When I updated my e815 to get a KRAZR, they tried to make me update my plan and messaging. I ordered the phone online for $50 less than in the store, and didn't have to change a thing, as I also have the $5 text plan. Maybe this helps Sabr.
They wouldn't do it for me over the phone either. I guess they tell the sales people in the stores to make you upgrade your text plan. I did it online, and kept my $5 plan. I have to admit that I am getting sick of all the BS with verizon. If I thought I could get similar reception elsewhere, I would jump in a heartbeat.