Cell phone advice wanted

I’m thinking of changing cell-phone plans. I currently use AT&T and am wondering about Sprint — calling only, no e-mail or fancy apps needed. Please share your experience.

30 Comments

B-man

about 11 years ago

I am with Sprint and as long as you do not need service from the national call center they are pretty good.  The local store has helpful people although the wait sometimes gets to be a bit long.  
I chose Sprint for the package prices (fancy plan with internet data/txt/voice) not sure if they are competitive with other carriers for strictly voice plans.
Good luck.

b

about 11 years ago

Thank you for the info, do you have dead zones in Duluth or Hermantown with Sprint?

David

about 11 years ago

Virgin Mobile is cheap and has great service along interstates and most large cities (great in Duluth, zero in Ashland, for example).

David

about 11 years ago

Plus, no contract and their cheapest phone is $10.

Nick

about 11 years ago

I was a happy Sprint customer until moving to Morgan Park in '04.  Coverage out here was 0-1 bars at best so I moved to Cellular 1, now AT&T.  All 3 carriers were fine except in some rural areas.

Bad Cat!

about 11 years ago

If you just want voice and don't plan on using it a lot, research pre-paid plans. Hands down best value for occasional cell phone use.

Claire

about 11 years ago

I used to use Sprint, and if you leave an urban area, you're stuck. So I switched to Verizon and I LOVE Verizon, I don't have the problem with dead zones I had with Sprint. And I'm someone who uses cell phone to mostly talk, though I'm doing more texting.

Nodnetni

about 11 years ago

Sprint has the best overall pricing when it comes to the fancy package. Everyone has different experiences, I seem to have better coverage than my Verizon friends in rural areas (home area is in west central MN). I work with both Sprint and Verizon, and my only gripe there is with Verizon's website, harder to work with. 

Sprint I do believe still has its 30-day trial period. So you could always try it and return it if it isn't working for you.

On an additional note, I have found that Sanyo phones seem to have the best signal reception overall.

Zeldfelder

about 11 years ago

Prepaid (Tracfone, Virgin, Net10, etc.)  Not the AT&T/Verizon/Sprint - They only use their own network. The independent prepaid companies have contracts with several different service providers so they will overlap coverage in most areas.  In many cases, if the phone can't grab one signal, it will look for the next one.  Look for online specials that offer the phone and double minutes for a lifetime. Buy the 365 day cards to keep the per minute costs to a minimum. I dropped my yearly mobile bill from $650 to $120 and an improvement in service ... and I pay only once or twice a year. Buy in bulk if you can.  It may be a bigger bite on the wallet but it's much, much cheaper in the long run.

Jude

about 11 years ago

Previously, I had ATT but never had coverage on the north shore and spotty in other places, drove me crazy.  I spent all last summer traveling on the west coast and needed good coverage so before I left I switched to a new Blackberry and Verizon.  I have been very happy with service all over the country.   I love having Internet, Navigator, etc. The folks at the Verizon store in the mall were very helpful and I kept my same number and everything transferred from ATT to my new BB. You can compare ATT and Verizon coverage maps/plans/phones on the web. I never even considered any other providers after doing my research.

Jude

about 11 years ago

Oh, I forgot to mention that Qwest and Verizon work together so I only have one combined bill (for home Internet +cell).

Nodnetni

about 11 years ago

@Zeldfelder service providers have the same contracts, its called roaming and most carriers now offer no roaming. 

Generally pay as you go phones are just subsidiaries of major carriers, Sprint (Virgin and Boost). Tracfone is its own, but it also encompasses net10.

b

about 11 years ago

Thanks all. So nice to have this info. Here's the catch: I used 4,000 minutes last month, talk time, only 12 text messages. So is a prepay worthwhile for someone like me? Also, a friend has Verizon and can not use his phone unless he steps outside my home (West Duluth area).

B-man

about 11 years ago

@b - as noted above Sprint does have some "low" coverage areas and rural coverage is pretty crappy. As long as you are in the city or along a major highway Sprint is great. 

