't be too painful.

Jun 21, 2015
Data
by: Anonymous

Assurance wireless told me that their data plan is not made for smartphones and is very basic. I don't get how they use Virgin Mobile but can't use their 4G. Plus isn't the idea here to also help us be able to get jobs. Most jobs now require you to fill applications out online and have an email! Basically my question is it possible to get 4G on Assurance, and if not how much slower is their data plan?

Jun 08, 2015
Dear Anonymous,
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

What's your question? There's a lot of people asking questions that have already been answered. Maybe your question is unique, but overlooked?

Jun 07, 2015
There are questions but no answers
by: Anonymous

So many people ask, but nobody gives an answer.

Apr 11, 2015
Any instructions as to how?
by: Bruce Cole

Reply to:
You can swap your phone by yourself on assurancewireless.com.
by: Anonymous

Don't call them... Do it yourself at assurancewireless.com

So how do we do it?

brucecole@email.com

Apr 06, 2015
You can swap your phone by yourself on assurancewireless.com.
by: Anonymous

Don't call them... Do it yourself at assurancewireless.com

Mar 23, 2015
Procedure to Flash a Smartphone to Assurance Wireless
by: David

Howdy! I have Assurance Wireless as my carrier. I have never been able to use the Internet on the little Kyocera that was supplied.

I do not use facebook,...sorry ! Can I "flash" a smartphone if my brother supplies it? Can you explain the proper procedure ?
I am not too dense!

Thanks for all you do!
David V.

Mar 03, 2015
To KLB
by: Anonymous

Don't you have to subscribe to the Internet over your "smart-phone" if you want to pay bills or conduct other business over the phone? It was my understanding that the Assurance Wireless, Safelink, etc. was for people who cannot afford phone service, which is important for the elderly & others with health problems, etc! It seems to me, people are getting around that "low income" factor!! They ought to be ashamed!

Mar 03, 2015
Frustrating
by: BostonHolly

I have been a SafeLink wireless customer since 2009 when I lost my company and fell on hard times. As a 61 yr old disabled female, I am extremely grateful for the free minutes program. But I am fed up with Tracfone only offering the worst possible, used/refurbished, and often nonfunctional cell phones.

I've never wanted a smart phone, because it's impossible to easily make phone calls. But the reason I would invest in a refurbished smart phone is because I cannot use 411, 911 nor connect with local police easily as Tracfone phones are typically rejected pieces of junk, which make it very difficult to communicate with landline phones.

Forget about communicating with anyone who owns a smart phone, which is everyone unless they have become disabled, elderly or have fallen on hard times. I attempted to learn about Net10, a Safelink approved company, but Net10 provides no information on their site, and no one picked up on the landline customer service line.

Similarly, with Assurance Wireless I attempted to garner information about them, as they are also a Safelink approved company, but they do not have any landline customer service reps to speak with, nor do they have a website that provides information for prospective customers.

I called Safelink who's rep stated that Safelink only uses TracFone and that they no longer have a relationship with Assurance Wireless. He has also "forgotten about Net10". I would buy the damn phone if it was compatible with Safelink, Android or otherwise.

TracFone sells phones to poor people, but they only sell smart phones (refurbished) to their more well-heeled customers. Yes, we *are* being pushed aside at best, and at worst are being punished for being poor or disabled or old. Nuttin' new...

Feb 20, 2015
not-so-smart phone
by: alison

Can you please be more specific about how to do this? I'm so non-technical, step by step instructions would be very helpful.
Thank-you so much
alisonhansford@outlook.com

Dec 31, 2014
They Don't Offer Smartphones...
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

...Because the fact is that they're offering a free phone, and even the cheapest smartphones are still more expensive than feature phones.

As the price of smartphones continues to decrease (I mean the cost to manufacture), they will eventually be offered. Note, however, that even with less costly smartphones, there's still going to be a higher cost to service, and repair/replace, so it will take some time.

The legacy CDMA Cricket Safelink program actually didn't give you a free phone, but rather a discount on your monthly service. It's not as good as other free phone programs b/c you do have to buy your own phone, but gives you the flexibility to get any phone you want, including bringing your own compatible phone.

The New Cricket (under AT&T) doesn't offer this program currently, but expect them to launch it at some point in the future.

