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what is the best cell phone service for the money?
Old 01-16-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
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what is the best cell phone service for the money?

I am with u.s. cellular and have a basic flip phone with no data plan. I just checked to see what it would cost to get new phones on the plan we presently have. we have 4 lines with no text, no data. free nights and weekends, free mobile to mobile, 1000 minutes anytime, free long distance. our monthly bill is around 110. to upgrade to a new plan we will have to get a data plan and buy the phones on a monthly payment plan. the increase is sizable, they advertise 4 lines and 10 gb for 130. a month, but by the time the connection fees and phones are added in it comes to about 260 month. what cellular providers are you folks using that just want to use the phone feature? I suppose this subject has been gone over before, but I couldn't find the thread. any help would be appreciated. thanks
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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I use Ting, which is on the Sprint network. They have a model that you pay for what you use for minutes, texts and data. I am almost always under 100 minutes and 100 texts per month and I only use data when I have access to Wifi, so there are no data charges. My bill, with taxes and fees, has been running $13/month. I like this service because it is dirt cheap and it will allow me to access data if I ever need it, like on a trip or something when I might like to look at a map. You can purchase a Sprint-compatible phone (with some limitations) and use it on their plans.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
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A few threads that might offer some info:

Best Inexpensive Cellphone Plans
My Family Mobile cell plan from Walmart
Looking for a good cell phone carrier
Cell Phone Plans - Which One do you use and why?
Cheap (Free?) Cell Phone
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:18 PM   #4
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PagePlus....(my choice)

Uses Verizon towers. I have a nation-wide plan that gives 1200 talk minutes, 3000 texts, and 500 MB data for $33.40/month, including taxes.

They have much cheaper plans and now are offering 4G LTE service. Made in the USA people! Call and they answer! You can understand them!

You can bring your own phone as long as it was a Verizon (not a pre-paid one) subscribed and has a clean ESN. Or buy one off eBay.

There are other MNVO's like PagePlus.....such as Straight Talk, Cricket, Net One, etc.

No one needs a costly 2 year contract these days.
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Old 01-16-2015, 01:26 PM   #5
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I'm very happy with Republic Wireless (RW). You buy your phone (four models and they only work with RW because of their tech model (your calls use a wifi connection whenever possible--works great). Voice and text only is cheap and unlimited, and data doesn't cost much more. It uses the Sprint network--good, but not as ubiquitous as Verizon. Best if you have wifi at home.
Their $10/mo plan sounds like what you want: Unlimited talk/text over cell or WifI, unlimited Data over wifi only. Phones are $99 to $399.
If you want the same thing but with unlimited 3G data, it is $25. Unlimited 4G data: $40. You can switch plans up to twice per month. 30 day money-back guarantee, so you can try it (with the number they supply), then return the phone for a refund if it's not for you. If you like it after the test, port your present number over to it.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:07 PM   #6
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I've had a Tracfone for well over 10 years, and wouldn't change it for anything. I have a Motorola W370 flip-phone....no camera, no frills....I don't text or access the internet on it, although you can. The phone was originally $18, and at that time, I bought a 400 minute card, and a 'double minutes for life' card which was an additional one time charge of about $40. Now, each year I purchase 400 minutes , which autmatically double to 800, and I just paid $110 for (including taxes) last week. So it averages less than $10 per month. You can buy more minutes anytime you want to if you need more. They are 'anytime minutes', and there are no roaming fees or anything else.

I've used it from coast to coast, and from Canada to Key West, FL, and have never had a problem connecting. Unless of course it was an area where there are no cell tower, like in the middle of a Glacier National Park, or up in the Canadian Rockies.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:30 PM   #7
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I've had a Tracfone for well over 10 years, and wouldn't change it for anything.
+1. DW & I switched to triple minute Tracfones (at $10 ea) and between them & dropping the old landline we're saving over $1200/yr. They piggyback on the Verizon network and work perfectly.

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Old 01-16-2015, 02:31 PM   #8
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Another vote for PagePlus. I almost never use the phone, but it is nice to have it when I really need it. $2.50 a month is the basic rate. I generally roll the $10 every 120 day payment over and on occasion burn the accumulated excess up with data usage rather than totally waste it. I have a used Verizon contract smartphone that I bought on eBay.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:34 PM   #9
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but by the time the connection fees and phones are added in it comes to about 260 month. thanks



I'd be in the hospital with a bill like that. Best can mean different things to different people. I like cheap.

Got a cheap android phone from tracfone. I'm not a heavy user and runs about $7/month. I have magicjack at home and they have an android app that can use wireless with the MJ account to make/receive calls.
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
I've had a Tracfone for well over 10 years, and wouldn't change it for anything. I have a Motorola W370 flip-phone....no camera, no frills....I don't text or access the internet on it, although you can. The phone was originally $18, and at that time, I bought a 400 minute card, and a 'double minutes for life' card which was an additional one time charge of about $40. Now, each year I purchase 400 minutes , which autmatically double to 800, and I just paid $110 for (including taxes) last week. So it averages less than $10 per month. You can buy more minutes anytime you want to if you need more. They are 'anytime minutes', and there are no roaming fees or anything else.

