Author Topic: Best Cell Service?  (Read 5559 times)

ForeignServiceWife

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Best Cell Service?
« on: February 02, 2017, 12:08:29 PM »
What cell service do you all recommend? I realize I'm opening a can of worms on this one but throw it at me anyway.

Details: I have an iPhone 6, paid for and unlocked. I use less than 1 gb of data per month, but need unlimited talk and text. Husband has a work phone with unlimited data so his personal phone is just a cheap flip phone with unlimited talk and text. Currently getting the shaft from Verizon for ~$75/month for their smallest family plan.

We looked at google fi, but if possible we'd like to not have to pay $500 up front for two new phones. Any other plans where we can get good service and keep the phones we have?

caracarn

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 12:12:12 PM »
I've used AT&T for many years (seven or so) and Verizon for a few (last four).  Both were good but I give the edge to Verizon for a LOT less dropped calls, better family account management (limiting 6 teenagers on data usage to avoid rivaling the federal debt for phone service), easier to understand billing and more functional web site.  Also much better customer service on the two times I've needed to talk with them.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 12:25:37 PM »
Give the guide a read (unabridged), as there's no one-size fits all solution - let alone one size fits most. The most viable options from some of the best alternatives are listed there-in.

After that, ask away if you have any questions, and I'll do what I can to guide you to the best solution for your region and equipment... though I suspect with that iPhone, I'll probably be steering you to Consumer Cellular... though if you're with Verizon currently with a flip phone, you may need to replace that one.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 12:29:06 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Tiger Stache

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 08:28:29 AM »
Not sure what carrier has good coverage in your area, but you can use the Verizon iPhone on Cricket, or any other MVNO except one that uses Sprint. The Verizon flip phone is another story then since it may not have a SIM slot. Do the phones have to be on the same plan/carrier?

LindseyS

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 08:43:02 AM »
Look into Cricket.  We are very happy with it.

neo von retorch

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 08:54:12 AM »
Consumer Cellular is great. They also have a promotion right now that gives you $50 for each new line you add (I think through the end of March.) I believe it pays out $10/line per month for the first 5 months of service. Two lines with unlimited talk and text and 1.5GB data would be $60/month before discount. Either getting your minutes down to 1500 or your data down to 500MB would save you $10. Doing both would save you $20. After promotion the next 5 months could cost you as little as $30/month.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 08:57:45 AM »
Not sure what carrier has good coverage in your area, but you can use the Verizon iPhone on Cricket, or any other MVNO except one that uses Sprint.

Not entirely. Apple has their phones locked down, unfortunately, and it will break core MMS functionality (they lock you out of changing MMS APN settings) if you take it to any AT&T MVNO that isn't on their approved list, short of jailbreaking it... which is a really bad idea. Given how tightly iMessage is integrated into SMS messaging, and how heavily MMS dependent by default iMessage is for communicating outside their own ecosystem (and given so many other smartphones SMS apps have become overly dependent on MMS by default as well), you can and you will miss group and 155+ character text messages because of it.

The Verizon 6s and 6s+ can also be activated on Sprint MVNOs as well.

And for the record, there are ethical objections that can be raised with Cricket if one reads the terms of service (you should do that with any provider before signing up) with demands and requirements that most other MVNOs won't subject their customers to.
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 09:56:47 AM »
Details: ... I use less than 1 gb of data per month, but need unlimited talk and text. Husband has a work phone with unlimited data so his personal phone is just a cheap flip phone with unlimited talk and text. Currently getting the shaft from Verizon for ~$75/month for their smallest family plan.

We looked at google fi, but if possible we'd like to not have to pay $500 up front for two new phones. Any other plans where we can get good service and keep the phones we have?
To find the best plan, you should analyze your actual usage needs instead of "unlimited" talk and text; while the big players have moved pretty much everyone to "unlimited" talk and text plans, many MVNOs still offer plans with reasonable limits for $20-30/month. If you offload most of your communications to your home internet connection rather than the cell network you save even more with low usage phone costing no more that $10/month to keep a line.

Tiger Stache

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 12:34:08 PM »
Not sure what carrier has good coverage in your area, but you can use the Verizon iPhone on Cricket, or any other MVNO except one that uses Sprint.

Not entirely. Apple has their phones locked down, unfortunately, and it will break core MMS functionality (they lock you out of changing MMS APN settings) if you take it to any AT&T MVNO that isn't on their approved list, short of jailbreaking it... which is a really bad idea. Given how tightly iMessage is integrated into SMS messaging, and how heavily MMS dependent by default iMessage is for communicating outside their own ecosystem (and given so many other smartphones SMS apps have become overly dependent on MMS by default as well), you can and you will miss group and 155+ character text messages because of it.

The Verizon 6s and 6s+ can also be activated on Sprint MVNOs as well.

And for the record, there are ethical objections that can be raised with Cricket if one reads the terms of service (you should do that with any provider before signing up) with demands and requirements that most other MVNOs won't subject their customers to.

False. My wife uses Cricket with a Verizon 5c and there are no problems with texts or iMessage. Maybe you're thinking of older phones or other MVNOs like Straight Talk that has odd setups.

True, but we're talking about a Verizon 6.

What's wrong with AT&T?

