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Personal Finance
Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!
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Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

Hey, Verizon customers: 5 ways to cut your wireless bill by 60 to 75%!

You can save up to 60% or 75% on your monthly cell phone bill while still enjoying the same service from your current cell phone provider…

Here’s how!

The Big 4 have secret discount brands

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have long had secret sub-brands for price-sensitive customers.

AT&T has Cricket Wireless, Sprint has Boost Mobile and T-Mobile has GoSmartMobile.

Price points generally start around $25 to $35 a month for the same towers and the same service you could pay a lot more for.

RELATED: 5 things you need to know before switching to Cricket Wireless

Like Verizon service? Total Wireless offers it cheaper

Tracfone has a new service with Verizon called Total Wireless. This hidden gem is basically Verizon’s sub-brand.

Total Wireless offers the same service, same towers — the same everything — you’re used to with Verizon.

But it comes at a price you’re unaccustomed to from a Big 4 wireless carrier: $35 a month for unlimited talk, unlimited text, and 5 GB of data.

All with no contract…for the same towers and the same service as the name brand!

Now with 4G!

When money expert Clark Howard first talked about this service last year it had a catch: It would only run on Verizon’s 3G network. That was a deal breaker for many people.

But no more! Total Wireless is now 4G too!

“It’s the best service available for people who want to be on Verizon’s network,” Clark says.

With Total Wireless, you can typically use the same phone you currently have from Verizon as long as you’ve completed your contract with the carrier.

Enter your phone number or serial number here to find out.

Xfinity Mobile: Pay from zero dollars to $12/month for Verizon service

If you really want to reduce what you pay but still have Verizon service, there’s a new play in the marketplace that you need to know about.

It’s called Xfinity Mobile and you must have internet service through Xfinity in order to sign up for this offer.

Xfinity Mobile plans, which runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, operate on a freemium business model.

That means you can get unlimited nationwide talk and text and 100 MB of shared data for free — with no line access fees on up to five lines.

Need more data? Just connect to Xfinity’s 18 million free Wi-Fi hotspots for additional data needs.

The net result is that it’s entirely possible to pay zero dollars a month for this service if you’re a light data user!

If you decide you want access to more cellular date in your life, there are two monthly data options to choose from:

  • By the Gig: $12 per GB of shared cellular data across all lines
  • Unlimited: $45 per line on up to five lines; speeds reduced after 20 GB

So there you have it; you can skate for free with the freemium data lite offer of 100 MB of cell data and piggyback off free Wi-Fi hotspots when you need more. Or you can pony up $12/month and have at least 1GB of monthly cellular data for when you’re on the go and maybe can’t access Wi-Fi.

Either way, this is a really cheap option!

There is one caveat though: Unlike Verizon, Xfinity Mobile doesn’t allow users to bring their own phone. That’s still in the works.

In the meantime, Xfinity Mobile sells more than a dozen smartphones on its website — including the iPhone 8 or X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+.

For an in-depth review of Xfinity Mobile, check out this article by Clark.com writer Mike Timmermann. He received no compensation to write an unbought and unbossed review of his experience on the $12 plan so far.

Spectrum Mobile: Another ISP with a mobile offer running on Verizon

There’s an emerging trend in the tech world of Internet service providers offering mobile service at a deeply discounted price so long as you remain a customer of theirs for Internet.

So just like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum offers its own Spectrum Mobile service to customers at a low price point. There are two data plans to choose from:

  • By the Gig: $14 per GB
  • Unlimited: $45 a month (reduced speeds after 20 GB per line)

At the moment, Spectrum Mobile only supports a handful of devices from Samsung and LG. Look for more devices to come on board soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about Spectrum Mobile here.

Visible: Get unlimited data on the Verizon network for $40/month

Here’s a new option for cutting your Verizon bill down to size…

Visible offers unlimited data, messages and minutes in the U.S. for just $40 a month.

This is a new company that runs on the Verizon network and is actually owned by Verizon, yet it runs independently of its parent company.

In that sense, it’s similar to Cricket Wireless, which is owned by AT&T and offers service on AT&T towers while operating independently of Ma Bell.

Here are five things you need to know about Visible:

  1. Visible is only set up for unlocked iPhones at this time. So if you’re an Android person, you’re out of luck with this one.
  2. Everything is done through the Visible app, including customer service and paying your bill. There are no physical storefronts.
  3. You won’t be penalized for being a data hog. The only time you’ll be slowed down is during times of network congestion — not because you scarf up too much data.
  4. Download speeds are limited to 5 Mbps.
  5. This service is currently in beta, so you’ll need an invite code to sign up. Get yours at bevisible.com.

