Author Topic: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider  (Read 7135 times)

xclonexclonex

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Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« on: February 25, 2015, 02:33:04 PM »
Dear readers,

I am contemplating dropping my $60 unlimited plan from t-mobile to a cheaper cell phone plan. My Galaxy S2 that I purchased in 2011 is on its last legs, so I am going to have to purchase a new phone. I want a smartphone that allows me to read email.

Given this requirement, is there a cell provider and plan that you would recommend? I would like unlimited talk and text, and I am willing to use 3G. I live in Central Oklahoma.

Thanks!

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 02:41:28 PM »
I'd suggest you start with the guide (unabridged here) if you haven't already.

Just reading email is a pretty low bar to achieve for a cellphone, and doesn't need to be smart at all. I use a Nokia C3 with MujMail. Cost is negligible for the device, and it works well if you can sacrifice push notifications. Added benefit, nearly no mobile data is needed at all. If push is needed, it's still possible to do so with many feature phones that cost well under $50 and are far more rugged than any smartphone.

Regarding providers, knowing your turf intimately (hi neighbor!), T-Mobile's got great coverage in the state... which makes P'tel an excellent option. Their Real Paygo rates are decent, and they also have "unlimited" talk and text plans with a chunk of data starting at $20/month.

xclonexclonex

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 02:58:52 PM »
Hello!

Thank you very much for your reply.

I am going to check out the thread you mentioned. I am considering Republic Wireless. Do you happen to have any experience with it?

Thanks!

neo von retorch

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 03:13:02 PM »
LOL I don't know how I.P. Daley does it. 20% of the time he gets to give his advice and the other 80% of the time he explains why Cricket and Republic Wireless aren't as good of an idea as they seem.

I used Republic Wireless for ~6 weeks. Sprint network was awful, and WiFi calls were awful. Dropped calls and lag made for very uncomfortable conversations. As someone in a somewhat long distance relationship, I found it unacceptable. I wasn't able to sell the Republic Wireless locked Moto G for as much as I bought it for, and I couldn't use it on another network, so I lost some money on the resale. I do not recommend them.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 03:17:14 PM »
LOL I don't know how I.P. Daley does it. 20% of the time he gets to give his advice and the other 80% of the time he explains why Cricket and Republic Wireless aren't as good of an idea as they seem.
IP isn't human, he's just a clever Perl script written twenty years ago. The real IP died when we entered the year 2000.

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 06:07:48 PM »
Clone, don't waste your time with Republic, there's better and cheaper options availlllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll-$#&^&*@!
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    (($h>>=8)+=$f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/pack+/g;eval
The system cannot find the path specified. : couldn't spawn child process: /dev/null/republic.pl
<0>Kernel panic - not syncing: Fatal exception

dividendman

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 07:02:02 PM »
Haha... that was pretty fun to the computer nerds out there anyway.

To the OP, I just switched from AT&T which was $45 with my employer discount (unlimited voice/text and 1GB data.. i never used much voice or text and never close to 1G cell data) to Pure TalkUSA which is only $20. I went with the $10 simple plan (250 minutes, no rollover per month) and added $10 for 400 MB of data (that's their lowest... I only use about 100 MB of cell data since 95% of the time I'm at work or home which means covered with wifi).

The only reason I got 250 minutes is because of texts, each text is 1/3 of a minute and my work people do like to text a lot :(

EDIT: All I did was went to Daley's guide and looked for one that used AT&T network (since I'm happy with the speed/coverage) and then looked at the cost/fees on their sites,Pure TalkUSA seemed to fit the best for me and it was easy and I'm very happy with it so far (using it about a week). I brought my old phone and it was easy.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 07:04:36 PM by dividendman »

Bob W

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 08:39:04 AM »
I know IP Daly isn't as big a fan of Republic as some around here but to be honest I could never figure out what he was saying and don't have an interest in anything that requires techiness.

So I went with Republic.   I bought the $100 phones (3) and the $10 a month plan.  Our bill went from $160 to $30 and I would say that I am more satisfied with their service than I would have imagined.   I was on a Verizon network and assumed the Sprint network would be lame.   It wasn't in my case.   Anyway, about 95% of my calls are through WiFi.   

