questionsdo you like your cell phone company? why or why…

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No I [delete explitive] hate them.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/36255a0b-bc3a-43cc-b2c9-c888a10bde81/should-i-drop-my-cell-phone-carrier#19

And it got worse from there, belive it or not.

There have been some discussions about using a pay as you go provider, or at least a no contract provider. T-Mobile (if you have a GSM phone) is pusing their no contract plans. They may be worth a look, depending upon your area.

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I switched to Page Plus last April and love them. They use the Verizon network so coverage is great, but I'm on a pay as you go plan so I'm only charged for the minutes I use. My total cost so far has been about $45.

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I have US Cellular and I like them, a lot better than any other company I've been with. I get service literally everywhere, I'm paying $50 a line for unlimited voice & text and 5GB of data. The one time I had a problem in the last 5 years it was resolved in a matter of minutes and I got a credit on my account.

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@samstag: I'll second the plug for PagePlus. Switched my parents over to them a couple of years ago. All the benefits of Verizon, plus you only have to cough up $10 every 120 days, so 300 minutes/$30/1Yr. They also have an $80/1Yr/1000min plan. Last I looked, their data plan is kinda pricey IMHO.

I personally use Virgin Mobile. I have a smartphone, and for $40/mo (now $45) you get 1,200 minutes and unlimited data. It runs on Sprint's network, so the coverage is adequate. Not great - Verizon was definitely better. But, given the price difference, I can live with the occasional dropped call.

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AT&T is the only good game in my town. We've been with them for about 10 years or so, and I can't really complain. One nice thing they did after my dad fought them tooth and nail (nicely, with solid arguments) is give us a free MicroCell tower (think of it as a VOIP for your cell phone) so we can make calls, send and receive texts in our home without having to hunt for bars. The tower itself is $200 plus a $15 monthly fee, and we've yet to see a charge for it. Just goes to show that if you fight, you'll get better service.

I can't say that the $100 LAND LINE/month from them is a "bargain" either, also $25/month for basic DSL. All in all, AT&T is the most reliable provider in my suburban area, but they aren't cheap. I'm trying to get dad to "cut the cord" and switch to a VOIP land line for less. We'll see.

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If your usage is low most months, it's hard to go wrong with Ting. I'll be switching to them from Net 10 when my phone wears out.

I do most of my calling from home so we use our VoIP service for that and only use maybe 150 minutes a month cell for each. Our total monthly cell phone bill is $30 for two phones.

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@75grandville: I was actually just looking at Virgin last night, and thought it sounded rather tempting. I was a Sprint customer ~10 years ago and where I lived at the time their service was pretty good. Then I switched carriers and moved and my current combination is abysmal.

Since they don't require a contract I suppose I could try it for a couple months and then switch to someone else if I don't like it... I really despise how all of the big four (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, TMobile) require 2-year contracts now. Back when I was with Sprint I had everything on month-to-month for ~6 years

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I've liked Sprint, and I don't mind the contracts because I'm a gadget junkie, so I appreciate the subsidy for my phone (yes, yes, I know I'm paying for that subsidy) and the unlimited data plans.

More importantly when I've had problems they've treated me well. Really that's what I care about, so am happy with what I pay and my contract because I'm not abused like AT&T was doing.

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I like T-mobile. When I was shopping for a new phone, I went to t-mobile, sprint, and verizon. I priced out the same plan that I wanted which was for a nice smartphone (at the time) and a small data plan (unless you stream netflix and radio over the cell network you'll struggle to use more than a gig or two). T-mobile came out cheapest. Even after I got my rate quoted, I took it to sprint (who were second closest since verizon seemed completely ridiculous like it was ripping people off) and asked sprint if they could beat it. The sales rep just flat out admitted "no, we cant beat that deal". The downside is T-mobile has patchy coverage outside of large urban areas (and also bad coverage in Dallas when I was there over the holidays). Has not been unbearable though, when I go somewhere remote, I look forward to losing coverage. Oh, also T-mobile had a promotion at the time and threw in the mobile hotspot feature for free. Was not the decider, but very nice; use it with my tablet a ton.