Paul der Krake

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 12:49:24 PM »
Not sure what carrier has good coverage in your area, but you can use the Verizon iPhone on Cricket, or any other MVNO except one that uses Sprint.

Not entirely. Apple has their phones locked down, unfortunately, and it will break core MMS functionality (they lock you out of changing MMS APN settings) if you take it to any AT&T MVNO that isn't on their approved list, short of jailbreaking it... which is a really bad idea. Given how tightly iMessage is integrated into SMS messaging, and how heavily MMS dependent by default iMessage is for communicating outside their own ecosystem (and given so many other smartphones SMS apps have become overly dependent on MMS by default as well), you can and you will miss group and 155+ character text messages because of it.

The Verizon 6s and 6s+ can also be activated on Sprint MVNOs as well.

And for the record, there are ethical objections that can be raised with Cricket if one reads the terms of service (you should do that with any provider before signing up) with demands and requirements that most other MVNOs won't subject their customers to.

False. My wife uses Cricket with a Verizon 5c and there are no problems with texts or iMessage. Maybe you're thinking of older phones or other MVNOs like Straight Talk that has odd setups.

True, but we're talking about a Verizon 6.

What's wrong with AT&T?
IP was responding to the "any other MVNO" part, not the "Cricket" part.

This may not be a problem for everyone, but for people in my age group, missing out on group messages and MMS is extremely inconvenient and borderline social suicide. When choosing a handset it's good to keep in mind not only what and will not work with your MVNO of choice right now, but also your second and third choice if you were to have to switch for one reason or another.

It's best to keep the guessing game at a minimum and go with options that leave the door open to leaving.


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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 12:59:00 PM »
Tmobile - 24 bucks a month per line on my family plan.  all the video streaming and music streaming i want and doesnt count against the 4gb data cap.  plus they give me free shit every month.  already scored lots fo free food and a new nice calphalon knife and some free shoes. etc.
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Tiger Stache

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 08:15:09 AM »
IP was responding to the "any other MVNO" part, not the "Cricket" part.

This may not be a problem for everyone, but for people in my age group, missing out on group messages and MMS is extremely inconvenient and borderline social suicide. When choosing a handset it's good to keep in mind not only what and will not work with your MVNO of choice right now, but also your second and third choice if you were to have to switch for one reason or another.

It's best to keep the guessing game at a minimum and go with options that leave the door open to leaving.

Actually, dealing with MMS and iMessage problem would be a problem for all age groups, but social suicide? That is a bit extreme. There are ways around the problems, but why not just use a service that doesn't have them? I have not read nearly as many stories of problems in recent years. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but APN settings fixes used to straighten out issues.

neo von retorch

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 09:02:21 AM »
Re: Google Fi
It's not "in the guide" because Google is a data-mining monolith not seen since the days of 1984. If you don't mind being part of the evil overmind, you don't have to spend $500 - you can get a Nexus 5X for ~$80-125 on ebay. (I personally really like the Nexus 6, but it's technically at the end of its supports life now and too big for many people.)

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2017, 05:47:32 AM »
IP was responding to the "any other MVNO" part, not the "Cricket" part.

This may not be a problem for everyone, but for people in my age group, missing out on group messages and MMS is extremely inconvenient and borderline social suicide. When choosing a handset it's good to keep in mind not only what and will not work with your MVNO of choice right now, but also your second and third choice if you were to have to switch for one reason or another.

It's best to keep the guessing game at a minimum and go with options that leave the door open to leaving.

Actually, dealing with MMS and iMessage problem would be a problem for all age groups, but social suicide? That is a bit extreme. There are ways around the problems, but why not just use a service that doesn't have them? I have not read nearly as many stories of problems in recent years. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but APN settings fixes used to straighten out issues.

Thankfully the primary people I talk to are on Wire/Signal/Whatsapp these days and *cringe* facebook messenger.  I feel like SMS/MMS are really dated these days. I hope more and more people will move off SMS/MMS and heck, even traditional phone calls.  Phone numbers are ridiculously easy to spoof.

A decent frugal option is to have one individual on Google Fi's $20 + $10/gb standard plan (if you have a phone that qualifies) and then order data only sims for other devices (including phones).  People need to be comfortable using VOIP and data for communication (possible Google Voice, or other), but that second+ device only then needs to pay for data a la carte and that's it.  Pretty decent deal -- though the data only sim works on T-Mobile's service only.


GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2017, 05:51:24 AM »
Re: Google Fi
It's not "in the guide" because Google is a data-mining monolith not seen since the days of 1984. If you don't mind being part of the evil overmind, you don't have to spend $500 - you can get a Nexus 5X for ~$80-125 on ebay. (I personally really like the Nexus 6, but it's technically at the end of its supports life now and too big for many people.)

Uhg, would I trust Google with everything? No.  Would I trust AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or ANY of their MVNOs?  No.  Folks should do themselves a favor and proactively protect their own communications.  Going with, e.g., Verizon with their supercookie fiasco, and then being worried about Google, seems weird. Trust none of them. Encrypt your data in transit.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2017, 08:31:23 AM »
Re: Google Fi
It's not "in the guide" because Google is a data-mining monolith not seen since the days of 1984. If you don't mind being part of the evil overmind, you don't have to spend $500 - you can get a Nexus 5X for ~$80-125 on ebay. (I personally really like the Nexus 6, but it's technically at the end of its supports life now and too big for many people.)