So yeah,  I'm too goofy to comprehend IP's stuff but somehow I ended up saving $1,500 a year by putting some info into the computer.   In    SWR terms that means we need 37K less in the kitty and would accelerate many people's FIRE plans by 2 years.  (I wish I could cut all my expenses this drastically!)

Totally worth it!   

(the number transfer was seamless although migrating my current contact numbers to the new phone was not.   I spent 30 minutes manually entering.  All my pics flipped over though)

FarmerPete

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2015, 09:25:52 AM »
I use Republic Wireless and have a decent experience with them.  Yeah, you can probably get a better service for similar/cheaper, but if Sprint has good coverage where you go, than it's worth it.  While I do try to use WiFi for most of my data needs, it's nice to have a larger cap so that I can access things like Pandora/Google Maps while out and about and not worry about using up all of my 300mb or whatever that I have.  I pay just under $30 after taxes and fees on RW's 3G plan. 

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2015, 09:47:26 AM »
We have used republic for 15 months and it has worked flawlessly. We  both have the motox and are on the $10/mo plan. For two lines, it comes out to $24.xx/month.

We will occasionally drop a call if we move from WiFi to cell while on the phone, but for the $100/month savings over Verizon it is not a big deal at all.

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2015, 11:05:32 AM »
Clone, I want you to take note of the "positive" Republic reviews here (and elsewhere). It works great, except for... it's a great deal, except for... it's really easy and non-technical, except for....

Republic requires too much compromise for too little return versus the competition. It's a proprietary handset that you're locked into a single provider with and the environmental impact issues that go with that, there's numerous technical shortcomings that you don't have to deal with using a real mobile provider, you have to subject yourself to one of the worst terms of service agreements in the industry, there's no real technical support like other providers, and the "deal" isn't actually as cheap as they make it look when you actually run the numbers. It's not actually a service that's in the vein of the philosophy of this community.

Given my tenuous position in the community here, I get blowback from people who have problems switching to MVNO providers for their mobile service. I can count on less than one hand from the past three years how many issues I've had from people who have taken my advice. However, I can't say the same for people who've ignored my advice and gone Republic. I've lost track of how many people I've had to help fix the charlie foxtrot that their switching to Republic caused and find them a real solution that fit their needs (all things that could've been avoided if they'd just read the guide, by the way - but I help anyway, because that's what I do). There's been number porting issues, wasted money from excessive consumption and e-waste generation, call quality and technical issues...

The truth is, there's better out there for the same price or less. It's not complicated to use these alternatives no matter what others say, because it only gets complicated if you insist on being uneducated and cheap instead of informed and frugal. You don't have to compromise like you would with Republic. The same savings or greater can be done for easier. If you truly need mobile phone service, Republic isn't your answer. If you need a VoIP solution, again Republic isn't your answer. There's better for less on both sides. Listen to Neogodless up there... listen to me. I'm not selling service for referrals (not that Republic has that anymore - thank goodness), and my advice isn't based on some myopic sheltered experience of only using one poorly executed, overly technical hybrid VoIP-MVNO provider. I know the industry and I know the options. Save yourself the grief and don't compromise on quality.

I wind up spending so much time trying to talk people out of it because it saves their time (and by extension my own as well) in the long run from having to clean up after good intentioned, but still half-baked advice from the internet. I don't get paid to do this, but I do it anyway because I care about the community. If you actually know your options, Republic will rapidly cease to be one.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 11:15:05 AM by I.P. Daley »

NumberCruncher

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2015, 12:32:40 PM »
To the OP - If you give more details about your usage (total minutes, texts, MB or GB per month, typical ranges), and things like access to wifi, we might be able to help you more.


I'd suggest you start with the guide (unabridged here) if you haven't already.

Just reading email is a pretty low bar to achieve for a cellphone, and doesn't need to be smart at all. I use a Nokia C3 with MujMail. Cost is negligible for the device, and it works well if you can sacrifice push notifications. Added benefit, nearly no mobile data is needed at all. If push is needed, it's still possible to do so with many feature phones that cost well under $50 and are far more rugged than any smartphone.