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@lparsons42: The only drawback to VM is that you need a VM specific phone, and the selection is limited. The good phones are $200+ (no subsidy). I've found them cheaper at retail stores at times, including once at a large blue store which must not be named.

The good news is that if you buy a new phone, and you decide you don't like it, there is a thriving market for used VM phones on both eBay and CL. Also a place you might want to consider shopping to save a few $.

I have a Motorola Triumph, and it's been pretty good. Front & rear cameras, so I could Skype with my parents from 500 miles away and they could watch my daughter's soccer games live. Avoid the Samsung Intercept (it's old now anyway), and do some checking on the forums before you commit to a new phone. If you're in the DC area, can loan you a phone with a clean ESN so you can check out the service.

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I have Verizon. It's a love hate relationship. I am not a fan of their new share everything plan. Also, I found out that Verizon was sharing my information that my phone relays to them. I had to physically get onto their site and opt out of that. That did not make me happy.
But, in my honest opinion, Verizon gives the best service around here; both customer service and phone service. I have gotten service when all of my friends have had zero service. You get what you pay for.

On the other hand, my fiance has Virgin Mobile (VM). She pays less than half of what I do, and for the most part, has the same phone service I do. When she signed up, VM did not have a lot of great phones, but they're changing that. They now have the Samsung Galaxy SII, and the iPhone 4s. A lot of her problems stem from the fact that she does not have a great phone; she uses the internet more than calling people or texting. When my phone dies, I'll be looking into switching to VM.

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@75grandville: The carrier-specific phone problem is, with one exception that I know of (TMobile and AT&T being both GSM), universal to the American market. Verizon phones work only with Verizon, Sprint phones work only with Sprint. You're right though that the VM phones don't tend to get carrier subsidies but considering you're not locked into a contract (and hence no ETF) the price difference is something of a wash when you compare it to the relative freedom. And as you noted there are plenty of VM phones on second hand sites and they do go on sale in big box stores periodically as well.

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@lparsons42: Was just looking at the Galaxy II S... Can't justify switching right now, though. Net $200 for a new toy.

The compatibility issue I was talking about is a little more narrow. For example, with PagePlus, you can take just about any Verizon phone (including iPhone) and "unlock" it to be a PagePlus (rather than Verizon) phone.

For VM, even if you have a Sprint phone (exact same network) they choose not to let you activate it with VM.

Just a minor pet peeve.

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I currently have virgin mobile and I am satisfied. The service could be better, the customer service could be better, and the website is terrible but I like my phone and it's cheap as hell and it gets the job done.

I used to have verizon and I was pretty happy with them too. The customer service was good and the service was good. However, I was paying almost twice as much for a dumbphone over what I pay now with virgin for an android phone. Was it twice as good? Definitely not.

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I've had Sprint for close to 6 years and until about a year and a half ago, I was perfectly happy with them. We had a storm and service went from 3 bars to 1... after a day, I called them and put in a complaint because other people in my area that had Sprint were having the same problem. I was told that "noone else called to complain, but they would look into it". Here it is a year and a half later & still no fix. I've called multiple times & have always gotten the same answer.

I spoke with a tech on one occasion and was told that the tower (yes, one) in my area was so overloaded that it was turning away over 50% of phone calls, but with my service area, they weren't going to do anything about it until they started putting in new LTE towers in my area. Where I'm located, I'm expecting that in 5 years or so. I will be switching to AT&T come April. I know plenty of people around here with AT&T that haven't had any problems.

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Just switched to a company called Republic Wireless. I get unlimited voice, text, and data for the low price of $20 a month. It can make calls and everything on WiFi, but when you don't have WiFi, it runs on Sprint's network so coverage has been pretty good so far, in my experience. It's a pretty new company, and its got some issues and downsides. For example, they only have one phone you can use, and it's about $250. Also I've run into a strange issue where apparently RW doesn't currently allow you to receive texts from short codes (those 5 digit phone numbers) so there are some coupons and such that I used to get sent to me but can't anymore.

