Author Topic: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)  (Read 11771 times)

dios.del.sol

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Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« on: October 17, 2014, 05:02:49 PM »
I'd like to solicit a bit of advice on the three services. I know there are many threads, and I've tried to include the information here, but the purpose of this is to analyze my particular situation. I'll lay out the situation and let you comment as you'd like.

I'm currently with Verizon and I'm looking to switch. I pay for my phone and my parents' phones. We all use voice and no data. I use text and if they do it's only by accident. I'm grandfathered into Verizon paying $50 for the minutes plus $10 for each line, $5 for my texts + taxes and fees = $95/mo. All three services I'm considering are significantly cheaper. Considering ETFs and new phones, the payoff periods are from 6-9 months. I tend to keep equipment for a long time, so the monthly rate is more important to me than differences in payoff period. Worst case monthly usage is for me: 490 minutes + 118 texts, for parent 1: 130 minutes + 1 text, and for parent 2: 287 minutes + 2 texts (this includes unbilled weekend, mobile-to-mobile, etc.). We live in LA and SF, so service should be OK in all areas.

  • Page Plus runs on the Verizon network, so we'll have no change in quality. The cheapest I can imagine it being is about $52/month mixing and matching monthly plans with pre-loaded minutes. I loathe the idea of keeping track of re-loading all the phones. I could go with Kitty Wireless, but it looks like they'll take about $3/line to manage that for me. All told Page Plus is the hardest for me to imagine using at the moment. I just can't visualize how much time I would spend monitoring / reloading, etc.
  • Ting looks to be $46/month (including estimated taxes/fees). Being cheaper than Republic, which seems more cumbersome Ting seems preferable. I haven't heard any complaints about service quality or customer service. Ting offers a wide variety of phones including refurbished basic phones, which my folks would prefer (they don't want a smart phone).
  • Republic is the cheapest since we'd be at 3x$10/month = $35/month with taxes and fees. The phones are the most expensive, plus my folks really don't want a smartphone, and that's all Republic offers. It seems harder to find less expensive used phones for Republic. I've also heard possible complaints about service. Including the VOIP component, which is newish. The phones all seem to have non-replaceable batteries, which can spell money down the road in premature phone replacement.
I was leaning towards Republic (cheapest) until I found some of these other possible problems with them. So I consult you, wise ones of the web, to help me finalize my decision.

jeromedawg

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 06:40:45 PM »
I was in a similar situation about 3 or 4 years ago and decided to go over to PP once my VZW contract ended. And thank GOODNESS for that! It's been a pretty nice ride for the past several years. First I got my wife on PP and then myself. And my in-laws are also on it too. We've gone through a few budget phones (Palm Pixis, old Droids, and now Moto Gs which are GREAT BTW) and have stuck to the $29~ per month plan. We also have my in-laws using the prepaid $80 pins and flip phones (except my father-in-law lost his phone recently). Anyway, you may want to consider getting one or both of your parents the $80 pin if you go this route especially if they don't use their phones a whole lot. Or get them on the $12 per month plan. The $29 plan is great for my wife and myself and we do use some data but have to be careful since it's only 500mb. If your parents are OK with flip phones and don't talk much, PP $80 is probably the best option here IMHO. Plus, their coverage is still probably the best for what you're paying as far as I know.

You can activate and deal directly with Page Plus rather than going through Kitty Wireless. Additionally, you can buy pins from Callingmart and get 5% discounts on them since Callingmart usually has a 5% discount code once every month. We don't really have to monitor our parents *that* much but they really don't use that many minutes in general. $80 equates to something along the lines of 2000 minutes I believe and is good for a full year. It's really the most cost-efficient for low-usage users.

You might also want to consider Freedompop, but I hear a lot of mixed reviews on coverage. I'm also in LA (OC actually) with my in-laws in the Reseda area.

