Author Topic: heads up, ptel is ending their service  (Read 27762 times)

Chris22

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2016, 08:06:02 AM »

Does this help? Use less data, stop chasing after promises of "unlimited" mobile data, and choosing plans at slightly higher price points with way more data offered than most people actually use. The carriers are getting people with promises of "cheap" "unlimited" plans with 2GB and higher allotments. Most people on modern smartphones who strip off the time wasters and use it as a tool shouldn't need more than 500MB a month, 1GB at most without even really trying. Many here who don't stream media, keep local files of useful stuff, and browse with images turned off while on mobile data frequently and easily come in well under 250MB.

I have an employer provided iPhone.  I have used a total of 4GB of data in two years even though my allocation is 2GB per month.  We are allowed personal use within reason and I don't even have a personal phone.  I don't have Facebook or any other social media accounts so that probably helps.

Facebook and other web surfing consumes minimal data.  It's streaming media (YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, etc) that chew through data. 

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2016, 08:29:30 AM »
Cross-posting to get information out.

ATTENTION P'TEL/GIV CUSTOMERS!

UPDATE: To help people secure SIM cards faster than shipping for people wanting to port out of P'tel before the crush, the following options are available for people not choosing America Movil/Cricket/MetroPCS/AT&T/T-Mobile:

Consumer Cellular SIM cards are available at most Sears locations.
H2O Wireless SIM cards are available at most Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations.
Airvoice Wireless can activate new, unactivated AT&T SIM cards, which can be obtained from any location that sells AT&T phone service.
Puretalk USA SIM cards are available at select K-Mart and Sears locations in addition to phones at both Sears and K-Mart.
Ting GSM SIM cards are starting to become available at select Staples and Kroger locations (not listed online yet, call or visit stores directly).

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2016, 09:19:18 AM »
Cross-posting to get information out.

ATTENTION P'TEL/GIV CUSTOMERS!

UPDATE: To help people secure SIM cards faster than shipping for people wanting to port out of P'tel before the crush, the following options are available for people not choosing America Movil/Cricket/MetroPCS/AT&T/T-Mobile:

Consumer Cellular SIM cards are available at most Sears locations.
H2O Wireless SIM cards are available at most Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations.
Airvoice Wireless can activate new, unactivated AT&T SIM cards, which can be obtained from any location that sells AT&T phone service.
Puretalk USA SIM cards are available at select K-Mart and Sears locations in addition to phones at both Sears and K-Mart.
Ting GSM SIM cards are starting to become available at select Staples and Kroger locations (not listed online yet, call or visit stores directly).

So I have an old airvoice (previously activated) SIM card.. i wonder if I could simply activate the Puretalk onto that SIM?.. I.e are all SIM cards the same but just have the carrier's logo printed on the outside?

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2016, 09:36:02 AM »
So I have an old airvoice (previously activated) SIM card.. i wonder if I could simply activate the Puretalk onto that SIM?.. I.e are all SIM cards the same but just have the carrier's logo printed on the outside?

No activated and used SIM card can be reactivated once service is terminated, and SIMs can't exactly be passed from one MVNO to another. It just doesn't entirely work that way. I've already talked with Puretalk customer support, and though it is theoretically possible for them to activate a new AT&T SIM card, nobody there has been trained on how to do it so they're just not going to support it. The advice given was actually to port to Airvoice instead for a month or so as Airvoice CAN activate AT&T SIMs and then port to Puretalk if a Puretalk SIM can't be located locally at a Sears or K-Mart. They also offer express shipping at a premium, but you have to call in to talk with support for that option.

I'm doing everything I can to help you and others out here.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 09:40:25 AM by I.P. Daley »

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2016, 09:47:18 AM »
Really appreciate your help IP Daley.

Yes it seems the easiest thing is to go pick up whatever cheap SIM card is available locally activate and port your number for a month, then port to your desired MNVO when the SIM card shows up.

My puretalk was shipped this morning, if I get a delivery date of the 26th or before i'll wait. If not do one month thing.

I assume most cheapo plans you buy in the store allow you to port numbers in and out?

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2016, 10:39:18 AM »
I assume most cheapo plans you buy in the store allow you to port numbers in and out?

They do, but porting numbers back out of AM brands such as Tracfone/NET10/StraightTalk has historically been dicey due to internal policies and poor customer service. Doesn't mean that it can't be done, but there is a much higher failure rate.