Dec 25, 2014
Safelink
by: Silhouett

Safelink which uses TracFone also does not allow the use of smartphones. I am not sure why because if you own or even purchase a TracFone that is Android like TracFone sells, why is it not able to be put on the Safelink network?

Seems like they are punishing the people for getting phone assistance by not letting them own a smartphone. A Safelink person would still have to purchase minutes over their allowed usage, so I don't get what the issue is.

Dec 21, 2014
Can't Bank w/o Smart Phone
by: KikiH

I cannot do my banking or keep up w/ my account balance on any of the Assurance offered phones. I need to have a smartphone flashed to assurance...PLEASE! I have an older model iPhone from Sprint that was given to me. Are you able to flash this to the NC Assurance service???

Dec 21, 2014
Best/Largest Touch Screen
by: Randy

Wanting to move up from the LG Aspire touch screen to a better and larger touch screen (this one has 3.1" screen), hoping for a 4.5" or larger model, that will work on Assurance Wireless. What do you recommend, and do you have such a phone? Also, if I buy a smartphone can you re-flash it so it will work, and what is the cost?

Dec 17, 2014
Kyocera Contact
by: Anonymous

I didn't set this phone up for 3 months.....manual not worth a "D"....online is a little better! I'm learning something new nearly everyday!!! Online it shows a screen with little icons like my Kyocera s2100, which shows tools, settings, my stuff, etc. My phone, only, has 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on with the tiny icons.....totally different!

I find more & more how much I really don't like it. I have to use the speaker phone all the time in order to hear on it, or press the phone hard up against my ear in order to hear without the speaker phone on! There's so much more I don't like, but would have to demonstrate! The battery runs down at least twice as fast as my old phone!! And try finding a new battery for this phone!! I found a couple while back that were $3 cheaper then the phone itself! Now, I can't find any!!!

Now, I know to check for that before I ever buy another phone! All & all, I'm not crazy about this phone & will never recommend it!! Oh....I can hear with the speaker phone on. I couldn't with my old phone!

Dec 16, 2014
Donor phone
by: Anonymous

Can you please tell me how to do this?

Dec 14, 2014
Samsung Galaxy S2 to Work for Assurance Wireless?
by: Andrea

Can you please help me with getting my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S2 to work on Assurance Wireless?

Dec 11, 2014
Info
by: Lynne

Can I have my Windows HTC T-Mobile phone transferred to Assurance Wireless?

Dec 10, 2014
Which Phone to Pick
by: Anonymous

I'm kinda confused on which cellphone to pick to flash to Assurance. I'm looking for a cheap "good rated" touch screen cellphone for under $40.00. I want to be able to surf the Net for news and gossip...LOL.

Nov 30, 2014
Assurance Flashing
by: Brian

Hi everyone please visit our new page on Facebook

https://Facebook.com/assuranceflashing

It has all the info you need and also phones for sale.

Nov 30, 2014
Little Confused
by: Melissa

Does that mean all I need to do is flash the Android phone?

Nov 28, 2014
I Have a Nokia Lumina
by: Michelle

From MetroPCS; can i I use it?

Nov 23, 2014
flashed rumor touch
by: LINDA

Thanks Brian love the phone. Does it all. You explained everything to a non techy and now I have it up and working. Great deal!.

Nov 03, 2014
I'd love to know how and which phones work best
by: Tanya

I have been looking everywhere. I'd appreciate the help.

Oct 26, 2014
Assurance Flash
by: Brian

A Sprint Evo will work and some HTC Virgin phones also. To better understand which phones will work and the process, if you search which phones can be flashed to Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, and Page Plus will work for Assurance Wireless. To start the process you will need to contact me via email, phone, or text: brianbri6 at hotmail.com, 401 400 0403.

Oct 25, 2014
I have an old HTC Evo from Sprint can I give this to my disabled sister who uses Assurance
by: Michael

Please give me more information on how to accomplish this process. This was a sprint phone, so it should be able to use the same network. Thank you for this information, I really want her to be able to play games and take pictures on her phone.

Sep 11, 2014
Use Smartphone
by: Anonymous

I have an HTC Virgin Mobile smartphone can I use it?