Prepaid plans from Verizon starting at $40 for 3 GB

Finally, if you want a little more simplicity in your life without having to always chase free Wi-Fi, the fourth way Verizon customers can lower their bill is with the introduction of a couple new prepaid plans.

3 GB for $40

Plus unlimited talk and text in the U.S., carryover data with on-time payment, mobile hotspot and unlimited international messaging to more than 200 countries.

7 GB for $50

Same as above. With this tier, you get more than twice the data of the lower priced plan for only $10 more.

10 GB for $60

Same features as above, plus unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada thrown in. So you get more than triple the data of the $40 plan for only $20 more each month.

More cell phone stories on Clark.com:

Read More

News

  • When he made the announcement he was declaring a national emergency, President Donald Trump said he expected to be sued over the move. So far, a handful of activists and even state attorneys general have said they are looking at taking the president to court or have filed a lawsuit already.  Take a look at the lawsuits that are currently pending or will soon be filed. Public Citizen Public Citizen is an advocacy group that filed a suit Friday after the president’s Rose Garden announcement. The group is filing on behalf of three Texas landowners and an environmental group to block the emergency decree. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post reported. >>Read: Can Congress repeal the national emergency declaration? Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington hasn’t filed suit directly on Trump but instead is suing the Justice Department, claiming documents were not provided, including legal opinions and communications, related to Trump’s decision, USA Today reported. The group is using a Freedom of Information Act request submitted concerning the proposed border barrier. Center for Biological Diversity Center for Biological Diversity is an environmental group. It claims the president did not identify a legal authority to declare the emergency. The group said the wall will block wildlife from its natural habitat “and could result in the extirpation of jaguars, ocelots and other endangered species within the United States,” according to the Post. >>Read: Trump signs funding bill to avoid government shutdown, declares emergency to build border wall American Civil Liberties Union The ACLU has not yet filed but is preparing a suit that says that Trump can’t redirect the money paid by taxpayers unless it is for construction that directly supports the military, the Post reported. ACLU officials said the suit will be filed early this week, saying, “There is no emergency. Members of Congress from both parties, security experts, and Americans who live at the border have all said so. What the president is doing is yet another illegal and dangerous power grab in the service of his anti-immigrant agenda.” The group called the declaration an “abuse of power” and says it “violates the constitutional checks and balances that protect us.” >>Read the latest from our Washington Insider Jamie Dupree The ACLU is using the president’s own words against him from when he said, “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” >> Read more trending news  California attorney general Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, will be joined by New Mexico, Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii and Connecticut in trying to stop the emergency declaration from proceeding. >>Read: National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports “We’re confident there are at least 8 billion ways that we can prove harm. And once we are all clear, all the different states are clear, what pots of money that taxpayers sent to D.C. he’s going to raid, which Congress dedicated to different types of services -- whether it’s emergency response services or whether it’s fires or mudslides in California or maybe tornadoes and floods in other parts of the country or whether it’s our military men and women and their families who live on military installations that might -- that might have money taken away from them, or whether it’s money taken away from drug interdiction efforts in places like California, a number of states, and certainly Americans, will be harmed. And we’re all going to be prepared,” Becerra said on ABC News’ “This Week.”  >>Read: Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency? A spokesperson for the attorney general of Colorado, Phil Weiser, said his state will also be joining the suit, KDVR reported. The spokesperson said Weiser decided that the state will be hurt if money is transferred from military installations to the wall, according to KDVR.
  • From a court watcher’s perspective it’s apparent to most that the upcoming trial of Ryan Duke, charged with the 2005 murder of South Georgia high school teacher Tara Grinstead is sure to be nothing short of a spectacle of epic proportions. We got a preview of things to come during - of all things - a bond hearing where Duke asked, for the first time in two years, to be released on bond. It wasn’t the denial of bond, nor the fact that Duke asked for bond that is particularly noteworthy. It’s what the bond hearing devolved into that raised eyebrows. Despite losing the motion, the defense unexpectedly was able to depose the lead GBI investigator on a wide range of topics in a dress rehearsal for what promises to be a most controversial trial.  To start, let’s have a look at what a bond hearing is supposed to be.  