If we don't see our own Ting SIM cards by Saturday, we'll personally be parking at Airvoice for a month.

sser

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2016, 10:43:15 AM »
Does anyone have recommendations/ good experiences with MVNOs that will work with a Verizon device? Have a Samsung Galaxy S4 that I don't want to replace yet, but would like to find a good alternative to the Verizon Plan that we got pushed into. It looks like a lot of the MVNOs suggested, like Ting, won't support my phone (believe that it should be unlocked but I guess it won't work on the GSM networks?).

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2016, 11:17:18 AM »
I assume most cheapo plans you buy in the store allow you to port numbers in and out?

They do, but porting numbers back out of AM brands such as Tracfone/NET10/StraightTalk has historically been dicey due to internal policies and poor customer service. Doesn't mean that it can't be done, but there is a much higher failure rate.

If we don't see our own Ting SIM cards by Saturday, we'll personally be parking at Airvoice for a month.

Just found Consumer cellular SIM cards at my local AAA store for free so thats probably what we'll end up doing for a month.

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2016, 11:21:48 AM »
Does anyone have recommendations/ good experiences with MVNOs that will work with a Verizon device?

Selectel.

robartsd

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2016, 01:53:19 PM »
Verizon LTE phones are all unlocked; however, the LTE bands they work with are usually exclusive to Verizon. Most (if not all) should work for voice/text on GSM networks (GSM on device is requried by LTE standards) but would have very limited (if any) mobile data capabilities outside of Verizon's network.

I'm still using a pre-LTE Verizon device. I use (and am happy with) Page Plus for my very light service requirements. Page Plus cannot/will not activate LTE phones at my service level - Selectel seems to have beter support for Verizon LTE devices. I.P. Daley recinded recommendation for Page Plus when TracPhone bought out the company.

accolay

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2016, 06:03:12 PM »
H2O Wireless SIM card purchased and porting my number. I'll give it a whirl.

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2016, 06:09:35 PM »
I finally received the email from PTEL regarding closure, but there is no mention of the 26th as the last day for porting out your phone number.  The email only mentions end of service by the end of the month.  I don't want to take my chances and miss the possible 26th cut-off.  I have run out of options as I do not have a Kroger store where I live.  I have called several Staples that do not carry the TING cards.

I did go to AT & T to pick up free SIM cards to use for Airvoice, I started the porting process only to be called by Airvoice to say they were not allowed to port any Chicagoland area codes.   Now back to square one, I am worried TING cards won't make it here in time to keep my phone number.

Gulp.  I don't want to end up back at the big carriers and my family member actually works for one of the big carriers and we still don't want to go back even for his discount.  This. is. a. bummer.





Paul der Krake

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #62 on: January 22, 2016, 06:09:46 PM »
Received an email from them but no text. They have transitional offers for ting and ultra.

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #63 on: January 22, 2016, 07:00:11 PM »
Well that was weired,

I found out there is an AT&T store in town and they have the free sim card on the website.. so I called my store and asked "how much for the SIM" and they told me if I have an AT&T account or an authorised user blah blah the card was free..

So I said,.. nope I dn't have an account but I want the SIM.. and the gal had no idea if they were free or not..

Well I have to go see if I can get one now don't I...:)

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2016, 07:27:35 PM »
The P'tel website is officially updated with the news as of this evening, and exit promos have been extended with both Ting and Ultra Mobile. Both Ting and Ultra offer express shipping on SIM cards.

For people taking the January 26th deadline too seriously, just remember that it is a soft deadline to guarantee porting. P'tel is clearly making good faith efforts to serve their customers well on the way out, and it's honestly a relief to see the official announcements finally go public. It doesn't mean you can't have a successful number port after that date, but the closer you cut it to deadline, the higher risk you take of not completing it in time. That said, the current reported port-out turnaround times are still under an hour. Don't sweat it too much. Act with expediency, try to avoid the last minute crunch if possible, but don't freak out if you can't port before next Tuesday.

