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Old 11-06-2017, 10:18 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
For those who have a "no data" plan - I found that was a problem for us with our occasional texts. We could not send/receive picture texts (MMS) or group texts.

OK for us, but if one of the kids texted some of us as a group, like to all meet at such and such place at a certain time, my wife would not get the text. If a text included a picture, she would not get it. It just won't work to tell people to not send picture texts or group texts, they won't remember.

There may be some plans that enable some limited data for MMS, but don't provide data for other connections, but I'm not aware of any.

I'm not sure why OP said they want to get rid of their smartphones, but they are still using smartphones (their existing iPhones)? I guess the key is they wanted to get rid of data charges, which is really separate from 'smartphone'.


What's been working for us is Ting (heard about it on this forum). We don't use much talk/text/data, but we want it when we want it. With Ting, the rates are pretty low for low usage, and I added my phone to the account for just $6/month (usage is combined). It's not a great deal if you use a lot of data, but for us it has been great. We are more likely to use data if go away for a w/e or something, though we can still stay on wi-fi a lot of the time. But the occasionally higher monthly bills for the data are fine, as our averages stay low.

Our typical bill is ~ $26 for 2 lines ($13/line for people skimming the post) with occasional bills in the $35~$40 range when we are travelling (these numbers include the fees, which are added on to 'usage'). We just got to the point that we didn't want to go without data for the times that we really could benefit from it, and at these rates it just isn't painful at all.

https://ting.com/rates

-ERD50
I tried to get a Ting plan. Same kind of crap I got from Sprint. They won't send a phone to a PO Box. US Mail does not deliver to my address. They couldn't think outside their small box to get me a phone. I gave up.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:22 AM   #62
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I tried to get a Ting plan. Same kind of crap I got from Sprint. They won't send a phone to a PO Box. US Mail does not deliver to my address. They couldn't think outside their small box to get me a phone. I gave up.
Have you considered getting yourself a UPS mailbox?

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Open a mailbox at The UPS Store and get a personal or business mailbox with a real street address.
https://www.theupsstore.com/mailboxes
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:23 AM   #63
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You could always sign up for one line of Cricket service for a month with a new number. Check the Cricket coverage at various locations to see if it will work for you and if not you've only spent a few bucks to test it out - and haven't put your grandfathered plan at risk.
Yes that's a plan we considered already..just trying to decide if it's worth the hassle. One thing we don't love about Cricket is the Cricket affordable and/or free phones aren't too wonderful. If we want newer type phones with a chance to upgrade every couple years, we'd just bite the bullet and use Verizon.. it is deductible to the business. .right now we're leaning towards the if it ain't broke don't change it idea. BIL lost his phone in the corn field last week, we were able to find it in one piece but the idea of replacing a 50 dollars dumb phone isn't too bothersome.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:40 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post

What's been working for us is Ting (heard about it on this forum). We don't use much talk/text/data, but we want it when we want it. With Ting, the rates are pretty low for low usage, and I added my phone to the account for just $6/month (usage is combined). It's not a great deal if you use a lot of data, but for us it has been great. We are more likely to use data if go away for a w/e or something, though we can still stay on wi-fi a lot of the time. But the occasionally higher monthly bills for the data are fine, as our averages stay low.

Our typical bill is ~ $26 for 2 lines ($13/line for people skimming the post) with occasional bills in the $35~$40 range when we are travelling (these numbers include the fees, which are added on to 'usage'). We just got to the point that we didn't want to go without data for the times that we really could benefit from it, and at these rates it just isn't painful at all.

https://ting.com/rates

-ERD50
+1

Switched to Ting a year ago when I got a new phone. It has cut my bill from $50 a month to about $25 a month.

Note: Actual Ting charges are about $21. Various taxes and fees add $4 to that. YMMV.

As ERD50 said, if you use a lot of cell phone data (over 2 Gigs a month as I figure it) this is not the plan for you. Their basic rates are reasonably low and as you add time, text or data you pay less for each additional unit of usage. For example, the first 100 Meg of data are $3, but if you use from 1 - 2 Gigs the total cost is $20. I use the phone the same way I did when I had the more expensive plan and I pay $25 a month less. Oh, good customer service reps. And they make it easy to check your usage if you wish to do so.