Oops, sorry missed the part about how you also don't use data. Do you have a smartphone? Android or iOS? If so, you could also take advantage of Google Hangouts which has now integrated Google Voice into it on Android. If you have free wifi access, you can make and receive free calls via Google Hangouts to your Google Voice number. This would allow you to save more of the minutes you're paying for with PP. It's very useful and I used Google Hangouts in a similar fashion while traveling abroad (except I added Google calling credits to my account since international calls are not free but are still super reasonable).
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 06:46:45 PM by jplee3 »

gimp

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 06:49:49 PM »
Email RW to ask if they sell B-stock phones. They probably don't, but they sold me a defy xt to replace my broken defy xt for $50 - which is what I remember paying for flip phones back in the day. But they do have a new phone just now, or coming out, for a hunnert, don't they?

I like their service and I like their plan. No complaints here. I've used them in cities across the country and in butt-fuck nowhere.

But wait for IP to show up, he will tell you good (legitimate) reasons why you should choose someone other than RW.

If you really don't want to use a smartphone though, then perhaps RW is the wrong carrier. Though maybe they'll like the fancy things a smartphone offers, once they're used to it - for example, a big screen with big numbers and letters for easier reading.

jeromedawg

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 06:53:10 PM »
BTW: here's the quick math on the PP plans (per month)

$80 pin = $6.66 for about 166 minutes of voice per month or $80 and 2000mins per year
$12 plan = $12 per month for 250mins of voice, 250 txts, and 10mbs of data or $144 per year

With the $80 plan there could be some spillover over since you may technically buy more than one $80 pin in the same year to provision and reload for the upcoming year. I think this ends up being the most affordable though in the context of PP and for your parents.

For yourself, it might be a little trickier if you're trying to find a plan that matches your minimal (but not as minimal as your parents) usage. Good luck!

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 07:18:57 PM »
Y'all's perspective has been great. Thanks! Here I am imagining reloading over and over, but yes, 2000 minutes will hold them over for about a year. I can handle that for sure. Hard to beat their two lines at $6.66 per month. I can figure out what's best for my usage, but batches of 2000 minutes seem best at the moment. Now I'm heavily leaning towards PP. I can keep our phones and pay off the ETF in about 5-6 months. Once that's done I can re-evaluate.

Follow-up question: any troubles porting numbers to PP? How about porting from PP if you decide to move on?

jeromedawg

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 08:05:55 PM »
Y'all's perspective has been great. Thanks! Here I am imagining reloading over and over, but yes, 2000 minutes will hold them over for about a year. I can handle that for sure. Hard to beat their two lines at $6.66 per month. I can figure out what's best for my usage, but batches of 2000 minutes seem best at the moment. Now I'm heavily leaning towards PP. I can keep our phones and pay off the ETF in about 5-6 months. Once that's done I can re-evaluate.

Follow-up question: any troubles porting numbers to PP? How about porting from PP if you decide to move on?

Oh just so you're clear, they'd *each* need to get an $80 pin so each line would be $6.66 per month. It's really not a huge inconvenience reloading them - the process is pretty easy and straightforward on PP's website. You basically just input the pins and select what number to apply to and you're good. Same thing for the monthly plans - you can stack pins as well so you could prepay for 12 months and stack all the pins into your account so you don't have to worry about continuously reloading every month. For yourself, even if you had to purchase several $80 plans in the year, that would still be a pretty good rate that you'd get in at too.

I didn't have any problems porting over to PP. They have an online/live chat and their phone customer support is pretty good too. I haven't tried porting out of PP yet but I'd imagine the process is more heavily reliant on the company that you're porting to, in general.

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 09:11:33 AM »
Yes, that's per line - got it. Thanks for the extra info. It sounds pretty straightforward. I'll give it a go a soon as I can coordinate with my folks, get MEIDs, etc.

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 06:53:14 PM »
Here's what I've gathered (core stats):
dios: 500 minutes, 150 texts
parent 1: 150 minutes
parent 2: 300 minutes

Yes, I've rounded up further just for the sake of cushioning, but it doesn't actually impact the annual costs in any real way. Now, jplee3's heart is in the right place, and he's eager to push PP, but his math is a little shaky and some of his conclusions aren't wholly informed. Also, since you're open to potentially replacing handsets and we're dealing with two of the largest cities on the West Coast, there's no rational need to limit ourselves to just CDMA providers. Nobody needs to stick with Verizon unless they know they need to stick to Verizon (you probably don't given the options listed), and anyone who can get by with Sprint coverage can also get by on T-Mobile coverage for the most part.