As for those picking bones with me earlier about how subjective my terms of "quality" was in the guide with independent MVNOs, I point to PlatinumTel's official announcement this evening and the partner discount exit strategies they extended to their customers while there's still nine solid days left on the clock for service. This is what a good, quality independent MVNO does when it shuts down. They exit with class if they have to shut their doors, and you have to really get a feel for their policies and support staff to be able to see that quality. Spot Mobile did likewise in 2014. Both were in the guide. MVNOs start up and shut down all the time, it's true. The market churns fast sometimes. For every one that shuts down like P'tel, I can show you a dozen who just took the money and ran with nary a whisper in advance. That's why I thoroughly look at long term viability, customer support quality, and legal contracts before officially recommending a provider. It's also why losing P'tel is a major blow. If a fifteen year old MVNO finds it has to close its doors, it doesn't bode well for anyone long term.

Have a restful weekend, all. Good Shabbos.

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2016, 08:31:08 PM »
Well the AT&T store refused to give me just a SIM card. They would only hand one out if I was about to sign up for an AT&T contract right there, or were replacing a SIM card that I already had.

The gal told me she would get fired if she simply gave me a SIM card.

YMMV


ChicagoGirl

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2016, 08:57:53 PM »
ExFlyBoy I went to my AT & T store and explained the situation and she said that was fine and the SIM was free.  We don't have an AT & T account and they gave them to us no problem.  She did have to take the SIM card numbers out of their system.  The whole process took 2 minutes. Maybe try another store if you have one near you or Best Buy.

 

headachemustache

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2016, 07:13:12 AM »
Hey folks,
Sorry to see PTel go!  Wanted to post that as of this morning, the PTel website home page has been updated and now says that customers have UNTIL FEBRUARY 5th to port numbers.  Phew!  That gives us all a few more days to obtain SIM cards from a new provider. 


Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2016, 07:50:03 AM »
Good news on the extended port deadline! That should take some pressure off people wanting to go to smaller providers that might take SIM card shipping.

Quoted from another thread:
As for the new VidaExpress offer that cropped up overnight, apparently it's a middle-man offering with Ultra and SIMPLE Mobile, a sort of virtual mobile dealer setup. I have to be honest, I've never heard of them. It appears someone bought the domain in March of last year after it sat fallow for nearly a decade, and there's been nothing on it until the past few days. Make of that what you will. Doesn't mean that they can't potentially be trusted, it just means they're very new and there's no track record.

Caveats for SIMPLE Mobile applies as to all other America Movil brands (Tracfone, NET10, StraightTalk, Page Plus, Total), I can't recommend them in good conscience. My feelings on Ultra are mixed. They're still relatively new (under three years), and there's minor quibbles with their legal policies, so I haven't felt comfortable adding them to the guide, but one could easily do worse than Ultra.

I don't normally post today, but I'm trying to help ensure folks transition and migrate smoothly since most people here have P'tel on my recommendation.

Anyway, back to B'shallah.

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2016, 11:39:00 AM »
AWESOME!.. My Puretalk USA SIM arrives on the 26th...:)

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #70 on: January 23, 2016, 12:20:06 PM »
Thanks, Daley, for your guidance in getting us to PTel in the first place.  Your research is again very helpful as we have to transition to another provider.

We've decided to go with Ting.  They were very helpful when I called them, even offering to send free SIM card ($9 on the website, and not available in stores near me) and promising some hand-holding when it's time to port the numbers. 

Wanted to also mention here that I just contacted PTel to see about a refund of $$ recently loaded to our account.  Despite a long wait to get a live chat agent (not surprising, they must be crazy-busy this week!) they will refund the balance to our credit card.  Nice!

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #71 on: January 23, 2016, 12:44:10 PM »
Question on the unlimited ULTRA deal.

It says you can get the $19 unlimited plan for just $5... Does this mean you can get the unlimited plan for $5 per MONTH.. Forever?.. Seems way too good to be true.

Or is this just a one time discount of $15 on the plan set up?

ldavidjm

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #72 on: January 23, 2016, 07:14:24 PM »
I actually just signed up for Ptel on January 15th so this kind of stinks.  Anyway, I am porting my number to Google Voice and was planning on having Google Voice forward my calls from now on.  In trying to choose a new provider from the guide, I notice that some of them do not support call forwarding.  Does that mean that my plan to use Google Voice forwarding would not work for those providers, or does that mean that they don't support forwarding from, say, Airvoice -> Somewhere else but it would be OK if someone called my Google Voice number -> Airvoice phone.