Regarding providers, knowing your turf intimately (hi neighbor!), T-Mobile's got great coverage in the state... which makes P'tel an excellent option. Their Real Paygo rates are decent, and they also have "unlimited" talk and text plans with a chunk of data starting at $20/month.

My husband's been using P'tel for a while now and I just made the jump from Ting. I got an unlocked Moto G for something like $130 new on eBay (8 GB)*.  I also was replacing a Galaxy SII and have been enjoying the new phone (and awesome battery life), even though it's a downgrade in several respects (storage, camera, size).

I have relatively low usage (something like 10-40 minutes/mo and 10-60 MB/mo), and figure with a new incentive to limit mobile data more my bill will be $5/mo, like my husband's is**.  It's not too hard to figure out how to do VoIP calls or use a combination of wifi/messaging apps, and once you do the research once, you're more or less set. :)



*Actually, could have gotten used or done unlocking myself if I really wanted...the seller was buying $100 Moto G's from Consumer Cellular, unlocking them, and selling them...but I thought the hassle of doing all that was worth $30. I may be a bad mustachian >.>
**Could be slightly lower still with possibly better coverage (in general for US, about the same in my area) at AirVoice, but I neglected to read the superguide again before switching and just went with what we knew (pTel)...eh...$0.67/mo...not a big factor for FI :P

Stash Engineer

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2015, 01:23:03 PM »
I recently switched to PTel and love it! 

I'm thinking about switching the wife over to Cricket (so off I go to find out why this is a bad idea as mentioned earlier in this thread).

xclonexclonex

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2015, 01:38:47 PM »
Thank you all for your replies. IP, I am glad you gave me your honest opinion. Before posting here, I was pretty much set on Republic Wireless because of their unlimited calling option for $10, but now I will re-evaluate all my options.

The thing is, I do not particularly care if I am locked in contract with a provider via my phone as long as I my needs are met. I need to be able to make unlimited calls, and text. Data is an added bonus, I can live with about 250MB of data. I need to be able talk to my family quite, and I do not want the hassle of keeping track of minutes. However, if the network is not good or if calls get dropped frequently, then that is not something I am OK with.

I would like keep my cell phone bill under $30, so if you could recommend another service, I would be very grateful.

PTel is not a great idea because I am having problems with T-Mobile connectivity where I am situated, but if that is my best alternative, I will go for it.

My typical usage -

1. Lots of talking on the phone with family ( I think over 1000 minutes per month)
2. I think under 100 text messages per month
3. Data - under 400mb.

Thanks!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 01:55:47 PM »
Thank you all for your replies. IP, I am glad you gave me your honest opinion. Before posting here, I was pretty much set on Republic Wireless because of their unlimited calling option for $10, but now I will re-evaluate all my options.

The thing is, I do not particularly care if I am locked in contract with a provider via my phone as long as I my needs are met. I need to be able to make unlimited calls, and text. Data is an added bonus, I can live with about 250MB of data. I need to be able talk to my family quite, and I do not want the hassle of keeping track of minutes. However, if the network is not good or if calls get dropped frequently, then that is not something I am OK with.

I would like keep my cell phone bill under $30, so if you could recommend another service, I would be very grateful.

PTel is not a great idea because I am having problems with T-Mobile connectivity where I am situated, but if that is my best alternative, I will go for it.

My typical usage -

1. Lots of talking on the phone with family ( I think over 1000 minutes per month)
2. I think under 100 text messages per month
3. Data - under 400mb.

Thanks!
Airvoice's lowest unlimited plan has 500 MB of data for $30. You can get something similar by getting the 1000 minutes + $10 data extra on puretalk, and avoid T-mobile in either case. But really, if I were you I would try to get some actual numbers. 1000 minutes is a long time, over 16 hours. I originally put a family member on Airvoice's $30 because she's a bit of a chatterbox and likes the fact that's it's unlimited. In reality she would be better served with a slightly lower plan, but I am not willing to open this can of worms to save her maybe $7 a month.

mateoSF

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2015, 02:01:21 PM »
Considering your minute usage, this PagePlus (Verizon MVNO) plan may be a good option.  My wife has this, and has had no issues.  We are also using them for some cheap dumb phone plans for our parents.

