Author Topic: Has anybody tried the new cell phone service "mint"?  (Read 694 times)

The Money Monk

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Has anybody tried the new cell phone service "mint"?
« on: December 13, 2016, 11:02:40 PM »
There is a new cheap "pay ahead" cell service that is being offered called "mint" or "mint sim" or something.

you can get a fairly standard plan (talk, text, and 2gb of 4G) for around 15 bucks a month if you buy a year at once. Or you can buy as little as a month at a time for $30 or something. (right now they have a promo for 3 months for $34 or something). I'm interested because you can keep the same number, and add data if you need to for like $10.

Anybody have any experience with them, or do I need to be the Guinea Pig?

Daley

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Re: Has anybody tried the new cell phone service "mint"?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 07:51:46 AM »
Has anyone tried Mintsim?

Mint SIM is a sub-brand of Ultra Mobile. This means T-Mobile native network, no roaming. Been a while since I've read their TOS, but as with every provider, you should do that yourself before plopping down money. As for Ultra as a carrier specifically, I'd been hesitant to put them on the official list in the past, partly due to age and marginally due to terms of service. The terms have backed off a bit on the troubling language, IIRC, and they've now been in place for a few years... so when P'tel folded earlier this year and they offered deals for escapees, I didn't balk. They're now the only T-Mobile provider currently offering the plans they are at the prices they are, the other had been P'tel.

I used to make a big deal about business longevity in my recommendations as it demonstrated a solid business model in a cutthroat industry with thin margins and no (IMHO, necessary) government regulation to protect and preserve the wholesale wireless telecom market. Then the carriers started exploiting that lack of regulation when the wholesale MVNOs eroded away their high priced cash cow user base, and now over the past year and change, we've seen a lot of shift, consolidation, shutdowns and buyouts in the industry because of it. P'tel, one of the oldest MVNOs in the nation had to close its doors. Walmart even got out of the game. WALMART. They literally sold off their Family Mobile customers to Carlos Slim/America Movil/Tracfone Wireless this last summer. Even America Movil, the 800lb gorilla of the industry owned and run by a man who knows how to work a monopoly position, is starting to lose customers. Crap is definitely going down in the MVNO industry. The risks of using any MVNO has increased some, even the "blue chip" ones. The only "safe" long-term brands for the risk adverse are the ones owned by the actual carriers. Unfortunately, without regulation, what happens to those prices once they kill off all the competition?

I feel a bit quixotic these days. We're starting to lose the battle, but so long as we're willing to chose real competition over the carriers directly, these cheaper, alternative plans should persist in some form or fashion.

Which brings us back around to Mint SIM specifically. Their gimmick, their differentiation as a sub-brand from Ultra is their price structure. Pay for X months in advance, get a bulk rate discount on service with biggest savings for those who pay a year in advance.

Given what I've told you of the current state and health of the MVNO industry... does this sound like a safe bet for saving money?

My advice? Find a monthly plan that that gives you what you need at a price that saves you money, stick with it and fight the urge to perpetually chase after the cheapest deal available by jumping from provider to provider thus causing churn and volatility with the providers, and simply appreciate the savings you can get for as long as you can still get it.
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.