Former Alltel customers on Verizon having issues with FaceTime on the iPhone 4?
One of our readers told us today -
I've been on the phone with Verizon and Apple for hours yesterday and today. Yes, I'm stoked that I get to stay on my old (and cheaper) data plan with Verizon (through Alltel) but now that I have my iPhone, FaceTime does not work. Everything else works fine (calls and data) but FaceTime says "waiting for activation..." (forever). Additionally, in the top left of the screen near the bars and 3G, it should say "Verizon". Former Alltel customers do not see this. Neither Apple or Verizon knows what to do about it. I've been escalated time after time. Still waiting... I was told this is now a Priority 1 issue. Hopefully the thousands of others planning to get the iPhone this week don't experience the same problem!
If you happen to be a former Alltel customer with a grandfathered plan and are using the Verizon iPhone 4, please let us know if you are also having an issue with FaceTime not working - or if it's not showing "Verizon" on the top of the screen next to the signal strength.
We received word today from our tipster saying that Verizon was able to fix the problem (at least for now) on their iPhone 4 by sending it a different PRL, which changed from 46102 to 40000. It now says "Verizon" on the top of the screen, and the FaceTime app works without issues. So if you happen to be a former Alltel customer with these problems, a call to Verizon to have them push PRL to 40000 to your iPhone 4 should resolve it.
If you have some interesting info that you'd like to share with us, feel free to Tip Us!
1. Matt (unregistered)
Umm, a fix to this might be that sometimes Facebook sends an activation email to you to start Facetime. It did it on the Ipod Touch 4th gen. I was getting that error on my Ipod Touch. That would be a good explanation to the problem.
54. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
ALSO FOR ALL YOU VZW HATERS OUT THERE WHO WANT TO PICK OUT EVERY ISSUE VZW HAS....
AT&T NETWORK CRASHED WHEN THE IPHONE HIT IT...
AND ALL OF YOU CLAIMED VZW WOULD DO THE SAME.
BUT ALL YOU HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IS MISSING BANNER AND A FEATURE THAT ONLY 3% OF IPHONE USERES USE....
TALK ABOUT PETTY COMPLAINTS.
55. BobbyTaba (Posts: 316; Member since: 11 Aug 2010)
IPHONE IS PERFECT CUZ ITS IPHONE. IM A NUBE^ LIKE NARLEY AND I DONT KNOW HOW TO USE A CUSTOMIZABLE OS LIKE ANDROID
68. elran24 (Posts: 14; Member since: 03 Feb 2011)
AT&T service did not crash! you gotta get your story straight!
71. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)
Yes, it did. 1st iPhone on at&t thrashed their internal systems. Not to mention At&t's first iPhone couldnt even picture message.
2. BaiGanyo (Posts: 308; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)
What? A tiny flaw at Big Red? Didn't they test the thing before they put it out there?
44. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
a tiny flaw that will be fixed by the end of the day... not a big deal. now you have proven your bias. Verizon is rated number 1 in consumer satisfaction so its obvious that a tiny flaw will be fixed as promptly as possible just as all verizon issues. Ive also been told that not all alltel customers have this problem. my girlfriends mother doesnt have the facetime issue... hers doesnt say verizon but big wooop... who cares. as a matter of fact, i havent spoken to anyone with this issue so its quite possible PA is going into their routine of trashing verizon with any story they can get.... they have only one source here. the rest of you claiming to have this issue (robert) maybe you should actually register with PA so we can accuratley judge the credibility of your comments.
52. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
ya they tested it with grandfathered alltel customers...
be realistic moron.
3. Robert (unregistered)
I am a grandfathered in Alltel customer. I preordered my phone on the 3rd, flawlessly, got it the 7th. Activated it, and it is has NEVER shown Verizon in the top left corner, and in Settings>General>About, it shows "Not Available" in the network. Facetime has NEVER worked these past three days. Took it to The Cube, met with a tech dude at The Apple Store, they had no clue... Met with Verizon today, they had no clue... There were other Verizon iPhones being used by customers in the store who were not former Alltel customers and their phones said "Verizon" in the top left corner, it said "Verizon" for their network, and FaceTime worked great for them... This has been a load of crap and I'm getting the runaround from customer service from both VZW and Apple... Any feedback from other Alltel users????
8. Cayate (unregistered)
Your grandfathered Alltel plan is not that much better than the current VZW plans anyways! Look into and you will see that by changing to current VZW plans you will gain more than you will loose....
