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LY FAQ

LightYear FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

If you’re like me, after seeing a webcast and/or reading through the LY Intro page, you probably have a lot of questions that went unanswered.  This page will resolve 14 of the most common ones.

1.  WALMART (OR ANOTHER COMPANY) OFFERS UNLIMITED EVERYTHING FOR $45/MONTH!
OH NO!  How can that be?  When I first found out about LightYear, I had quite a bit of heartburn when a friend of mine told me “Walmart offers unlimited everything for $45/month,” which is $15 cheaper than LightYear’s $59.99, and I didn’t have a good answer.  But then I read the fine print:  “Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following:  … uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games …” (go to www.straighttalk.com, click “Terms and Conditions” at the bottom of the page, then read section 6, “STRAIGHT TALK UNLIMITED TALK, TEXT AND MOBILE WEB ACCESS PLAN INTENDED USE”).  This is another example of more dishonesty from the fone companies.  An unlimited data plan with limits?  The $45 deals are really unlimited talk & text, with very little data (no streaming audio, no downloads, no Youtube, no surfing).  Check out LightYear vs. Straight Talk for more specifics.

Our $59.99 unlimited everything plan is the most value you’ll get in a plan, bar none.  No other company comes close to giving you as much as LightYear does, period.  And then you have the ability to get that service free, which is also unmatched.  Not to mention that Sprint’s network beat Verizon and AT&T in nationwide 3G reliability tests last year, and Sprint’s customer satisfaction was way ahead of AT&T’s in both the J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys.

Is everyone a candidate for unlimited use or internet surfing on a smartphone?  Definitely not, and we have cheaper plans available, although that’s not a market LightYear is pursuing aggressively.  For $34.99/month, we offer 700 minutes and 700 text, which is more than what the industry customer average is.  If you use up those minutes or texts, then you can get another package, and that costs you $10/month less than the $45.  If someone says, “Well, I can get unlimited talk & text for another $10,” then my response is, “If spending an extra $10 is no biggie, then pay an extra $10 or $15 for our unlimited everything package at $59.99.”

2.  DO I HAVE TO BUY A NEW FONE?
Yes, but you do with any wireless company.  The “buy a new fone” situation isn’t unique to LightYear, so anyone switching to prepaid will have to do this.  The money you save is usually worth the price of 3 or 4 phones (maybe more).  Plus, after switching, you can sell your old fone on eBay or Craigslist and get a good chunk of your money back (or if you’re lazy, LightYear links to a service to do it for you:  click “Phone Trade In” on the left side).  Also, you may be able to get a cheaper fone thru a prepaid company that works as well as your old fone.  LightYear offers more smartphones than any other prepaid company!

Sometimes people sour on the business after learning that getting LightYear service requires buying a new fone.  But it’s important to note that you are not required to use LightYear service in order to become a LightYear Rep. I tell people it doesn’t matter what fone you use to spread the word about LightYear!  You can go use the pay fone at 7-11 to call people – I don’t care what fone you use.  Just dial it a lot.  When the time is right, you can either buy a new fone and/or break a contract and switch to LightYear’s fone service.

What I know for sure:  when the wireless world introduces a BYOP (bring your own phone) option, there will be an absolute stampede into LightYear …

3.  THE LIGHTYEAR COVERAGE MAP HAS A LOT OF HOLES …
The Nationwide Sprint Network reaches over 275 million people” in the USA, and that’s what our prepaid service runs on.  In the J.D. Power 2010 rankings, Sprint finished a close second to Verizon, and in the Consumer Reports survey, Sprint was nearly even with first-place Verizon.  Most people are unaware that Sprint spent $15 billion over the last three years upgrading their network.

If there’s a Sprint store in your area, then there’s good coverage; otherwise, Sprint obviously wouldn’t have invested a ton of money in putting a store there.

4.  WHAT IF I DON’T GET GOOD RECEPTION?
LightYear has a 14-day return policy, detailed in the Wireless Terms and Conditions (section 14, “Cancellation”).  Before you can order, you have to enter your zipcode on the site to make sure you’re in an expected service area.  Since Sprint’s network reaches 90+% of the American population, it’s rare that someone can’t use the LightYear prepaid service.

5.  WHAT IF I HAVE AN EXISTING CONTRACT?
You have 3 choices:
1.  Pay the ETF (Early Termination Fee);
2.  Reduce your service to the lowest possible price;
3.  Or ride out your contract.
Any of these choices doesn’t stop you from building the business.

Also, if you switch to our Verizon contract service, you can use your existing Verizon phone and if you get 3 prepaid customers, you’ll get the $60 credit that can be applied to your contract bill.  (You still have to pay the ETF with Verizon, but if that’s $200 and you save $720/year, I think that’s a good idea, yes?)

