Author Topic: ready to switch to prepaid phone  (Read 4014 times)

rosaz

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ready to switch to prepaid phone
« on: December 24, 2014, 03:02:12 PM »
Hello everyone... I've had an iPhone 4 for just over two years and my contract has expired; I'm currently paying $75 month as part of my share of the family plan. I'm considering switching to a prepaid plan and am weighing how to go about doing it.

Considerations:

1. I currently use around 500 MB a month of data, and could lower that slightly, but I do really enjoy having a data plan. I feel like it allows me to use my public transport commutes more effectively, and I'm definitely more adventurous in my city knowing I have a phone to guide me when need be. So I'd want a plan that was still cost effective at moderate data usages (300 - 400 MB a month?)

2. Current phone is a Verizon, and my understanding is that there are no Bring-your-own-phone prepaid Verizon plans available? Does anyone know of one I may have missed? I really like my current phone and would like to hold on to it, but would be willing to switch.

3. I'm thinking of selling the phone and buying a new-to-me unlocked ATT or Sprint phone and then getting the prepaid plan. One concern (and I don't know if this is something I need to be worried about; I'm really not tech savvy) is: should I be careful about selling a phone I have at times entered credit card info, etc. into? If I go that route, is there anything I should keep in mind/ do first?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated... I know there are threads on related topics and I think I've read most of them, but every time I go to look at the specific variables I just get lost in the details. So hints from anyone with more experience in this area would be awesome :)

alsoknownasDean

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 04:30:32 PM »
1. Reasonable enough, I have to admit I use more data than that :(

2. Maybe Page Plus? (see what I.P. Daley recommends, but IIRC they're a Verizon MVNO), so you could use your existing phone)

3. Definitely do a full factory reset on the phone first :)

Daley

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2014, 04:49:56 PM »
1) You don't need a data plan to use GPS on a phone, there are offline options. Look into Sygic. That'll lower your actual data needs drastically.

2) If it's either an iPhone 4 or 4s, you should be able to activate it on either Page Plus or Selectel. I'm more likely to recommend Selectel over Page Plus these days as Selectel is approaching longer term stability and Page Plus is about to complete its final conversion into another crappy America Movil MVNO like StraightTalk, NET10 or Tracfone come January once the domestic call center is closed. If it's a 4s, be sure to get Verizon to unlock the SIM slot for "global GSM providers" before you leave.

3) Full factory reset as Dean recommended, though the reality is that there's no safe way to completely wipe your data on a phone. Someone determined enough could recover data even from a wiped phone. Don't be paranoid, just recognize the issue for what it is. This is partially why I don't use a smartphone for these sorts of things.

By other threads, I trust you're including the guide with that. The thing that hangs people up is the illusion of overwhelming market diversity. The reality is, if you know what network you need (you already stated you have a Verizon phone) and what sort of usage habits you need, you just select the MVNO on your desired network offering the best price for the usage patterns you have. Part of the purpose of the guide is that I've already narrowed the field down to a best of breed... it's just price picking at that point between the MVNOs on the network you're planning to use.

rosaz

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2014, 02:51:10 PM »
Thanks guys! I think I did get overwhelmed by the feeling of "market diversity", but you're right, starting from Verizon does really narrow it down. Checking out Page Plus as we speak :)  Thank you! Happy holidays!

NEMPLS

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2014, 03:00:43 PM »
Try Republic Wireless. We just switched from a prepaid Virgin Mobile plan which I hated because it actually cost more and the coverage was suspect in our own kitchen.

We have 2 RW phones 1- will get me unlimited text, talk wifi and 3data. You can hook onto the 3g when not on wifi = $25 month.
the second phone is unlimited text, talk and wifi data (no 3g network) = $10 per month.

We dropped our land line and are breaking even at about $40 per month total including taxes.

I have the Moto X 1st generation which I bought through Republic for $299. The better half has a Moto E which is $99.

The unlimited 3g is good for your town/area only. I'm not sure how they determine what is your area but I don't travel much so it's not a problem. You do get 25mb of out of town 3g network access per month that is throttled (slowed down) quite a bit but seems to work fine. Remember that you get unlimited wifi out of town so the 3g thing isn't really a big deal.