Plan: Talk n Text 1200: 1,200 domestic voice minutes, 3,000 domestic text messages (SMS) or picture/video messages* (MMS), and 500 megabytes (MB) of data
Plan Cost with fees: $30.97 monthly
Phone - $75 - HTC 6350 Droid Incredible 2 Verizon (3G) - purchased on eBay last year (refurbished I believe). 

Many other Verizon phones will work, and they now have 4G LTE data I believe, but we haven't pursued those options since she has a working 3G phone.  You can search Howard Forums and elsewhere for PagePlus compatible phones.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 03:38:13 PM by mateoSF »

FarmerPete

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2015, 02:52:15 PM »
I.P. Dailey, what if you want to use more than the bare minimum cell minutes/text/data?  All of the recommendations in your guide for ATT and Verizon are either more expensive than RW or require me to pretty much stop using the phone.  I could probably live with keeping my data usage at under 1 GB, and my minutes under 500.  Sprint and TMobile have crap for networks in Michigan, specifically where I work.  I work for State Govt, and their open WiFi is slow (.150-.3mbps) and requires a web login every 4 hours (I automated this via app).  It also has heavy usage restrictions.  I probably do 200 texts a month, but my primary number is a GV number, so that will come through as data if I configure it as such.  Lets look at your recommendations:

AirVoice = $20 talk &  $66 Data = $86 a month...No thanks
PureTalk = $15 talk & $20 Data = $35 a month...Same price as Cricket for less service.
H2O = $30 for 500mb or $40 for 1GB.

All of these could be great options if I didn't want to use much/any data.  The problem is, I do want to use data, and I don't want to have to micromanage my usage patterns such that I'm constantly paranoid about overage/costs.  Maybe I could cut some of my voice use down by getting VOIP at home, but a lot of my long phone calls I'll do in the car (via bluetooth speakerphone) where VOIP isn't a feasible option.  I could do those calls at home, but now I'm wasting my precious home time with stuff that I was doing in dead time in the car.  Even still, the cheapest even possible plan for me to live with would be PureTalk's 250 minutes & 400mb of data.  That would still cost me $20 a month.  I just can't see how I could compare 250 minutes & 400mb of data for $20 to unlimited minutes/text/5GB of data for $25 ($29.71 with tax).  That $9.71 is worth the flexibility it gives me, and the fact that I just don't have to worry about going over on anything.  Even their data isn't really capped at 5GB, but I've never come even close to 5GB before.

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2015, 04:26:28 PM »
IP, I am glad you gave me your honest opinion.

No worries, the entire purpose of the guide is to be an honest, unflinching, marketing free guide for quality service options. I don't like seeing people buffaloed with slick marketing, meaningless numbers and greed manipulation. A poor man can't afford to buy garbage just as much as a rich person doesn't remain so if he does likewise. Always pay for what you need. On one hand, the power of $10/month saved is impressive... but if you have the capacity to already more than halve your costs even at the high MVNO end, even an extra $15-20 a month is worth the investment if you need that mobile service and rely on its availability.

I'm going to second Paul, do you actually need 1000 mobile minutes a month? Is that based off of average usage from your bills, or a gut number? If it's your gut, check the bills and get hard numbers. Data's also easy to gut by using offline GPS and simply exercising self control over streaming media usage. Even with an Android smartphone, you limit software updates to WiFi, use something like the Dolphin or Opera browser where you can turn off/compress images when on mobile data, K9 Mail to restrict email attachment downloading to WiFi, use offline GPS, and leave the video and audio for home... under 150MB a month is a trivial goalpost to slide under... especially if data is only a perk and viewed as unnecessary by the person using the phone.