13. Robert (unregistered)
Now I pay 59.99 for 900 minutes and 10 Friends and Family on Alltel . . . On Verizon, I'd have to pay $10 MORE for 200 less minutes, and NO Friends and Family... You do the math.
15. Cayate (unregistered)
for $10 more you would get unlimited minutes with VZW and no need for Friends and Family... DO THE RESEARCH before you do the math...
27. Brandon12451231 (unregistered)
Previous Alltel customers do get unlimited minuted to Verizon customers PLUS the 10 Friends and Family for non-Verizon customers.
The only one who should be doing the math here is you...
30. cellnation1234 (unregistered)
Brandon12451231, The Unlimited calling plan is only $69.99 to ANYONE in the USA. Cayate is right on this one. Simmer down a little and make the move.
37. msa1988 (Posts: 417; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
But if his current plan is enough for him, why would he want to pay more when he dosn't need to? Thats the point you're missing..
43. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
actually verizon offers that same 59.99 plan for 900 min... the only difference is that you get 5 friends and family... if thats not good enough 10 dollars more is a good price to pay for unlimited and get the facetime... although this issue will be fixed asap as ive been made aware and if you cant wait to use facetime till probably the end of the day today your just tool
45. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
robert... i call bull sh1t on "I'd have to pay $10 MORE for 200 less minutes". you get the same minutes for the price you currently pay by switching to a verizon plan. not a big deal guys come on...
48. Robert (unregistered)
My plan now:
Alltel Family Plan
59.99 (900 minutes, 10 friends and family, unlimited mobile 2 mobile)
29.99 (data plan for my iPhone)
20.00 (required texting plan for iPhone)
9.99 (mom's line)
9.99 (dad's line)
Total last month, with taxes: 129.96 (that's not including taxes)
Since the 700 minute family plan with Verizon doesn't include any F&F numbers we would be compelled to use the 1400 minute plan at 89.99
If I were forced to switch to Verizon:
89.99 (700 minutes, ZERO Friends and Family numbers)
9.99 (for 1 extra line)
0.00 (this plan includes 2 lines)
29.99 (required data plan for iPhone)
20.00 (required texting plan for iPhone)
Total last month, with taxes: 149.97 (that's not including taxes)...
So, I know, now you say, "So what, shut up and pay $20 more a month and use the phone and the FaceTime features"... but the point is that Verizon had never prefaced the purchase of the phone with a claim that Alltel customers would have to switch their plans in order to fully utilize the capabilities of the phone. This, although it may have been inadvertant, must be rectified or else this will result in a class action lawsuit for deceptive and misleading business practices. There will certainly be at least thousands of aggrieved parties.
49. Robert (unregistered)
Sorry, CORRECTION... First Total is WITHOUT Taxes : 129.96
50. Robert (unregistered)
haha and the second total is WITHOUT taxes as well! duhhhh
57. Whateverman (Posts: 3192; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Hold off on the lawsuits for a few weeks at least. This issue is barely a day old and was not something that would have been expected. Now that they know there is an issue, give them time to fix it!
Oh and the prices and features you quoted for VZW plans were incorrect. For $89.99 you get 2 lines with 1400 mins, 10 Friends and Family, and there is no requirement for SMS/MMS. You are correct about the $29.99 data plan and $9.99 for the additional line, but if you are not a texter the VZW plan would cost exactly the same. Still may not be something your interested in but just putting it out there. Peace!
59. Robert (unregistered)
Whateverman, you are incorrect. There IS a separate requirement if using the iPhone. You must have an SMS/MMS plan, offered for $20.
So, to correct my prior post, I would be compelled to join this plan -
If I were forced to switch to Verizon:
89.99 (1400 minutes, 10 Friends and Family numbers)
9.99 (for 1 extra line)
0.00 (this plan includes 2 lines)
29.99 (required data plan for iPhone)
20.00 (required texting plan for iPhone) ***
Cost per month: 149.97 (that's not including taxes)...
I think Verizon will come up with a solution soon. It has to do with Alltel SMS stamps interacting with Apple's FaceTime server . . . FaceTime is initiated by an SMS signal and Apple must have only been prepared to interact with Verizon-identified SMS signals instead of Alltel ones.