Of course, I do my app updates and most of my email, browsing, etc. on wifi, mine or the one at the local cafŤ.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:31 AM   #65
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I really like Ting's approach where you pay for what you use... but alas, they don't work where I live in the boonies.
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:05 PM   #66
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Consumer cellular is either att or t moblie your choice. I get 4 lines 10 gigs 250 min talk unlimited txt to split between the 4 phones 80 per month. Every additional phone is 10. We have 2 iPhones and 2 android. Make sure to turn off data assist on the iPhones
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:30 AM   #67
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I applaud you. At times I consider giving up the smartphone and decreasing wireless bill. However, I hike, climb, backpack and Scramble at least once a week. This means Iím driving in the mountains and hinterlands. I use the Maps function on my phone to find trailheads and the Gia GPS function once Iím on and off trail. I can also get weather and conditions updates. Verizon has outstanding coverage and many times I can text my husband from a summit or back at the trailhead. Its funny how many times people Iím out with have asked to use my phone to communicate with their families while we are out because I have coverage and they donít. I also take pictures with the phone which means I donít have to carry a camera. I use my phone for email, texting and reading. Iíve just scratched the service of the ways I use my phone. Interestingly, the smartphone has simplified and uncluttered my life due to itsí functionality.
While I love my Cricket (AT&T) plan, I found the same thing while hiking. Verizon seems to have much better coverage in really remote areas along the Appalachian Trail. My hiking pals have Verizon and I routinely used their phones. Otherwise, no coverage issues with Cricket.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:35 AM   #68
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We have had both Verizon and AT&T over the years. Where we live, Verizon generally has much better coverage.... but alas, Verizon did not work at our new home so we switched to AT&T through AirvoiceWireless.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:59 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by CoolRich59 View Post
Ever since I caught the FIRE bug, I have been looking for ways to save $$ and accelerate my retirement date.



One big monthly expense that seemed untouchable was our cellular service. We were spending appx $260/month for 5 lines of service with data.



3 of the lines were for our now grown-up kids and they started contributed a share once they moved out on their own. But, we still paid the lion's share which came to about $150/month.



In addition to reading a lot about savings and retirement, I've also been reading about "minimalism". So, after a recent chat with the Princess (i.e., daughter) who is very much into a simple lifestyle, the wife and I decided to get rid of our smartphones.



We notified the other kids and told them they would need to find their own plans. Then, we started looking for a simple plan of our own.



The best deal I found was Cricket Wireless. I had read a lot of good things about Consumer Cellular, but that would require us to buy new phones. While my wife's iPhone is 3 years old, mine is less than 2 years old and I didn't like the idea of having to buy 2 new phones when we still have 2 perfectly good iPhones.



With Cricket Wireless I was able to get a plain talk and text (no data) plan using our iPhones. Out of pocket cost for the 2 lines: $50/mo.



So, I'm pretty happy to have found a way to save an add'l $100/mo.


Too late for you, but you could have gotten a SIM card from Consumer Cellular to put in your old phones.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:53 AM   #70
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I use the Maps function on my phone to find trailheads and the Gia GPS function once Iím on and off trail.
We're going on 2 weeks now and this is the only real inconvenience we've experienced.

I went to a store the other day and found out they had moved to a new location. The new location did not come up in my car's built-in GPS (no surprise - it's pretty worthless) and that left me driving back and forth on the street they moved to until I finally spotted it.

My wife had a similar experience. She went to go somewhere and figured she'd plug the location into Google Maps. It wasn't till she was on the road that she remembered: no data, no Google Maps.
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Old 11-07-2017, 11:54 AM   #71
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Too late for you, but you could have gotten a SIM card from Consumer Cellular to put in your old phones.
Nope. I looked into that. You cannot bring a Verizon phone to Consumer Cellular.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:00 PM   #72
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I recently discovered that mine has a function that will allow me to call people. It's a little icon on the bottom of the home screen.
It really is incredible how "disruptive" smartphones have been.