Thanks for any help

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2016, 10:32:24 PM »
It says you can get the $19 unlimited plan for just $5... Does this mean you can get the unlimited plan for $5 per MONTH.. Forever?.. Seems way too good to be true.

Or is this just a one time discount of $15 on the plan set up?

Probably just the one shot discounted month. The verbiage isn't great.



In trying to choose a new provider from the guide, I notice that some of them do not support call forwarding.  Does that mean that my plan to use Google Voice forwarding would not work for those providers, or does that mean that they don't support forwarding from, say, Airvoice -> Somewhere else but it would be OK if someone called my Google Voice number -> Airvoice phone.

You can forward from GV to any mobile provider, but you can't forward the mobile number from most providers to GV voicemail or some such. That's what unsupported call forwarding means.

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2016, 10:37:50 PM »
Thanks, Daley, for your guidance in getting us to PTel in the first place.  Your research is again very helpful as we have to transition to another provider.

I appreciate it, but I'm only sharing what the good L-rd has gifted me with, so it's not for my benefit.

A sort of tikkun olam, and all that, if you will.

ldavidjm

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #75 on: January 24, 2016, 08:13:42 AM »
Thanks for clarifying for me!

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #76 on: January 24, 2016, 05:55:25 PM »
Definitely sucks to here this; Ptel was perfect for me. I had also just bought a Ptel sim for the $20/mo for my mother-in-law off of eBay; I'm guessing my chances of getting a refund are slim to none.

What I liked about their pay-as-you-go plan was that it was good for 60 days, which meant I could sometimes get by on just $10 for two whole months. Now it looks like most of these other options are just $10/mo plans, save for H20 wireless, but they're pretty expensive at 5 cents/text.

That being said, does anyone happen to know if PureTalk's plan is strictly a monthly plan, or do top-ups last more than 30 days?

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2016, 06:16:47 PM »
Definitely sucks to here this; Ptel was perfect for me. I had also just bought a Ptel sim for the $20/mo for my mother-in-law off of eBay; I'm guessing my chances of getting a refund are slim to none.

If you bought from a dealer, odds are slim. If you bought from P'tel directly, you might have a chance.

That being said, does anyone happen to know if PureTalk's plan is strictly a monthly plan, or do top-ups last more than 30 days?

Their only rollover plan is their Family Plan. The Simple plans reset every month. It's also worth noting that SMS messages are billed at 1/3rd of a minute each, so for example the $5/month Simple 80 plan will give you either 80 minutes or 240 SMS messages.

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #78 on: January 24, 2016, 06:49:54 PM »
Definitely sucks to here this; Ptel was perfect for me. I had also just bought a Ptel sim for the $20/mo for my mother-in-law off of eBay; I'm guessing my chances of getting a refund are slim to none.

What I liked about their pay-as-you-go plan was that it was good for 60 days, which meant I could sometimes get by on just $10 for two whole months. Now it looks like most of these other options are just $10/mo plans, save for H20 wireless, but they're pretty expensive at 5 cents/text.

That being said, does anyone happen to know if PureTalk's plan is strictly a monthly plan, or do top-ups last more than 30 days?

I asked Puretalk's customer service what happened if you go over your minutes. Apparently you will get a warning on your phone when you are getting close to running out. You can then either call customer service and buy more minutes (they didn't mention a cost), or go into your account on-line and do the same.

If you reach your limit the phone will stop working until te next billing cycle.

For me I think most of the time I can keep withing the $5 plan.. occasionally I will go over. I mostly text (and make calls from Skype) which cost about 2c a minute just like PTel. The calls are 6.25c/min unlike PTel at 5c.

So I'll try the $5 simple plan and see how it goes. If I find I keep going over, one option is to cancel my USA skype calling plan at $3/month and up my Puretalk plan to $10 simple (250 mins).

The only advantage to me is not having to buy a phone on Republic Wireless if I do that though. Wife is happy with RW and its unlimited.

