Author Topic: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?  (Read 6550 times)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2931
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« on: August 29, 2016, 02:54:21 PM »
Hey all,

I recently heard about Total Wireless' $35/mo plan which includes 5gb of data and unlimited talk/text. I've been with Page Plus for the longest time and on their $29.95/mo plan which is currently 1gb of data and 1200 talk/text. Would it make sense to pay $5 more and for 4gb more of data? Are there better options? My wife still has a 3g Verizon device and mine is a 4g VZW device (Moto X). I've thought about waiting for a good deal on a Moto X Pure or something that will allow me to get onto whatever carrier I want, but from that point I'm not quite sure which carrier to go to if it's an ATT or TMO MVNO. I want to avoid Sprint or Sprint MVNOs just due to reception/coverage in my area - I actually have my old Moto G on a completely free Republic Wireless plan and am not really confident that I'd ever want to depend on using Republic Wireless for my main and/or only service.

EDIT: I'm also wondering if I should port my number over to Google Voice... I was contemplating doing this for my inlaw's numbers but IP Daley suggested not to do that per overhead with managing multiple numbers and lines for them (I think). For myself and eventually my wife, I don't think I'd mind this though. Plus, it would be nice to have the flexibility to have multiple numbers ringing my GV number.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 03:18:53 PM by jplee3 »

Elle 8

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 157
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 08:24:54 PM »
Are you going over your current 1gb allotment or your minutes/texts?  If not, you don't need the extra so why pay extra for it?

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2931
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 08:58:33 AM »
Are you going over your current 1gb allotment or your minutes/texts?  If not, you don't need the extra so why pay extra for it?

At times I do. I noticed Total Wireless has a shared family plan that's $60 a month and gives 8gb of data. That's essentially what my wife and I are paying for Page Plus now but only get 1gb each. That might be worth considering making the jump to.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 09:01:12 PM »
Page Plus and Total Wireless are both owned by Tracfone/America Movil/Carlos Slim. The customer service quality is going to be about the same as what you're currently getting to worse. They both activate Verizon CDMA and LTE devices, but data restriction policies are different between the brands, so check the fine print.

AT&T and T-Mo MVNOs are cheaper than their Verizon alternatives, but data's pretty expensive everywhere, and 1GB is going to be pretty standard at the $30 "unlimited talk and text" price point, unless you're going with bucket style plans like from Ting, Consumer Cellular, or US Mobile, and how much resource pooling you do and how much is used collectively with family plans. As such, price those out... especially if you're looking at replacing your wife's phone soon. Switching to Ting or Consumer Cellular for you both might give you some combined savings in addition to more data to work with. For example, Consumer Cellular can do 1000 minutes, unlimited SMS messages and 3GB of data for two lines for $60 plus tax per month, and you can work that lower if you use less data or minutes. Not as "much" as what Total Wireless is promising for the money, but the customer support and billing is considerably better and you could potentially get that bill lower.

Your current Verizon Moto X should already be capable of being taken to and AT&T or T-Mobile provider. However, the only LTE data band supported outside of Verizon's 750MHz Band 13 is 1700MHz Band 4, which only T-Mobile uses in select areas. Using AT&T will limit you to 3G HSPA+ service, which is pretty comprehensive and speedy, so you really won't lose much... however, many people have needless hangups about having access to LTE network coverage.

You remembered correctly on the whole GV thing with your parents. I advised against it to keep their setup simple. There's active datamining and privacy issues to consider as well as occasional call quality and reliability issues along with MMS quirkiness, but if it's for you specifically and you're tolerant of the mess... I'm not going to try to stop you, and it could potentially reduce your actual mobile usage numbers on the talk and SMS end.

Any other questions, just ask.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2931
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 11:46:26 AM »
Page Plus and Total Wireless are both owned by Tracfone/America Movil/Carlos Slim. The customer service quality is going to be about the same as what you're currently getting to worse. They both activate Verizon CDMA and LTE devices, but data restriction policies are different between the brands, so check the fine print.

AT&T and T-Mo MVNOs are cheaper than their Verizon alternatives, but data's pretty expensive everywhere, and 1GB is going to be pretty standard at the $30 "unlimited talk and text" price point, unless you're going with bucket style plans like from Ting, Consumer Cellular, or US Mobile, and how much resource pooling you do and how much is used collectively with family plans. As such, price those out... especially if you're looking at replacing your wife's phone soon. Switching to Ting or Consumer Cellular for you both might give you some combined savings in addition to more data to work with. For example, Consumer Cellular can do 1000 minutes, unlimited SMS messages and 3GB of data for two lines for $60 plus tax per month, and you can work that lower if you use less data or minutes. Not as "much" as what Total Wireless is promising for the money, but the customer support and billing is considerably better and you could potentially get that bill lower.