No longer need a camera.

No longer need a Nuvi or GPS device.

No longer need an alarm clock.

No longer need a watch.

No longer an iPod or MP3 player.

I'm sure there are others, but this what I thought of offhand.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:13 PM   #73
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It really is incredible how "disruptive" smartphones have been.

No longer need a camera.

No longer need a Nuvi or GPS device.

No longer need an alarm clock.

No longer need a watch.

No longer an iPod or MP3 player.

I'm sure there are others, but this what I thought of offhand.
I don't even have a smartphone but I will counter with this..if you don't have a smart phone you still need/use all these things...dumb phone can replace a watch but that's about it.
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:17 PM   #74
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... It wasn't till she was on the road that she remembered: no data, no Google Maps.
You can set Google Maps to stay offline. You do need to go in and download maps for the area of interest ahead of time (I did this, and forgot exactly what I did or how big an area I selected). This used to be a real pain, but it is easy now. And something like once per month, the app will attempt to update those maps when it sees you are on wi-fi.

We recently traveled to Central IL ( ~ 200 miles away), and I had no problems with detailed info there.

I also use the app Here-We-Go, which can be set to work off-line as well. But it is best to set your destinations while you are on wi-fi, as it has access to more detailed data in some cases.

-ERD50
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:36 PM   #75
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You can set Google Maps to stay offline. You do need to go in and download maps for the area of interest ahead of time (I did this, and forgot exactly what I did or how big an area I selected). This used to be a real pain, but it is easy now. And something like once per month, the app will attempt to update those maps when it sees you are on wi-fi.

We recently traveled to Central IL ( ~ 200 miles away), and I had no problems with detailed info there.

I also use the app Here-We-Go, which can be set to work off-line as well. But it is best to set your destinations while you are on wi-fi, as it has access to more detailed data in some cases.

-ERD50
Wow. That is a great feature. I will definitely do this. Thank you.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:23 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by CoolRich59 View Post
Ever since I caught the FIRE bug, I have been looking for ways to save $$ and accelerate my retirement date.

One big monthly expense that seemed untouchable was our cellular service. We were spending appx $260/month for 5 lines of service with data.

3 of the lines were for our now grown-up kids and they started contributed a share once they moved out on their own. But, we still paid the lion's share which came to about $150/month.

In addition to reading a lot about savings and retirement, I've also been reading about "minimalism". So, after a recent chat with the Princess (i.e., daughter) who is very much into a simple lifestyle, the wife and I decided to get rid of our smartphones.

We notified the other kids and told them they would need to find their own plans. Then, we started looking for a simple plan of our own.

The best deal I found was Cricket Wireless. I had read a lot of good things about Consumer Cellular, but that would require us to buy new phones. While my wife's iPhone is 3 years old, mine is less than 2 years old and I didn't like the idea of having to buy 2 new phones when we still have 2 perfectly good iPhones.

With Cricket Wireless I was able to get a plain talk and text (no data) plan using our iPhones. Out of pocket cost for the 2 lines: $50/mo.

So, I'm pretty happy to have found a way to save an add'l $100/mo.
Thanks to this lengthy thread and some links from it, I have been able to do just the opposite. I just ordered a plan and sim card from Boom Mobile. So am going from a flip phone that I pay just under $30/mo with Verizon to a smart phone plan on the Verizon network that I pay just under $30/mo with 2 Gb of data/mo. The cheapest I could get on Verizon's network with my smart phone was $80/mo. Their off shore affiliate was $50/mo. I hope this new MVNO works out OK. So far, everything seems quite easy and they have their support staff here in the US.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:29 PM   #77
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Thanks to this lengthy thread and some links from it, I have been able to do just the opposite.
There is a wealth of information in this thread. If my Luddite experience does not pan out, I will be returning to this thread to check out some of the suggestions.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:44 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by CoolRich59 View Post
Ever since I caught the FIRE bug, I have been looking for ways to save $$ and accelerate my retirement date.



