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Straight Talk Prepaid Wireless Phone Service
Old 12-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #1
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Straight Talk Prepaid Wireless Phone Service

Has anyone signed up for Straight Talk prepaid wireless phone service offered by Wal Mart?

There are two levels of service. Option 1 costs $30 for 1000 minutes, 1000 messages and 30MB of data with a life of 30 days. Option 2 costs $45 for unlimited minutes and messages and data with a life of 30 days. No contract so you choose your level of service each month. They use the Verizon network. You can subscribe to automatic renewal every 30 days.

I have the minimum Verizon Family Share plan (1400 minutes) with 3 phones which includes me, DH, and my sister (unemployed). Sister and I have texting for $5 each per month. Sister and I each use about 1,000 minutes per month including all the free minutes between Verizon users and evenings/weekends. DH uses about 500. We have no home phone. The monthly cost is $110 plus $23 in taxes and fees.

Purchasing 3 Straight Talk $30 plans would save about $35 a month and provide the required amount of minutes and plenty of texts and data.

It would take about 9 months to amortize the phones if we bought relatively nice ones.

This seems like a great plan. What am I missing?
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
Has anyone signed up for Straight Talk prepaid wireless phone service offered by Wal Mart?

There are two levels of service. Option 1 costs $30 for 1000 minutes, 1000 messages and 30MB of data with a life of 30 days. Option 2 costs $45 for unlimited minutes and messages and data with a life of 30 days. No contract so you choose your level of service each month. They use the Verizon network. You can subscribe to automatic renewal every 30 days.

I have the minimum Verizon Family Share plan (1400 minutes) with 3 phones which includes me, DH, and my sister (unemployed). Sister and I have texting for $5 each per month. Sister and I each use about 1,000 minutes per month including all the free minutes between Verizon users and evenings/weekends. DH uses about 500. We have no home phone. The monthly cost is $110 plus $23 in taxes and fees.

Purchasing 3 Straight Talk $30 plans would save about $35 a month and provide the required amount of minutes and plenty of texts and data.

It would take about 9 months to amortize the phones if we bought relatively nice ones.

This seems like a great plan. What am I missing?
Buckeye, do you know what network Straight Talk uses?

Ha
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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I did a Google search and the results point to the Verizon network for Straight Talk.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
They use the Verizon network.
In the original post.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:00 PM   #5
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Thanks, I missed that.
Ha
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:39 PM   #6
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I did a Google search and the results point to the Verizon network for Straight Talk.
The fact they use the Verizon network is one of the main reasons I am strongly considering Straight Talk. It's worked great for us, even when we lived in corn country.

It almost seems too good to be true. Finally some real competition in the cellular market? I am so tired of feeling ripped off.
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Old 12-20-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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About the only downside is that the Verizon prepaid network does not have the same coverage area as you get with the monthly service plans. So it is possible some of the areas may be considered roaming under Straight Talk. An upside is that you may be able to keep your current phones and switch them over to ST.

Page Plus is another prepaid service that uses the Verizon network. Howard Forums is a good place to read about the different plans out there and to ask questions. Lots of information and help available at HF.

I'm planning to activate a Verizon prepaid phone (picked up at Target) on the Page Plus system and see how it works for me. The coverage area is less than the full Verizon network so that will be the downside.

Good luck with saving some money on your cell phone service.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting that, I was unaware.

DW and I use very few minutes, so we will stick with the low cost pre-paid (Have AT&T now, $100/year buys all the minutes we need with rollover, but the T-Mobile plan looks better for us for these phones, looking to switch).

But for the kids, who 'need' their minutes and texting, these sound pretty good (unless the network is an issue). We pay more than $30 each when you roll up all the costs on a family plan (but I get the $10/month VOIP for home, which is a good $). But I guess an ooma would be amortized over a couple years, if that option works out for people.

I LIKE the fact that the phone cost is separate. With the contracts, you qualify for a discount on a phone every two years. But that locks you in for two years. Plus, if you don't choose to "upgrade", you are essentially continuing to pay for that phone amortization in your monthly bill. That stinks.

So this plan is much more flexible. No contract beyond 30 days, and upgrade your phone when it suits you. You control the costs. Sounds good.

And don't forget - if you know people who like to upgrade every two years, they may have old phones to give you, or you can buy on ebay I guess, but you take a chance on the condition. Or just buy new, unlocked phones for whatever price point suits you.

-ERD50
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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ERD50 - Yes, the flexibility is what is amazing. Usually flexibility is very costly but not with Straight Talk. It appears the flexibility is combined with a very reasonable cost. Don't normally see that in the cellular market.

