Former Alltel customers on Verizon having issues with FaceTime on the iPhone 4?

Former Alltel customers on Verizon having issues with FaceTime on the iPhone 4?
Last week when the iPhone 4 went live for pre-sale on Verizon's site, we learned that former Alltel customers with older plans could still purchase and use the device, but would need to call Verizon for activation, so that it would work with those plans. Now that customers have began to receive their shippments, it appears that FaceTime might be having an issue with those grandfathered plans.

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!

Related phones

iPhone 4 Verizon
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h talk time)



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: May 14, 2009


55. BobbyTaba

Posts: 316; Member since: Aug 11, 2010


62. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

I own an Incredible..

68. elran24

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 03, 2011

AT&T service did not crash! you gotta get your story straight!

71. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 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: Feb 07, 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: Jan 07, 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.

72. PapaJay224

Posts: 866; Member since: Feb 08, 2009

+10 Tragic +100 for registered users

52. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 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: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 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: Jan 07, 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: Jan 07, 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: 3295; Member since: May 17, 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: 3295; Member since: May 17, 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: Feb 08, 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: May 14, 2009

I wanna have my cake and eat it too... meanwhile everyone else in here is paying normal premium pricing for premium features. switch up, or shut up!

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 unregistered

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.