If you’ve been shopping for cheaper cell phone service or simpler cell phones that are specially designed for seniors, you may have come across Lively: the phone service provider that offers Jitterbug phones.
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at Lively’s plans and pricing, what you can expect from a Jitterbug phone, and how to get started.
This article was updated in July 2023 and I review it every six months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.
What To Know Before You Sign Up for Lively
Lively provides senior-focused products and services including Jitterbug phones, medical alert devices and more. Jitterbug phones run on Lively’s postpaid cellular service that starts as low as $19.99 per month. However, there are additional fees for activating a new line, adding mobile data to your plan or adding additional senior services.
I checked out the details of Lively’s plans, coverage, Jitterbug phone selection and more. I’ve also compared Lively to other available carriers and plans to help you determine whether you should make the switch.
Table of Contents:
- Plans and Pricing
- Network Coverage
- Activation Process
- Phone Selection
- Senior Services
- Customer Service
1. Plans and Pricing
Unlike many other MVNOs, Lively offers postpaid phone plans instead of prepaid. However, prepaid and postpaid plans aren’t really all that different these days. “Prepaid” simply means you pay your bill before you use the phone’s service instead of after 30 days.
There are no contracts required and no cancellation fees. Unfortunately, there is an activation fee of $35 to establish a new line of service with Lively.
When it comes to the actual phone plans, Lively offers three different unlimited talk and text plans available for the Jitterbug Flip2 and the Jitterbug Smart3:
- Basic: $19.99/month with unlimited talk and text, Ask Lively and Lively Rides
- Preferred: $39.99/month with unlimited talk and text, Ask Lively, Lively Rides, Urgent Response and Lively Link
- Premium: $49.99/month with unlimited talk and text, Ask Lively, Lively Rides, Urgent Response, Lively Link, Care Advocate and Nurse On-Call
If you opt for a Jitterbug Smart3, you’ll also need to add a data plan. This will allow you to get online with your phone and browse the web, check email, watch videos and more. Data plans aren’t available for the Jitterbug Flip2.
- $5/month for 1GB
- $10/month for 5GB
- $30/month for unlimited data (20GB high-speed)
If you have a limited data plan, you’ll be charged 10 cents per megabyte if you use more than your allotted amount of data. With the unlimited plan, data speeds will reduce to 128kbps if you exceed 20GB of data during a billing cycle. Speeds will be restored at the beginning of your next billing cycle.
You can check out additional details of Lively’s phone plans online.
2. Network Coverage
Lively provides access to Verizon’s 4G/LTE network. If Verizon Wireless offers coverage in your area, you’ll likely have reliable access to service with Lively.
To see if you’ll have coverage with Lively, visit the company’s website and enter your ZIP code on the coverage map.
Additionally, you can check Verizon’s coverage map for a more comprehensive overview of coverage in your area since they run on the same towers.
Keep in mind that Lively’s Jitterbug Smart3 phone does not support 5G service, so expect average 4G/LTE data speeds in areas with coverage.
3. Activation Process
The best way to activate a Jitterbug phone (or any Lively service) is by calling Lively at (866) 783-5111.
If you haven’t already purchased a Jitterbug phone or medical alert device, you can purchase one online, over the phone or in a store near you.
You can buy a device online by visiting Lively’s website and clicking “Products” at the top of the screen. There, you can choose between Jitterbug phones and medical alert devices.
If you’d rather purchase your phone in-store, you can use Lively’s store locator to enter your current location and select which device(s) you’re shopping for. In my area, Walgreens, Best Buy and Rite Aid sold Lively devices. You can also shop online at Amazon.
Finally, you can simply call Lively at (866) 783-5111 to order a device. However you get your new phone, you’ll still have to activate the service once you take it out of the box. Expect an activation fee of $35 to set up a new line.
The easiest way to activate your new service is by calling a Lively customer service representative at the same number. The phone number will also be listed on the box.
You can also visit Lively’s website and click “Activate” to get started.
However, if you want to keep your same number, you’ll have to talk to a customer service representative in order to get it transferred. When you do, you’ll need the account number and PIN associated with your current cell phone service account.
If you do decide to port your existing phone number, be sure to follow Clark’s advice to avoid the most common mistake when switching cell phone service providers.
Once a customer service representative activates your line of service, you’ll be able to use your phone right away. You’ll have instant access to Verizon Wireless’ network.
4. Phone Selection
Lively offers only two cell phone options. Unlike other MVNOs, Lively does not allow you to bring your own phone to the service. That means you will have to purchase a new phone in order to use Lively.