I've used it from coast to coast, and from Canada to Key West, FL, and have never had a problem connecting. Unless of course it was an area where there are no cell tower, like in the middle of a Glacier National Park, or up in the Canadian Rockies.
Tracfone is good. My parents each use Tracfone and like it very much. I use At&t's GoPhone. You can get a basic flip phone for $15 and then pay $100 for 1000 minutes which last 12 months. You can refill before 12 months if you are running low. If you renew before 12 months then any minutes left over will roll over to the next year. I've had my current GoPhone for over 3 years so it's very inexpensive--just under $10/mo. AT&T Z222 GoPhone cell phone from AT&T
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:04 PM   #11
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I'll be looking for a new plan soon so this thread is of interest to me but I do own an iphone 5 and don't really see the need to get rid of it to get a new plan. But since the work plan is AT&T the number of options are more limited. I like the idea of Cricket (the price is the price no price + associated taxes and fees ) and Consumer Cellular since they seem to have a very tailorable plan. I don't talk or text much but am most likely to use data.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:21 PM   #12
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Consumer Reports latest issue rates prepaid (non-contract) carriers as follows:

Overall customer satisfaction:
1. Republic Wireless
2. Trac Phone
3. Straight Talk
4. Net10
5. T-Mobile
6. Virgin Mobile
7. Metro PCS
8. Verizon Wireless
9. AT&T GoPhone

Value:
1. Republic Wireless
2. TracFone (T)
...Straight Talk (T)
...Net10 (T)
...Virgin Mobile (T)
3. T-Mobile (T)
...MetroPCS (T)
4. Verizon Wireless (T)
...AT&T GoPhone (T)
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Consumer Reports latest issue rates prepaid (non-contract) carriers as follows:

Overall customer satisfaction:
1. Republic Wireless
2. Trac Phone
3. Straight Talk
4. Net10
5. T-Mobile
6. Virgin Mobile
7. Metro PCS
8. Verizon Wireless
9. AT&T GoPhone

Value:
1. Republic Wireless
2. TracFone (T)
...Straight Talk (T)
...Net10 (T)
...Virgin Mobile (T)
3. T-Mobile (T)
...MetroPCS (T)
4. Verizon Wireless (T)
...AT&T GoPhone (T)
It depends on your individual needs. Republic Wireless is ranked number 1 but would be a significant waste of money for me since I don't need data. If you use data then it's a very good deal. Their phone options are far too expensive for me. I'll stick with my under $20 flip phones.
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:33 PM   #14
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it sounds like republic wireless and tracfone with double minutes for life are going to be the ones to check first and then go down the line. did anyone have any problems with signal strength or dropped calls?
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:40 PM   #15
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Use Consumer Cellular for years. The tech help is by Americans.
600 min 4 phone plan would be $50 per month before taxes & fees. Data plans can be added for as little as $5 per month. Its a reseller of the AT&T network so could transfer unlocked phones used on AT&T or T-Mobile.

www.consumercellular.com
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:41 PM   #16
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did anyone have any problems with signal strength or dropped calls?
No, Republic Wireless has given good service wherever I've needed it. During their beta test days with early phone models some people had problems when a call was dropped while leaving their home wifi and transitioning to the cell network, but those complaints have pretty much stopped as the tech has improved (fairly amazing when you think about how that must work). But be sure to check the coverage map at their site to see if you are likely to be satisfied (be sure to click on "data" or "voice" box to see the right coverage map). If it looks okay, buy a phone, get a plan, and if you don't like it get your money back within 30 days.
The phones are smart phones (Motorola), and the prices are good for what you get.
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:52 PM   #17
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Tracfone, Net10 and Straighttalk are all the same company, just a bit different marketing. My DW has been on TF for years with double minutes. A few months ago, she switched to an Android smart phone (LG34C) for 10 bucks. Now she gets triple minutes for the same cost along with an equal number of texts and an equal number of MB data. So for 20bucks, she gets up to 3 month's service, with 180 min, 180 texts, and 180MB data. Unused Minutes, texts and data carryover. Data can be added in separate increments for a minimal charge. Cell service is great and she gets great battery life.
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
I've had a Tracfone for well over 10 years, and wouldn't change it for anything. I have a Motorola W370 flip-phone....no camera, no frills....I don't text or access the internet on it, although you can. The phone was originally $18, and at that time, I bought a 400 minute card, and a 'double minutes for life' card which was an additional one time charge of about $40. Now, each year I purchase 400 minutes , which autmatically double to 800, and I just paid $110 for (including taxes) last week. So it averages less than $10 per month. You can buy more minutes anytime you want to if you need more. They are 'anytime minutes', and there are no roaming fees or anything else.

I've used it from coast to coast, and from Canada to Key West, FL, and have never had a problem connecting. Unless of course it was an area where there are no cell tower, like in the middle of a Glacier National Park, or up in the Canadian Rockies.
DW has a similar 'grandfathered' plan for pay-as-you-go flip phone with ATT. Meets her needs fine. I need a smartphone for email (still doing consulting w#rk) and switched to ATT GoPhone. Price is just OK (currently $45/mo unlim talk/text/data-1G 4LTE), but network service is by far best in our area (metro Indy). I tried mult others but had lots of dropped calls & 'no service' areas. MUCH better w/ ATT.
Keep in mind that 3rd-party service is often more limited in coverage area than that 'brand name' network's own customers. And Pre-paid vs post paid may (not aways) have sl different coverage areas. I've heard (but cannot find in writing) that during busiest times 'big names' give priority to their own customers' calls over 3rd party subcontract carriers. Not an issue in some areas, but can be in others.
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:14 PM   #19
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DW is using Ultra ( a T-mo MVNO) that is $19/mo for unlimited voice/text and 100mb data. I have a free Ringplus deal (200 min/200 tests /50 mb data) but they stopped giving those out (still a cheap but not so reliable service)

Check out this forum for lots of ideas and advice:

General Prepaid discussion
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Old 01-16-2015, 05:18 PM   #20
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DW is using Ultra ( a T-mo MVNO) that is $19/mo for unlimited voice/text and 100mb data. I have a free Ringplus deal (200 min/200 tests /50 mb data) but they stopped giving those out (still a cheap but not so reliable service)

Check out this forum for lots of ideas and advice:

General Prepaid discussion
Howard Forums...IMHO the best cell phone Forum out there.
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