The thing to remember with Page Plus is going to be handset portability. Any LTE handset is not going to be portable to Page Plus with the plans you're desiring (not without a lot of work and know-how first). Depending on how old the feature phones are in question, they may be old enough to be pre-LTE, but it's possible they may not be as well given you're talking paying ETFs. This is going to be a critical point to understand and get clarity on first. Page Plus does LTE support now, but they will only activate and support Verizon LTE handsets on their $30/month and higher plans. No PAYG, no "The 12" plan for LTE handset activation, these are Verizon CDMA handsets only. If none of you have LTE handsets, or only one of you needs to replace their handset to make this work, then Page Plus is worth keeping in mind, even if the hassle will be a bit higher... but if a full round of handset replacement is in order, better and easier to manage options for the money rapidly rise to the surface with a more complete competition picture.

Now, here's the stone cold real math (before taxes) starting with your three mentioned providers first, and then a couple alternatives you likely hadn't considered after:

Page Plus (Verizon) - TOTAL $43.25 + regulatory taxes/fees a month
$279/year ($12/month+$135/year top up) for self (500 minutes, 150 texts) - $23.25/month
(this plan would require $12/month plan plus alternating between $80 and $10 top-ups purchased every other 120 days)
$80/year pay as you go for parent 1 (150 minutes) - $6.67/month ($80/year)
$160/year pay as you go for parent 2 (300 minutes) - $13.33/month ($80/6 months)
Possible new handsets (under $150). It's also worth noting that the $80 op-up cards are only available through PP dealers like Kitty Wireless.

Ting (Sprint) - TOTAL $41 + regulatory taxes/fees a month
3x lines ($18), 1000 minutes ($18), 1000 messages ($5), no data
New handsets (under $150).

Republic (Sprint+VOIP) - TOTAL $30 + regulatory taxes/fees a month
3x lines $10/month plan
New handsets ($300). Smartphones only, fragile and already unwanted. Would take 2-3.5 years just to break even on investment with savings versus competition using Moto E, and that's not even considering the heinous terms of service or other caveats.

P'tel (T-Mobile) - TOTAL $42.50 + sales tax a month (regulatory taxes and fees are rolled into the prepaid package prices - not charged in addition to)
$20/month for unlimited talk+text plan for self - $20/month ($240/year)
$90/year pay as you go for parent 1 (150 minutes) - $7.50/month ($90/year) ($30 every 120d)
$180/year pay as you go for parent 2 (300 minutes) - $15/month ($180/year) ($30 every 60d)
New handsets (under $100).

H2O Wireless (AT&T) - TOTAL $48.33 + sales tax a month (regulatory taxes and fees are rolled into the prepaid package prices - not charged in addition to)
$25/month for 1000 minutes/texts pay as you go plan for self - $25/month ($300/year)
$100/year for pay as you go annual for parent 1 - $8.33/month ($100/year)
$180/year for pay as you go 90 day for parent 2 - $15/month ($180 year) ($30 every 60d)
New handsets (under $100).

P'tel and Ting are your two best options if you're stuck getting new handsets, probably the better and easier management deals as well versus Page Plus - probably well worth the additional handset investment just for simplified billing using either MVNO. P'tel handset investment (and by extension H2O as well) being the cheapest as GSM feature phones new, used and otherwise are practically a dime a dozen (you'd be amazed at what $15-35 can buy you in a carrier unlocked GSM handset). Ting will do lump billing for all lines, P'tel supports auto-top-up. T-Mobile coverage in LA and SF should be good, as well. Finally, going P'tel even with replacement handset costs puts the Republic break-even at nearly four years.

I'm not saying that Page Plus can't be a decent deal, but when you're looking at dropping between $40-50 no matter which provider you go with, it's best to open up your horizons a little bit. Also, stuff like this helps highlight how little Republic actually is capable of saving most people when one simply does the math.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 07:00:03 PM by I.P. Daley »

smalllife

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2014, 06:23:49 AM »
Supposing you are stuck with Verizon (Sprint's network doesn't penetrate the old brick walls at home or work - Good/Fair based on their coverage map), does that change your recommendation I.P. Daley?  As my phone is dying I've had to consider these same questions, and the quality of service has been the main factor leaning towards Page Plus. 