Lively’s two cell phones include a flip phone and a smartphone:
The Jitterbug Flip2 is advertised as Lively’s easiest cell phone ever. It costs $99.99 regularly. However, I’ve seen discounts up to 25% in the past.
Keep in mind that the Jitterbug Flip2 does not support data plans. That means you can use the phone for talk and text as well as other Lively services that don’t require internet.
Here are key features of the Jitterbug Flip2 that Lively highlights:
- Large screen and buttons
- Easy list-based menu
- Powerful speaker
- Long-lasting battery
- Urgent Response button
- Amazon Alexa
- Magnifier and flashlight
- 8MP camera and video
- One-touch speed dialing
The Jitterbug Smart3 is advertised as Lively’s simplest smartphone ever. It costs $149.99 regularly, though I’ve seen it for as low as $112.49 on sale in the past.
Here are key features of the Jitterbug Smart3 that Lively highlights:
- Large 6.2-inch screen
- Simple, list-based menu
- Voice typing
- Video chat
- High-quality camera
- Long-lasting battery
- Powerful speaker
- Urgent Response button
- How-to guides right on your phone
You can learn more about Lively’s Jitterbug phones and other available devices online at Lively’s website.
5. Senior Services
In addition to Jitterbug cell phones and cellular service, Lively also offers a variety of other senior services:
- Urgent Response: Get assistance from Urgent Response Agents in emergency situations at any time. Agents will confirm your location, assess the situation and get you the help you need.
- Nurse On-Call: Speak to a medical professional who can answer questions and order prescriptions for common ailments.
- Lively Link: This app allows you to share your health and safety information with friends and family. They’ll know if you call Urgent Response and they can view your device’s location in addition to other health and safety information.
- Fall Detection: Your device will automatically connect you to an agent if a fall is detected so you can get help even if you can’t press the button.
- Care Advocate: An expert care team will work with you to identify areas you want to focus on and provide a personalized care plan to help you set and achieve your goals.
- Ask Lively: With this feature, can connect to a personal operator available 24/7 by dialing “0”. Personal operators can search for phone numbers, make calls for you, schedule rides, give driving directions and more.
- Lively Rides: Where Lyft is available, you can have a personal operator schedule rides for you. You’ll get a fare quote over the phone, and if you accept, it’ll be added to your monthly Lively bill.
You can get the above services with any Jitterbug phone. Simply choose the plan that works best for you based on which services are offered.
If you don’t have a Jitterbug phone, you may choose to get the Lively Mobile+ device for $49.99. The all-in-one medical alert device is eligible for basic and premium packages, and you can add fall detection for $9.99/month.
You can learn more about Lively’s senior services on the company’s website.
6. Customer Service
The best way to contact Lively customer service is over the phone.
To reach Lively’s customer service, call (800) 733-6632. Customer service is available everyday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Alternatively, you can fill out this form on Lively’s website to e-mail customer support.
While you can buy Jitterbug phones at authorized retailers online and in-store, there are no in-store customer service representatives available for Lively. You will have to get assistance over the phone or via email for help with your Jitterbug phone or Lively plan.
During my research, I contacted Lively’s customer service to ask a few questions about the service. I was connected to a helpful representative within a couple of minutes.
Recently, my grandmother and grandfather both switched to Lively. They had to call Lively in order to set up their new lines and port their existing phone numbers. They’ve had an excellent experience each time they’ve worked with customer service, and they’ve been enjoying Lively’s service on their Jitterbug phones ever since!
While I can’t guarantee that every customer service experience will be as smooth, I can happily share that my family has had no complaints so far.
Compared to other Verizon MVNOs, Lively’s plans provide decent prices for talk & text with low amounts of data. However, if you want unlimited data, you can find cheaper options. For example, Lively’s basic packages with unlimited talk, text and data would cost $49.99. Visible and Spectrum Mobile each offer an unlimited plan (including talk and text) for $30 per month on one line.
On T-Mobile’s network, Tello Mobile offers competitive rates on low-data plans including unlimited talk and text plus 1GB of data for $10 per month. Unlimited talk and text alone on Lively’s network costs $19.99 with no data at all.
Despite the differences in price and data allotment, Lively offers senior-focused products and services that you won’t find with other providers. The Jitterbug phones are excellent alternatives to the latest smartphones. Plus, Lively’s customer service strives to truly help seniors by making activation and bill paying as simple as possible.
If you do decide to make the switch, be sure to check out this guide that we put together to take you step-by-step through the process. If you’re still looking for the best fit, you can find more options in our guide on the best cell phone plans and deals available now.
- July 31, 2023: Update phone plan pricing and senior services