Aug 15, 2014
It Should Work
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

I would think it should work, so long as you have data access. Please respond back once you have completed the setup, and let us know what happened.

Aug 06, 2014
Email
by: Anonymous

I bought the Kyocera Contact phone, but haven't set it up yet.....charging it & reading the 'not so informative' manual & online support[?]. I don't use my cell for emailing, except I found that I can send photos to myself taken on my little cheap cell phone from this cheapie to my email address.

I have seen where many are saying they won't be able to email anymore. Does this mean I can't use this Kyocera Contact to take photos & email them to myself? Thank you

Aug 05, 2014
smart phone
by: Brian

I am located in Massachusetts. I also travel to Rhode Island

Aug 05, 2014
Great article THX
by: matt

Brian are you in the Bay Area?

Aug 04, 2014
Smartphone
by: Brian

I flashed most CDMA smartphones to Assurance Wireless talk, txt, and 3G data, and MMS send only. Contact me at brianbri6 at hotmail.com or cell: four zero one - 400 - 0403. I can do Samsung, LG, HTC, and more. Sorry no iPhones at the moment.

Aug 01, 2014
Kyocera Contact
by: Anonymous

THANKS, PrepaidWirelessGuy!

Aug 01, 2014
Kyocera Contact
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

The Kyocera Contact is listed on the Virgin Mobile site as a payLo compatible smartphone, so you should be able to simply call Assurance and swap your account to it. Once you get the phone, call them!

Jul 31, 2014
Kyocera Contact
by: Anonymous

Kmart has the Kyocera Contact on sale this week for $19.99. It says it's a smartphone [??]! I've read on here there's a way of using it with Assurance Wireless! Can I? I am going to order it & if I can't use it, I'll take it back to the store. The sale ends Saturday & I don't want miss out if I will be able to use it! Thanks.

Jul 17, 2014
So Where Are The Instructions To Do This?
by: Anonymous

I might be missing something, or maybe I'm blind, but I don't see where the instructions are to do this?

Jul 01, 2014
Smartphones and AW
by: Dmitriy Y.

I had problems scanning memory in CDMA. I needed to downgrade my firmware on my ZTE AWE, but that's too much work. There were other programs to try but I just gave up. ZTE AWE is so hard to reprogram. I'd recommend buying another smartphone. Also, you might want to buy the Samsung Montage or Kyocera Contact PayLo phones that might work to connect to CDMA and pull needed profiles from for your smartphone reprogramming. Anyway, I'm done for now.

Operation: Unsuccessful. Reason: Too impatient and too many errors; too much work.

Jun 28, 2014
Smartphones and AW
by: Dmitriy Y.

I am currently working on getting my free Assurance Wireless phone to work as a donor phone for my new ZTE AWE smartphone. I have learned a lot and will let you all know how to do it once I successfully complete the process. If I fail I will let you know that too. My Skype is Gunndown99 and e-mail is warrock-net@hotmail.com if you want to join me.

Jun 24, 2014
Easiest Way
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

The easiest way to change your phone is to request a new one from Assurance. They have certain allowances to replace broken phones. The next easiest thing is get a Virgin payLo phone and activate that on Assurance.

Jun 23, 2014
Switching My Assurance Account To A Different Phone
by: amanda

The Assurance Wireless phone they sent me got broken, and can someone please tell me how do I get my Assurance services switched to another phone? I have two older, unused phones I can use. A Straight Talk phone from Walmart, and a Boost Mobile phone.

Do I have to call Assurance Wireless or can I switch it myself somehow? Please help me, because every time I get one of those small little phones from their company it always has something that goes wrong with it before my yr warranty runs out, and I have to be re-approved. I just want it to be easier, and have a great phone with my service.

I don't have a lot of money, and love the service they provide for me. Please help me switch my phones out more easily!!!

May 04, 2014
joedayton1@yahoo.com
by: Anonymous

So how do you edit the meid number on the Kyocera rise. Would like to know if possible

May 14, 2013
Using An Android Phone
by: Anonymous

What other "various settings" need to be changed? How do you change the serial number?

Mar 15, 2013
System Migration Is Likely Causing The Problem
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for the feedback. There's a good discussion about what might be going on over at this other thread starting on March 15, 2013:

Changing Assurance Wireless Phone

I hope this provides some additional insight.