It’s uncommon for bond to be set in murder cases but it’s not unheard of. Courts are supposed to consider the following factors in making bond decisions and the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that he:  Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;  Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;  Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and  Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.  Probable cause is not an issue and of course neither is guilt or innocence. A bond hearing is not a trial.  The Duke bond hearing started out as most bond hearings do. The defense called Duke’s brother to testify regarding each of the factors set out above. But then it started a downward spiral into the surreal when the prosecutor called the lead GBI case agent as a witness - presumably as a rebuttal to the defense. A state’s witness, such as an investigator, can occasionally testify - to a point - about “what happened” because that’s relevant - to a point - for the court to determine whether the person poses a danger to the community. But in this case, the testimony was literally all over the place and went into minute detail about many things that have never been heard before. The “bond hearing” was effectively transformed into a deposition - a legal luxury not normally available to a criminal defendant in Georgia.  So just what did we learn from this “bond” hearing? We learned that DNA from the bodily fluid of a police officer was mixed with the victim’s blood on some bedding and that “touch DNA” from Grinstead and Duke (along with DNA from at least two other people) was on a latex glove found outside her residence. “Touch DNA” has its own share of problems in terms of reliability and we can safely expect the defense to explore those problems at trial. Some of that other unidentified DNA from the glove could have come from Bo Dukes - the person accused of helping cover up the murder - and who the defense claims is the actual killer.  We learned there were many investigative steps that could have been taken to verify statements made by both Duke and Dukes. The defense will argue that these follow up steps point to a biased investigation. This could have a huge impact in a trial where the defense will claim that the defendants confession was a false confession.  We learned the GBI, in a breach of protocol and constitutional law, interviewed / talked with Duke twice after he had a lawyer. These interviews were undocumented in the GBI case file. They were not recorded. The DA apparently was unaware at the time that this tactic was being employed by the GBI until the defense raised it with them. The agent didn’t even sign in at the jail. We can only speculate as to why not.  On top of all this, an abundance of otherwise inadmissible evidence consisting of hearsay and innuendo managed to come out publicly at a bond hearing. Most of this wouldn’t have seen the light of day at a trial. As the prosecution correctly pointed out “hearsay” may be admissible at a bond hearing, but it still has to be reliable evidence - not a regurgitation of all the salacious rumors from 2005. And it must be relevant to the issue of bond. It may turn out that the DA made a great tactical mistake by calling their lead case agent to testify and turn this bond hearing into an evidentiary free-for-all with no apparent boundaries. At a minimum it was surely heartbreaking for friends and family of the victim to have to re-live all the pain of the last 13 years by having old wounds reopened in such painful detail.  I’ve previously written about why the venue for this trial really needs to be changed. Now more than ever the jury pool is really tainted - as if it weren’t already. Philip Holloway, WSB legal analyst, is a criminal lawyer who heads his own firm in Cobb County, Georgia. A former prosecutor and adjunct professor of criminal justice, he is former president of the Cobb County Bar Association's criminal law section. Follow him on Twitter: @PhilHollowayEsq The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 
  • Police in Kansas City, Kansas, arrested a man Sunday suspected of carjacking a vehicle, stealing the driver’s phone and taking off with two children in the car, the The Kansas City Star reported. >> Read more trending news  Police said a woman was making a delivery in the area when the suspect, armed with a rifle, took the vehicle, WDAF reported.  The woman ran to a store to call police, the Star reported. “It was as bad as you would think if someone had your kids,” the store manager, Robert Edwards, told the newspaper. “She was as stressed as you would imagine. I’m glad she got the kids back.” The two children, 4 and 7, had been taken out of the car and were found by a neighbor, who called police the Star reported. The children were not injured and were returned to their mother, the newspaper reported. According to Kansas City police, the suspect returned to the scene, leaving the original vehicle and then stole a second car at gunpoint, WDAF reported. Police were able to catch the suspect, who was driving a blue SUV, and returned it to its owner, the Star reported.