70. Whateverman (Posts: 3192; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Well, it never hurts to double and triple check, so that's what I did. I went to the VZW website and on the first page it has the iPhone and a disclaimer stating that there is a 2yr contract and a data plan requirement. But I called CS just in case and they confirmed you don't have to have a texting plan. So that 1400 min plan would be $129.99 just like the plan you currently have. Not saying you have to switch if you are happy with your plan. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But we were right about getting that fix soon. A few Alltel cust saying that the issue has been resolved without changing plans.
73. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)
FUCK WHO CARES!!!!! Just get the right plan Alltell sucked a ball sack and whent out of buisness your paying the same fucking price you cry baby, jesus christ.
53. narley (Posts: 357; Member since: 14 May 2009)
I wanna have my cake and eat it too...
meanwhile everyone else in here is paying normal premium pricing for premium features.
4. halcyon (unregistered)
Man, stop complaining and change your plan if you want to see the vzw banner, there's no run around other than your plan doesn't have full compatibility/support all the iphone features.
6. theo14461 (Posts: 160; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
AMEN, to that! If you wanna play, ya gotta pay!
5. joe678 (unregistered)
Who wants facetime anyways..its all grainy n glitchy..until the frontcam is 2mp at least then the next gen. network MIGHT be good enough to take the graininess away
7. Robert (unregistered)
Joe, Theo, and Halcyon are morons. I am a paying customer with Verizon... why would I pay more on a Verizon plan when I have a very affordable Alltel plan that was grandfathered-in??? Idiots! I paid for this phone, and FaceTime (one of its most notable features) does not work... So shut up and play with your Droid..
11. Cayate (unregistered)
What do you get with your affordable (cheap) Alltel plan that limits your wireless experience? You get what you pay for!!!!
46. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
robert... stop misleading people.... you can read my previous comments to see how!
9. Zmac748 (unregistered)
I'm a former Alltel customer, but I upgraded the plan to increase our data coverage, but I'm having the exact same issue... No FaceTime, no "Verizon" in the upper left corner... So I'm stumped! I've had no help from Verizon, but haven't called Apple because it seems no one is having any luck. This is super annoying!
10. Robert (unregistered)
Halcyon is the biggest idiot... I bought the damn phone through Verizon, I am an existing Verizon customer who was a former Alltel customer, grandfathered-in... It's worth complaining because we were NEVER informed by ANYONE AT VERIZON that we would need some other "special" plan to have an iPhone... There's only one thing you need: a data package for $29.99. So go sit on a pole ya goober!
47. tragichero (Posts: 163; Member since: 07 Jan 2011)
listen to you... are you salty because you just realised that it wont cost you anything to move to verizon plan for the same minutes... because it wont dude. otherwise... wait just a little bit and verizon will fix the problem.... calm down... theres a reason why they are the nations most reliable network. with all your complaining and mis information im thinking you really dont even have an issue... you really dont even have an iphone do you? lol
74. PapaJay224 (Posts: 866; Member since: 08 Feb 2009)
You should of had to change our shit when you came over, but VZ said it'd be cool so you didnt cry your way out of a contract, you could upgrade to ANY smartphone youd have to update your plan---you want alltell back ? go get a fucking shovel and dig them out of bankruptcy, but dont expect VZ to follow suit with yoour bullshit plan.
12. KJ123 (unregistered)
I'm a former Alltel customer and have experienced both of the same issues that you are all mentioning. I've spoke with Apple and Verizon, and they both don't have a clue what the problem is. I doubt I would ever be a big FT user, but that's not the point. I want a fully functional iPhone. When I signed up for the phone, nowhere did it state that an iPhone user must upgrade their plan to use FaceTime over wifi.
Ultimately, it's not the biggest deal to me because I think Skype video chat is just as good, and you can use it over 3g. However, I expect to see a fix of this by Monday morning. This is press that Verizon simply does not want at this time. Why overshadow the biggest release the company has ever had?
14. Robert (unregistered)
AMEN!!! I just want a fully functional iPhone! There is no "hey man, you should pay more for a Verizon plan!" We are friggin Verizon customers, hell, we were allowed to preorder the phone!!!
What's the dealio!?? Where my Alltel customers at?
16. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
Theres a reason Alltel went out of business.... The cost and structures of their plans were inefficient. Verizon could have easily said "screw you" when altel was bought out, but they continued to honor the previously plans.
Alltel is a DEAD OLD company that no longer exists. If you're looking to keep a dinosaur calling plan, then you should use a dinosaur phone. If you want the newest phone, get with the program!
