ASU Department Use or ASU Reimbursed Phone Plans

Employee Plan

If ASU will reimburse you for ASU business calls on your personal cell phone account, you may choose the ASU-Reimbursed Employee Plan. You may receive an 18% monthly access fee discount on eligible Calling Plans, a 20% data feature discount on select plans, 25% accessories discount, and your activation fee will be waived plus you'll receive free shipping.

Departmental Plan

If you have been approved for an ASU provided phone with billing responsibility to ASU, then please contact Brian Palumbo at (602) 908-9090 or Brian.Palumbo @ to place your order. The ASU billed lines may receive an 18% monthly access fee discount on eligible Calling Plans, a 20% data feature discount on select plans, a 25% accessories discount, and the activation fee waived with free shipping.
*Please note: Lines of service on the ASU Departmental Plan and the Employee Plan(ASU-Reimbursed) are subject to eligibility verification by ASU. ASU, in its sole discretion, may at any time, determine Plan ineligibility and adjust an employee's discount accordingly.

Reimbursement FAQs

The frequently asked questions below are based on the Employee Cell Phone Reimbursement Policies and Procedures effective October 15, 2007 for staff and faculty only.

University Allowance for Individually-Owned Cellular Phones and Plans

Q: What types of cell phones and plans can I choose from?
A: Visit the website at for information regarding plans, equipment and discounts.

Q: Why does the university want me to own my cellular telephone?
A: ASU policy requires that the business and personal use of University owned cell phones must be documented in a very detailed manner. While most departments require employees to account for and reimburse personal calls made on University cell phones, few departments are documenting and substantiating to the detail required by policy. Undocumented use can be declared as personal and could be taxed as wages, even if the calls were mostly business calls.

This new policy will also allow flexibility and provide the employee the option of carrying only one cell phone or device that can be used for both business and personal.

Q: I have used a university owned cell phone for a long time with no problems. Why the change?
A: The ASU Employee Cellular Services Policy and Procedures provides the means for all employees to be personally responsible for any cellular or PDA device and be reimbursed for ASU business related costs associated with the device. It will also allow flexibility and provide the employee the option of carrying only one cell phone or device that can be used for both business and personal. Also, personal cell phone use on a business phone could be considered a taxable fringe benefit if the business verses personal use cannot be substantiated. Cell phone use is a current target of IRS audits. In fact, during recent audits, the IRS has called numbers from the cell phone billing to verify that call was in fact a university business call as identified.

Q: The university provides me a cell phone with a plan that includes 600 minutes. I never exceed 600 minutes, including personal calls. Aren't I ok?
A: No. Personal calls above a very minimal level that are included in the base plan of a University owned phone must be documented and reimbursed to the University, or reported as wages.

Q: Can I use a cell phone for personal calls when I get reimbursed from the University for the service?
A: Yes, because you own the phone. You will be reimbursed only for the business share of the invoice. You will no longer be required to carry two phones, one for business and the other for personal use.

Q: Is the reimbursement that I receive for my own cellular phone taxable?
A: Since the reimbursement is only for business related items, it should not be taxable. Appropriate and adequate documentation must be maintained by the employee to substantiate business use.

Q: Will I be required to provide copies of my bill to my department in order to be reimbursed?
A: Yes. Reimbursement of business calls made on a personal cell phone requires supporting documentation. It is recommended that initially three months of invoices be provided to determine the average business usage. It is also necessary that three months of invoices be provided to your department on at least an annual basis to substantiate or adjust the reimbursement amount.

Q: Will my invoices become public record when I provide copies to my department?
A: Supporting documentation is subject to the public records act. However, personal phone call numbers and home address can be redacted. If redaction is desired, the employee when submitting invoices to ASU for documentation needs to redact the personal phone call numbers, but not the personal call minutes. Only business related calls would be provided to a request for public information.

Q: How do I know I'm getting an adequate reimbursement?
A: With department approval, you will work with your supervisor to determine how much your reimbursement will be. You will receive an amount necessary to pay for required business use.

