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Prepaid cellular


Inspectorjoe
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As much as I hate giving money to a company connected to Walmart, I'm considering dropping Sprint and moving to a Straight Talk prepaid plan. $45 a month supposedly gives me unlimited minutes, text and web access. It would cut my current monthly bill in half. One downside is there is no roaming, so if I go outside the carrier service area (Straight Talk uses the Sprint network for their Android service), I'd have no connection. That shouldn't be much of a problem, because Sprint coverage is good in my area. I'm not a heavy data user: mainly just email, schedule checking and radon monitor data uploading.

My stepdaughter uses Straight Talk and is happy with it. I'm thinking that something that sounds too good to be true usually isn't. I don't want to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire to save $45 a month.

Does anyone use prepaid cellular? Does it meet your needs?

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I saw an article that Republic Wireless was selling unlimited airtime (voice,data, text) for $19 via the Sprint network. You buy the LG Optimus S, which is an Android based phone for $199 and after that your plan is a flat real unlimited plan. Here is the link;

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57347763-58/republic-wireless-now-unlimited-for-real/?tag=mncol%3Btxt

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Sorry Joe, posted that before I was done. My son has a Straight Talk phone and is happy with it. He lives in Oklahoma in the relatively flatter area with few hills, so he should have good coverage. But right now at this minute, they are driving back here to NE Kansas to live. It is really hilly so I think he will have a problem. In these parts, if ya don't have an AT&T phone, you will lose signal for sure. We have several Sprint and Verizon towers in this county, but they are just poorly located to prevent drop zones. AT&T has really good coverage and about 10 towers and they are all higher than the competition.

If you can wait a few days and ask again, I'll let you know how his coverage is standing up here.

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David, that Republic Wireless concept is intriguing, but it has a fatal flaw. One way they can price it so low is that it uses Wi-Fi for voice and data when it's available. If you're on the phone when transitioning between WiFi and cellular or vice-versa, the call gets dropped.

I'm glad your son is happy with Straight Talk. That makes two people that I know of so far.

From the lack of replies, I gather that prepaid plans aren't too popular with home inspectors. I hate to be the guinea pig when trying something new, so I came up with an idea. I think I'll switch my wife over to Straight Talk first, and see how it works out for her.

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I don't use my cell often, I used to use Virgin Mobile. I read somewhere that if you use less than 300 minutes per month, you save vs. the big carriers/contract. I now have a Tracfone with an LG 800. Not a smart phone (well its kinda smart, talk text and data), but it gets the job done. On Amazon they have one for $99 and it comes with 1200 minutes, one year to use them and triple minutes for life when you reload

(works out to 8 cents per min). One year service means you have one year to use the minutes, and you can add any time or let the minutes run out. No contracts. I switched because I needed a new phone and this one got great reviews. The camera is a good backup, but doesn't replace my Sony handheld. I hate to sound like a salesman for this thing, but for someone that doesn't use my phone that often, it works for me. If you live on your phone, you can do better. Hope this helps someone out.

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David, that Republic Wireless concept is intriguing, but it has a fatal flaw. One way they can price it so low is that it uses Wi-Fi for voice and data when it's available. If you're on the phone when transitioning between WiFi and cellular or vice-versa, the call gets dropped.

I'm glad your son is happy with Straight Talk. That makes two people that I know of so far.

From the lack of replies, I gather that prepaid plans aren't too popular with home inspectors. I hate to be the guinea pig when trying something new, so I came up with an idea. I think I'll switch my wife over to Straight Talk first, and see how it works out for her.

Well, I didn't know it would drop the call. That is good important info to know. I was thinking about going with it. But as everyone knows, a call is always dropped at the worst time or when the call is really important. If its a unimportant call or just shooting the BS the call is crystal clear and no problems.

Interesting idea to switch your wife and let her test it out. Keep us apprised please.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the wrap up. As I mentioned, I switched my wife to straight talk first. That went well. She needed to talk to tech support once and the person who answered was competent.

I took the leap and switched. I wanted to wait to activate the phone at a time I wasn't busy in case there was a glitch, so when it arrived I played around with it using my home Wi-Fi, but didn't activate the cellular service. When I did try to activate it, It wouldn't do it. I spent about two hours with foreign based tech support, going through several people before finally resolving the issue. A master reset, which wiped the system clean did the job. I deducted that my messing around with it before activating it was the cause. I'd bet more experienced tech support people who weren't just working through a troubleshooting list would have figured it out early on and asked me "were you f****** around with the phone before you activated it?"

So my leap of faith wasn't a death leap. I'm quite happy with the service and I'm saving about $75 per month. Now I just have to work on learning the phone. It's my first smart phone. I hate it, but that's mostly my fault for not spending the time to learn it. I can't see me ever using it for web browsing. The email part is pretty cool. Syncing it with my Gmail account was totally intuitive and it works perfectly. That was the main reason I went with an Android device.

I give Straight Talk a thumbs-up.

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