I'm also going to suggest you avoid CDMA MVNOs in general (Sprint and Verizon) unless you absolutely MUST have CDMA service, because right now it's just an unholy mess. The only Verizon MVNOs that allow 4G handset activation currently are owned by Carlos Slim (Tracfone/NET10/StraightTalk/SIMple Mobile/Page Plus), so the customer service and billing is dreadful, and you're locked into a minimum of $30/month if you use a 4G handset anyway. There's cheaper Verizon CDMA plans with better support from other providers, but it requires using one of a slowly dying and shrinking pool of approved non-LTE handsets. Also, native Verizon coverage in Oklahoma outside of the metro areas and interstate corridors is pretty crappy anyway. This is US Cellular/Pioneer CDMA territory. On the Sprint end, the recent unlocking policies and changes to their activation restrictions with MVNOs, although were encouraging, have been a trainwreck. Nearly all handsets being brought in for activation despite having clean ESNs are not able to be activated... this mess is impacting almost everyone but Sprint's own in-house brands since they won't activate Sprint postpaid devices on their prepaid services (Virgin, Boost). Sprint's network doesn't seem to be getting better with age, either. Ting's nice (with the roaming), as is Ecomobile and Kajeet, but if you're wanting limited network coverage and cheap prices, you're still better off going with a T-Mo MVNO. GSM service really is where it's at.

If you're personally having problems with T-Mo reception (and it's not your dying phone), then I'd encourage you to go with an AT&T MVNO instead. No matter who you go with, you honestly shouldn't need to spend more than $30/month, and if your usage is reasonably lower than 1000 minutes and you don't really use mobile data, $22.50 or less is easily within reach as well.



I.P. Dailey, what if you want to use more than the bare minimum cell minutes/text/data?

Already covered, repeatedly (including in this very post for Clone's sake), and your pricing is way off. You're also letting irrational fear and hedonic adaptation override common sense. I'll be blunt, my guide is not for your mindset. I focus on quality, not quantity... and let's be honest, are we not supposed to be rejecting the materialistic consumption of quantity in life and focusing on quality by pursuing the philosophy espoused by our host?

Quality over quantity should be a key focus point on everything we do, no matter how "cheap" it appears to be. We don't make the world a better place by playing real-world Hungry Hungry Hippos.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 04:30:42 PM by I.P. Daley »

NCGal

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2015, 05:49:23 AM »
I.P. - Do you have an opinion about the MVNO BYO Wireless?

NumberCruncher

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2015, 07:04:25 AM »
I was pretty much set on Republic Wireless because of their unlimited calling option for $10, but now I will re-evaluate all my options.

You do realize that the $10 option is essentially no data, right? It's unlimited data over wifi only - the same as any phone with wifi (without any plan needed). I just streamed several TV episodes on my phone while preparing food last night and paid $0 for the privilege.

If you wanted data on a Republic plan outside of wifi, looks like you would need the $25 plan.

FarmerPete

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2015, 07:38:31 AM »
You're also letting irrational fear and hedonic adaptation override common sense. I'll be blunt, my guide is not for your mindset. I focus on quality, not quantity... and let's be honest, are we not supposed to be rejecting the materialistic consumption of quantity in life and focusing on quality by pursuing the philosophy espoused by our host?

Quality over quantity should be a key focus point on everything we do, no matter how "cheap" it appears to be. We don't make the world a better place by playing real-world Hungry Hungry Hippos.
All of those prices quoted were directly from the vendors websites.  I guess I was doing the per minute pricing for Airvoice, as you had been directing people to the 250 minute plan on their website.  I certainly could see that their $30 unlimited talk/text and 500mb would be a much better deal with the usage I was talking about.  I could even see possibly picking that plan over RW's plan, although I think I might gravitate more towards Cricket's $35 plan.  Really though, I've got a fully functional MotoX from RW, and as you mention, the resale value is such that it's in my best interests to ride out RW for at least another year.

