Author Topic: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider  (Read 2833 times)

Rusoarmo

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Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« on: August 24, 2015, 10:07:59 AM »
I'm looking for a new cell provider.

I currently live in Lynnwood and work in Downtown Bellevue. 99% of the time I'm located somewhere between these 2.

My current plan is with Verizon Edge and this is what I am getting
(1) iPhone 6 128gb
(1) iPhone 6 Plus 128gb
(10) GB of LTE data
Unlimited talk and text
Insurance on the phones (Yes I do need this, unfortunately fiance' has a problem keeping the phone in her hand)

All of this added up with random Verizon discounts, work discount, etc. I am at ~$197 per month.

The most important thing for me is to have good service. I need it for my work. Verizon does a great job of having service in smaller places like Lynnwood and Bothell, however in Downtown Bellevue I don't see any performance gains over Tmobile.

My bill does include the cost of "financing" the 2 phones and once they are "paid off" my bill would go down quite a bit. Should go down to about ~$110 per month. I don't remember the exact month we got the phones but to be safe let's say there is 18 months to go.

Is there anything in the Seattle area that someone could recommend that matches the quality of Verizon service for a lower price?

Daley

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 11:01:45 AM »
If Verizon coverage works for you and coverage is just that important, then you need to stick with a Verizon MVNO such as Selectel. However, I don't believe the iPhone 6 is even on the approved activation list for Verizon MVNOs yet. So in that regard you're SOL, unless you're willing to replace/downgrade handsets to stick with Verizon coverage or settle with AT&T coverage and an AT&T MVNO that properly supports iPhones using your current handsets (read Consumer Cellular). Word of warning: iPhone antennas stink in general, and AT&T reception could be weaker than Verizon with the same handsets depending on tower placement in your area... though overall coverage for AT&T looks comparable to Verizon for your areas.

There's also the issue of having to pay off the remaining balance (the ETF) IN FULL on your financed phones when you leave. There's nothing preventing you from doing that right now even if you stay with Verizon.

All that said, if you even approach needing anywhere near "unlimited" talk and text plus 10GB of data between the two handsets, again, there's not much out there that's actually going to save you much money under that $110 baseline you already have... especially on the Verizon end (though it technically applies to the AT&T end at this level, too).

Lastly:

Insurance on the phones (Yes I do need this, unfortunately fiance' has a problem keeping the phone in her hand)

That requirement alone eliminates every MVNO you could possibly go to if you keep your current handsets, and leaves you with pretty much your homeowner or renter's insurance as an option for covering loss only, and only with a rider specifically adding it.

The idea with using cheaper providers means doing things like self insurance, repairing or replacing your existing handsets out of pocket if damaged, using them longer than two years, and typically not buying $1000 clown phones in the first place whether you're prone to dropping them or not.

I don't say this to be mean, I say this because this is the reality of your situation. Repair insurance is usually a ripoff anyway when compared to actual repair costs for anything but a waterlogged handset.

Do yourself a favor... if you really want to save some serious cash over your current phone expenses, take the time to give the unabridged guide a read, average your bills to determine what you actually need in usage, go on a data diet, crunch some numbers, and if you're potentially going to have to sacrifice the handsets anyway to actually save some cash - get something more rugged and affordable than an iPhone such as a used or refurbished Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (i9295 or i537) or Galaxy Xcover 2 (S7710) with an Otterbox and consider going with an AT&T MVNO.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 11:09:03 AM by I.P. Daley »

slugsworth

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2015, 11:07:54 AM »
I actually can't imagine a more expensive option that what you described, two of the most expensive phones available, insured, financed, with the biggest data package possible.

You don't live in a rural area, all of the carriers should have good service in the suburbs of Seattle. Regarding the 10gb of data, don't you have wifi in these two locations you are at frequently?? Do you actually go through that much data? 

Any possible action you could take would save you money.

Daley

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 11:34:48 AM »
One last thought in bulletpoint format for the road regarding the handsets and to a lesser degree insurance, and though I touched briefly on it, let's spell this out in plain English:

  • If you aren't responsible or careful enough to handle a $1000 cellphone without regularly damaging it, then you probably shouldn't own a $1000 cellphone in the first place.
  • If you can't afford to repair or replace a $1000 cellphone out of pocket if you accidentally drop it anyway, you probably can't afford to own a $1000 cellphone in the first place.
  • If you can't actually justify paying $1000 for a cellphone out of pocket without needing to finance the purchase over two years, then you likely don't actually need a $1000 cellphone in the first place.

Got it? Good.

Rusoarmo

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 12:43:11 PM »
Thank you for the replies.

1.) Regarding the insurance. Yes, I can afford to replace the phone if it gets damaged out of pocket, at any time. However, given the frequency of damage that occurred to our last phones, it mathematically makes sense to keep the insurance. This time around we have heavier duty cases and tempered glass screen protectors. If I notice the phones aren't breaking, I will cancel.

2.) Data - Unfortunately we do end up getting close to the entire 10gb per month. Well. I could probably be frugal and live off of 2gb. My Fiance' unfortunately isn't so good about this and frequently pushes up to the limit (not sure how the hell she manages).

3.) Expensive phones - there is no interest on the financing. My remaining balance on both phones is less than if I were to try to buy the phones outright from store or Craigslist. The difference between the 128gb version and 64gb for both phones was about $10 per month.

Now, I should be clear that my bill is in no way a burden on me. I just don't want to overpay for it going with Verizon over some small local company that uses a similar reception. We will not be replacing our phones when the newest/latest comes out. We're keeping these iPhones for as long as they continue to work reliably (I do a lot of work from my phone).

So assuming, phones are paid off, we keep them protected and can remove insurance, I'll be looking at around $100 a month for the same plan. Not too bad?

celticmyst08

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 01:15:34 PM »
I live in Shoreline and work in Bothell and have a Cricket plan (uses AT&T towers). I have had pretty much no issues with the service. I had Verizon before switching this spring, and I actually have better service now with Cricket (my workplace and apartment were apparently a Verizon black hole). No real issues downtown either. I rarely go to Bellevue so can't speak for that.

DH and I pay $45/month each for 5 gb data and unlimited talk/text, so $90 total. We buy our phones used/unlocked from Swappa, currently both have a Nexus 5.

The only time I've noticed a negative difference with AT&T coverage is in very rural areas.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 01:17:10 PM by celticmyst08 »

Daley

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 01:25:46 PM »
So assuming, phones are paid off, we keep them protected and can remove insurance, I'll be looking at around $100 a month for the same plan. Not too bad?

I'll put it to you thusly:

It's technically not a terrible price for what you're actually paying for and using.

That said, it's still a ridiculously expensive phone bill tied to ridiculously overpriced handsets, and plenty of smart people around here can and do just as much as you likely are with their smartphones for a fraction of the cost by simply planning ahead and only paying for what they need.

Helvegen

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 03:47:49 PM »
I live in the area and use Virgin Mobile (Sprint). 2.5GB LTE (throttled, but not cutoff afterwards), unlimited talk and text for $35 a month. I have had them since 2011 and don't have any plans to change anytime soon. Most everywhere I go has free WIFI anyway (including work), so I hardly notice the low data limit and never come close to using it.

merlin7676

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Re: Seattle Area Cell Phone Provider
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 07:56:06 AM »
I live in Seattle and work in Redmond. We use tmobile simple choice unlimited 4G LTE family plan.
Unlimited talk/txt/4G high speed 4G LTE data for $100 for 2 phone lines
All of the seattle and eastside area is covered.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 07:58:03 AM by merlin7676 »