Uhg, would I trust Google with everything? No.  Would I trust AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or ANY of their MVNOs?  No.  Folks should do themselves a favor and proactively protect their own communications.  Going with, e.g., Verizon with their supercookie fiasco, and then being worried about Google, seems weird. Trust none of them. Encrypt your data in transit.

Except, certain MVNOs supplement their income and rates with datamining (Google included). It's how they offer the below-market rates for what they're providing that they do, and this is where ethics come into play. By "protecting your privacy" with those specific carriers, you are deliberately withholding and preventing the very datamining you have voluntarily agreed to, preventing access to the very data you agreed to share in the terms of service, keeping them from getting paid for providing your service through the revenue derived from it.

Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain. -Deuteronomy 25:4 (NIV)

That is the line between frugal and cheap. Being cheap unfairly deprives people of their wages. What is hateful to you, do not do to your friend. It doesn't matter what the ethics are of the business or people you're dealing with, you only have to answer for how you respond.

It is one thing when it is against your legal consent and will and not a part of the agreement you voluntarily enter into, that is something you have a right to shield yourself against. However, if one hates datamining and prefers privacy and wants to go to lengths to protect those things, one should not do business with a provider that explicitly derives payment from your usage of their services by way of those privacy violating acts, and has you agree to permitting them to do those things in the legal contract for their financial recompense in exchange for lower service rates. Circumventing those things in this situation deprives them of the very revenue derived from that information you agreed to let them use to be paid in exchange for service. Doing this is a hateful thing, and makes your money more important than the well-being of and rightful payment for services rendered by your fellow human being.

Nobody is perfect, and nobody is innocent, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't still strive to do right when and where we can when given the opportunity and clarity to do so.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 08:35:42 AM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

marion10

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2017, 08:39:28 AM »
One thing we found with Consumer Cellular is that if you travel, there is no way to have coverage overseas.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2017, 08:41:11 AM »
One thing we found with Consumer Cellular is that if you travel, there is no way to have coverage overseas.

A KnowRoaming sticker should cover that for you (as with service with most MVNOs, as they don't offer international - let alone domestic roaming).
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

GoBigRed

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2017, 02:19:07 PM »
I have been very happy with Republic Wireless.  You can't take the Iphone with you though and they don't offer Iphones.  Wife and I pay about $36 total for both phones per month, plus we get a credit for unused data.  No issues over the last 3-4 years.   

We may look into Google FI next time around, hopefully not for a few years.

GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2017, 08:45:09 AM »
Except, certain MVNOs supplement their income and rates with datamining (Google included). It's how they offer the below-market rates for what they're providing that they do, and this is where ethics come into play. By "protecting your privacy" with those specific carriers, you are deliberately withholding and preventing the very datamining you have voluntarily agreed to, preventing access to the very data you agreed to share in the terms of service, keeping them from getting paid for providing your service through the revenue derived from it.

Trust in any of the phone companies is misplaced, however.  Maybe a Verizon MVNO doesn't have explicit datamining in their TOS... but Verizon STILL sets its supercookie in all of your browsing.  Protecting your privacy from datamining is neither against TOS nor illegal.  If the business finds it untenable to allow encryption for their business model, they should state so. But as far as I'm aware, none do.

To be ideologically consistent, you must admit that buying a cheapo Android cell phone therefore implies you should be giving Google, the manufacturer, and perhaps others, consent to mine all your data as well.   Creating an OS isn't free, you know.  You're paying "below market rates".  What a rabbit hole you'd find yourself in.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2017, 09:44:26 AM »
To be ideologically consistent, you must admit that buying a cheapo Android cell phone therefore implies you should be giving Google, the manufacturer, and perhaps others, consent to mine all your data as well.   Creating an OS isn't free, you know.  You're paying "below market rates".  What a rabbit hole you'd find yourself in.

Yes, ideologically, one would. As far as they let you voluntarily opt in or out through the settings they offer you. Sorry, chief... the only rabbit hole is your own.

Edited to be a bit more gentle.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 10:29:22 AM by I.P. Daley »
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GrumpyPenguin

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2017, 10:37:46 AM »
To be ideologically consistent, you must admit that buying a cheapo Android cell phone therefore implies you should be giving Google, the manufacturer, and perhaps others, consent to mine all your data as well.   Creating an OS isn't free, you know.  You're paying "below market rates".  What a rabbit hole you'd find yourself in.

Yes, ideologically, one would. As far as they let you voluntarily opt in or out through the settings they offer you. Sorry, chief... the only rabbit hole is your own.

Edited to be a bit more gentle.

Except using encryption is the same thing. It's opting out.  But under your own logic, opting out would be unethical.  If you choose to use something other than Google for search on your phone, you're being unethical.  I disagree entirely with that premise. 

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2017, 10:59:16 AM »
Except using encryption is the same thing. It's opting out.  But under your own logic, opting out would be unethical.  If you choose to use something other than Google for search on your phone, you're being unethical.  I disagree entirely with that premise.

