I learned about Visible Wireless (Visible) because I was looking into switching over my cell phone service from the Big Guy, Verizon, to save money on my cell phone bill. Now, that’s a tough one because I find myself in some remote areas and they’ve been pretty good in those areas.
Visible Wireless is what’s called an MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. This is a wireless communications service provider that doesn’t own the network infrastructure (towers, lines, etc.) it uses to provide its customers with service and yet, are able to offer the services at competitive prices through their different packages. It turns out that Visible is owned by and uses Verizon’s towers. So I’m looking at the coverage, thinking about my current experience in the places I go, and it sounds like a good move.
Register For An Account
I looked at a few different Companies’ plans that had different data thresholds and packages. I also looked at the towers each of those companies used. I compared their coverage area against the coverage maps of other companies I’ve used in the past. I remembered which ones I had better experiences with and all of those things went into making the decision to switch certain devices to certain carriers.
One of the good things about Visible is that they made the decision very easy to make. There’s one plan; Unlimited Talk, Text and Data for $40 with the possibility of reducing your bill to $25 based on a few parameters.
On top of that, they usually have Promotions and Deals when signing up. When I compared Visible to other Carriers and MVNO’s plans and coverage maps, I was already familiar with THIS map and it was at a competitive price.
So, to keep a long story kinda short, I wanted to switch from old Android to a newer iPhone, switch an iPhone 5s to a newer iPhone and transfer two newer iPhones over and keep all the numbers. The old Android and old iPhone were on their last legs anyway; it was time for a newer phone. We would have to go to Visible’s website to find out which devices are most compatible with their service.
I also wanted to get a phone for my father. He currently has a pre-paid flip phone that he buys minutes for. I’m kinda jealous because I loved my flip phone. I just know these smart phones can do more that might benefit him if he can get the hang of it.
So as you can see, we had a lot of things going on.
As I write this, Visible does not have a plan for tablets. That was a small factor regarding which devices I would switch over to their service.
Originally I planned to get a phone slightly newer than my current phone but my daughter convinced me to go a little bit higher than the iPhone 6s because the older phones are being zoned out. I thought that was a nice save. Thanks, daughter.
Based on my experience, the process of activation is different depending on a few factors; whether you want to keep your number or not and the Carrier you’re switching from. If the carrier you’re switching from doesn’t use the Verizon towers, you may have to verify whether it can be used AT ALL and they make it easy to find that out on their website.
Preliminary Steps To Consider
CDMA Unlocked Phones that can work on the Verizon towers work best! I chose to get one that was “GSM AND CDMA Unlocked” because it was easier on my brain and seemed like it would cut down on the possibility of making a mistake. A lot of the newer iPhones (6 on up) are capable of both types, from what I could understand.
eSIM vs Physical SIM
I have to say that both activations for the devices that I got a Physical SIM card for [1 new number, 1 keeping old number], were really easy to activate. The SIM card is overnighted to you from Visible (FedEx); except over the weekends. Once you’ve given them all the information, ordered your physical SIM card at no extra cost to you, it was as easy as putting it in and turning on the phone.
On the other hand, if you’re able to go the eSIM route like I did on all the other devices, your main issues will be finding and making sure you give them the IMEI number, which you would have to do anyway with the physical SIM. The benefit, though, is that your activation will more and likely be sooner than waiting for the physical SIM.
As far as issues go, I had fewer issues to deal with on the devices I got the physical SIMs for. This may not be a Visible issue. I may not have done everything in the correct order every time. If this is the case, I have to say that the Chat Support has always been very helpful.
Getting A New Number
New Phone Through Visible and a New Number
I think this was one of the easiest activations. It came with the SIM card that you insert into the slot allocated for that (per the instructions included) and all you have to do is set up your phone (Android, in this case) login to the app and press activate. Keep in mind you’ve already set up an account in order for them to overnight the phone/SIM card. They may ask for the IMEI number which is fairly easy to find in your Settings.
If you ARE NOT getting a phone through Visible, you have to
1. Look on their list of compatible phones, and
2. When you’re shopping for the phone, make sure it’s unlocked and compatible with the Verizon towers. Visible has a way to check whether or not the phone is compatible and useable using the IMEI Number, but some cell phone models can only use certain towers. Thus you want to make sure you have the right phone before you spend money on it. Most of the newer iPhones should have GSM AND CDMA Unlocked versions.
Keeping My Old Number
Make sure you DO NOT
1. Start a new contract with your old carrier or
2. Discontinue your old service before you finish activating your new service through Visible.
One thing that was kinda trippy when I was transferring my old number to either a new or old phone was that Visible will assign a number to your phone until you switch over your old number. Don’t get too nervous about that….unless you previously discontinued your previous service.
I Have My Old Pre-Owned Phone And Want To Keep My Old Number
Make sure you DO NOT cancel your previous service before you complete your activation with Visible or ANY company you choose, for that matter. It would also help if you don’t start changing things on your current carriers because sometimes it might activate a new contract with them, which could lock you in for a longer period of time. Then you may not be able to switch over; or at least it may make it more difficult.
Because I was with Verizon, I will use my own experience and that example with the understanding that it may be slightly different with other Carriers. With Verizon, you will need: 1. Phone number
2. IMEI Number
3. Transfer PIN – If you have your MyVerizon Login and Password, you can generate your own Transfer PIN. This Transfer PIN is good for 7 whole days.