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #79 on: January 25, 2016, 08:41:06 AM »
Definitely sucks to here this; Ptel was perfect for me. I had also just bought a Ptel sim for the $20/mo for my mother-in-law off of eBay; I'm guessing my chances of getting a refund are slim to none.
P'Tel often had 25% off coupon codes available. I think you needed to purchase a device or SIM to use the discount (intended to attract new customers), but the discount also applied to the plan that you purchased with the device. For higher level plan refills, it may have been cheaper to buy a $15 SIM card and get the discount than buying the plan without the discount. As far as I could tell when I purchased in October, there was nothing to tie the refill purchased to the SIM card until you loaded the value at activation. I think this might account for the source of unused P'Tel SIMs that showed up on eBay. I would not expect P'Tel to provide any refund for these SIMs.

dramaman

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #80 on: January 25, 2016, 01:22:09 PM »
My wife didn't get notified until yesterday. She's only be on ptel for about 8 months. Can't believe that it took them an entire week just to send a text message. Interesting, her phone now says 'No Service', but it is still able to receive and send texts and calls. Just bought a H2O sim. Hope they stay in service for a while.

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #81 on: January 25, 2016, 02:36:39 PM »
My wife didn't get notified until yesterday. She's only be on ptel for about 8 months. Can't believe that it took them an entire week just to send a text message. Interesting, her phone now says 'No Service', but it is still able to receive and send texts and calls. Just bought a H2O sim. Hope they stay in service for a while.

It hasn't been a week yet, my friend. Wednesday afternoon, the 20th was the day dealers were notified first - only four days from yesterday. Friday evening, the 22nd was the first official public notice on the website, and they have been swamped trying to help people and get the word out. My own wife got notice by email Friday night, but I did not until a day later. We both got SMS messages Sunday morning. Getting an SMS message on Sunday only puts it at most, 48 hours after the first official public notice, and still a full week until the 31st. They've since also been able to get T-Mobile to extend their port-out window to February 5th despite service ending on the 31st, as well. Currently, I still haven't ported out yet and just got the Ting SIM cards this afternoon, and I'm still able to place and receive calls and texts just fine with P'tel and the phone still reports them as my provider.

I know this is the internet, and people tend to exaggerate - especially when inconvenienced, but please keep this in perspective. The shutdown was sudden and a surprise to everyone, even the people at P'tel when it happened last week. There were no visible early warning signs, and unfortunately, T-Mobile appears to be getting aggressive with their wholesale customers. (Check into how quick Solavei had to shut down after a failed contract negotiation last year.) I know this stinks, I know it's a pain in the rump, but exaggerating the circumstances doesn't help anyone, and it's a bit unfair to everyone involved to do so. P'tel has handled this professionally, with pretty substantial notice all things considered, and is actively continuing to assist customers in moving elsewhere and issue refunds where possible on a limited timetable and with limited staff.

Be thankful the recommendation for P'tel was based on concepts like good customer support and service quality, and not simply who was the cheapest, damn everything else. Otherwise, you could have been with a provider that just disappeared overnight like a fart in the wind taking your numbers with them, which is how a majority of independent MVNOs shut down.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 02:44:32 PM by I.P. Daley »

dramaman

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #82 on: January 25, 2016, 03:31:08 PM »
My wife didn't get notified until yesterday. She's only be on ptel for about 8 months. Can't believe that it took them an entire week just to send a text message. Interesting, her phone now says 'No Service', but it is still able to receive and send texts and calls. Just bought a H2O sim. Hope they stay in service for a while.

It hasn't been a week yet, my friend. Wednesday afternoon, the 20th was the day dealers were notified first - only four days from yesterday. Friday evening, the 22nd was the first official public notice on the website, and they have been swamped trying to help people and get the word out. My own wife got notice by email Friday night, but I did not until a day later. We both got SMS messages Sunday morning. Getting an SMS message on Sunday only puts it at most, 48 hours after the first official public notice, and still a full week until the 31st. They've since also been able to get T-Mobile to extend their port-out window to February 5th despite service ending on the 31st, as well. Currently, I still haven't ported out yet and just got the Ting SIM cards this afternoon, and I'm still able to place and receive calls and texts just fine with P'tel and the phone still reports them as my provider.

I know this is the internet, and people tend to exaggerate - especially when inconvenienced, but please keep this in perspective. The shutdown was sudden and a surprise to everyone, even the people at P'tel when it happened last week. There were no visible early warning signs, and unfortunately, T-Mobile appears to be getting aggressive with their wholesale customers. (Check into how quick Solavei had to shut down after a failed contract negotiation last year.) I know this stinks, I know it's a pain in the rump, but exaggerating the circumstances doesn't help anyone, and it's a bit unfair to everyone involved to do so. P'tel has handled this professionally, with pretty substantial notice all things considered, and is actively continuing to assist customers in moving elsewhere and issue refunds where possible on a limited timetable and with limited staff.