False equivalence, buddy, and you're dodging the core issue. Agreeing to them and then circumventing/loopholing your part of the bargain to exploit "free" service that you know relies on the data you're depriving them is unkind. If you don't like the terms of service in the first place, you don't have to agree to them.
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112ontoyou

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2017, 11:04:15 AM »
We just switched from ATT to Cricket Wireless.  Unlimited talk/text.  They use the ATT network.  It's only $10 to bring your phone over.  We saved a lot per month.  Fee structure changes depending on your data plan.  They send you a SIM card in the mail and set up is easy.  No complaints... just money savings.

ajachim

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2017, 02:32:53 PM »
Been very happy with mint sim 12$ a month for  the first 3 months unlimited talk text and data on my iPhone. Can't beat it

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2017, 10:31:26 AM »
Except using encryption is the same thing. It's opting out.  But under your own logic, opting out would be unethical.  If you choose to use something other than Google for search on your phone, you're being unethical.  I disagree entirely with that premise.

False equivalence, buddy, and you're dodging the core issue. Agreeing to them and then circumventing/loopholing your part of the bargain to exploit "free" service that you know relies on the data you're depriving them is unkind. If you don't like the terms of service in the first place, you don't have to agree to them.

Hardly.  First off, like I said, what you're talking about isn't in the TOS of any "data mining" company I'm aware of. Google Fi doesn't have anything against VPNs.  Neither had R+ ever made any public statement disagreeing with the use of VPNs.   It's not like one has any moral obligation to give them more data, particularly when they're not asking for it.  Second, using a product in a way not intended by the seller is not "unkind" and certainly not unethical. 

Perhaps refilling inkjet cartridge's doesn't make HP happy, and maybe that's even against their TOS, but that's certainly not unethical.  Rooting and flashing custom ROMs on a phone is certainly not unethical, yet that is using the product not as intended. Neither of those things are unkind. 

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2017, 10:44:24 AM »
I'm a single phone user and switched from AT&T to Airvoice Wireless. Seems good so far. The only thing it doesn't have is visual voicemail (like you have to call into your voicemail). Also you can't MMS a non-iPhone user. Since 95% of my contacts have iPhones, this is fine by me. There is another workaround, Groupme, which allows folks with smartphones to post pictures and have group chats.

I have the $30 unlimited plan. https://www.airvoicewireless.com/unlimited

1 GB is perfect for my usage. No one should ever have to use more than 1 GB.

The unlimited international is useful since I occasionally travel out of the states and so do my parents.

I've had some minor issues with dropping calls due to spotty coverage - more so than I had with AT&T. 90% of the time this happens in the office building or in the basement of my home. It doesn't just drop calls under normal conditions.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2017, 11:29:41 AM »
ForeignServiceWife, I am genuinely sorry that this foolishness had to happen in your thread, and for my own contributions to it. Alexander has been grinding public axes on me across multiple threads the past couple weeks. Your thread didn't deserve to be taken so far off topic or get roped into this apparent reductio ad absurdum beef of his.



Hardly.

Thank you for reminding me why one should never throw pearls before swine. You want to win so bad? You win the intarnet! Corngratulatiuns!

May you be held to the same standard of justice you practice.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 11:34:05 AM by I.P. Daley »
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Guide2003

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2017, 10:51:31 PM »
IP Daley, do you have a link for your Cricket concerns? We had iPhones on Straight Talk for a couple years with no issues (except the initial setup customer service) and since switching to Cricket for lower rates haven't had any issues. We weren't aware of any ethical issues that hinged on that choice.
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2017, 01:16:41 PM »
I just tried google fi, but I'm in the sticks at the moment so service was meh.  I did it for the discount on the phone I wanted.

I'm about 3 days into Cricket (owned by ATT and shares ATT towers) with no dropped calls so far and I get 3 GB a month with unlimited talk and text for $40 (35 with auto pay) price includes taxes and fees already.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2017, 02:48:02 PM »
IP Daley, do you have a link for your Cricket concerns?

Here's a good synopsys and subsequent discussion.

Long short, though, terms of service and support quality matters. Cricket fails both by the measure of standards I utilize with unreasonable terms of services, poor taxes no actual MVNOs charge, and shoddy customer support. Additionally, AT&T is playing dirty pool with their brand and their wholesale customers and data pricing. I don't like to reward bad behavior. As such, I don't feel comfortable recommending them not only for the sake of the people I help, but for the sake of the future health and market diversity of the MVNO industry.

Additionally (given the timing in the changes):
Cricket Wireless Adding New Fees and Increasing Others April 23
by Dennis Bournique - Prepaid Wireless News

Quote
Cricket undoubtedly incurs extra costs when a human is involved in collecting payments or restoring service that's been suspended for non-payment.  Cricket isn't unique in charging fees. Sprint's Boost Mobile and T-Mobile's MetroPCS both charge customers $3 extra to make a payment at a dealer, although neither charges late fees.

Unfortunately, these new fees will hit people living on limited incomes the hardest. The late fees penalize people who have to make the unfortunate choice to use what little money they had on food or shelter rather than phone service. People paying for service in store are likely doing so because they lack debit cards due to not meeting the banks minimum deposit requirements. They could use prepaid debit cards to pay online, but most prepaid cards also charge fees. While I don't expect corporations to show compassion for the less fortunate, I do think charging three bucks to take the customer's money is out of line.

