Author Topic: Need to cut cell phone bill-move to Virgin Mobile or threaten Verizon?  (Read 10718 times)

cityhippie

  • Guest
Hi All,

I have an 3+ yrs-old iphone with Verizon Wireless (no contract) that is starting to show a bit of dementia so I've been thinking of (ugh) getting a "new" phone.  I'm paying upwards of $75/month before taxes for my Verizon plan. Getting a "free" phone with them will a) put me into a contract and b) end the free data plan I was grandfathered into.

Any Verizon people have success with threatening to leave unless they give you a better deal (I have the best published deal for my use)?  Ideally, I would like to stay with Verizon - I've not had any complaints with them (aside from the $$$)

On the other hand, I've been researching lower cost options and it seems that VM will fit my "needs".  I want no contract and unlimited data (I know they throttle when you hit 2.5Gb usage in the month).

I live in a large metropolitan area and the coverage seems like it would be adequate.

Any Virgin Mobile users out there want to give me your 2 cents on VM (coverage, speed, customer service)?


Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
I don't have VM, but my friend likes it. You have to buy a phone from them, though, right?  Could be worth the investment.

Verizon will come up with a cheaper plan than you have now if you threaten, but that will just get you roped into a new contract  I think.  Change plans = they rope you again.  If you're going to renew for 2 more years, then you might as well get a state of the art phone out of them.

 I recently bought a late model iphone off of ebay and hooked it up with a cheap plan ($10/month).  I don't need unlimited data because I'm almost always in wireless country.  iphone to iphone texts are free if I'm on wireless, google voice is free and I have calls forwarded to my phone in case my computer is off when someone calls, so the $10 only gets used for calls when I'm in my car, basically (4 cents a minutes.)  Works for me.  So, I turned the cell data off to avoid eating money with data, and I haven't had to turn it back on at all.  That's how much I am near free wireless.  Pretty much all restaurants, stores, airports, and hotels seem to have it now.

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Ditch Verizon.  There is nothing they can do for you that helps you be frugal and they will rope you into a contract which you will come to regret.

Get a good used phone off eBay or Craigslist that will work with the server of your choice.  I highly recommend Ting and just bought a Galaxy S3 off of eBay for $250. 

Learn to not use data.  Seriously, if you're in a city, there is free wi fi all around you.  Paying for data makes you a sucker.  I must have work email on my phone and even with that my data use is well below 100 MB/ month.  If you're using data to stream videos or update your Facebook, then give yourself a face punch right now before someone else here beats you to it.

My cell phone on Ting was $28 last month and it was that high only because a storm knocked out my wi fi for 15 days (tree on lines -- Comcast sucks) and I ended up using talk minutes instead of calling through Google Voice / Groove IP (VOIP) which is free.

Katnina

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
  • Age: 38
  • Location: NYC
  • 33 & happily retired!
my iphone 3GS was seriously sucking with AT&T, so I decided to have them unlock it for free as my contract had expired, so i could switch to Airvoice.  I figured the $10/month plan would be cheap enough that I could buy a new iphone if my old one died.  I did the unlock and had to reset the iphone and it is ALL BETTER now!!!
So, try to see if you can get Verizon unlock it- that may help!
and fwiw, Airvoice + google voice has been a great fit for me.   

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
On the other hand, I've been researching lower cost options and it seems that VM will fit my "needs".  I want no contract and unlimited data (I know they throttle when you hit 2.5Gb usage in the month).

I noticed you said want, not need. Mobile data's expensive, and nobody "needs" unlimited anything, especially data. If you actually want to save any real money with your cellular bill, learn to suck it up and do without.

You should also seriously look into other MVNOs other than CDMA based. Start here.

cityhippie

  • Guest
Ditch Verizon.  There is nothing they can do for you that helps you be frugal and they will rope you into a contract which you will come to regret.

Get a good used phone off eBay or Craigslist that will work with the server of your choice.  I highly recommend Ting and just bought a Galaxy S3 off of eBay for $250. 