One big monthly expense that seemed untouchable was our cellular service. We were spending appx $260/month for 5 lines of service with data.



3 of the lines were for our now grown-up kids and they started contributed a share once they moved out on their own. But, we still paid the lion's share which came to about $150/month.



In addition to reading a lot about savings and retirement, I've also been reading about "minimalism". So, after a recent chat with the Princess (i.e., daughter) who is very much into a simple lifestyle, the wife and I decided to get rid of our smartphones.



We notified the other kids and told them they would need to find their own plans. Then, we started looking for a simple plan of our own.



The best deal I found was Cricket Wireless. I had read a lot of good things about Consumer Cellular, but that would require us to buy new phones. While my wife's iPhone is 3 years old, mine is less than 2 years old and I didn't like the idea of having to buy 2 new phones when we still have 2 perfectly good iPhones.



With Cricket Wireless I was able to get a plain talk and text (no data) plan using our iPhones. Out of pocket cost for the 2 lines: $50/mo.



So, I'm pretty happy to have found a way to save an add'l $100/mo.


Everybody needs to get over their love affair with ATT, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. In general they are all great networks. Maybe your leave in the country and in this case your neighbors will tell you what Network to buy. Secondly buy older or used phones. For example, an IPhone 5S works great, you canít wait to get a newer iPhone or Android. Finally, pick a no contract company that works flawlessly if you like data, unlimited calls and text. Republic, mint, etc are for non phone user penny pinchers.
In our case we pay $60a month for two phones that share 15Gb on total wireless. Itís the Verizon Network. Final,y, we lay very little taxes on the bill. The big four will advertise a rate then slap on lots of extra fees. Finally, if you get sucked into a new expensive IPhone or Android your fear of damage makes you buy some Insurance. My iPhone 5s cost me $99 new, if it breaks I will repair or replace. So go get you some Total Wireless, Cricket, etc and you will be happy.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:24 PM   #79
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We've used Ting for about 4 years now and are quite happy with the pay-for-what-you-use design of the service. For light users like us, it is very cheap. We usually pay around $35-40/mo for two smartphones. We're currently on the GSM network (T-Mobile), which we've found to be a bit more reliable than CDMA (Sprint) in the areas we usually need mobile service.

At home and most other places, we use WiFi instead of Ting mobile data. We also have a landline which costs us nothing, using an Obi-200 VoIP adapter. So we rarely use Ting voice minutes at home. And we both use Hangouts for messaging, which keeps our combined text count near zero, and again is totally free on WiFi. I also use Hangouts for voice calls on Wifi and mobile, although DW prefers to use the traditional cell phone functionality.

With all that, the only reason our Ting bill is $35-40 is we are both heavy Google Maps users while driving. We live in an area with insanely unpredictable traffic. So we always have navigation on when driving just for the real-time traffic updates. Over the years, the traffic info on Google Maps has become really good and the ability to navigate around problems is worth the data charges, IMO. Yes, you can use Google Maps in offline mode, but you won't get real-time traffic, which is the whole point in our case.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:16 PM   #80
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Everybody needs to get over their love affair with ATT, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile. In general they are all great networks. Maybe your leave in the country and in this case your neighbors will tell you what Network to buy. Secondly buy older or used phones. For example, an IPhone 5S works great, you can’t wait to get a newer iPhone or Android. Finally, pick a no contract company that works flawlessly if you like data, unlimited calls and text. Republic, mint, etc are for non phone user penny pinchers.
In our case we pay $60a month for two phones that share 15Gb on total wireless. It’s the Verizon Network. Final,y, we lay very little taxes on the bill. The big four will advertise a rate then slap on lots of extra fees. Finally, if you get sucked into a new expensive IPhone or Android your fear of damage makes you buy some Insurance. My iPhone 5s cost me $99 new, if it breaks I will repair or replace. So go get you some Total Wireless, Cricket, etc and you will be happy.
Which carrier? I I'm under the impression Verizon doesnt offer a low priced partner carrier.
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