Quote added just to drive home what sort of policies these poor taxes in their terms of service really are for those who have no understanding of what life is like at this particular end of the financial spectrum, and are oblivious to the fact that most physical Cricket Wireless locations are frequently situated in the same neighborhood areas as car part stores and pawn shops or some of their physical stores unsavory advertising tactics that sometimes show up in many Craigslist community listings.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 02:51:22 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2017, 03:21:31 PM »
IP Daley, do you have a link for your Cricket concerns? We had iPhones on Straight Talk for a couple years with no issues (except the initial setup customer service) and since switching to Cricket for lower rates haven't had any issues. We weren't aware of any ethical issues that hinged on that choice.

Not IP's concerns and this is going to sound exceedingly petty... but when we had them (few years back) they'd text us to tell us the bill had been paid by the credit card on file.  The texts ALWAYS came at or before 5am Central time.  I could find no way to disable this or change the time (and neither could customer service).

Want me to be grumpy about your service?  Wake me up at 5am once a month.

I told you it was going to be a petty complaint.
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2017, 04:14:13 PM »
shop around for MVNO
we've been using Lyca Mobile pay as you go. Pay $5 for the sim, then load it with $20 at a time. Around 5c per minute/txt as I recall.
I go through about $4/mo
DW uses about $10/mo (much more texting with fam)
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2017, 06:39:12 PM »
Cricket is by far the best out of the cheap carriers.  A lot of the cheap ones as people have pointed out have certain limitations or inability to use certain features.  Cricket, easy to follow pricing, AT&T network, retail stores if you need real people, no bullshit. 

We have 3 Lines for $90 with 3GB data highspeed 4g LTE + unlimited (128kbs I think?).  4 Lines is $100 for the same.  5 Lines is $100 (Fifth Line Free).

I've tried Sprint/T-Mobile by using Google Fi, but the carrier switching was spotty and the coverage network wasn't as broad.  Google Fi is also quite expensive if you actually use data @ $10/gb.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 05:36:39 PM by beastykato »

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2017, 05:15:15 PM »
Quote added just to drive home what sort of policies these poor taxes in their terms of service really are for those who have no understanding of what life is like at this particular end of the financial spectrum, and are oblivious to the fact that most physical Cricket Wireless locations are frequently situated in the same neighborhood areas as car part stores and pawn shops or some of their physical stores unsavory advertising tactics that sometimes show up in many Craigslist community listings.
I guess the "voting with your wallet" reasons would make sense if I had the same detailed knowledge of how the mobile industry works, but the customer service we've experienced is so incredibly better than other services I've used, especially straight talk. It makes sense to me that they would charge more for services involving people, even if it does affect people disproportionately. We happened to move somewhere with a cricket store about a 15 minute walk (doesn't strike me as a pawn shop kind of area) and it's been convienent for the 1 question we had in the 3 years we've been with them.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Mother Teresa

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2017, 05:45:27 PM »
I didn't read all the cricket propaganda before i made my post.  I also don't care if Cricket charges for things to be done in person, that's pretty much how the world works, if you don't do it via the automated system you get charged. 

My cricket store is also in a respectable shopping location.

If I find a carrier that offers better coverage at a better price I'll certainly switch.  Until I find one, I'll promote what's best based on cost.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2017, 05:58:07 PM »
mint sim is cheaper than cricket if you get tmobile service, more data as well

20% off for the 6-12 month plans if you look up the discount code good to end of march

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2017, 08:38:59 AM »
Quote added just to drive home what sort of policies these poor taxes in their terms of service really are for those who have no understanding of what life is like at this particular end of the financial spectrum, and are oblivious to the fact that most physical Cricket Wireless locations are frequently situated in the same neighborhood areas as car part stores and pawn shops or some of their physical stores unsavory advertising tactics that sometimes show up in many Craigslist community listings.
I guess the "voting with your wallet" reasons would make sense if I had the same detailed knowledge of how the mobile industry works, but the customer service we've experienced is so incredibly better than other services I've used, especially straight talk. It makes sense to me that they would charge more for services involving people, even if it does affect people disproportionately. We happened to move somewhere with a cricket store about a 15 minute walk (doesn't strike me as a pawn shop kind of area) and it's been convienent for the 1 question we had in the 3 years we've been with them.

Well, I'm just going to say this... none of the objections that I have raised over Cricket requires some sort of "detailed knowledge of how the mobile industry works". You can easily confirm what I've shared by simply reading their terms of service yourself and pricing the overall cost of data service with other AT&T MVNOs. As for the "so incredibly better" customer service you experienced, you're comparing them to Straight Talk, and the customer service provided by America Movil is... well... there's a reason why I don't include any of Carlos' brands in the guide either. Anything is going to look better by comparison. Nobody else in the prepaid mobile industry (with brick and mortar retail locations or not) are charging the ridiculous customer service and late fees that Cricket is. None. Not even Boost Mobile.

All this said, you now know there's valid moral and ethical objections, despite your personal experience and bias. Do you really want to turn a blind eye to the problems at hand with Cricket just because it helps your bottom line so you can continue to indulge in your hedonic adaptation for the time?



I didn't read all the cricket propaganda before i made my post.