Be thankful the recommendation for P'tel was based on concepts like good customer support and service quality, and not simply who was the cheapest, damn everything else. Otherwise, you could have been with a provider that just disappeared overnight like a fart in the wind taking your numbers with them, which is how a majority of independent MVNOs shut down.
Okay, granted it hasn't been a full week. Even so, I don't feel unreasonable for being annoyed to find that this cancellation posted on the MMM forums on the 20th while some paying customers didn't get the benefit of the news until the 25th. Maybe I should be grateful that it wasn't even worse, but I'm not feeling extremely generous at this point.

dramaman

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #83 on: January 25, 2016, 03:34:18 PM »
My wife didn't get notified until yesterday. She's only be on ptel for about 8 months. Can't believe that it took them an entire week just to send a text message. Interesting, her phone now says 'No Service', but it is still able to receive and send texts and calls. Just bought a H2O sim. Hope they stay in service for a while.

It hasn't been a week yet, my friend. Wednesday afternoon, the 20th was the day dealers were notified first - only four days from yesterday. Friday evening, the 22nd was the first official public notice on the website, and they have been swamped trying to help people and get the word out. My own wife got notice by email Friday night, but I did not until a day later. We both got SMS messages Sunday morning. Getting an SMS message on Sunday only puts it at most, 48 hours after the first official public notice, and still a full week until the 31st. They've since also been able to get T-Mobile to extend their port-out window to February 5th despite service ending on the 31st, as well. Currently, I still haven't ported out yet and just got the Ting SIM cards this afternoon, and I'm still able to place and receive calls and texts just fine with P'tel and the phone still reports them as my provider.

I know this is the internet, and people tend to exaggerate - especially when inconvenienced, but please keep this in perspective. The shutdown was sudden and a surprise to everyone, even the people at P'tel when it happened last week. There were no visible early warning signs, and unfortunately, T-Mobile appears to be getting aggressive with their wholesale customers. (Check into how quick Solavei had to shut down after a failed contract negotiation last year.) I know this stinks, I know it's a pain in the rump, but exaggerating the circumstances doesn't help anyone, and it's a bit unfair to everyone involved to do so. P'tel has handled this professionally, with pretty substantial notice all things considered, and is actively continuing to assist customers in moving elsewhere and issue refunds where possible on a limited timetable and with limited staff.

Be thankful the recommendation for P'tel was based on concepts like good customer support and service quality, and not simply who was the cheapest, damn everything else. Otherwise, you could have been with a provider that just disappeared overnight like a fart in the wind taking your numbers with them, which is how a majority of independent MVNOs shut down.
Okay, granted it hasn't been a full week. Even so, I don't feel unreasonable for being annoyed to find that this cancellation posted on the MMM forums on the 20th while some paying customers didn't get the benefit of the news until the 25th. Maybe I should be grateful that it wasn't even worse, but I'm not feeling extremely generous at this point.
Sorry, I'm a day off. Today's the 25th. Yesterday was the 24th. Still miffed.

accolay

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #84 on: January 25, 2016, 06:36:22 PM »
H2O Wireless PayGo seems to be working fine for me at this point. They send a free account update after every call and text to show how much is left in the kitty.

dramaman

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #85 on: January 26, 2016, 06:08:42 AM »
H2O Wireless PayGo seems to be working fine for me at this point. They send a free account update after every call and text to show how much is left in the kitty.

We got our phone number ported to H2O PayGo within around four hours. It was a bit unclear exactly how to proceed after submitting the port request. Within a couple of hours ptel service stopped completely and I assumed the port was underway. I eventually installed the sim. I never really received a 'It is completed' confirmation and further instruction email or text message from H2O, but finally just went ahead and created an online account with H2O and linked with her ported phone number. The account recognized the phone number and said the account was expired, which I assumed was because there was no minutes on it. I topped it off with $10 and we were up and running.

I definitely appreciated I.P.'s post listing the ptel alternative providers with sims that could be bought locally. That really helped to narrow the field and make the determination to go with H2O. Thanks I.P.!