6.  WHAT ABOUT A FAMILY PLAN?
Say you have a “Family Plan” on Verizon with 3 Members for $150/month.  What can LightYear do for you?  No company has prepaid family plans (other than MetroPCS, which is very limited in their coverage), but LightYear will still clobber a contract family plan.  This is just a math exercise:

  • 3 Verizon phones totaling $150 ($50/phone)
  • 3 LightYear unlimited everything phones = $180 (which for $30 extra per month should be reason enough to switch right there)
  • A rep simply gets ONE customer and then his service is free; so the customer is paying $60/mo. and his family bill is now $120 ($180 – $60 = $120)

And another thing – LightYear has cheaper plans for limited use:

  • $35 plan:  700 min., 700 text
  • $20 for 200 min., $30 for 300 min.
  • LightYear’s minutes rollover!
  • Your $60+$60+$35 = $155 + 1 cust. (-$35) = $120!  (You’re credited for the amount of the lowest rate.)
  • One other thing:  you get commissions on your family member customers!

7.  HOW CAN LIGHTYEAR AFFORD TO PAY REPS?
LightYear does ZERO Advertising!  Reps are paid the ad budget.

FierceWireless.com:  “AT&T, one of the country’s five biggest advertisers, spent $1.87 billion on marketing and advertising last year …” (and it continued in Q1 of 2010:  AT&T $576 million, Verizon $571 million).

The costs go way beyond advertising, too.  Listen to Esther Lee, AT&T’s senior vice president for brand marketing and advertising:  “We spend an average $18 to $19 billion a year on our network, our technology, & our inventions in order to drive the future of how people are going to live on our network.”  All LightYear has to do is rent the use of a carrier’s network; they don’t have to run it, maintain it, expand it, or upgrade it.

8.  BUT I WAS TOLD THERE ISN’T ANY MARGIN IN WIRELESS?
We proved there’s enough margin to give customers free service AND pay reps commissions!   So it’s clear the “lack of margin” claim can’t be a problem for LightYear.

9.  WHAT IF PRICES GO DOWN LIKE LANDLINE LONG DISTANCE DID?
Listen to the industry analysts at FierceWireless.com answer that question:  “After Boost Mobile … unveiled its $50 monthly unlimited plan for voice, texting, and data early last year, the rest of the market’s prepaid carriers spent the entire year engaged in a price war.

It seems prepaid players may have reached their limits, and are now casting about for ways to compete beyond price.  The answer?  Data and smartphones.”  …  “It’s almost a necessity because the focus going forward is going to be on data.

So the answer to that question is, wireless prices are NOT going down.  They have bottomed out and now data pricing is on the rise, as carriers figured out they eventually won’t be able to turn a profit if they offer unlimited data forever.

10.  ISN’T THERE TOO MUCH COMPETITION FOR LIGHTYEAR TO GET ANY REAL MARKET SHARE?
I think it’s the other way around:  the competition should be worried about LightYear.  No one else offers customers the ability to get free service, and no one has such a powerful word-of-mouth promotion that will spread to millions of customers without any advertising dollars being spent.  Based on what you now know about LightYear, you’d have to be quite the gambler to bet against LightYear snagging at least a couple percent of the market.

11.  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EVERYONE SWITCHES FROM CONTRACT TO PREPAID – THEN WHAT?
By then, we’re all retired, laying on the beach, and people keep paying their cell bills …  But the real answer is that there’s much bigger money in the future use of smartphones (handheld computers) than simple monthly wireless charges:  the “screen real estate” will be highly sought after, in terms of advertising and ecommerce.  Revenue from those areas should dwarf the monthly fone signal carrier charges.  It will be an exciting time, full of innovation – a time when it’s better to have a huge network in place than none at all.

12.  YOU SAID “UNLIMITED EVERYTHING,” BUT THE LIGHTYEAR SITE SAYS MMS IS AN EXTRA $7.50/MONTH?!?!
LightYear does charge extra for MMS (picture mail), because it’s unnecessary:  you can send MMS as email instead, so why bother with MMS?  It’s a slight convenience that costs a whole lot more.  LightYear chose instead to give us two much more powerful and desirable services, unlimited international text messaging (from the USA, send & receive to countries outside the USA) and tethering (providing internet for your laptop from your cell connection).  No other company includes those two services with an unlimited plan.

13.  WHY IS THERE AN EXTRA $15/MONTH CHARGE FOR BLACKBERRY EMAIL SERVICE?
That charge is Blackberry’s (BB), not LightYear’s.  The Blackberry people think their email is superior to everyone else’s, but it’s not.  I’m permanently a former BB user, so I’ll never pay extra for BB service again.  My 4-year-old Palm Treo handled email as well as my BB Curve 8330 did.  Plus, the Treo did about 20 things better than the BB.  And the Android OS leaves BB in the dust.  I can’t imagine why anyone would pay extra for BB now.

14.  WHAT ABOUT THE ONE-TIME $10 411 CHARGE?
This is now optional, so if you don’t dial 411, then ignore it.  The $29.99 activation fee for customers is there, which is a pain, but that fee is easily offset by the free month or huge fone discount LightYear offers.

To save money, instead of dialing 411, dial 1.888.FREE.411 (888.373.3411), or look up things online – you have unlimited data!


Return to the “LY Intro” page.


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