Says the person spamming their Cricket referral link in their sig line.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 08:42:10 AM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2017, 07:12:31 AM »
All this said, you now know there's valid moral and ethical objections, despite your personal experience and bias. Do you really want to turn a blind eye to the problems at hand with Cricket just because it helps your bottom line so you can continue to indulge in your hedonic adaptation for the time?
Once my workday is over, I'm home from night school, and have put the kids to bed, I'll work on making sure there aren't moral and ethical objections in the bigger line items in my budget. Once I have that nailed down, ill read over the material you've referenced to ensure my $30 is going to the most ethical cell phone company ever, but until then I'm unconvinced of the import of these issues you claim. That's not hedonic adaptation, its life in the modern world. There's not a business out there who's actions and terms of service is free from questionable ethics, especially in the US. I'm not saying it's not on my list of priorities, but there are so many things above it on the list I'm not sure I'll get to it before everyone's TOS change again.
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2017, 08:24:27 AM »
All this said, you now know there's valid moral and ethical objections, despite your personal experience and bias. Do you really want to turn a blind eye to the problems at hand with Cricket just because it helps your bottom line so you can continue to indulge in your hedonic adaptation for the time?
Once my workday is over, I'm home from night school, and have put the kids to bed, I'll work on making sure there aren't moral and ethical objections in the bigger line items in my budget. Once I have that nailed down, ill read over the material you've referenced to ensure my $30 is going to the most ethical cell phone company ever, but until then I'm unconvinced of the import of these issues you claim. That's not hedonic adaptation, its life in the modern world. There's not a business out there who's actions and terms of service is free from questionable ethics, especially in the US. I'm not saying it's not on my list of priorities, but there are so many things above it on the list I'm not sure I'll get to it before everyone's TOS change again.

Like I said, Cricket's the only company charging these things, and it takes a whopping 30 seconds to confirm. I've even done the hard work for you, locating the page in question on their own website:

https://www.cricketwireless.com/support/account-management/charges-and-fees/customer/charges-and-fees.html

Literally no other prepaid mobile provider in this country charges most of these fees, and it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see how they are structured to tax the poor and disenfranchised.

I've also done all the hard work of finding less terrible providers, that's kind of the entire purpose of the guide I put together. I'm so pointed about this philosophy, I'm literally doing research on a company right now who's been in my guide for the past five years to confirm whether they're accurately calculating taxes and regulatory fees. I try to take the hard work of due diligence, distill it, and make it easier for others who want to make those better choices.

You need AT&T coverage? Alphabetically, Airvoice Wireless, Consumer Cellular, and Puretalk USA are at the top of that list. That list hasn't changed much over the years. There's also H2O Wireless, but their customer service is a bit shakier.

I'm a huge advocate for intentionally constructing your life so you are involved in the lives of the disenfranchised and don't lose perspective like you rightly warn against, and that lines up really well with intentionally living below your means. There's a quote I read recently that says "The worst side effect of wealth is the social associations it forces on it's victims, as people with big houses tend to end up socializing with other people in big houses." The FIRE lifestyle allows you to cruise through the stratifications more easily than the poor or sometimes even the rich, and that's a privilege we need to recognize that, like any privilege, comes with a correlate responsibility.

Your words. You know now. This isn't a difficult change or choice.
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2017, 08:27:07 PM »
All this said, you now know there's valid moral and ethical objections, despite your personal experience and bias. Do you really want to turn a blind eye to the problems at hand with Cricket just because it helps your bottom line so you can continue to indulge in your hedonic adaptation for the time?
Once my workday is over, I'm home from night school, and have put the kids to bed, I'll work on making sure there aren't moral and ethical objections in the bigger line items in my budget. Once I have that nailed down, ill read over the material you've referenced to ensure my $30 is going to the most ethical cell phone company ever, but until then I'm unconvinced of the import of these issues you claim. That's not hedonic adaptation, its life in the modern world. There's not a business out there who's actions and terms of service is free from questionable ethics, especially in the US. I'm not saying it's not on my list of priorities, but there are so many things above it on the list I'm not sure I'll get to it before everyone's TOS change again.

Like I said, Cricket's the only company charging these things, and it takes a whopping 30 seconds to confirm. I've even done the hard work for you, locating the page in question on their own website:

https://www.cricketwireless.com/support/account-management/charges-and-fees/customer/charges-and-fees.html

Literally no other prepaid mobile provider in this country charges most of these fees, and it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to see how they are structured to tax the poor and disenfranchised.

I've also done all the hard work of finding less terrible providers, that's kind of the entire purpose of the guide I put together. I'm so pointed about this philosophy, I'm literally doing research on a company right now who's been in my guide for the past five years to confirm whether they're accurately calculating taxes and regulatory fees. I try to take the hard work of due diligence, distill it, and make it easier for others who want to make those better choices.

You need AT&T coverage? Alphabetically, Airvoice Wireless, Consumer Cellular, and Puretalk USA are at the top of that list. That list hasn't changed much over the years. There's also H2O Wireless, but their customer service is a bit shakier.