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2014, 09:22:16 AM »
I.P., thanks for the detailed breakdown and extensive suggestions.

Here's what I've gathered (core stats):
dios: 500 minutes, 150 texts
parent 1: 150 minutes
parent 2: 300 minutes

Yes, I've rounded up further just for the sake of cushioning, but it doesn't actually impact the annual costs in any real way. Now, jplee3's heart is in the right place, and he's eager to push PP, but his math is a little shaky and some of his conclusions aren't wholly informed.

The numbers I gave you are historical worst month numbers. I put them in there just so the discussion could have context to it. jplee3 is actually correct about the cost based on my average monthly values. Based on average values, I can do PP with PAYG on $30/mo. I'm a numbers geek, so I have a fairly extensive spreadsheet with various options. I really don't think it's fair to ask other to do my calculations for me.

Also, since you're open to potentially replacing handsets and we're dealing with two of the largest cities on the West Coast, there's no rational need to limit ourselves to just CDMA providers. Nobody needs to stick with Verizon unless they know they need to stick to Verizon (you probably don't given the options listed), and anyone who can get by with Sprint coverage can also get by on T-Mobile coverage for the most part.

No particular love here for Verizon. I know it works, so that removes an unknown. Ultimately, I want to make a decision that will reduce costs and commitments. The attractiveness of PP is to reuse phones. Zero investment required plus less waste generated. In about 4 months I'll pay off the ETFs and I can then consider myself free to make another decision that may be better.

The thing to remember with Page Plus is going to be handset portability. Any LTE handset is not going to be portable to Page Plus with the plans you're desiring (not without a lot of work and know-how first). Depending on how old the feature phones are in question, they may be old enough to be pre-LTE, but it's possible they may not be as well given you're talking paying ETFs. This is going to be a critical point to understand and get clarity on first. Page Plus does LTE support now, but they will only activate and support Verizon LTE handsets on their $30/month and higher plans. No PAYG, no "The 12" plan for LTE handset activation, these are Verizon CDMA handsets only. If none of you have LTE handsets, or only one of you needs to replace their handset to make this work, then Page Plus is worth keeping in mind, even if the hassle will be a bit higher... but if a full round of handset replacement is in order, better and easier to manage options for the money rapidly rise to the surface with a more complete competition picture.

OK, now you intrigued me. And I totally agree, if I can't bring the phones over, then PP loses much of its attractiveness. I am ignorant on this issue, and it has been very hard to find information on it. From what I've been able to gather, Verizon's decision to eliminate CDMA on their feature phones is a recent decision (Aug '14?). We have 9 and 4 months left on our contracts so they were purchased in early and mid 2013. I'll continue digging to see if they're compatible. I'll post model numbers in the hopes that you or someone else who is a fan of knowing about these things may beat me to the answer:

Samsung Intensity III, Model: SCH-U485
LG Revere, Model: LG-VN150
Samsung Gusto 2, Model: SCH-U365

Quote
Now, here's the stone cold real math (before taxes) starting with your three mentioned providers first, and then a couple alternatives you likely hadn't considered after:

<clip>

I'm not saying that Page Plus can't be a decent deal, but when you're looking at dropping between $40-50 no matter which provider you go with, it's best to open up your horizons a little bit. Also, stuff like this helps highlight how little Republic actually is capable of saving most people when one simply does the math.

Fully agree doing the math. The attractiveness of PP is to reuse the phones and not have to consider a  paydown period on new phone acquisition. ETFs are manageable: 9, 4, and 4 months at $175 reduced by $10 for each month on contract. Payoff period is 4-5 months. As long as the old phones work and with my usage costing $30/mo on PP, I find it hard to beat. Should the phones not work I'll definitely throw P'Tel and H20 into the mix.