  • At the same time President Donald Trump was making a Rose Garden announcement Friday declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the country’s southern border, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they would fight Trump’s declaration “using every remedy available.” >> Read more trending news Pelosi and Schumer did not lay out specific remedies they might employ to stop the president from diverting funds from other projects to use to construct a border wall, but several Democrats members of Congress have promised a joint resolution of disapproval aimed at repealing the declaration and stopping Trump’s plans. Would Congress be successful in passing a resolution that would hamper the president’s bid to fund border security by declaring a national emergency? It’s possible, but not likely. >>Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency? Here’s a look at what could happen. A resolution of disapprovalCongress could approve a resolution that contests the status of the national emergency Trump has declared. They can do so under the National Emergencies Act of 1976. The resolution, if passed, would stop the plan to divert money from other government programs to build the border wall. The resolution could pass with a simple majority vote in the House and Senate – 218 votes in the House and 51 in the Senate. There is a Democrat majority in the House where a resolution could easily pass. There are 48 Democrat members of the Senate. Democrats would need four Republicans to vote with them to pass a joint resolution. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, have said they will introduce a bill in the House to block the declaration. By Friday afternoon, Castro told The Washington Post he had gathered more than 60 co-sponsors for the resolution. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, told ABC's “This Week” that she believes the Senate has enough votes for such a resolution. 'I think we do,' she said. 'Now, whether we have enough for an override and veto, that's a different story. But frankly, I think there's enough people in the Senate who are concerned that what he's doing is robbing from the military and the DOD to go build this wall.' If a resolution should pass both chambers of Congress, it would go to the president’s desk for a signature. The president would almost certainly veto the resolution, marking the first time in his term he has used the veto power. If he does veto the resolution, it would go back to Congress where it would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate to override the veto. In the House, 290 votes would be needed. In the Senate, the number would be 67. A lawsuit – or several of them The president has broad powers under the National Emergencies Act, so until the provisions of Trump’s declaration are made public, it’s unclear what someone could sue him over concerning the declaration. But sued he will be -- some suits are already in the works  -- and here is where those suits could come from: Congress: It’s likely that House Democrats would sue on grounds that the president overreached his powers by bypassing the power Congress has to control funding for government programs and projects. However, Democrats in Congress would have to first establish that they have the right to sue the White House, and that can be difficult since the president was given the authority to declare a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act in 1976. The House could challenge Trump's definition of an emergency, but the definition in the National Emergency Act is vague, leaving what is a national emergency pretty much up to the president. Activist groups: The American Civil Liberties Union said on Friday it plans to sue the president over what they call his “unconstitutional power grab that hurts American communities.” Landowners: Those who own land along the area where the president has proposed a border wall could file suit over the seizure of their property if that happens. However, the government is generally allowed to buy up private property for public use – such as when privately-held land is taken to make room for a freeway. The practice is called eminent domain. It is often an uphill fight for landowners. States: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has promised that he will file a suit against the White House claiming that his state will be harmed if Trump diverts funds from other projects to build a wall. He said that four other states, New Mexico, Oregon, Hawaii and Minnesota will join his state in the pending lawsuit.Nevada’s attorney general has also threatened a suit.
  • A man has been targeting dessert shops in a Texas town, committing four robberies -- two in the same business, KHOU reported. >> Read more trending news  The Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shop in Cypress was robbed Jan. 15, the television station reported. Surveillance cameras caught a bald man with a goatee, who walked up to the cash register, yanked it open and took the money, KHOU reported. 'I saw him and I saw what he was doing,' store manager Debra Santos told the television station. 'You just don't know people now a days. I didn't know if he had a gun or a weapon.' On Feb. 14, the bald bandit struck again, robbing a different Orange Leaf in Cypress, KHOU reported. Later that day, the man robbed Shipley’s Donuts in Cypress. The manager chased the thief, but the man sped away in a white car, the television station reported. On Feb. 16, the thief returned to the Orange Leaf he had robbed a month earlier, taking the store’s second cash register, according to KHOU.  'He said, ‘I'm sorry I have to do this,’ and he ripped the cables and took off again,' Santos told the television station. Santos said she hopes the thief’s robbery pattern will trip him up. 'I hope they catch him soon,' Santos told KHOU. 'He seems to be repetitive, so hopefully he'll have a break in his pattern and they'll catch him.
  • A baby made its entry to the world on a flight to Florida. USA Today reported that, according to JetBlue Airways spokeswoman Jen Dang, the “youngest customer to date” was born on a two hour, 50 minute flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Friday. >> Read more trending news  'We’d like to thank the crew and medical professionals on board for their quick action under pressure, and wish the new mother and son all the best,” Deng told WTVJ. “Flight 1954 was operated on aircraft N523JB, coincidentally named, ‘Born to Be Blue.’” According to a tweet from JetBlue, the baby boy was given shower gifts and can expect more to come.