I'm a huge advocate for intentionally constructing your life so you are involved in the lives of the disenfranchised and don't lose perspective like you rightly warn against, and that lines up really well with intentionally living below your means. There's a quote I read recently that says "The worst side effect of wealth is the social associations it forces on it's victims, as people with big houses tend to end up socializing with other people in big houses." The FIRE lifestyle allows you to cruise through the stratifications more easily than the poor or sometimes even the rich, and that's a privilege we need to recognize that, like any privilege, comes with a correlate responsibility.

Your words. You know now. This isn't a difficult change or choice.

Thank you for that I.P.,  I'm saving around $110 per month thanks to your advice!

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2017, 12:25:52 PM »
I didn't read all the posts in this thread when I made my original post.  Then I went back and read all the crap, which led to my 2nd response.  You're more than welcome to call me a liar.  I personally don't care what your grudge is against Cricket.  Your hatred one way or another doesn't effect the excellent service I get for the cheapest price around, without having to jump thru hoops (ala ringplus when I tried that), or WiFi calling, or any other garbage.

I went to your list provided for the same service I have now.

Unlimited Talk/Text and 3gb $60 on Consumer Cellular.   

Unlimited Talk/Text 1GB on Air Voice $30

Unlimited Talk/Text 2GB on Purtealk $35

I get Unlimited Talk/Text and 3GB for $30/line with 3 lines ($35 with 1 line matching Puretalk and beating it by 1GB)

You show me a cheaper plan than Cricket that also doesn't require special phones or sims or any other crap and I'll put a link to your guide and that company instead of a link to my Cricket referral (which was in my sig long before your propaganda post).   

MOD NOTE: Please read forum rule #1. Attack an argument, not a person. IP doesn't like cricket. You do. Okay. No reason to be rude. Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 04:43:00 AM by arebelspy »

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2017, 12:50:04 PM »
mint sim is cheaper than cricket if you get tmobile service, more data as well

20% off for the 6-12 month plans if you look up the discount code good to end of march

Thanks for this.  This looks like it potentially is a better deal than Cricket, albeit without AT&T service.  If T-Mobile works fine in your area though that's great.  I'll definitely keep my eye on this. 

I haven't looked at the ease of set-up or discounts for multiple lines, but $23/month for Unlimited w/ 2GB ain't too shabby.

EDIT:  Looks like they charge tax too and I could just add 2 more family members and make Cricket $20/line without tax for 3GB vs 2GB.   The promo rates they have are fantastic right now though, I'm just not looking for temporary option.  Still might be a better deal for some.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 12:58:52 PM by beastykato »

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2017, 02:29:57 PM »
I didn't read all the posts in this thread when I made my original post.  Then I went back and read all the crap, which led to my 2nd response.  You're more than welcome to call me a liar.  I personally don't care what your grudge is against Cricket.  Your hatred one way or another doesn't effect the excellent service I get for the cheapest price around, without having to jump thru hoops (ala ringplus when I tried that), or WiFi calling, or any other garbage.

Oy.

You show me a cheaper plan than Cricket that also doesn't require special phones or sims or any other crap and I'll put a link to your guide and that company instead of a link to my Cricket referral (which was in my sig long before your propaganda post).

Here.

We're done.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 02:35:24 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2017, 05:43:10 PM »
I have heard of H20 wireless before and indeed it looks like they are cheaper for 1 or 2 lines. 3 Lines is a wash (although they provide more data on 2nd and 3rd line), 4 and 5 still looks cheaper on Cricket. 

So, you certainly win with that example in certain instances, but not all.

Where can I go for support for H20 wireless? 

Can my mom or grandma find a physical store?

Where are the subsidized phone prices or even free phones that Cricket offers?  Cheapest available was the $45 BLU when I added it to the cart.  (Whoops $39 ZTE was cheapest after another look)

They also aren't straight forward like Cricket. You have to read the fine print just to understand which family plans will even work.  "The primary line can select from the $30, $40, $50, or $60 monthly plans; the $35 and $65 plans do not qualify. The $10 discount on lines two through four only applies to the $40, $50, or $60 monthly plans, and does not apply to the $30, $35, or $65 plans."

It's definitely not a no-brainer.  I'm sure a lot of people will still prefer to be on a recognized brand with more accessible cheap phones and physical locations. 

It also doesn't change the fact that all of your other examples were MORE expensive.  This H20 example is a hit or miss depending on data plan and number of lines.

So, after seeing the examples here, price-wise Cricket and H20 are a wash depending on your family set-up.  Mint is cheaper off the bat, but even Cricket gets down to $25/$20 per month once you hit 4/5 lines respectively. 

My comparison was also done only on the 3GB Cricket lines that I personally have.  So, H20 may lean more into favor if you use the more expensive higher data Cricket plans.

You're more than welcome to feel like you are completely right though.  Then again I'm not bashing H20 wireless, I'm just defending Cricket, which you seem to have an agenda against and portray it as a bad deal when it beats the majority of your examples on price.

EDIT: Got on H20 chat with an adviser after posting: Cheapest family plan on Cricket = 5 lines at $100 (3GB each), Cheapest possible on on H20 $120 (1 3GB line, 3 8 GB lines).  You definitely get more data, which I don't need, so from a dollar perspective they lose, although if you need the data by all means go for it.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 06:47:31 PM by beastykato »

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2017, 08:01:50 PM »
I don't care about winning, I care about protecting customers and their rights through knowledge and understanding.