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2014, 09:31:04 AM »
Supposing you are stuck with Verizon (Sprint's network doesn't penetrate the old brick walls at home or work - Good/Fair based on their coverage map), does that change your recommendation I.P. Daley?  As my phone is dying I've had to consider these same questions, and the quality of service has been the main factor leaning towards Page Plus.

I have no idea for certain, but it sounds like it might be a proximity to tower plus UHF frequency for voice combo issue with providers in your area. Unfortunately, there's no maps breaking down cellular carriers by frequency, so you can't be 100% certain what starts and ends where in your case. (They'd rather lump frequencies between technologies together to pad their map coverage instead of disclosing exactly what works where.)

For the record, Verizon and AT&T both use 850MHz and 1900MHz frequency bands for voice service. Sprint uses 800MHz and 1900Mhz. T-Mobile uses 1700MHz, 1900MHz and 2100MHz. Technically, the lower the frequency, the better the signal penetration, but the difference between the frequencies are negligible with cellular services, and you get into other things like reflection and propagation that make up for the deficiency with the higher bands. The point being, YMMV, and there's a lot of factors that contribute to reception issues between providers, including the antenna designs in the handsets themselves.

In your case, if you're looking at a new phone, I'd consider in addition to Verizon, doing a little AT&T and T-Mobile coverage research as well. It's clear Sprint is a no-go, but the others might very well work, and if you (or anyone else) is in the "new handset" situation anyway, you might as well take a look at using a different carrier and even cellular technology. There's other advantages to GSM service such as cheaper phones, cheaper service (especially data), and network and carrier portability with the handset (easier to switch providers). However, if you're stuck with needing Verizon, then Big Red it should probably be in your case. Unfortunately, Page Plus appears to be doing a false split by excluding LTE handsets on the cheaper plans, so you're still stuck with flashing if you want to use them on cheaper plans, and the LTE SIM cards are proving to be hideous expensive. Their customer service is getting worse too, as has any MVNO that America Movil purchases. Selectel is supposedly getting LTE "soon", but no date is set as yet. I'm still a little nervous recommending Selectel as well as they're still not that old a provider, but they've gotten past the initial hump that usually kills most Verizon MVNOs - a lack of required subscriber numbers to get past the initial contract period. Worth looking into all the same if you're stuck with Verizon, though. Unfortunately, the only other viable and stable Verizon MVNO option is then Page Plus, which is owned by a company that I refuse to endorse with any of their other brands for the same reasons I feel itchy about recommending Page Plus these days.

This puts me between a rock and a hard place for Verizon refugees - your choices are now dealing with Carlos Slim or taking a gamble on a less established company. Neither are good options on my iron triangle when quality should be a non-negotiable with my advice. As such, I make a point to just recommend leaving Verizon if you have the option or opportunity, and to avoid CDMA entirely if possible and opt for GSM service if given the choice. The options are just better all around with GSM MVNOs because the market is more open to competition as you don't have to buy a new handset just to potentially switch providers.

As for why I recommend what I did for Dios, it comes down to the whole multi-line management issue in their case when factored against usage area and the minimal price differences between carriers for their needs. Auto-payment is a valuable tool when you're managing the entire family's phone service. Page Plus falls short on that. Dealers like Kitty pick up the slack on that front, but they charge an additional premium for the service as has been pointed out... when you consider that Page Plus is no longer rolling the taxes and fees into their prepaid prices, it's just a little extra margarita salt in the plethora of papercuts that choosing Page Plus creates. Some people are fine with that, and others simply don't have a choice. For me, it's one too many compromises with advice from a stranger when I know there's better out there for the money.

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 09:51:59 AM »
I.P., thanks for the detailed breakdown and extensive suggestions.

Here's what I've gathered (core stats):
dios: 500 minutes, 150 texts
parent 1: 150 minutes
parent 2: 300 minutes

Yes, I've rounded up further just for the sake of cushioning, but it doesn't actually impact the annual costs in any real way. Now, jplee3's heart is in the right place, and he's eager to push PP, but his math is a little shaky and some of his conclusions aren't wholly informed.