Mar 15, 2013
Kyocera Brio Does Not Work!!!
by: Anonymous

Kyocera Brio is not working on Assurance. I tried yesterday after buying one at Target for $19.99. I also ordered a cover and plastic screen covers off eBay so it does not break like my Kyocera Loft. The guy at Assurance told me I must have got a bad phone and to exchange it, so I ran to Target and did just that and called again. This time they said I must not have a Brio, I must be wrong. It is a Brio. The man said to try again in 15 days that the system isn't upgraded yet. I called again, this time they put in a work ticket. I called again. This time she said to try to swap it once a week till it works!!! OMG these people have no idea what is going on. The worst part is that I called before buying the phone to make sure it would work and they said yes. I am so irritated.

I am very thankful for my free service, but just because things are free doesn't mean we deserve to be crapped on and treated badly. I am not out trying to buy an iPhone, just a cheap $20 phone.

Mar 14, 2013
Have Safelink And Samsung S390 Smartphone
by: banana

Looks to me like Assurance would be a better deal as $30 unlimited vs. $30 for 120 min on Safelink. And still, even though my phone is triple minutes, that's 360 min plus my free Safelink 250, and I don't have a car so need to use WiFi to find where to go, and shortcuts to walk everywhere. These WiFi min eat you alive. I want to know if a switch to Assurance and use their phone as a donor, can I still keep my Samsung with the WiFi, video/camera etc.?

Feb 27, 2013
Kyocera BRIO is not working with Assurance Wireless.
by: Vega

Assurance Rep said Kyocera Brio is not able to be used with Assurance Wireless Service, because their old system is not working with Brio device.

Feb 25, 2013
Kyocera Brio
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

As it's a Virgin PayLo phone, it absolutely should work. You should be able to just call Assurance and ask them to swap your phone on your account. Please report back how it goes!

Feb 25, 2013
Change phone
by: Yolanda

Does anybody know if the Kyocera BRIO is compatible with my Assurance Wireless plan? I was told by one of their representatives that it was not but on the VirginMobile website says it is. Also, are there instructions on how to change/swap phones?

Thanks

Feb 21, 2013
Donor to Sprint phone
by: AbeLinc

Have Jax phones & Sprint LG Rumor2. How do I cannabelize Rumor to work on Assurance????

Feb 21, 2013
Data Should Work
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Great; thanks for the clarification. In theory, any officially compatible Assurance phone (like the Entro) should work as a donor phone. Note, however, that I still haven't figured out the step-by-step details to actually complete the "donation" process.

Data provisioning should work fine. Where data sometimes doesn't work is when phones are flashed between carriers. For example, when a Sprint phone is flashed to Page Plus (running on Verizon). While the networks are compatible, the provisioning sometimes doesn't work to enable full data access.

A Sprint phone being used on a Sprint network should work if flashed properly. I have experienced issues with MMS not working when a prepaid phone Sprint is flashed to work on postpaid Sprint, however, it's been awhile since I've had a chance to experience that.

Feb 21, 2013
unsupported phone
by: Robert

Yes, I am using a virgin Mobile phone (entro) on Assurance but would like to swap it out for a smart phone if possible. If so what kind should I use and if I purchased data from assurance would it work?

Feb 21, 2013
You're Already Using A Compatible Phone
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

No, you're already using your Entro on Assurance, so you don't need to worry about a donor phone. As the Entro is a Virgin PayLo phone, it's directly supported/compatible with Assurance. The link below on the January 23rd post is a discussion about compatibility. The discussion here is about about getting an un-supported smartphone on Assurance. I hope this helps clarify.

Feb 21, 2013
entro phone
by: Robert

I am using the Entro phone on the assurance plan. The Jax phone they give out broke and went into the trash. Would I have to get another jax phone from them just to do this?

Feb 21, 2013
Donor Phone Clarification
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Please note that a donor phone must be a standard issue Assurance phone. You'd be making a smartphone look like the authorized phone. i.e. The Assurance phone is a donor to make the smartphone look like an authorized Assurance phone. I hope this makes sense.