The only weird thing is that you can't call customer service. All questions are via web and Republic forums. I guess that's why its so inexpensive (and that's a good thing).

Works great so far. Check it out at www.republicwireless.com

Shade00

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2014, 03:09:09 PM »
If your iPhone is a Verizon 4 or 4S and you are content with it, you can put it on BYO Wireless (Verizon MVNO) for $20+ tax a month for 500 minutes/unlimited texts/500mb of data. Hard to beat that. Hoping they get LTE soon.

DeltaBond

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2014, 06:01:58 AM »
Verizon does have a prepaid plan.  Its $45 monthly, and if you buy a sim card to activate that, you can put it in your phone and change over.  Its $50 for that sim card. 

I was all ready to change my plan to this, and I called to cancel my current plan which would have cost money (but saved money this last year of my contract) and the guy offered to lower my bill to $50 monthly if I just rode out my contract.  I said ok - he bumped me up to unlimited talk/text with 1G of data monthly. 

He said prepay is for people without good credit, but dude, why should people with good credit pay more?  So after the end of my contract, I might just keep it as is and not bother with another contract or change at some point to their month to month thing.

If you want just a basic phone, month to month, for them its $35.

YoungInvestor

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2014, 07:53:33 AM »
Verizon does have a prepaid plan.  Its $45 monthly, and if you buy a sim card to activate that, you can put it in your phone and change over.  Its $50 for that sim card. 

I was all ready to change my plan to this, and I called to cancel my current plan which would have cost money (but saved money this last year of my contract) and the guy offered to lower my bill to $50 monthly if I just rode out my contract.  I said ok - he bumped me up to unlimited talk/text with 1G of data monthly. 

He said prepay is for people without good credit, but dude, why should people with good credit pay more?  So after the end of my contract, I might just keep it as is and not bother with another contract or change at some point to their month to month thing.

If you want just a basic phone, month to month, for them its $35.

I'm not american, so I'm not sure what's the difference between the 2 options, but from what you're saying, I get that you get a +-25-30% discount if you prepay? Why would anyone do otherwise?

Daley

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2014, 07:59:11 AM »
He said prepay is for people without good credit, but dude, why should people with good credit pay more?  So after the end of my contract, I might just keep it as is and not bother with another contract or change at some point to their month to month thing.

I'm not american, so I'm not sure what's the difference between the 2 options, but from what you're saying, I get that you get a +-25-30% discount if you prepay? Why would anyone do otherwise?

The discount can be even greater when you get away from the major carrier's prepaid and go with various MVNOs, but the general attitude in this country is reflected in what the sales weasel was implying: Prepaid is for poor people and drug dealers.

DeltaBond

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2014, 08:13:11 AM »
I don't think a lot of people know about the prepay option yet.  Most of the people I know don't want to bother with making the change due to the hassle.  I do believe that as people's contracts end, they will change, because the recent wave of smartphones have not been worth the money.

Murse

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2014, 09:21:47 AM »
I don't think a lot of people know about the prepay option yet.  Most of the people I know don't want to bother with making the change due to the hassle.  I do believe that as people's contracts end, they will change, because the recent wave of smartphones have not been worth the money.
I think you underestimate consumerism in America, just the other day I asked my buddy how much he spent on his phone, 110$/month. I told him about cricket (baby steps) being 40$/month for unlimited everything still. His response? "Oh, no, no, I need something reliable you see, because I don't have a house phone." I dropped it there but I would of liked to have said "how reliable is your phone every month when they turn off your service for 3-4 days every month because your payment is late?" He is not a terrible consumer but that is only because he makes around 1400$/month.

Holyoak

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Re: ready to switch to prepaid phone
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2014, 12:42:26 PM »
I have an ATT go phone (Nokia 520) plan.  $45/month unlimited talk and text, 1 GB full speed data, then unlimited @ 128kbs.  Works well for me, plus I get $5 off a month with auto refill.  Only real reason I have any data is with this plan, I have hot spot functioning.  Good luck.