Some comparisons with ptel...

1. H2O charges 5 cents for a text message, while ptel charged 2 cents. Price for minutes and data are the same.
2. H2O's $10 top off lasts 90 days, whereas ptel's only lasted 60 days.  That's nice as it should save us money in the long run as not a lot of minutes and text are used on the phone.
3. H2O seems to use the AT&T network, while ptel used T-Mobile. We noticed that there were coverage gaps in parts of western Kansas and Nebraska with ptel. H2O's coverage map seems to be more comprehensive. We'll see. Hopefully on our next trip across Kansas, service won't be a problem.
4. H2O's autorecharge saves 10%, but cannot be set to implement for a duration more than a month. Ptel's autorecharge could be set to implement when out of money or when the current minutes expired. With ptel I could just forget about it, but with H2O, I will have to manually top it off every 90 days or so.
5. Ptel's website allowed an account holder to get a list of phone activity in the last 45 days. I don't see this option with H2O.

Considering $10 for a new sim, with the longer lasting $10 recharge, if we stick with H2O at least 6 months we should break even with what we would have paid with ptel. After that' we'll be saving about $20 per year.

The ptel ting $75 credit was attractive, but I didn't like that the minimum monthly charge with ting would be at least $12 if one used even a small number of call minutes and text. That and I didn't want to worry about ordering a sim online and getting it shipped in time to make the switch over. If H2O fails, we'll likely go back to T-Mobile and sign on to their $3/month 30/30 pay as you go plan. Myself, I still have a legacy T-Mobile pay as you go account on my phone and only need to pay about $20 a year to satisfy my needs.

headachemustache

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #86 on: January 26, 2016, 07:10:19 AM »
Dramaman, Thanks for sharing your progress.  I thought we were decided on Ting (still waiting for delivery on the SIM cards), but I hedged our bets and ordered SIM cards from H2O Wireless too (I found a supplier on eBay $.01 per SIM card including postage ... but still waiting on that delivery too).  Will try to buy some locally if USPS disappoints.  Although the true contest may be which SIM cards I'll have in my hand before the PTel sunset, I am doing the math to see whether ultimately Ting or H2O will be better for us.  I don't like having to remember to top up every 90 days with H20 and, like you, will miss how that was automated with PTel.  I don't like the per device monthly charge for Ting, but their family plan is interesting given that we will have multiple phones on the plan, and the $75 Ting credit means that we could basically try them for a year for free. The T-Mobile $3/month plan is interesting too if you only need talk/text - I hadn't seen that one.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 07:18:14 AM by headachemustache »

dramaman

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #87 on: January 26, 2016, 08:50:57 AM »
Dramaman, Thanks for sharing your progress.  I thought we were decided on Ting (still waiting for delivery on the SIM cards), but I hedged our bets and ordered SIM cards from H2O Wireless too (I found a supplier on eBay $.01 per SIM card including postage ... but still waiting on that delivery too).  Will try to buy some locally if USPS disappoints.  Although the true contest may be which SIM cards I'll have in my hand before the PTel sunset, I am doing the math to see whether ultimately Ting or H2O will be better for us.  I don't like having to remember to top up every 90 days with H20 and, like you, will miss how that was automated with PTel.  I don't like the per device monthly charge for Ting, but their family plan is interesting given that we will have multiple phones on the plan, and the $75 Ting credit means that we could basically try them for a year for free. The T-Mobile $3/month plan is interesting too if you only need talk/text - I hadn't seen that one.

When I was at Best Buy, I noticed they had T-mobile sims for just $5. Theoretically one could buy that and use T-mobile's $3/month service as a temporary stop gap for porting a phone number if the sim for the provider one wants in the long term is unavailable in the short-term.

Paul der Krake

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #88 on: January 26, 2016, 08:54:39 AM »
Still waiting for my SIM. The mail hasn't come since last Thursday because of the snow. Hopefully it gets here tonight, but it's a relief to see that the 26th isn't a deadline anymore.

Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #89 on: January 26, 2016, 11:54:36 AM »
My wife and I got our Ting SIM cards yesterday, and I ported our numbers out this morning.

Ting has been terrific about it all, as has P'tel. The porting process took less than a minute for my number to go live and exactly 70 minutes for my wife's. Discovered that Ting offers WiFi/UMA calling for their GSM customers in the process as well. I'll have more to report on that in time.