The pre-paid option is worth considering, my parents pay less than $100/ year for thier Virgin mobile phone.

The companies seem to make it difficult to compare "apples to apples" so be careful in your research.

Nodnetni

about 11 years ago

4,000 minutes? The issue you will run into there is time of day calling and who. Sprints night minutes start at 7pm for most plans, you get pay $5 more and get it at 6pm. But you are still looking at $59.99 for 900 anytime minutes. 

At that point you could just as well get the 69.99 plan and have unlimited text, data, and calling to any mobile phone. Leaving you 450 anytime minutes for land line numbers.

Hotrod

about 11 years ago

I've had Verizon for 8 years now and the service pretty much rules.

Bully

about 11 years ago

I just noticed a service from Straight Talk...they are a pre-paid that uses Verizon's Network. 

I dont use them or Verizon but they do have some good plans for the casual user. Since they are pre-paid you only buy the cards or pay online and I don't believe that they have all the service fees and tax.

http://www.straighttalk.com/ServicePlans

$30/month  1000 min, 1000 text, mobile web

$45/month  Unlimited Everything

Jude

about 11 years ago

4,000 minutes?  Wow, that is a lot of talking. Unlimited is what you need.  I would ask Verizon about the West Duluth coverage and if that applies to all phones.

b

about 11 years ago

$5 a month unlimited everything?

b

about 11 years ago

to Jude> in sales get paid for talking the more the phone rings the more $

b

about 11 years ago

to Bully> I'm leary of Verizon not working in my home due to friends unable to use their phones in my home. I have an old Cell one plan w/ old cell one sim card, unlimited minutes anytime anyone $40 per month, hard to find phones and have name change that is stuck on sim card worry it will not work someday.

David Beard

about 11 years ago

For those who only need voicemail, try Google Voice.  It's free and useful.

Bruce

about 11 years ago

I have Verizon, but the cost for four phones in our home is nearly $280 a month with two plans - ridiculous.  Sure we get service, but many time I think I got along for years without a cell phone - why can't I do it today?

Maybe it's time to get a $30.00/month house phone and just use the internet at home for alot less money.

Jude

about 11 years ago

b:  I thought you must use your phone for work...unless you are like my 13 yr old granddaughter who would text 4000 minutes a week if she was allowed....she just spent a week with me so I am a bit phone sensitive....ha!!

Hans

about 11 years ago

What about Skype? As long as you are connected to the internet it's cheap. I paid just a couple bucks for a Skype # so people can call me on Skype using an actual phone #. Then I am charged around $3 every month to make unlimited calls. If you make most of your calls at home you could try that.

b

about 11 years ago

I am still learning and researching. Rant> why is it that cell phone providers are so quick to treat you like it's no big deal just sign here, one even told me there was no way for me to see the contract before I agreed to it! What the? Agree to something and be contractually bound without knowing what it is? Thank you everyone for you sharing please keep it coming, rates coverage and price, 4,000 min mo unlimited. What is the best deal on Cellphones, need to be mobile at a moments notice so home phone doesn't work. No need for nationwide. 

Network Ninja

about 11 years ago

Nick-just a heads up, we (AT&T) have a new cellsite coming online in Riverside in the next few weeks. It is a TriSectored site with both GSM and UMTS 850 and 1900mhz/ It's designed to penetrate the Morgan Park homes and surrounding area.

Shane

about 11 years ago

I switched from an old Cell one plan to an official  AT&T plan. They took away my lifetime $5 a month discount. 4000 minutes? You might be better off keeping your grandfathered plan and buying new unlocked phones from e-bay.

ml2002

about 11 years ago

I use Credo. http://www.credomobile.com/

They donate money to causes I believe in. And they didn't hand over people's information without a Subpoena like some of the other companies did. [warrantless surveillance program]

zra

about 11 years ago

@ml2002: I've been with credo since they were still working assets for my long distance on my land line for that same reason.

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