Overall, I'm satisfied with the coverage and service, and the price is unbeatable.

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I used to use T-Mobile, but my contract is ending in March and I am switching to Straight Talk. I haven't really had any problems with T-Mobile, besides that their website sucks, but Straight Talk is way cheaper for an individual plan, plus it's on AT&T's network so I'll get better coverage.
Screw getting a device subsidy and then paying it back two to three times over over the life of the contract, I'll just straight up buy my cell phones from now on and get cheaper unlimited plans from pre-paid MVNOs.
This is the website that ultimately helped me decide to go with prepay service and see how much the cost savings is even with purchasing a device at full retail.
http://www.whyprepaid.org/why-switch/

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@straub: Just checked out that company. Cool idea, low monthly price BUT you have to pay $260 for the ONE phone they have...that's the only caveat.

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I've got Verizon and I'll stay with them. Been in some pretty remote areas where Verizon has great reception and any number of other phones weak at best. I have yet to find it the other way around, though I'm sure it happens somewhere.

Customer service is good unless you land in their store during a busy time. I refuse to go anywhere but a corporate owned store. Everywhere else, their answer is to sell you a new phone and plan...Verizon stores actually help resolve the problem.

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@bmw66x: Indeed. As for the phone, I like it just fine, but it's also my first smart-phone so someone who's used to a nicer smartphone or an iPhone may very well be disappointed by this one.

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Straight Talk suits me fine. $45 per month for "unlimited" talk/text/data.

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I recently got away from contracts and I use Straight Talk. $45 a month unlimited everything. I am on their BYOD(Bring Your Own Device) program which allows you to use any unlocked, AT&T or T-Mobile device. I purchased the Google Nexus 4 on play.google.com for $350 +tax and shipping. The total was around $380 which is only about $180 more than most high end smartphones at a 2yr contract subsidized price. I highly recommend going this route. I am more than satisfied. I did the math and over a 2yr span I will save over $1600 going this route. More than enough to upgrade my phone every year. IMO it is the ONLY way to go. In the USA, the carriers have all the power. Customers and the companies that make the phones have none. In Europe and Asia, it is the other way around and contracts are shorter, plans are cheaper and all phones are unlocked.

OK, I went on a little rant there, but yeah, go Straight Talk. It's saving me $74 a month compared to what I paid on Sprint and Verizon.

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@jsimsace: Not to mention that you just snag any unlocked att/t-mo or pentaband gsm you want. No hassle on upgrades and bullet proof service in my area.

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Bear in mind that a bunch of the carriers are making significant infrastructure changes right now, so it may be worthwhile to wait a few months and see which direction the balance is really going to swing.

I know T-mobile is just starting their LTE rollout now, for example, and has been reprovisioning the 1900 mhz band in major cities to carry AT&T-compatible data, allowing for a wider range of handsets to work on their systems.

That said, I'm a customer of theirs, and I can certainly attest to the spotty coverage.

(Grandfathered, non-contract plan, unlimited data with no throttle, unlimited voice, 400 SMS, comes to about $80/month including taxes and fees.)

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@housry23: Actually, according to the Straight Talk website and their customer service department, T-Mobile and AT&T phones don't even have to be unlocked to use on the straight talk network.

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I love mine since I switched to prepaid provider.

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I like that VZ always has coverage - wherever I go worldwide, I get signal, and the rates are fair - even International when I plan ahead

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I have had simple Mobile for almost 2 years now. I get coverage from ATT and Tmobile and the service is very good. No tax and unlimited everything at 38.00 a month from a 3rd party site that sells refills. I never have to talk to them and they never call me. It is perfect. If you are considering straight talk, go to simple mobile. Phones do not have to be unlocked (if from TMOBILE) and the service is approx 11 dollars cheaper a month in my area due to taxes Straight talk charges. I have an HTC G2 and am in the process of getting a Nexus 4. Oh, and BTW tethering is a plus for mt tablet even tho they "do not allow it" (SHHHHH!