Steps to Activate a Prepaid Verizon Wireless Phone

by John Costa

Verizon Wireless Prepaid service allows customers to pay for calls in advance without subscribing to a monthly plan. Customers who opt to purchase a prepaid wireless phone aren't required to submit to a credit check, provide a deposit, or commit to a long-term contract. After purchasing a wireless phone, you can activate your device by visiting Verizon's website or complete activation on the phone.

Online Activation

You can activate a new prepaid phone online at Click "All Prepaid Plans" under the "Plans" menu, and click "Activate new phone" near the bottom center of the page. Enter your zip code and click "Submit." Click your coverage area from the drop-down menu and enter your ESN or a MEID, which is found on the phone under the battery and click "Continue." Click "Select this plan" next to the plan you want. Place a dot next to the plan you want under "Select a plan" in the chart. Click to check the box that says you've read and agreed to the Prepaid Customer Agreement, and click "Select a Plan and Continue." Follow the prompts to complete the activation.

Activation Using the Device

Verizon Wireless customers can also activate their wireless phones from the phone. To do this, press the "Send" button when the message "Press Send to activate your phone" is displayed after turning on the device. You can also dial "*22898 SEND" from the wireless phone if the message doesn't automatically appear.

Keeping an Account Active

To keep a prepaid service active, you must purchase minutes when activating your wireless phone and your account. You must also refill your account whenever minutes are low or before the expiration date for any purchased minutes. When making a payment before the expiration date, the unused balance will carry over. Any remaining balance will be lost after the expiration date if the account isn't refilled. You may also lose a wireless phone number if an account is inactive.

Refilling an Account

An account can be refilled online by logging in to My Verizon or using the My Verizon feature on a mobile Web capable phone. You can also refill your account by calling *611 from the wireless phone or by purchasing a refill card or PIN at a Verizon Wireless shop or authorized retailer. You can also register for automatic monthly payments. A major credit or debit card is required to refill an account when calling *611 or for automatic monthly payments. As of June 2011, Verizon Wireless accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

Prepaid Plans

Verizon Wireless offers a range of prepaid plans. Unlike regular wireless plans, prepaid plans don't require a long-term commitment. As of June 2011, Verizon Wireless offers three monthly plans with monthly allowances of 450, 900 or unlimited minutes. You could opt for a talk-only plan or a talk and text plan and could also add a data plan for smartphones or BlackBerry devices. Verizon Wireless also offers daily plans where you pay a fixed rate for days the phone is used.

About the Author

John Costa covers travel, public policy and consumer issues for various online publications. He has also worked as a government adviser since 2005, developing policies and programs. Costa holds a B.A. in history and political science from the University of Toronto, as well as an M.A. in comparative politics from the University of York in England.

Photo Credits

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