Learn to not use data.  Seriously, if you're in a city, there is free wi fi all around you.  Paying for data makes you a sucker.  I must have work email on my phone and even with that my data use is well below 100 MB/ month.  If you're using data to stream videos or update your Facebook, then give yourself a face punch right now before someone else here beats you to it.

Verizon's not roping me into another contract, that I know for sure.  I won't do it.  I don't mess with used off of Ebay or CL - way too many unscrupulous people out there screwing people.  I don't do free wifi because of security issues and I don't stream videos and don't even have a Farcebook account. 

I noticed you said want, not need. Mobile data's expensive, and nobody "needs" unlimited anything, especially data. If you actually want to save any real money with your cellular bill, learn to suck it up and do without.

You should also seriously look into other MVNOs other than CDMA based. Start here.

Thanks IP, sorry but for right now I'm not giving up data.  When I want to go back to my flip phone, it's right here waiting for me but, until then, the smartphone and data stays.  I have read the other thread (part of the research I mentioned) and VM is one of the providers you listed.

I was posting here asking for input on Verizon and and VM.  Maybe y'all are about tough love or this forum is more about perfection than progress but I could've done without being told I'm a sucker or should punch myself and/or get a critique on my wants/needs or cell habits.

Go easy on the noobs.

cityhippie

  • Guest
I don't have VM, but my friend likes it. You have to buy a phone from them, though, right?  Could be worth the investment.

Thank you Zamboni.  Yes, you have to buy a phone from them (not really what I want to do but my iphone is doing some weird stuff that I haven't been able to fix) but I def. can get something cheaper than an overpriced new iphone (I got mine refurb. for $99 over two years ago).

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Thanks IP, sorry but for right now I'm not giving up data.  When I want to go back to my flip phone, it's right here waiting for me but, until then, the smartphone and data stays.  I have read the other thread (part of the research I mentioned) and VM is one of the providers you listed.

And you're basically asking for the impossible - a truly "unlimited" data plan (possibly on another iPhone) without any contracts and for less than what Verizon's got you over the barrel for already, and you also want to limit your provider scope to companies that start with the letter "V".

Something has to give, and that something is either your money, a contract, the letter "V", or your "unlimited" data. You've already made it pretty clear you don't want it to be your money or a contract. You can either accept the reality of the American cellular markets, or you can keep at the Sisyphus impression.

Yes, Virgin's on the list, but it's Sprint network coverage only and the throttling can be pretty heinous once it kicks in (not that Sprint's data services on their MVNOs are much to write home about to begin with) and so long as you're angling for that whole "unlimited" high-speed thing (and you are looking for high-speed service, otherwise you likely wouldn't be able to use so much data) with your usage and are unwilling to scale back, it will do nothing but disappoint and frustrate you past that cap. Keeping that in mind, given you're in a "larger metropolitan area", the cheapest MVNOs to deal with that will give you the most amount of data for the cash before throttling caps kick in are going to be T-Mobile based (specifically GoSmart), which means pentaband GSM handsets... which is why I said what I did.

You wanted advice, you got it. Take it for what it is, or keep whinging about us being mean to you for not satisfactorily swaddling the answers in a sufficient layer of goose down and candy floss.

Micheal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Get a phone of the net, yes you will pay for it if you do not want used.  Make sure it is compatible with your pre-paid of choice, personally I like Straight Talk, the phone choice is pretty limited but works with what I have.  30 days unlimited everything costs you $45, or you can get a $30 card that has 1000 minutes, 1000 texts, and 100mb of data for 30 days if you find that you need less, and i haven't experience much throttling from it yet.

cityhippie

  • Guest
You wanted advice, you got it. Take it for what it is, or keep whinging about us being mean to you for not satisfactorily swaddling the answers in a sufficient layer of goose down and candy floss.

I didn't ask for "advice".  I asked two questions; specifically of Verizon and Virgin Mobile users. 

Maybe you don't actually read what others post, preferring instead to concentrate on the glorious douchebaggery of trying to prove your MMM superiority over others.