You made a simple challenge with a promised course of action if I met it. I delivered. Instead, you posted a wall of justification and excuses for a company that owes you nothing and has policies that reduces you to nothing more than a cash shooting udder.

My issues with Cricket is one of consumer protection, not of the absolute cheapest. If you'd actually read my guide, you'd already know that. Their public policies and business methodologies - and the damage those policies can do to the entire prepaid mobile industry and the financially marginalized in this country - are a legitimate concern, so I voice that concern. I advocate for companies with fair prices, decent customer support, and customer friendly terms of service. Sometimes, frequently, they're quite reasonably priced and will save people quite a bit of money, especially if they only pay for what they need - but they aren't always the absolute rock bottom cheapest.

Some things matter more than pennies, like integrity and how you treat your fellow man.

You're more than welcome to call me a liar.

Your own words demonstrate that you seem to have a far greater problem with speaking honestly than I do. You made a promise, and instead of being a person of your word, you have made excuses and continue to throw shade at me for drawing attention to very real issues about your "preferred" mobile carrier that you have a clear financial stake in for promoting. Hoisted by your own petard.

Don't worry, though, I won't hold you to your promise. In fact, I'd rather you not. I'm just highlighting for others the exact quality of the word of the person crying about me being a hate-fueled propagandist as sufficient reasoning to ignore prudent words of caution about a mobile carrier you apparently have an emotional stake in defending.

Cricket (or any mobile provider brand) should never be able to save you enough money (or be able to pay you enough) to warrant this sort of loyalty and devotion in a person. Don't sell your soul and integrity for a wad of cheap data.

I want to see you be better than this.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2017, 08:03:59 PM by I.P. Daley »
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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2017, 08:27:03 PM »
I had some technical issues with Cricket when I used them, like MMS not going through, and 72 hours of SMS not coming to my phone. Quite a few calls to customer service where they argued and argued the SMS issue was on my end. Then someone on their end saying "let me try this one thing" and suddenly all the texts showed up on my phone. Guess which end the problem was one? I saved some money using Cricket, since I came from Straight Talk, and because I got some sign-up and referral credits. But I don't miss them.

I also personally wont ever use H2O because I paid for a month of usage, and they opened a new phone number for me, and would not let me use the paid for credit on my phone number. And I had zero interest in changing my 15 year old cell phone number. So it was just money in a trash can. From there, I went to Consumer Cellular, and paid nothing for my first month, and they always had excellent customer service. I whole-heartedly recommend them, but people need to align their habits with their values, and cut the massive bandwidth consumption before switching to a company like Consumer Cellular, because it's not about getting massive bandwidth for the smallest price. It's about working with good companies that give you good experiences, and then deliver what you pay for.

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2017, 05:36:02 AM »
@Beastykato  I think it's best to ignore that guy.  There's just no benefit to engaging him. 

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2017, 07:42:27 AM »
@Beastykato  I think it's best to ignore that guy.  There's just no benefit to engaging him.

Agreed.  Just hate to see someone get turned away from a decent priced service. 

Just happy people will read this and not fall for his sales pitch.

Lesson is: research your cell phone pricing for yourself, or just get Cricket to piss this guy off =)

@neo

Sorry to hear about the bad luck with them.  If it wasn't working I would have left too.  The only problem I have had with Cricket was when they had a massive outage last year.  It didn't even last a full day though.  They only thing I tend to notice is my voicemails do come thru very slowly sometimes.  I've never had a problem with texts or data, unless I entered in their ports wrong in my phone. 

Crickets customer service does leave something to be desired.  Very often I have had a hard time understanding their foreign agents, but I rarely ever need to actually call in since almost everything is automated.  So, it's an inconvenience I deal with.  I've heard H20 is worse, but have no direct experience.

@thatguy

I shouldn't even engage you at all, but I do find it funny you say you delivered when I provided many H20 examples that did not beat Cricket.  You seem to make the rules up as you go though.  Thank you for providing information for people with only 2-3 lines, because H20 is cheaper in those instances.  Good information for someone in that situation and I had not looked at H20 for probably 6 months or more.

Disclaimer:  I would have never linked your site even if you had actually won the bet.  Good thing you didn't so I can stay honest.

« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 07:45:58 AM by beastykato »

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Re: Best Cell Service?
« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2017, 09:56:00 AM »
@Kato, why are you insulting IP Daley? He's been around here a long time and go out of his way to help people. If you don't like his suggestion, then don't take it. He doesn't get a kickback by referring people to H2O. Unlike you when you post a referral link. You could as easily post a cricket link without the referral if you thought it was a great service and don't mind people switching to it. But you mostly want the kickback from the referral, which is why you never intended to remove it from sig. That alternative reason dilutes your argument that cricket is good.

I've been happy with cricket so far, but I forgot about H2O as an option even though I see it talked about. Didn't realize it was cheaper than cricket for me. I plan to keep cricket for the near future but will look into switching later this spring/summer once life stops being so busy. I did get my pin number for cricket in case I want to port out later, because it costs a fee if I need to contact them for it past April 23 <---- I can see IP Daley's point about Cricket's fees, so I got it before the fee kicked it.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 09:58:03 AM by Left »