Your current Verizon Moto X should already be capable of being taken to and AT&T or T-Mobile provider. However, the only LTE data band supported outside of Verizon's 750MHz Band 13 is 1700MHz Band 4, which only T-Mobile uses in select areas. Using AT&T will limit you to 3G HSPA+ service, which is pretty comprehensive and speedy, so you really won't lose much... however, many people have needless hangups about having access to LTE network coverage.

You remembered correctly on the whole GV thing with your parents. I advised against it to keep their setup simple. There's active datamining and privacy issues to consider as well as occasional call quality and reliability issues along with MMS quirkiness, but if it's for you specifically and you're tolerant of the mess... I'm not going to try to stop you, and it could potentially reduce your actual mobile usage numbers on the talk and SMS end.

Any other questions, just ask.

Thanks for the info. I recently moved my FIL over to PureTalk from Pageplus. So far he's burned up just over 100 minutes and it has only been about 5 days. I'm thinking most of the burned minutes come from him pocket dialing people... my MIL is still on PP with a large balance, so once she burns that up I'll be moving her over to PureTalk as well. We told them that they can't be using their phones so liberally, and that they really should be using Line, etc when they want to talk to their friends. I don't think this has registered with them, or their friends call them on the phone (instead of Line) and they don't think to tell them to get off the phone and use Line. This might be about the worst-case scenario for cellphone usage ever lol.

As far as my wife and I, we'll have to think more about our needs. My wife's Moto G is starting to come to a crawl so I'll either need to reset it (but she'll lose all her Line stuff, which it turns out is a pain to backup) or get a new phone. My Moto X's battery life stinks too. I've heard the newer Moto Gs are a pretty good bargain so we'll see.... my wife said she'll kill me if I get another phone - LOL

In any case, I am pretty irritated with PagePlus' customer service - they are super unhelpful for anything. Maybe I'll switch all of us over to PureTalk haha. What are your thoughts on Cricket Wireless?

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 12:08:20 PM »
What are your thoughts on Cricket Wireless?

I'm not convinced that Dante Alighieri wasn't referencing Cricket Wireless some 700 years ago when writing of the Fourth Circle.

All kidding aside, they're actually AT&T. Customer service is actually below that of AT&T postpaid under contract, they have a series of poor taxes and customer service taxes outlined in their terms and conditions that no actual MVNO charges, and the biggest rub? They're offering data packages to customers at rates below what they charge their wholesale clients, which is a situation that begs for better telecom pricing and access regulations as they're effectively killing off their own on-network competition (the very competition that forced them to drop their prices in the first place) with these pricing shenanigans.

Depending on their increasing costs and your own, maybe you should price what four lines with Consumer Cellular and "unlimited" talk would run versus your current setup. I know it's enabling wasteful habits, but old dogs, new tricks, etc.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2931
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 02:14:48 PM »
What are your thoughts on Cricket Wireless?

I'm not convinced that Dante Alighieri wasn't referencing Cricket Wireless some 700 years ago when writing of the Fourth Circle.

All kidding aside, they're actually AT&T. Customer service is actually below that of AT&T postpaid under contract, they have a series of poor taxes and customer service taxes outlined in their terms and conditions that no actual MVNO charges, and the biggest rub? They're offering data packages to customers at rates below what they charge their wholesale clients, which is a situation that begs for better telecom pricing and access regulations as they're effectively killing off their own on-network competition (the very competition that forced them to drop their prices in the first place) with these pricing shenanigans.

Depending on their increasing costs and your own, maybe you should price what four lines with Consumer Cellular and "unlimited" talk would run versus your current setup. I know it's enabling wasteful habits, but old dogs, new tricks, etc.