Speaking of Cricket, what's your main problem with them?  For single users, their prices are about the same as the providers you suggest.  For family plans though, their prices are crazy low.  If you can get 5 people, you can get unlimited minutes/text and 1GB of data each for $100 total.  That's $20 per person.  I've yet to see any competitor that comes anywhere close to that value on the ATT network.  I've been trying to convince my parents, wife & grandma to move from Verizon to Cricket.  Their costs would go from $200 a month down to $102.  I just can't get them to budge.  I'd push more, but my wife's portion of the bill is only $30, and adding in the fact that the phones are subsidized, it's even more competitive.

Regardless, I can see benefits from both trying to right size your usage plans and from paying a few bucks more to not have to stress about it.  I manage a family plan for my parents/wife (I'm not on it), and I regularly have to tell them to slow down/quit their data usage as they start to reach the monthly cap.  It's stressful and frustrating for me.  I'd much rather pay a few dollars to not have to worry about it.  If I want to spend my 20 minute commute home on the phone with Comcast to renegotiate my bill, I don't want  to worry that I just used 1/5th of my cell minutes.  Yeah, I could have the conversation at home on a VOIP provider, but now I'm stealing time from my 2 yr old son so that I can save $5 a month.  Just not worth it.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2015, 08:18:25 AM »
Speaking of Cricket, what's your main problem with them?

I was curious as well and looked into other posts about it.

In addition to (1) current poor customer service, Cricket is (2) now owned by AT&T, and AT&T is not offering the same data rates to other MNVOs. Essentially, AT&T the power to drive the other MNVO's using their network out of business with Cricket, which would be bad in the long run price-wise and further strengthen the wireless duopoly. AT&T has a history...see something like this: http://www.cnet.com/news/alliance-of-rival-carriers-bashes-at-t-verizon-duopoly/#! (3) Cricket is especially appealing to those with a crutch of large data plans, but most people can get by on much less with some relatively simple changes to usage (using wifi more, for example). So it's not so much "how can I get 5 GB/mo the cheapest?" but more a question of "What do I really need?" which is a very mustachian question that many people seem hesitant to pursue.

Daley - let me know if I missed something or misrepresented anything. :)

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2015, 08:35:35 AM »
I.P. - Do you have an opinion about the MVNO BYO Wireless?

Still too new to hit the guide, and Verizon MVNOs have a high failure/churn rate, even if they're a dual network MVNO (both Verizon and T-Mobile). That said, I don't have any major qualms about them, their legal boilerplate's a bit long but there's nothing grossly disconcerting even if they leave the options open for marketing shenanigans. They're in the same camp as Puppy Wireless with me right now, and to a much lesser degree Selectel (who I'm about ready to put in the guide, but their non-delivery on LTE concerns me as we're approaching seven months after their internal announcement of "soon"). They've got some interesting packages, though their profit margins appear to be a bit tighter on the lower end. Rootin' for them to survive, but not confident in them enough yet to recommend (which is ironic because I know they need customers to survive). The same caveats apply with the Verizon service/limitations/handsets as up above.



I'm thinking about switching the wife over to Cricket (so off I go to find out why this is a bad idea as mentioned earlier in this thread).

Realized I forgot to respond to you yesterday. Start here on the whole Cricket issue, the discussion unfolds from that point in detail. It also explains why I've dropped GoSmart from the guide.



Really though, I've got a fully functional MotoX from RW, and as you mention, the resale value is such that it's in my best interests to ride out RW for at least another year.

I don't preach against Republic to try and get people who appear to be content with Republic to switch back out so they can further waste more finite resources on more phones (used or not) and constantly switching around chasing the best deal. I want Republic users to stay put and wear out their phones if at all possible, but I'm also not going to be shy about being a wet blanket about the service or stay silent about their problems whenever Republic users try to convert others. What I'm trying to do is educate potential customers on what their real options are so they don't think they can only save money by only selecting what really is one of the lousier MVNOs out there that rarely fits or competently addresses many people's actual needs, and has far too many caveats to consider when measured against the competition.

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Speaking of Cricket, what's your main problem with them?

Covered and linked above in a thread you even participated in, I might add.

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Yeah, I could have the conversation at home on a VOIP provider, but now I'm stealing time from my 2 yr old son so that I can save $5 a month.  Just not worth it.