Q: What if my actual business usage exceeds the amount of the reimbursement that I receive?
A: The monthly reimbursement amount can be adjusted based on actual business usage.

Q: Does everyone get a reimbursement for a personally owned cell phone?
A: No. You should only receive a reimbursement if your job requires that you carry a cell phone. Just because someone with your title gets a reimbursement doesn't mean that you will if your specific duties do not require the use of a cellular phone.

Q: How do I know what cellular telephone or monthly plan to choose?
A: Work with our Preferred Provider Verizon Wireless. The device and plan you select will be based on several factors. You should consider both business and personal service coverage. You should consider your calling patterns. Is unlimited long distance necessary? Would free mobile to mobile minutes be a plus? What are the chances that you may exceed your base plan minutes and be required to pay expensive overage minutes? We recommend that you look at several calling plans and accessories before making a decision.

Q: What about Data/phone combinations?
A: If your job requires that you have access to email, calendaring or other Data functions, your supervisor may approve the purchase of a Data, PC card or other device that is required to perform your job and reimburse the monthly expense accordingly. Your job may not require a camera phone, but you may find a camera phone to be a good option for you personally. If you want a special item, but your job doesn't require it, you will pay the difference in the reimbursed amount and the actual cost of a smart phone or other more expensive device.

Q: Even if I don't receive a reimbursement, as a university faculty or staff member am I eligible for the individual discounts the cellular vendors offer?
A: Yes! If you are a current ASU faculty or staff you may take advantage of any of the discounts offered by the Verizon Wireless under their individual liable pricing. Visit Verizon Wireless Web site to register your current phone and shop for new service.

Q: Is my family eligible for the ASU discounts?
A: Yes! There are several family share plans available to choose from. You can view them from the Verizon Wireless Program page.

University-Owned Telephones

Q: Can anything be done to exempt a university-owned cell phone from this policy if it is used 100% for business or if there are other extenuating circumstances such as a phone used for on-call reasons that several employees use on a rotating basis?
A: Yes. The department head can make this determination.


Q: If I am a supervisor, how do I select the correct reimbursement amount for an employee?
A: The reimbursement amount must be based on the business requirements of the employee's position. Amounts will be a percentage of the overall monthly access charge for the service. For instance; your plan has 500 minutes and approximately 250 minutes are used for ASU business. The reimbursement amount will be 50% of the total monthly access cost.

Departments are encouraged to determine an amount based on job function that is fair to the employee and the department. This should consider business usage only and not added personal usage.

Q: When and how should I expect to see my reimbursement?
A: Each department will determine the date to begin reimbursement. All reimbursements should then be received as direct deposits each month.

Q: If I have questions on the reimbursement once I receive it who should I talk to?
A: Talk to your supervisor, manager, business manager or department head.

Making the switch between a University-owned phone and an individually-owned phone

Q: Who does this apply to?
A: At this time, this applies to anyone who uses a Verizon Wireless device and whose department is billed through ASU for the monthly service.

Q: Ok - what steps do I take to give the device to the employee?
A: The employee must complete the Transfer of Liability Form (PDF).

Q: Can I switch from another provider to Verizon Wireless and keep my current phone number? How do I do that?
A: The Verizon sales representative will arrange for your number to be ported over and inform you of the details. Please contact our Verizon Wireless Representative for more details. The ASU Representative is Brian Palumbo and can be reached at or 602-908-9090. Contract terms with your current provider may apply.

Q: If I switch from another provider to Verizon can I keep my current device?
A: In most cases, no. Each time you switch from one provider to another you must obtain a device from the new provider. This may even apply if you are changing plans within the same Provider environment. Be sure to ask Verizon if this applies.

Q: In the past, we have always been required to send cell phones to University Surplus in order to transfer the ownership of a university owned cellular device to an employee. Are we still required to do that?
A: If the cell phone is no longer needed, the phone must be sent to University Surplus as usual.

If the cell phone is given to the employee, a Transfer of Liability form must be completed and then the cell phone belongs to the employee. Due to the rapidly changing technology, the dollar value of the equipment after the 2 year contract term will likely be zero.