Cellular Service at the "Right" Price!
I switched my cell phone provider to Visible!
On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, I switched from Verizon prepaid to Visible because:
- Visible is owned by Verizon and uses Verizon towers.
- Unlimited cellular service for $25/month.
- Unlimited talk.
- Unlimited text.
- Unlimited data.
- Unlimited hotspot data at 5Mbps to 1 device.
The limitation on the hotspot useage is the only limiting item I've found on the plan. Even thought it's throttled to 5Mbps and limited to one device, that is still far more generous
than other plans I've seen.
First Step to Sign-Up
Each of these buttons opens Visible's web site in a new tab and passes a "friend code" that makes your first month only $5.
It also reduces the cost for one future month to $5 for the "friend":
Bring Your Current Phone
Get a $100 gift card after 3 months of payments.
- Click one of the button(s), above, then "Join with my phone".
- Then "Check Compatibility".
- Then "iOS" or "Android".
- If iOS, they ask "Select phone model" and "Select your current carrier".
- If Android or if you iOS is NOT Verizon, enter the IMEI (Settings | About Phone is where I found mine).
- Answer "Is your phone paid off in full? AKA is it unlocked?"
- When you respond "Yes", you get "Order a SIM". I don't know what happens if you respond "No" to this question.
- Some funny icons appear. A popup "Your phone works with Visible" may appear, to which you reply "Okay".
Then you get to the order page.
Buy a New Phone
Get a $200 gift card after 3 months of payments.
- Click one of the button(s), above, then "Join with a new phone".
- Shop for sub-$100 "generics" to the $1000+ iPhone 13 Pro Max.
- I didn't follow this path, but I assume you skip the "Check Compatibility" steps.
Then you get to the order page.
A couple strange things:
Don't get confused or frustrated by a couple things in Visible' pages:
- The base rate for Visible is $40/month, but that's just an inflated rate to let them implement a marketing gimmick.
- The "Friend code" is a $35.00 credit that reduces your first month to $5.00.
That's part of the buttons above or the 6-digit alphanumeric "Friend" code mentioned.
Once you notating that your first month is $5.00, you need not be concerned with that discount for joining!
- The "Party" controls your monthly price.
Join a "Party" with at least 4 members to get a $15.00 credit each month, thus reducing your price to $25.
(I chose "Prescott" but you can chose one with tens of thousands of members, if you like.)
To me, this "Party" is a silly thing.
Each phone line is billed separately and there is nothing "shared" or "common" about Visible.
So, why doesn't Visible just apply the $25 rate to all phone lines and get rid of this mess!
The Order Page
Once you've navigated through the initial pages, you want to confirm the price you expected!
- On the left, the plan states "$40/mo".
- However, on the right, under "Summary" the "First month total" will be $5.00.
- The "Total due today" is $0 for the plan. If you order a new phone, my guess is you pay for it "today".
- Click "Continue" and "Create your account".
Respond to e-mail that asks to confirm your e-mail address (the SIM card will
ship without confirming the e-mail address).
Here are some potential issues you may encounter if you pay for more than one phone line:
- You need a different e-mail address for each phone line.
- The account's name and address needs to match the name on the credit card.
- Visible told me to use PayPal if I want to pay for multiple phone lines with one credit card, but have different account name for each.
- Since I wanted to use a credit card, not PayPal, I had to use my name on several accounts.
- I found I could capitalize a different letter in my first name on each account.
- So, on the portal, I can glance at my name on the menu and confirm which phone line I'm viewing.
- Each phone line is billed separately.
- This is why it doesn't matter which "Party" you join. There is no relationship other than marketing.
- Your credit card statement will have one billing line for each phone line.
- If you bring your current phone number, you'll need information such as the account number, the passcode, and the billing ZIP-Code.
I ordered on Friday, the SIM card arrived Monday via FedEx. Because my Verizon prepaid just renewed on Sunday, I waited another 8 days before I actually downloaded the app and went through the "Activate" procedure, described below.
After You Receive the SIM Card
These notes are based on bringing your current phone and telephone number. If you purchase a new phone, your tasks are likely simplified.
- Download the Visible app, if you haven't already done so.
- Follow the instructions in the app.
- Click the "Activate" button or link in the app. In a short period of time*:
- You should receive an e-mail with the subject line like "Congrats, 123-456-7890 is now Visible!"
- You should receive an e-mail with the subject line "We got your payment."
- It's also possible to monitor the progress of the "port" by watching a couple items on the Visible web site/portal under (your name) then "Account"
- In the "Overview" section will be your proposed charge for 30 days from now. Don't get upset if it says $40.00; we'll fix that shortly.
- In the newly-added "Payment History" section, you'll see today's $5.00 charge.
- Once you know there's a charge on your account, swap your existing SIM card for the Visible SIM card.
- Retart your phone.
* A short period of time
can be a few minutes (10 minutes in my case) or up to a few hours, depending on the accuracy of porting credentials entered during the order process, the co-operative level of your existing carrier (which is losing business), and other stuff. If the "port" takes more than a few minutes, you might contact your existing carrier and see if they will speed up things. If it's not them, check your credit card information.
After You've Activated
You're not quite done! There are some things to do on the Visible portal. "Sign in" if you have not already done so.
- On the menu line, highlight your name, then choose "Account".
- "Overview" shows most details of your account. Don't get upset if you see $40.00 without any credits.
- "Party Pay" is where you join a "Party".
Remember my comment above: I chose "Prescott" and found it had at least 4 members already.
Once you join a "Party" the "Overview" should show a $15.00 credit and a total of $25.00.
- Still on the "Overview" tab, I assume you want to enable AutoPay.
- "Referrals" tab is where you see your code to let others join Visible for $5 for the first month and you get a future month for $5.
When someone activates their phone line using your referral code, the "Bring a Friend credits" portion of this page shows the number of credits forthcoming to your account. In addition, the "Summary" tab reflects a $35.00 discount when it shows the $5 planned charge for your next billing.
In about 3 months, remember to redeem your gift card. It doesn't work now; I tried!
Note: If you join Visible using one of the above "Friend" codes and set up your own for referrals, let me know the details and I"ll add your code to the list, above.
- Use the Visible web site/portal to sign up
- Choose one of the buttons, above, to get your first month for $5.00.
- Receive your SIM card
- On your phone
- Download the Visible app
- Choose "Activate"
- Change SIM cards
- Restart your phone.
- Re-visit the Visible web site/portal:
- Join a "Party" to get regular months for $25.00.
- Set up Autopay, if you like.
- Utilize the "Friend code" to get a future (up to 12) month for $5.00.
- In 3 months, redeem your gift card.
- Remember to cancel your account with your old provider. Otherwise, they might keep billing you.
I am an optimist. "A pessimist is a person who turns to the last page of a history book to see how it ends." (definition by Danny Stewart, circa 1980).