So just from quickly taking a look at Consumer wireless, it looks like if we were to put all four lines under an account, and went to the max on talk/text/data, it would cost $50 for talk + $40 for unlimited text/4gb data + $30 for 3 additional lines. So around $120 or 4 lines where the 4gb data would be shared (but I would probably setup a data cap on my in-laws phones of like 100-200mb). It seems like they only allow adding 1 additional line/phone to the cart... at least, I don't see any options to add more lines than that.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 02:16:21 PM by jplee3 »

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 02:46:55 PM »
So just from quickly taking a look at Consumer wireless, it looks like if we were to put all four lines under an account, and went to the max on talk/text/data, it would cost $50 for talk + $40 for unlimited text/4gb data + $30 for 3 additional lines. So around $120 or 4 lines where the 4gb data would be shared (but I would probably setup a data cap on my in-laws phones of like 100-200mb). It seems like they only allow adding 1 additional line/phone to the cart... at least, I don't see any options to add more lines than that.

Additional lines are easy to add with them at $10 a pop, and you're not just restricted to two.

It's also possible that you might be able to get away with the 2000 or 4000 minute packages as well, which will cut prices down a bit lower. It all depends on your own usage in addition to theirs. Most "unlimited" calling plans with other MVNOs are usually soft capped at an undisclosed 2000 minutes these days... even split between four people, that's still 33 hours and 20 minutes of talk time in a month to work with, and CC doesn't charge for calls between lines on the same account. I remember you mentioning a few months back your FIL's penchant for pocket-dialing your MIL, if I recall correctly, and this would eliminate that money sink.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2931
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 02:57:48 PM »
So just from quickly taking a look at Consumer wireless, it looks like if we were to put all four lines under an account, and went to the max on talk/text/data, it would cost $50 for talk + $40 for unlimited text/4gb data + $30 for 3 additional lines. So around $120 or 4 lines where the 4gb data would be shared (but I would probably setup a data cap on my in-laws phones of like 100-200mb). It seems like they only allow adding 1 additional line/phone to the cart... at least, I don't see any options to add more lines than that.

Additional lines are easy to add with them at $10 a pop, and you're not just restricted to two.

It's also possible that you might be able to get away with the 2000 or 4000 minute packages as well, which will cut prices down a bit lower. It all depends on your own usage in addition to theirs. Most "unlimited" calling plans with other MVNOs are usually soft capped at an undisclosed 2000 minutes these days... even split between four people, that's still 33 hours and 20 minutes of talk time in a month to work with, and CC doesn't charge for calls between lines on the same account. I remember you mentioning a few months back your FIL's penchant for pocket-dialing your MIL, if I recall correctly, and this would eliminate that money sink.

Nice.... that sounds like an option then. I'll have to see how my FIL does on PureTalk while my MIL burns through PP in the meantime. But I'll investigate Consumer Cellular. Yes, my FIL (and MIL) both have the tendency to pocket-dial not even themselves but probably many others. In fact, my FIL just pocket-dialed me the other night thinking he was dialing another number...

I noticed they're offering a $20 referral credit as well... I'm assuming that means the person you're referring has to sign up on a different account though.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 03:00:28 PM by jplee3 »

john6221

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 08:18:12 AM »
Wow, the 2-line family plan for Total Wirelss is half of what I'm paying for ATT and it has 2x the data. Our contracts are up and we've been looking. Is there a catch?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 08:20:22 AM by john6221 »

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 08:43:50 AM »
Wow, the 2-line family plan for Total Wirelss is half of what I'm paying for ATT and it has 2x the data. Our contracts are up and we've been looking. Is there a catch?

With an America Movil/Tracfone owned MVNO, there's always catches, which highlights the need to always read legal agreements.

The length and quality of the terms of service contract is long and strips you of any meaningful rights, the customer service is worse than what you've already experienced, Total Wireless specifically is a Verizon MVNO with no roaming which means you'll have to buy new handsets in order to switch, and a whole raft of others issues if you research them and their parent company.

Don't chase after cheap data to save money, learn how easy it is instead to use less data and switch to a quality MVNO that treats you with a little dignity and respect on the same network you're already using so you don't have to buy new phones and generate a greater demand for creating electronic waste. You can do so by starting here.

john6221

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 09:05:19 AM »
Thanks. I should have mentioned that it's not entirely about cheap data. ATT service is terrible at my work, but I've always found ways to deal with it. But my wife is now pregnant, and I don't want to leave her hanging if she needs me. If there's an emergency, I want her to be able to reach me. So, the primary motive is about the service.

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Switch from PagePlus to Total Wireless?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 09:10:03 AM »
So, the primary motive is about the service.

Then ask what network the coworkers you know have reliable service are using. Network doesn't impact this issue at specific locations so much as tower location and frequency band. It's also theoretically possible that the phone you're using has a lousy antenna design, and AT&T reception is perfectly serviceable.