Long story short though, with the right handset, Ting (just like P'tel could) can offer a better implementation of WiFi calling than Republic Wireless does, and is far closer to the pay as you go model without carrier lock-in, and perfect for multi-line households in that regard where flexibility is desired. Potentially cheaper, too.

Frs1661

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #90 on: January 26, 2016, 01:07:40 PM »
Be aware ting charges you airtime minutes for wifi calls... I use my Google hangouts app to make free WiFi calls instead.

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Daley

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #91 on: January 26, 2016, 01:11:11 PM »
Be aware ting charges you airtime minutes for wifi calls.

I already know exactly how it works, and I don't have a problem with that. It's just UMA access to the same mobile network trunked through the internet and still billed accordingly. I know this, and most of my readers know this when I talk about this technology. It's also a superior method to your proposal of Hangouts, all things considered, if one needs reliable access and this access feature.

Thank you for the warning all the same.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 01:16:44 PM by I.P. Daley »

Frs1661

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #92 on: January 26, 2016, 02:56:01 PM »
Glad you're aware of how it works and it works for you :D

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Tecmo Super Bowl

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #93 on: January 26, 2016, 09:14:11 PM »
I ordered an Airvoice SIM on Saturday morning and put in a special request to have it expedited on the order form.  I am very impressed to have the SIM in hand today, just 2 business days later.  They mailed it out on the day I placed the order (a SATURDAY)!

So I just wanted to share that speedy service story with you in case it helps someone.

I really appreciate the notice that you all provided here which allowed me to jump into action early.  And of course, thanks to Daley for all of the sage advice and direction.  I feel like a baby bird getting the regurgitated goop of the complicated telecom industry fed directly into my mouth for easy digestion.  Mmmmm.

Fishbot

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2016, 05:12:06 PM »
Although I'm a little sad to be leaving P'Tel my experience with Ting so far has been great. Just received my SIM card and was able to port my number in about 3 minutes.

I use mostly wifi but like to have carrier backup for those just in case moments. My new game will be to see how close to the $6 device fee I can get every month.

Thanks to I.P. Daley for all the great info during the transition. It was much preferred to sitting on hold with P'Tel for who knows how long!

klaykrusher

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2016, 08:16:51 PM »
Question on the unlimited ULTRA deal.

It says you can get the $19 unlimited plan for just $5... Does this mean you can get the unlimited plan for $5 per MONTH.. Forever?.. Seems way too good to be true.

Or is this just a one time discount of $15 on the plan set up?

I contacted Ultra and this discount is for the first month only.  I have been with PTel for the last year and the service was not too bad.  In the essence of time and being able to port my 3 lines I choose the Ultra 12 month prepaid option instead.  So the $29 a month plan came to a little over $19 a month.  They use T-Mobile, so I expect we will get the same service that we had with PTel.  No refund on the prepaid plans after 15 days, so am taking a chance.  Oh, PTel says we have until Fed 5th to port numbers.  Probably sooner is better though...

REAL WORLD EXPAT

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #96 on: January 28, 2016, 12:57:57 PM »
Singed up for Ptel about 6 weeks ago - loved it! Kiss of Death I guess, but no worries ported over to Ting last night when my new SIM card came with no issues.

Thanks for all your recommendations IPD!

Exflyboy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #97 on: January 28, 2016, 01:24:23 PM »
I ported out of PTEL last nigth to Puretalk.. It was complete this morning.

Phone works as normal

kaizen soze

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #98 on: January 28, 2016, 01:58:19 PM »
Thanks also to IPD for his many suggestions.  I ordered my Ting SIM cards before I got word of the $75 credit. The way to take advantage of the credit is to click through from PTel's email to Ting's website, then order your SIM card. Because I was too fast to take advantage of this, I was able to email Ting and ask for the credit to be applied to my account, and they did it in about 24 hours. I'd have switched anyway, so this no-hassle customer service win bodes well for the service as a whole. 

partgypsy

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Re: heads up, ptel is ending their service
« Reply #99 on: January 28, 2016, 02:52:54 PM »
I'm hoping I get my Ting sim cards soon. I ordered them last Friday (morning) was supposed to be 2 business days, haven't shown up (on east coast, so was affected by the storm).