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Verizon Phones for Seniors: Challenges You May Face when Using the Unlocked 4G Jethro SC490

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

By: Sierra Schallock - Marketing Specialist, Dec 20, 2020

Before you purchase your Jethro senior cell phone, there are some things you need to know if you have Verizon. Although the SC490 is an unlocked phone, you may run into some issues if you want to use Verizon with it. At first, it was simply the activation challenges that Jethro customers were running into. This will be explained later in the blog along with some possible solutions. Now, we have run into some new problems with Verizon. Some customers are having issues receiving text messages on the SC490. The reason for this is that Verizon does not recognize Jethro’s IMEI number, meaning new settings cannot be sent to the phone.

To recap, these are challenges you can face if you want to use the Jethro SC490 on Verizon’s Network:

1. Activating your phone can be tricky (keep reading to learn more)

2. You may not be able to receive text messages

With that being said, if you can get past the activation challenges and are not concerned about receiving text messages, you could still make phone calls and enjoy this phone on Verizon’s network. For more information on how Verizon will work with the Jethro SC490, please see this video.

Activation Challenges

Firstly, you may know from previous blogs that 3G is being phased out with Verizon. What this means is that any phone without 4G or better compatibility will not get service starting as soon as January for Verizon customers. While the 3G shutdown is not limited to Verizon, it may cause some extra frustrations due to Verizon’s contracts and limited options for non-smartphones.

As we all know, a smartphone is not the best option for all people. They can be complicated and very expensive. Luckily, Jethro offers an unlocked 4G senior cell phone that is simple and does not use data.

However, you may face some challenges when activating your Jethro phone with Verizon’s service. The major problem that Jethro customers have been faced with is that Verizon’s customer support may tell you that this phone and other unlocked phones are incompatible with Verizon’s service.

The problem lies with the IMEI number which is just a unique 15-digit identification number for each individual phone. Verizon does not have Jethro’s IMEI numbers in their database, making activation difficult. This happens with other unlocked phones as well, not just Jethro phones.

So, what can you do if you are a Verizon customer but want to stay away from the smartphone world?

There are a few options, but keep in mind that not everyone has been able to successfully activate their Jethro phone with Verizon’s service.

  1. Use an already activated Verizon SIM card. Simply, insert that working SIM card into the Jethro SC490, and it will work right away. No setup is required.

  2. Use an unlocked smartphone or a previous Verizon device's IMEI to complete the activation process.

  3. Switch to Jethro Mobile which runs off T-Mobile’s network if coverage is sufficient. Jethro plans are prepaid, low cost, and require no contract.

  4. Switch to T-Mobile, Tracfone, Mint Mobile, or any network which uses T-Mobile's towers.

  5. If steps one through four are not an option, you may need to consider using Verizon's device with their service, as they do not have a flexible solution for bringing your own device at this moment.

There may be a few situations where you may not be able to complete the activation with Jethro's phone on Verizon, and we want to make them clear to save you frustration and time.

  1. If you have an old Verizon CDMA phone that contains no SIM Card, the IMEI of that phone will not help you to complete the activation online and in-store.

  2. When you purchase an activation kit online and do not have a recognized IMEI number with the Verizon system, you may not be able to complete the activation by using the Jethro phone's IMEI number.

  3. For Verizon customers who have the grantherfathered-plan, if you want to get a new line. Verizon may request you to upgrade to a current plan which costs more even though you can provide a valid IMEI number. If you are interested in Verizon senior cell phone plans, start with their 55+ options.

We do understand that many Verizon customers are happy with their service, as they provide more coverage than some other service providers. However, Verizon customers may face issues with high prices, refusals to work with an unlocked phone’s IMEI number, or the potential for Verizon to increase the prices on a customer’s plan if using another phone.

Although, we understand that there is a need or a want for basic phones. As a local cell phone manufacture, we recognized our customer's needs and will do anything in our power to help you have the cell phone and service you want. Please don’t hesitate to contact our customer support if you have any questions or concerns. Call us- 1.888.509.6199

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