The numbers I gave you are historical worst month numbers. I put them in there just so the discussion could have context to it. jplee3 is actually correct about the cost based on my average monthly values. Based on average values, I can do PP with PAYG on $30/mo. I'm a numbers geek, so I have a fairly extensive spreadsheet with various options. I really don't think it's fair to ask other to do my calculations for me.

Not a problem! I actually do this padding that I do for a reason. With lower-end usage, it's best to budget based on worst case highest usage per month plus a smidge extra padding. The great thing is, is that PAYGO usually involves balance rollover. When you're talking about the difference of less than $5/month per line and you're already well under the $20/month mark for service at the worst case end, that overkill basically lets you just use your phone without having to think things like, "Do I have enough minutes available for this sudden urgent spat of mobile usage I'm having to do?" This is great in situations where a family member is in the hospital, or you're on a vacation where you might use your phone more than usual, or you have that one friend who just doesn't care about the fact that they called to talk with you on your cell. If your unused minute balance gets too ridiculous, scale back on the refill sizes for a while and save some money, but I typically recommend you run with no smaller a PAYGO balance than about two months worth of heavy usage credit.

It's like F-U money for your mobile phone usage.

No particular love here for Verizon. I know it works, so that removes an unknown. Ultimately, I want to make a decision that will reduce costs and commitments. The attractiveness of PP is to reuse phones. Zero investment required plus less waste generated. In about 4 months I'll pay off the ETFs and I can then consider myself free to make another decision that may be better.

I can deeply appreciate that sentiment, and even though the Verizon MVNO options aren't the greatest, I always recommend keeping phones until they're beyond repair for anybody. Better all around. As you're a numbers nerd (if you haven't already), here's a click and drool calculator that can help you work out if it's worth paying the ETF fees, and here's an ETF calculator to go with it. (Mind you, I'm mostly linking these for others as it looks like you've already done this.)

I'll post model numbers in the hopes that you or someone else who is a fan of knowing about these things may beat me to the answer:

Samsung Intensity III, Model: SCH-U485
LG Revere, Model: LG-VN150
Samsung Gusto 2, Model: SCH-U365

Good news, all three are CDMA handsets! Easy to activate with no muss on any Verizon MVNO, be it Page Plus or Selectel.
http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3663
http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3171
http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=3614

That should simplify things for you, but also gives you a bit extra insight into why I ran the numbers the way I do. It comes from experience, both personal and from helping others for over two years around here.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 09:54:02 AM by I.P. Daley »

smalllife

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 02:23:42 PM »
I've been on Page Plus for almost three years ($12 plan), haven't had any issues beyond a small gap in coverage the night that the auto-fill happens.  I've got a Verizon LTE phone that a sibling couldn't use (don't particularly care if I have 4g, but free is free), so I'm stretching my current one as far as it will go.  I was disappointed that 4G didn't extend to the 12 which is the only reason why I'm contemplating switching carriers when the time comes.  T-Mobile has coverage at house and work but spotty everywhere else I go, so that's out as well.

AT&T has good coverage in general for my area I took a look into H2O Wireless.  The $20 pay as you go seems like a good fit, thanks for mentioning it. 

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2014, 07:38:29 PM »
No particular love here for Verizon. I know it works, so that removes an unknown. Ultimately, I want to make a decision that will reduce costs and commitments. The attractiveness of PP is to reuse phones. Zero investment required plus less waste generated. In about 4 months I'll pay off the ETFs and I can then consider myself free to make another decision that may be better.

I can deeply appreciate that sentiment, and even though the Verizon MVNO options aren't the greatest, I always recommend keeping phones until they're beyond repair for anybody. Better all around.

Glad to hear it. I do tend to keep things around for a long time. Once the phones die we can go onto bigger and better things... though at that point I hope I find myself in an "If it ain't broke don't fix it" type of situation.

Good news, all three are CDMA handsets! Easy to activate with no muss on any Verizon MVNO, be it Page Plus or Selectel.
<clip>
That should simplify things for you, but also gives you a bit extra insight into why I ran the numbers the way I do. It comes from experience, both personal and from helping others for over two years around here.