Does it make you feel good to be a jerk?  It must.

Thanks for your oh-so-precious time; your handle should be ipunchdaily.


Rickk

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
I have used Virgin Mobile and did not like the fact that their entire enterprise seems geared towards teeny boppers as apposed to adults.  You are locked into Sprint (which does not have great coverage in my area) and locked into their phones.  The prices were ok, but I am no longer really recommending them.
I have several kids on Tracfone and have liked their customer service, but had to buy their branded phones.
My wife with the iPhone is on Airvoice, we use wifi instead of data and have been happy with the service and prices (lost the ability to do MMS picture texts).
I am moving towards only companies that support BYOD as we like our iDevices (hold on - let me give myself a face punch for that!)

In my opinion the bottom line is that you have to get over any fixation on data to go inexpensive and use wifi (I know - you think it is a security risk - as if the NSA and half of the companies don't already have access to all the data on your cell phone - if you are worried about a security risk I would recommend stop using cell phones - you do know that anyone can buy off the shelf hardware and spoof a cell tower don't you? http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-07/hacked-mobile-antenna-backpack-could-spy-verizon-customers).

Good luck on your search - I have always found the search for cell phone providers in the US a frustrating experience fraught with trade offs and pain.  I strongly recommend reading the cell phone super thread it is really a great resource!

Sweet Betsy

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
I don't mess with used off of Ebay or CL - way too many unscrupulous people out there screwing people.

Don't be afraid of ebay.  I've bought several refurbished phones from one of the dealers on ebay and have had great experiences.  Granted we don't need the latest and greatest smartphone but we have newish android phones that work as if they were new.  With the price I'm saving being off the major carriers I can afford to buy a "new" used phone every single year and still be saving money. 

I love Verizon coverage so we switched over to Talk for Good.  It doesn't even feel as if we are not being directly serviced by Verizon until I see our monthly charges. 

Good luck finding something that works for you!

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3955
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Thanks for your oh-so-precious time; your handle should be ipunchdaily.

Remember kids, telling people that they physically cannot get what they're actually wanting (a cheap new iPhone with truly unlimited data, without a contract, and for under $50 a month) without some form of personal compromise is being mean. #firstworldproblems

TrulyStashin

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1030
  • Location: Mid-Sized Southern City
Thanks for your oh-so-precious time; your handle should be ipunchdaily.

Remember kids, telling people that they physically cannot get what they're actually wanting (a cheap new iPhone with truly unlimited data, without a contract, and for under $50 a month) without some form of personal compromise is being mean. #firstworldproblems

+1

IP Daley . . . Keeping it real 24/7.

renbutler

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
  • Location: Midwest USA
I've had Virgin for over ten years. The quality of the product and service seem to be gradually declining over time.

We already switched my wife's phone from Virgin to Boost -- and we have already had some problems. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that they are now essentially the same company.

Oops.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
not that it is a good solution... but if you have cash to upfront, you might be able to buy a sprint sero account off someone (they don't really do this anymore but it might not be possible). They have iphones on the $50/month for unlimited everything.

only reason I keep the $30/sero is because as bad as their data speeds are, their national voice coverage is as good as I've come across. I need talk more than anything else on my phone. And wifi doesn't reach out in wilderness/corn fields/empty interstates.

but I kind of cheat too, I keep a $10 prepaid tmobile card in the phone too incase sprint doesn't reach, I got a 2nd chance with tmobile

still, from my experience on sprint's speed, you won't need unlimited data... hell if you can get more than 5gb of data used at those speeds, you're doing something that needs to be done on a computer
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 09:10:33 AM by eyem »

AmbystomaOpacum

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 65
  • Age: 7
  • Location: Somewhere in the southeast U.S.
I have Virgin Mobile. The price is good. Everything else sucks. Phone service sometimes simply goes down for a few hours. Data coverage is terrible. Basically, if you aren't on Wi-Fi, you have no internet.

Then again, I have nothing good to say about any other provider either, so... I stick with the cheap.