And this is why I try to drum into everyone's head to PAY FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Paying for what you need, especially on the PAYGO end, means that you include and budget for overages just like those sorts of things in the first place and budget to include rollover cushions so you aren't being neurotic about usage. Being neurotic and sweating pennies is being cheap, not frugal.



Daley - let me know if I missed something or misrepresented anything. :)

You pretty well nailed it. Larger walls of text in greater details are linked above for Stash Engineer (any anyone else curious).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 08:39:27 AM by I.P. Daley »

catccc

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »
Another no-go for republic wireless.  My husband tried it and the voice quality was terrible.  It was to be a business phone, so that killed the deal.  He needs to be able to have conversations at length without the breaking up and dropping of calls.

I've been with Airvoice for about 2 years.  I'm currently using it with an iphone 4 purchased 2nd hand a year ago for $100.  I use the $10 plan, but I'm a pretty low usage user, so it is typically sufficient for me.  Only once have I run out of credit and had to refill earlier than 30 days.  I've been very happy with them.

FarmerPete

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2015, 10:37:19 AM »
Quote
Speaking of Cricket, what's your main problem with them?

Covered and linked above in a thread you even participated in, I might add.

Quote
Yeah, I could have the conversation at home on a VOIP provider, but now I'm stealing time from my 2 yr old son so that I can save $5 a month.  Just not worth it.

And this is why I try to drum into everyone's head to PAY FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Paying for what you need, especially on the PAYGO end, means that you include and budget for overages just like those sorts of things in the first place and budget to include rollover cushions so you aren't being neurotic about usage. Being neurotic and sweating pennies is being cheap, not frugal.


Sorry.  I hadn't seen your response to the thread.  I thought you had cricket on your guide before, and I didn't see your explanation for removing them.  At the time, I thought you had said that you were considering removing them, due to their customer service.  CS is important, but as a technical person, I tend to not need to invoke the dreaded CS reps until the problem has been isolated.  Thus I kind of glossed over your criticism of their CS as being a non-issue for me.  After reading your more detailed analysis of Cricket, I'm a little skeptical about your predictions.  It certainly is a valid analysis of a potential outcome.  Personally, I think another likely outcome is that the prices will trickle down over time to the competition (and other ATT MVNOs).  Cheaper data is inevitable.  Data is where SMS was 5-10 years ago.  It should be cheaper and cheaper as time goes on.  Cricket effectively changing their price per GB should trickle over to the other networks over time as well.  Increased competition, higher base data caps, and lower prices are inevitable.

NCGal

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2015, 10:38:11 AM »
I.P. - Do you have an opinion about the MVNO BYO Wireless?

Still too new to hit the guide, and Verizon MVNOs have a high failure/churn rate, even if they're a dual network MVNO (both Verizon and T-Mobile). That said, I don't have any major qualms about them, their legal boilerplate's a bit long but there's nothing grossly disconcerting even if they leave the options open for marketing shenanigans. They're in the same camp as Puppy Wireless with me right now, and to a much lesser degree Selectel (who I'm about ready to put in the guide, but their non-delivery on LTE concerns me as we're approaching seven months after their internal announcement of "soon"). They've got some interesting packages, though their profit margins appear to be a bit tighter on the lower end. Rootin' for them to survive, but not confident in them enough yet to recommend (which is ironic because I know they need customers to survive). The same caveats apply with the Verizon service/limitations/handsets as up above.

Thanks, I.P. Selectel then seems like a better option for many reasons, especially with regard to roaming. I've been on Straight Talk and have had no qualms with service but want to pay less. The refurbished LG I bought for $49 is starting to fail after a year and a half so it's a good time to switch. At least ST was a good introduction for a gal who previously had a non-flip phone with an antenna!

Daley

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Re: Thinking about switching my cell phone provider
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2015, 11:00:03 AM »
Thanks, I.P.

Glad to help.



Increased competition, higher base data caps, and lower prices are inevitable.

Good thing capitalism will prevail and keep competition alive and well in this country to ensure this bright and glorious future will happen!

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« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 11:03:00 AM by I.P. Daley »