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16 responses to “As Page Plus Problems Mount, Six Reasons They’re Probably Being Shut Down”

  1. Arnold Semmons

    A good story, but please don’t refer to SafeLink as Obama Phone. The Safelink service (allowing cell phones to use Universal Service funds) actually came into being in the last few months of the Bush term in office. It was already in the works long before Obama became president.

    1. SPeter

      The Lifeline program originated in 1984, during the administration of Ronald Reagan; it was expanded in 1996, during the administration of Bill Clinton; and its first cellular provider service (SafeLink Wireless) was launched by TracFone in 2008, during the administration of George W. Bush. All of these milestones were passed prior to the advent of the Obama administration.

    2. Mel

      True! But during George Bush the government was not giving as much or even close to what Obama is giving.
      Obama turned the Volume all the way up!

  2. Sean White

    I don’t see any valid evidence that Page Plus is in any danger or in the process of shutting down. All I see is that they were bought out by a multi-national corporation and that the old staff and employees are being phased out in favor of new ones from the parent company.

    It may not be a welcome change for existing customers but that is what happens when companies get bought out.
    This whole article feels more like an op-ed piece rather than research journalism

    1. Tom

      They gave pretty clear evidence in the article. When dealers don’t get their calls answered at the most basic of levels… that’s a bad sign. Go on Kitty Wireless forums and read the response over there.

      Totally disagree that it’s an op-ed. It’s the best reporting I’ve seen on prepaid in a long, long time.

    2. gwen

      Our jobs weren’t phased out. We were laid off permanently and our jobs were outsourced to Guatemala and the Philippines for cheaper labor.

  3. Tom

    @Arnold – Yes, but it was the Obama Administration that loosened the rules allowing for “universal applications” (basically, allowing people in one social service, to instantly qualify for the others).

    Making Lifeline phones available via wireless was a smart, cost-cutting move. It was the Obama Administration’s more-relaxed rules that then proliferated to the point they are abused today.

    1. Paula

      Actually, it was the Reagan administration that started the Lifeline phone service as a landline. And if you were on any social service (food stamps, ssi/ssd, etc.), you were allowed to participate in the program also. Bush was the one that made it so that those in need could use a cell phone. It was just more advertised during the Obama administration.

    2. Tom

      Again, it’s the universal applications that changed things. It super-simplified the process which created waste/fraud/abuse.

      Even if you credit the Bush Administration for starting that process, it was the Obama Administration that kicked it into full throttle… with no reaction to the abuse that has become pervasive.

      When you have reporters that were able to obtain 30 Obamaphones, and billions changing hands with little oversight, action needs to be taken. The Administration has not implemented any administrative discretion in auditing Obamaphone users and recipients… not even requiring them to call in once a month to confirm they still need the devices.

  4. Sean

    Worth noting that Kitty over on Kitty Wireless gave a terse response to the article:

    “I have one word in response: Puppy.”

    Puppy, of course, being Kitty’s own Verizon MVNO – launched after the TracFone/PagePlus merger as her own ripcord strategy.

    While that alone isn’t definitive… it sounds pretty clear like this article is speaking the truth.

  5. Sean White

    The problem is you are expecting today’s Page Plus to behave the way it did before they were bought out. That is an unrealistic naive expectation.

    América Móvil does not provide customer service agents based in the United States for their other MVNOs.

    América Móvil does not provide direct support lines for dealer specific tickets for their other MVNOs.

    América Móvil does not keep various executive teams from their buy-outs who have counterparts already within their existing corporate infrastructure.

    This entire article was opinion about why the changes Page Plus is undergoing are signs its going out of business. However it fails to recognize that América Móvil’s other brands are already like this and Page Plus is simply falling inline with those same practices.
    I don’t really care what a start up like Puppy has to say about it since they are clearly just looking to drum up business and any fear they can drum up is done so for their own benefit.

    1. edde

      Still works the same for me as it always has. The Page Plus chat reps are Americans and the customer service through chat is still fast and great.

      1. Sage

        No. The chats are not done by US employees… Everyone in the US call center lost their jobs. It sucks.

    2. Christopher Price

      Both Page Plus and TracFone regularly returned our emails while I was at the helm. I am not aware of any level-of-communication changes with TracFone, but I can say that I know that they answer their emails.

      To say “… that América Móvil’s other brands are already like this and Page Plus is simply falling inline with those same practices.” is factually incorrect. TracFone communicates to this day with the press.

      Full disclosure: While I don’t regularly write for, I did lose my Page Plus account (inexplicably) and made it known on social media… but I have no role in covering this further.