I do agree though that verizon should have been aware of this error and first alerted alltel customers what features they could and couldnt use on the iphone
17. Robert (unregistered)
I dont think you get it... I pay my bills through Verizon... it is a VERIZON plan.. They simply recognize your pricing scheme as it usually was... What is wrong with these people? lol
25. Xander297 (Posts: 9; Member since: 29 Apr 2010)
The problem is that even though you pay Verizon for the service the plan is still and Alltel plan. Even the billing system shows it as an Alltel plan when reps look at the screens. Being this as the fact, the most likely scenario here is that the back-end coding on those Alltel plans does not (for whatever reason) does not allow for certain features to work. We ran into ts a lot during the original conversion of Alltel customers and it probably happening again. Unfortunately there may not be anything that can be done bc the code is so outdated it can't be updated correctly. Hopefully Verizon will provide a fix but if not then you have 3 choices...keep your iPhone and use it as it is, upgrade to a newer plan that provides you with all the features you want and bite the extra $10 you will be paying (face it, you get more stuff out of it anyways....), or lastly, return the phone and get something that is compatible with your old Alltel plan.
29. Robert (unregistered)
Your comment has been the most accurate, with regard to what VZW tech support tried explaining to me. The tech guy explained that this Alltel "code" was to blame and that Verizon's hands may be completely tied. If that is the true case, I think that they should provide some form of appeasement for the aggrieved Alltel customers. If they can't fix it, then they can't fix it . . . But if they can fix it, and even if it is at their own expense, I feel that they should. If Alltel customers were given the opportunity to preorder a Verizon iPhone (which I did), then they should have prefaced the offer with the potential for complications...
28. Brandon12451231 (unregistered)
You really have no idea what you're talking about.
The fact of the matter is that Verizon grandfathered the Alltel plans in, we pay our bills through them, and our service is not supposed to change--that was part of the agreement that Verizon offered us with the merger.
Also, Alltel never went out of business... they were simply bought out by Verizon and merged. Huge difference.
I'm on an Alltel smartphone plan, and with the merger I was promised to stay on my plan. The fact you could even support the idea that we should pay more for a Verizon plan for the features we are supposed to have already is moronic.
18. ChrisTheTechGuy (Posts: 84; Member since: 04 Nov 2010)
@testman. alltel exists, do your research, as a matter of fact, I work there.
our data plans make us and made us a lot of money, the reason we are being divested and sold to various companies is because the CEO was offered a crap ton of money by a private investment firm who then turned around and sold it at a profit., again testman, do your research.
and again, just because you jumped into so many conclusions, Alltel will CONTINUE to be around because one of the buyers purchased the alltel name....again, do research.
facetime is a wifi feature, so why should it require a plan change? that doesn't make any sense. sure it could be a glitch somewhere perhaps in the switch notifying facetime to be activated on the device, but again, why should a wifi feature need a confirmation in the switch with rate plans and features?
I'm all for ribbing and arguing points, but please don't do so without solid facts....-cough- testman -cough-
19. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
I'm sorry, next time i'll go to the library and do some research on the history of alltel and their current divestments and business status....
oh wait.... this is a comment section on a website about cellphones, not a fucking term paper
20. ChrisTheTechGuy (Posts: 84; Member since: 04 Nov 2010)
or you could do a 20 second google search and see that the points you tried arguing:
1) they're old and dead is false
2) they didn't "go under"
21. Cayate (unregistered)
Wow, crap ton of money??? I'm guessing thats alot right. Alltel now part of AT&T in your area!!! @ Testman, I can hear you now buddy. These guys just dont get it....... @ Robert again; you get what you pay for, @ Chris the GEEK guy, say hi to Chad for me...
65. CayatesDaddy (unregistered)
I guess you do get what you pay for.
Facetime now works for my Iphone, with my grandfathered Alltel plan.
So I guess I get everything you get, Cayate, but here's the kicker......FOR LESS THEN YOU PAY....
So for all you haters, go back to your pillow biting club.
And don't over cook my egg mcmuffin either.
22. Daryl209 (Posts: 18; Member since: 27 Jul 2010)
Remember when the iPhone 3G came out for AT&T? Everyone was required to have an Unlimited iPhone Data Plan for 30.00. No way around it, you had to have it. If you didn't, well back then the data would work but none of Apple's services would. For example, if you were on some MEdiaNet plan for 10.00, you'd get the Data part, but you couldn't access the app store or anything, even the visual voicemail wouldn't work. It was until the data plan was upgraded that all of those things work. Of course eventually, AT&T just started throwing data plans on accounts when placing a SIM into an iPhone. You can't have any other data plan besides and "iPhone data plan".