4. Verizon Account number – This number may be slightly shortened from what is on your paper bill.
I Want A New Phone And To Keep My Old Number
This particular scenario was a new iPhone user scenario. Not only did we have to get the IMEI number and set up the phone and all that, but this User wasn’t a previous iPhone User. Therefore, in order to download the Visible App, she needed an Apple ID and Password set up so she could access the App Store.
Once, again, I would also make sure you can maintain communication or gain communication through the Chat Support on another device so they can walk you through the set-up process. However, due to the time it may take to figure out how to set up your Apple ID, a good Password, the email Confirmation for your Apple ID and then the Text from Apple’s 2-Stage Confirmation, you may want to get all that done beforehand and THEN finish up with the ‘inVisible Chat Wizards’. Something’s going to stick.
In this step, if you want to keep your phone number, you’ll either be asked (through the Chat Support) for the Phone Number, Transfer ID and Account number or you’ll have to punch it in on the app….or you may also do it on the other device if you have that information. You can do it both ways, but if you need help, I’m sure they can help you in the chat because that’s how I did it a couple of times. It may depend on the helper you get.
The Registration Process:
NUMBER ONE! Make sure the phone you want to activate service with is compatible with their system. You can do this by finding out what the IMEI number is on that particular phone or you can go to the Visible website and punch in the information, in some cases, and it will tell you if they can do it.
1. Click Here to Sign Up. This will take you directly to where you need to be in order to start checking your phone’s compatibility using my assigned link, which will help reduce my bill. Once you sign up and activate your service, you will also be assigned a link to help reduce your bill if you help someone save money using Visible Wireless.
2. ‘Shop’ tab – ‘Bring your own phone’ – Click ‘Check compatibility’ button. – Click ‘iOS’ or ‘Android’ button. – Choose your device from the dropdown menu. – Select your current cell phone Carrier from the dropdown menu.
3. Click ‘Check phone compatibility’ to find out if your pre-owned device is compatible to work with Visible.
Decide whether you want a Physical SIM card or an eSIM. We’ve done it both ways and from my experience, it was fairly easy both ways. For one of the iPhones and the android I bought through Visible, we got a SIM card overnighted (iPhone) and delivered with the phone itself (Android).
4. Find your IMEI number in your phone and type it into the field on the next page that you’re directed to after confirming that you have a compatible phone. This will confirm that your particular phone can be activated. It may be locked for some reason even though it’s compatible. If you purchase a phone from Visible, it SHOULD be compatible.
5. Now you can create an account with Visible. You’ll need a few things to make this go quickly and smoothly;
A. An email address that will be used for this particular line/account. Each phone uses its own account and email. From my experience (and I don’t know if it’s still this way or not by the time you read this) you should use an email that doesn’t have symbols in it. One of the accounts I set up got kicked out for that reason. Try it and see if it works. If not, then you know.
B. Password: 8 or more characters, 1 Uppercase Letter, 1 Lowercase Letter, 1 Symbol (!@#$%^&*)
Your account will then be created, but you’ll also need a few more pieces of information. It will tell you to sign into your account using the app….from your phone. I would still make sure you can chat on your computer as well.
Check Compatibility 2
Here are the other pieces of information you’ll need.
6. Current Phone Number, Account Number and Transfer PIN: Your IMEI number should already be in their system from the steps above (write it down and/or have it handy anyway), but if you’re switching over from Verizon, you’ll also need the Account number associated with your Current Account with Verizon and a Transfer PIN. This PIN will expire within 7 days from the time you first get it.
This step is necessary if you have a number you’d like to keep, whether you want to use a New Phone or Previously Owned Phone
From my experience, it’s best to get these pieces of information from your MyVerizon account. You COULD call Verizon, which I had to do, since I didn’t even have a MyVerizon Account yet. I had to set that up and then the Customer Service agent ordered it for me. I didn’t find out until later that I could have done that myself by doing a search, within your MyVerizon account, for “Transfer PIN”.
Verizon will make sure you’re the right person through your preferred method (Text, Email, Mail, etc.) and a link for you to click on to verify that you initiated the Transfer PIN generation. Then you can go to the page where it will show you the Account number you need to input on Visible’s site.
Aside: One phone was so outdated that we weren’t sure if we would even get the text. Fortunately enough, though, the phone decided it wanted to receive texts when we were going through this process.
NOTE: The account number on your bill may have more numbers than necessary and it will kick it back out if you put all those numbers in. This is why I think you should go this route (accessing your MyVerizon Account) instead of any other ways for these two pieces of information.
7. Payment method: You can use a payment method used previously if needed. One thing to keep in mind is that, at this time, Visible doesn’t have a way for you to Pre-pay future bills. You can either use their Auto-Pay system or just know when your bill is due.
I had a slight issue with one of the other iPhones that was resolved when I chatted online with the Visible Chat Wizards…(or whatever they call themselves. I’m coining that here if they haven’t already).
Evidently, it helps when you have the App installed onto the device already and you can login from the device. I found it helpful to be able to chat from the computer online while activating the device. They can walk you through what to do as you figure out each step.
It may seem like a lot in one article, however, once you get the key pieces of information together, it moves pretty quickly. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted, TO DATE, just in trying to come up with a Password. I liken it to making a meal; sometimes the pain is just chopping and preparing all the ingredients. Once the pot is hot and the ingredients are chopped, it’s all but done.
I hope this information helps smooth out a few mental hangups for you if you decide to switch over to Visible Wireless. Thanks for taking the time out to read through this article. Also, if you are considering switching over, it would help me if you would use the links in this article. Visible has incentives that YOU will also be able to take advantage of, as a customer, that could save you money on your bill as well, if you help bring customers over from other Carriers.