Thanks again! I have gathered that you are try to steer people away from thinking of lowest monthly payment and help them see the big picture - overall cost plus the myriad service tradeoffs. It's an amazing wealth of knowledge.

MOC

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2014, 08:20:42 PM »
I recently switched to Ting + a magic Jack at home and it's great. Coverage is the exact same as Sprint. Additionally, according to bills I've received the taxes and fees wind up being very minimal (like $2-$3).
The Ting website is also very user friendly. It allows you to turn off certain features (eg: data) so you don't accidentally use it. There is also a user forum that answers just about any question you might have. I had some issues switching over my particular phone, but I found some posts specifically about my model.
 
Finally, not sure why, but my math says you'd be at $41 with what you described.

Because there is no contract, I'd give it a try and move on if it doesn't work for you. When I was making "the switch" I looked into the various companies and landed at Ting. So far, I haven't been disappointed.

jeromedawg

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2014, 10:36:16 AM »
A couple other thing you *may* want to consider as well as long-term
'investments'

1) If you and your parents don't mind using an analog phone like at home, you could pickup an Obihai VOIP bridge (they run for $20-40 easily), get a Google Voice number (if you don't have one already), then configure the Obi to use your GV number for inbound/outbound calling (this is very easy and fully integrated now). You'll basically get free calls that way (aside from paying for an Obi device) while at home and not have to burn any of your cellphone minutes.

2) If you care about having the same phone number: port your current number to Google Voice - it's a $20 one-time fee to port but this way you can forward calls and texts to multiple phones (this can make things really easy if you're evaluating or moving from one carrier to another as all you'd need to do is change the numbers you want to forward to in the Google Voice settings) as well as get email notifications. Additionally, you can use GV to make pretty cheap international calls. The recent GV/Hangouts integration with Android is a huge plus as well - you can basically have VOIP over wifi (free) or data. I have not done the port just yet as I'm not in the biggest rush but I probably will sometime in the future as there is quite a bit of potential here.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 10:38:11 AM by jplee3 »

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2014, 10:54:14 AM »
MOC: I assumed an extra $5 for taxes and fees. That may explain the difference.

jplee: Good suggestions. There's a whole world out there to explore. For now I'm happy with the optimization I'm doing. Maybe come next summer I can consider more.

skunkfunk

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2014, 11:19:07 AM »
I've had good luck with Ting. The bill this month is $28 and I've used my phone too much. They use Sprint network primarily with Verizon roaming.

deragun

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2014, 11:59:41 AM »
I switched to Ting about 4 months ago, and have no regrets.  I chose it over RW because of a few things mentioned already (moto x and others with non-replaceable battery and no SD-card slots, less fungible phones, etc).  But there were also a few other deciding factors I didn't see mentioned.  A big one was that short code text messages didn't work, IE 2 step verification used by banks, etc.  That might have been fixed by now, but was an issue for me at the time.

southern granny

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2014, 01:22:29 PM »
I have been on Ting for maybe 8 months.  I bought our phones on EBAY and got good prices (luckily they all activated with no problems).  It takes a few extra seconds to connect a call, but that is minor.  The only problem is that you do not roam on data.  So if you are traveling you do not have access to the internet.  That has been a problem a few times, but nothing major.  The hotels all have wifi, but a few times i wanted to check on touristy things while on the road and couldn't.  But no regrets,  I plan on staying with Ting.

RetireAbroadAt35

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2014, 09:38:47 AM »
This thread comes at a great time for me.  Hope you don't mind that I'm piling on.

I am helping a couple folks decide waht to do with their phones.  2 iPhones, modest data use, modest voice use, currently at $200/month on Verizon family plan.

Ideally they'd keep the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 and port the numbers over to a Verizon MVNO.  I'm slowly accepting that Page Plus and Selectel are the only options to keep the coverage they know and the phones they have.

I haven't done a detailed analysis of their usage to check prices and payoff amounts for their ETFs, but it sounds like PP is the way to go.  Anything else I should understand before I dig deeper on the financial analysis?

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2014, 01:05:41 PM »
Anything else I should understand before I dig deeper on the financial analysis?