      I would say that if anyone at Page Plus sees this, I have no doubt someone at will be happy to share their side of the story.

  6. Not To Be Disclosed

    *** Full Disclosure I am a Dealer with Page Plus Cellular *** First off there are some inconsistencies with this story that garner some justification. With that being stated, I want to address some of them on here, hopefully in order.

    opened up LTE BYOD… while at the same time shutting down CDMA BYOD. NOT COMPLETELY TRUE

    Verizon opened up the lanes of 4G to Page Plus, and at the same time instructed Page Plus Cellular that they would have to stop letting ALL phones that are non-Verizon Certified on the network. This came from Verizon, and had already been implemented in other Verizon MVNO’s. Page Plus is just one of the last companies having to do it. Furthermore, this opened up the amount of phones from strictly 3G phones, and 4G phones that had to be flashed to work (often times by rip off artists), to the whole Verizon line of mobile phones. 3G CDMA still works on Page Plus like they did before on all the plans, it was only forcibly restricted by IMEI to Verizon Certified devices only. 4G phones that previously had to be flashed whether they were Verizon or not, now work on PP $29.95 and higher plans if they are Verizon, again with non-Verizon IMEI’s being blocked. There are still flasher out there that work around this as well. All flashed phones have been against the Terms of Service of Page Plus since Page Plus start, and not since this new restrictions were enforced, again by Verizon, and not Page Plus.

    TracFone dba as Page Plus Cellular did indeed let go of almost every employee that existed before the purchase of Page Plus cellular in 2013. They did close the offices (the 2nd original location of PPC) on January 16, 2015. This did put many people out of work, albeit with a handsome exit package, however, this portion is part of common place business in today world including America. Businesses have for decades purchased others and put the original people out of work. This is not new, and was really expected.

    “It’s scary. We literally just get updates in an email and are told to call the same support number you guys are. We have no contacts, no referrals, nobody to talk to.” THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE.

    We still have a dedicated phone line number for dealers only to Page Plus Cellular, we have master dealers that we are supposed to deal with first, we have a personal email with Page Plus, as well as PPC administrative staff can be contacted by dealers directly on Facebook with instant answers. I have had no problem getting an answer by going through Chat as well, which works just as well, albeit slightly slower than PP did. Also, please keep in mind that up to approximately 2011, Page Plus Cellular Customer Service sucked, and dealer relations weren’t much better.

    Fact 5: Page Plus Doesn’t (Appear To) Have a Press Contact — ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU ACT LIKE THIS IS BRAND NEW, even though this very forum in 2010, 3 years before the purchased noted the same exact thing in a problem back then, in coindences of all coindences dealing with account cancellations and customer service. See:

    Fact 6: People Are Losing Their Balances / Accounts — WELL LOOK AT THAT, SAME PROBLEM DIFFERENT YEAR, different ownership. See above article. On the note of “Symptoms range from refill PINs not taking and then expiring, to pay-as-you-go accounts claiming to be on a monthly plan when nobody put them on a plan… then lapsing and expiring.”, this is not new either. This has always happened at times, throughout the whole tenure of Page Plus, especially after they introduced unlimited talk n text years ago. However, Page Plus does allow the customers to create a ticket, that they have been responding within a day or two with the results which from everyone I have heard that has chosen to do it very favorable to the customer.

    On the note of a persons comment on Kitty Wireless. Kitty historically worked with Page Plus Cellular as an exclusive dealer, and gave great advice during those times. Once she had enough money to start her own MVNO however, things changed. Any negative comments would only booster her own company, hence the recommendation she gave to go there. Imagine an MVNO owner talking about another MVNO, hmm, yeah that’s real trustworthy.

    Bottom line, nothing has changed at Page Plus except customer service being moved overseas, the introduction of 4G LTE, which would have happened either way per Verizon wanting to phase out 3G, and the restrictions to Verizon Certified devices, which again all Verizon MVNO’s have that restriction, did someone honestly think Verizon was going to continue to let Page Plus slide with that after forcing other to take the same stance?

    1. Staff

      Thanks for the (lengthy) reply.

      While we stand by our reporting, we will clarify the recent Page Plus changes on BYOD… a topic we have covered in-depth in the past.

      While it is correct that you can still activate a Verizon 3G contract phone on Page Plus, Page Plus and Verizon have progressively restricted the program, in spite of new FCC mandates that compel the unlocking of all devices for use on other compatible networks – which these changes block.

      As we have noted previously, Verizon Wireless has declined, or declined to respond to, numerous opportunities to comment on these changes. Our door is still open for them, and for Page Plus (which as far as we are aware, has not responded to this article), to do so. We’re happy to share their side of the story.