Feb 21, 2013
could you use a sprint phone
by: Robert

My brother works for Sprint and has many outdated smart phones collecting dust. Would I be able to use my Samsung Entro as the donor for any of them?

Feb 20, 2013
What Smartphones?
by: melissa

So what smart phones could you use, and how would you activate it?

Feb 15, 2013
How?
by: Anonymous

How exactly would you program a smartphone to look like it's an authorized phone? I'm not very tech savvy and don't know how I could do that.

Feb 11, 2013
Donor Phone
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

A donor phone is a phone that is authorized to be on the Assurance Wireless plan. i.e. The Kyocera Jax and any Virgin PayLo phone. You basically program your Kyocera Rise to look like it's an authorized phone by programming it with the serial number of the authorized phone (i.e. the donor phone).

I hope this helps.

Feb 09, 2013
About This Wireless Phone
by: Julie

I was just given a Kyrocera Rise phone. It has not been activated yet, as I have Assurance Wireless. Not sure how to start up service and use this particular phone. I realize they have certain phones you're supposed to use, however, I'm not sure I am understanding what a DONOR phone is. Can you go into a little more detail on that? Thanks ahead of time.

Jan 28, 2013
Specifics
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

To be honest with you, I'm not sure what specifically is involved to complete the whole process. Learning about these details (and posting them here) is what I'm trying to do so that people who are technically inclined (like you) can do so.

Once the phone has the ESN/MEID of the donor phone (i.e. an Assurance phone), I imagine the Access Point Name, PRL, etc. would all need to be updated. That said, some of that may occur automatically once the network sees the phone as a compatible/authorized handset. Though I'm not sure what would occur auto-magically vs. what would need to be configured manually.

This is the mystery I'm seeking to untangle!

Jan 28, 2013
setting updates
by: Anonymous

Thank you for this information! I am comfortable with the serial number thing, but what other updates need to be made? Is it like adding a new APN? I have a samsung galaxy s3.

thanks,
nr

Jan 23, 2013
Virgin Phones On Assurance
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

A quick note that for those seeking to avoid the challenge of using a donor phone to flash over a smartphone, there's an extensive discussion about what existing Virgin Mobile phones are officially supported on Assurance Wireless:

Changing Assurance Wireless Phone

Jan 23, 2013
Smartphones On Assurance
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for the post. I completely agree with you that finding a workaround to getting an officially unsupported phone (i.e. a smartphone) on Assurance Wireless (or any other free cell phone service for that matter) isn’t defrauding the company (Sprint in this case).

There are no doubt some very specific reasons why Sprint is not currently allowing smartphones to be activated on Assurance. It surely has a support cost, as well as a strategic decision. I’m sure they’re hearing loud and clear that there is a meaningful demand for this, and that even people who need free cell phone service will have a multitude of reasons why they have a smartphone on hand to use with Assurance.

The reality is that the Jax is a horrible phone, and even other older Sprint feature phones would be a welcome addition to the Assurance program. There are a ton of those lying around in people’s homes, on eBay, etc., that would work great on Assurance. If they were providing a better phone than the Jax, I wonder if this would be such a hot topic. I suspect that there would be more satisfied users who are perfectly happy with a feature phone. However, I expect that the desire to use smartphones would still be there.

I also wanted to point out that flashing a smartphone using a donor phone doesn’t appear to be a simple and straightforward process. I’ve been doing research on this topic, and have yet to find a clear step 1-2-3 process that will work with most smartphones, and that the average person can do. If I find it, I will certainly post it here!

If there are experts out there like KJB who can share details about how or where this can be done, please do help. If you offer a service to do such flashing/conversion, please feel free to leave a link to your website so we can send people/prospective customers to you!

Lastly, there are also Lifeline programs (ex. Cricket Lifeline Credit) that offer a credit on your monthly payment rather than offering free phone service. The amount of the credit varies by state, however, depending on the plan you choose, it can mean very inexpensive service. The benefit of credit programs is that you can use any phone that the carrier supports, and activate any plan you want. So, in the case of Cricket, you can bring you own compatible phone, or choose from a ton of prepaid smartphones. Of course, they won’t be free, however, you can buy a lower cost one, or bring one you already own. Anyway, another option to consider.

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