I think you've about got it.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2014, 02:21:06 PM »
I'm going to pile on as well as I'm a total newbie with all this stuff. I hope you're still reading I.P. or anyone else with knowledge on this subject.

My wife and I, T-Mobile, nearly 2 year old android smart-phones.
St. Louis area
Usage (3 month avg):
Wife Talk - 700
Wife Text - 1500 (hard for me to imagine, but I just looked it up. A lot of group text with work)
Wife Data - 400
Me Talk - 250
Me Text - 250
Me Data - 250

So does P'Tel cover the T-Mobile network? Would it be a seamless transition to just go with P'tel? Should we go with unlimited for both, or unlimited for her and pay as you go for me? I'd like to just keep the android phones if possible.

Any other suggestions are welcome. Just dumb it down a bit for me, I don't quite understand the telecom world.

ETA:
I'm 99% sure this is our phone (SAMSUNG T699 GALAXY RELAY 4G) which is covered by P'Tel apparently:
https://www.ptel.com/phones/phoneinfo/4302

We currently pay $80/month for unlimited everything with 1Gig of high speed data, but then we pay about $20/month in taxes and fees. So I'm thinking P'Tel $25 unlimited plans (or maybe the $35 one for her since she's away from Wifi more often) which would save us $40-50/month.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 02:42:14 PM by Cheddar Stacker »

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2014, 02:58:59 PM »
So does P'Tel cover the T-Mobile network? Would it be a seamless transition to just go with P'tel? Should we go with unlimited for both, or unlimited for her and pay as you go for me? I'd like to just keep the android phones if possible.

I will answer the questions, but I'd just like to point out that we do have a stickied thread right next to the stickied guide for just these sorts of questions over in the Share Your Badassity sub-forum. I typically pay more attention to it then try to keep up with random threads.

As to your questions specifically: yes, mostly, and only if you're fine with 2G/EDGE data speeds which is fine for text communications but not multimedia with the plans you're considering (so use an offline GPS too, if you're using one). You can keep the phone so long as it's carrier unlocked. Your biggest money pit is the data usage, especially if you decide you want to have 3G data speeds. My mother is using a Moto E on the P'tel $25 plan now, and it does everything she needs and nearly more than she wants.

Technically as you're using a GSM provider, you could also switch to an AT&T MVNO as well once your handsets are carrier unlocked - which you'd need to do anyway before switching to anyone. Just look over the guide to see what options you have. It's linked above and down in the sig.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2014, 03:09:53 PM »
Thanks I.P., I appreciate the response. I'll pop over to the superguide and tech discussions thread. I've looked there before but was overwhelmed. So many acronyms.

Daley

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2014, 03:21:09 PM »
I've looked there before but was overwhelmed. So many acronyms.

I will readily admit, the non-truncated guide over at my site makes it a bit easier to understand as I'm not cramped for space and I can do things like hover tags and definition links for acronyms... but if you still have any questions, that's what the discussion thread and the contact form on my site is for. :)

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2014, 03:32:54 PM »
I've looked there before but was overwhelmed. So many acronyms.

I will readily admit, the non-truncated guide over at my site makes it a bit easier to understand as I'm not cramped for space and I can do things like hover tags and definition links for acronyms... but if you still have any questions, that's what the discussion thread and the contact form on my site is for. :)

Noted. Just jumped over there as well for some clarification. I've already learned a lot this afternoon by forcing myself to dig in. Thanks for being a resource.

dios.del.sol

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Re: Page Plus vs Ting vs Republic (decision time)
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2014, 04:47:23 PM »
I  just wanted to conclude my part of this thread with an update:

I switched to PagePlus. They offer the lowest rates for me plus I get to keep my phones, which drastically reduces my payoff period. The porting was done over the phone with a pin in hand already. I started with $10 pins for each phone. There were no problems at all. They were also very helpful responding to support tickets to remove the call balance announcements. I have since bought $80 pins form Callingmart (with a discount coupon). There was a little delay to verify me as a new customer, but no problems either. Yesterday I just paid Verizon their ETFs. All told the whole thing took less than two weeks and was much less aggravating than I thought.

Thank you all for your comments. Very supportive and responsive forum here!