Every time I talk to Verizon, they push hard for us to upgrade to new phones since 2 of the 3 phones are eligible for "free" upgrade. I bought one of the phones on Craigslist for $20 to replace an older one. The third phone has 6 months left on contract so I've emailed Verizon for the cancellation charge. In the same email, I asked them if they could put me in a plan for the 3 phones that would be comparable to 3 $30 Straight Talk plans. I'm curious to see their response about why I should stay with them and pay much more every month.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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Buckeye......

Your cost calculation assumes that the Straighttalk plan is $30/mo with zero fees or taxes added. Is that correct? I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if that were the case.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:22 PM   #11
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Buckeye......

Your cost calculation assumes that the Straighttalk plan is $30/mo with zero fees or taxes added. Is that correct? I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if that were the case.
I too was looking for the extra taxes and fees but all I see is sales tax. My calculation of savings includes 7% sales tax for each of the 3 plans.

I went to the Wal Mart website and started the purchase of a one month "subscription" for $30 and all I could see being added was sales tax. Only paying sales tax is entirely consistent with what I paid when I purchased prepaid minutes for my sister on T-Mobile prior to me pulling her over to my Verizon plan. It seems too good to be true but it seems prepaid minutes are only subject to local sales tax.

Verizon called me in response to my email asking what my cancellation charge would be ($90) and my request for a $100 plan with all the stuff I currently have. The gentleman (domestic) I spoke to was very nice but he said there was nothing he could do to reduce my cost. He started down the path of seeing what MORE he could give me for my money but I told him I have everything I need except a reasonable monthly cost. I told him this Straight Talk was going to rock their world and Verizon needed to come up with some new programs to meet it head on. He chuckled and agreed.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:49 PM   #12
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I was just talking to my DH today about switching to prepaid cell phones. We are paying $85.00 per month and we don't talk on our cell phones that often. He did not want to switch, because he was afraid that he would have to change his phone number. Can you keep your old phone number when going to a prepaid phone?
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #13
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Yes, you can port your current cell phone number (or landline #) to the Straight Talk phone. When I talked to the rep at Straight Talk, I believe he said the phone could only ever be the number it started with so you would have to initiate service by porting over your old cell phone number.

He said it should take about 4 hours (if all went as it should) to port the number once the current company released it.

They discuss it on their website, www.straighttalk.com.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:48 PM   #14
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OP:

For us the best plan was "T-Mobile Pre-Pay", $ 100 for 1000min. Good for a year. Do not lose unused minutes.
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Old 12-22-2009, 09:59 AM   #15
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I still like my STi Mobile plan -- 10 cents per day plus 10 cents per minute.

At my current rate of usage, and the fact that I've gotten refill cards at 3% off, I've been at roughtly $5-6/month.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #16
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For us the best plan was "T-Mobile Pre-Pay", $ 100 for 1000min. Good for a year. Do not lose unused minutes.
We converted to this earlier this year and haven't looked back. I hear that you can also find discounts for the $100 pre-paid cards, but I haven't had luck with that one yet.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:41 AM   #17
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OP:

For us the best plan was "T-Mobile Pre-Pay", $ 100 for 1000min. Good for a year. Do not lose unused minutes.
It does sound like the T-Mobile plan is the best out there for low minute consumers.

I agree the Straight Talk plan is not a good fit for low minute users. I probably should have prefaced my initial post with a comment about Straight Talk being for cell users who use quite a few minutes per month.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #18
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....He did not want to switch, because he was afraid that he would have to change his phone number. Can you keep your old phone number when going to a prepaid phone?
Yep! I did it when I switched my service over to Tracfone. I just called Tracfone CS, and the rep handled the whole thing. He said it may take several hours to for the number to be 'ported' from my old service over to my new Tracfone, but it only took a few minutes...in fact I was still on the phone with him when it happened.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:30 AM   #19
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I read an article on it a while back and it had favorable reviews. I am going to look into it, as I pay $38 (after fed employee discount) for 450 minute Verizon plan.

I'll have to check it out again.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:29 PM   #20
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Thanks guys. I need to get serious about changing over. Does anyone have a certain type of Tracfone that they really like? I would like one that keeps a good charge. My DH will probably want one that looks good, has camera, caller id, etc. Neither of us text or do anything other than talk. Our first cell phones were Nokia and we liked them. We now have Motorola and our phones do not hold the charge for near as long as the Nokia. I would like to get a phone that has the double minutes for life.
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