The same thing above also applies to Blackberrys too. Having a BB data plan on an iPhone? The Apple services wont work. Same thing if it was vice versa with a Blackberry with an iPhone data plan.
This may be what the Alltel customers are going through. They have an older data plan that may not support Apple's features. I dont know exactly how it works, but I'm pretty sure it can be fixed either by switching to a Verizon data plan or something on Apple's end. If that sounds like a big deal, think about this, AT&T customers have had to deal with it for years. Some of us wanted to keep our old 10.00 or so MEdiaNet plan, but had to switch to some 20.00 data plan when the first iPhone came out, THEN 30.00 when the 3G came out. Sounds crummy but it happened.
Now there's no Unlimited Data plan for AT&T....that may be in Verizon's future. The smart thing to do? Fix this problem, allow everyone to keep their plans, and for God sakes dont get away Unlimited Data plans.
23. BaiGanyo (Posts: 308; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)
Verizon wanted to pad their numbers with 10s of millions of purchased Alltel customers and boost their coverage map substantially with all of Alltel's towers, and was happy to let them stay on Alltel's plans, but now a technical glitch that has nothing to do with anything except laziness and excuse making on Verizon's part, and these jokers on here want to blame the customers who don't want to pay more for less so Verizon won't have to be blamed for what is their own fault. Wow... somebody drank the kool aid.
26. Robert (unregistered)
There is no DIFFERENT Alltel data plan... it is a Verizon Unlimited Data Plan
Just had a three hour convo with VZW customer service ... There is a major issue between former Alltel customers, their SMS, and Apple's servers...
FaceTime is initiated by an invisible communication via SMS between Apple and the phones . . . Verizon and Apple need to fix this..
31. explorer902 (unregistered)
not only they want to keep their grandfathered plans but most of them want to keep their #$@$tty alltel phones.i work for verizon but i hate them.
32. George (unregistered)
Don't be upset because we have cheaper calling plans than you... Just because you pay more and we pay less doesn't mean you should bash Alltel customers. I've been on Alltel since 2004. When acquired by Verizon, I was allowed to keep my plan and all of its features for the same price, what kind of ignorant ass clown woud agree to pay more for a Verizon plan with less features/minutes...????
I pay the same for a data plan and unlimited messaging as all other VZW customers... This problem is NOT about the payment structure of an Alltel plan...
33. phone tech (unregistered)
Sweet Jesus. It's my worst nightmare. I already couldn't stand the whiny (former) Alltel customers to begin with. Add those with the whiny entitlement iPhone customer, and it's hair pulling time.
34. hawk62 (Posts: 320; Member since: 21 Nov 2009)
Oh man this is great. So much fun to see how fucked up verizon. I have been saying it for months but im an ass for it.
Now, is the facetime for 3g or wifi. It only works on wifi with att iphone. But why not just get tango or fring???????
35. chimaera2010 (unregistered)
To all the morons here who are saying "bite the bullet and switch your plan" I have three words for each of you. You are stupid.
Currently, I am also grandfathered in with an Alltel plan that gets the four people in my family the following features: 1200 shared minutes, 11 friends & family numbers, and 1000 text messages per phone. Our monthly bill was $140 ($170 now with my iPhone) including all taxes and fees. I challenge any of you to find a comparable or better plan for the money I am paying.
Let me save you the hassle: It's impossible. Can't do it. Nope! Try and fail if you don't believe me. The bottom line is, Alltel had some of the most competitive pricing in the industry and some of these old plans are unbeatable. Why would I want to spend $50 to $100 more per month and LOSE features just to talk to somebody over Facetime? I wouldn't. The feature is not worth that much. I'm not losing sleep over it and I'm sure these other folks aren't either. It's a minor inconvenience at best.
Get your head out of your rear and understand that us old Alltel customers "not being with the program" is not our own fault. Verizon took us in when they merged with Alltel and they told us that they would honor our existing plans - pricing, features, and all - while still providing us with the same level of service as any other Verizon Wireless subscriber. We didn't choose to become VZW customers, they chose us.
36. michael1981 (unregistered)
The phone was just released and there will always be hick UPS . Just be patient and there will be fixes for your facetime. No need to get all upset. All though some people just wanna complain and u just can't ever make happy.