Assurance Wireless, owned by Virgin Mobile, is a Lifeline provider. They offer several plans structured to address the different needs of government aid recipients. As with all providers, from time to time, you may need an Assurance Wireless replacement phone. This may be due to loss, theft, or an Assurance Wireless phone upgrade. If you find yourself in need of an upgrade from these guys, here’s what you need to know.
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Assurance Wireless Phones
Before we talk about upgrades, here’s some basic information about assurance wireless compatible phones. Take note that company policy may vary by state, and this includes the kind of phone you can use with your Assurance Wireless plan.
As a general rule, new Assurance Wireless clients are given Android smartphones nowadays (iPhones are not supported.). Normally, your phone will be mailed to you. However, if you signed up for an Assurance Wireless plan through a representative from your community, you will get your phone through that representative, and that person will also help you activate the unit.
Other Units Compatible with Assurance Wireless Accounts
Are you looking into using a phone that is other than the one given to you for free by Assurance Wireless? At present, Assurance Wireless recommends the ZTE Quest as the smartphone best used with their accounts. However, they do state that such units as the Coolpad 3300, Unimax 673, ZTE Tempo, and Kyocera Hydro Reach can also be used with their accounts.
Meanwhile, there are old feature phones that can still be used with Assurance Wireless lines. These include certain Virgin Mobile and PayLo models. Take note that all BlackBerry and iPhone devices are not supported.
The Assurance Wireless website does not mention any rule, term, or condition regarding upgrades in their general FAQ page (save for an instruction that says to go to “My Account” to swap) but does talk about upgrades in their California-specific FAQ page. Therefore, it may be safe to say that Assurance Wireless phone upgrades are only for California clients.
Basic Feature Phone to Smartphone (California Only)
Assurance Wireless phone upgrades are only possible for California customers who currently have a basic feature phone (such as the ALCATEL ONETOUCH Cinch and the Kyocera Jax). An upgrade would mean switching from the basic phone to a smartphone.
Smartphone to Better Smartphone (California Only)
However, if Assurance Wireless has already issued you a smartphone with your account, you can no longer upgrade to or swap with a different Assurance Wireless smartphone. You can, however, simply use a different smartphone that is compatible with Assurance Wireless. This is at your expense, of course, and will not be recorded by Assurance Wireless.
What to Do After Upgrading (California Only)
Once you receive your new Android smartphone from Assurance Wireless as your upgrade, you will need to activate service on it. Here are the few things you need to do:
Go to www.assurancewireless.com, and log in to your account.
On the “Account Overview” page, you will see a set of options under the label “I Want To…” From there, select “Swap Phones.” You will be instructed to enter certain information, that is, the ESN/MEID of your current phone. This is a number that you can find under the battery after removing the phone cover.
Click the California FREEdom Plan for Android Smartphones option, and the website will take it from there.
As an alternative, you can simply call their customer service line to get help from one of their advisors.
Reasons for Upgrading
There are many reasons to get an upgrade if you are still using the basic phone that Assurance Wireless sent you when you signed up for an account, and these reasons mainly revolve around added versatility.
Smartphones have better functionality than basic feature phones. Simply put, smartphones can do more than basic phones can. A quick review of the phone user guides on the Assurance Wireless page can show you just what the differences are among their units.
One of the biggest and most important differences is the internet browsing capability of smartphones. It is a given that the Lifeline benefit program was initiated to give low-income American household a means to have access to vital communication systems, especially in emergencies. However, modern communication technologies have become way more than just calling and texting, which are really all your basic feature phone can do.
When you have an Assurance Wireless smartphone, you can use apps and websites that allow you to communicate without consuming your voice or text messaging allowance. Having additional communication channels also means that you have a higher chance of getting to someone in case you need them. In the same manner, your loved ones also get more ways of reaching you.
With the power smartphones have, you can even do way more than just communicate. Say, you run out of cash and gas in the middle of nowhere. You can use your smartphone to search for the nearest ATM or gas station. You can also message your spouse or whoever you need to notify using call, text, email, and various messaging applications to make sure they see it.
Besides, Assurance Wireless offers data plans now. Sure, these are a little more expensive than their basic plans, but the small added cost is more than worth it.
How to Upgrade
If you are seriously considering upgrading your current Assurance Wireless phone, go to their website and go to “My Account.” You can also call their customer service line at 1-888-321-5880 to see if you qualify for an Assurance Wireless phone upgrade.
Requesting an Assurance Wireless phone upgrade is easy. This company is highly reliable and has been around for quite a while now, so you know that they are equipped to handle such requests well. Just keep these things in mind so you know what to do should you ever need an upgraded unit.