Best Wireless Carrier of the Year

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kep55

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Dec 31, 2007
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I have Straight Talk. Speeds are abysmal. Coverage beyond a tower is spotty. Customer service is rank. The only reason I got it it because it was the cheapest available amongst all the robber baron companies. Which really doesn't say much.
 
May 11, 2018
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I have the Straight Talk sim on ATT towers and I've got excellent coverage and speeds, minimum 20mbps which is good enough for everything on a cell phone. If you're using the TMO ST sim then you should switch to ATT.
 
Jun 24, 2018
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Straight talk is unlimited data and voice for 55 a month, why didn't you mention that plan?! This is a seriously flawed article, very disappointing for a Tom's guide.
 
Jun 26, 2018
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I joined cricket wireless 5 months ago and bought a cell phone with the SIM card. After a few months, I wanted to switch to Straight Talk since they provide better services with lower rates. So I called Cricket, got my account number and let them know that I am switching. They never told me anything about the fact that I have to stay with Cricket for 6 months before I can switch so that they can give me unlock pin for my phone. I bought a Straight Talk SIM, switched to Straight Talk and of course bought a monthly plan from them. I turned on my phone and it wouldn't let me do anything unless I enter a PIN. I called Cricket and asked for the PIN and only then they tell me I have to stay active with Cricket for one more month. I have already spent a lot of money to switch, I have paid my phone my off, yet I am kept hostage to use a service I don't want for another month. So I started the 3 DAYS LONG PROCESS of switching back to Cricket. I got my account number from ST which is my phone's IMEI and the PIN, I asked the Manager to see what I can I do, he litterally asked me to sale my phone and get a new one. Called Cricket to switch back only to realize I have to buy a new Cricket SIM card. Fine, 10 bugs doesn't make a lot of difference. I bought a SIM card. Called them again just to know they cannot find my account number. At this stage, my phone number is NOWHERE; Cricket wouldn't accept it and ST has already released it. I used Cricket online chat more than 10 times, I called the customer care 20 times in two days, no one was able to help. Every single agent gave me different excuse that they are not able to activate my service. Following their instructions, I ended up buying a monthly plan from Target. Called them back they said "Oh sir but you have to buy online to actiwate for free now you haw to port-in for twenty fi dolla", that is the accent since almost none of the agents do not even know how to communicate in English. And now I have to pay more. I tried buying the SIM from Cricket website but they rejected all my 3 different cards telling the address does not match, before I went to target. I called 10 more times, chatted 20 more times begging people to help telling them I have a Cricket phone, SIM and plan, all I needed was someone is trained enough to activate my number for me. They are brutally untrained and every time I had an interraction with them I felt like it is the agent's day 1 in customer care. At the end of the process I'd littrally memorized my IMEI, SIM Number and PIN Number for my plan. Finally, got had mercy on me and an agent named Claudia answered my call. I was almost crying at this stage. She was able to everything in 5 minutes for me. You could totally tell that she is the only one who knows what to do in the whole team of Cricket customer care. I am just waiting for this month to be over and I cannot wait to switch back to ST. I hate Cricket and their quality of customer service. Totally not nearly competitive to other ones.
 
Jun 29, 2018
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Sprint is one of the worst phone companies I have ever encountered they are unprofessional they are misleading I've been very unhappy with my service and forgot it and I've only had it for 2 months I wouldn't recognize recommend Sprint for anyone.
 
Jun 29, 2018
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Two months ago I purchase phones from Sprint I thought I was getting a great deal I was wrong Sprint is a rip-off the advertisements are false your bills are always high and have extra things on them and you're constantly getting ripped so getting turned off I went through something every month and still was not satisfied on top of the customer service
 
Jul 12, 2018
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The worst service I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH IN MY 50 YEAR OLD LIFE!! It took me months to be switch to verizon because their "no contract" service is really a "lock your phone up" service until they decide to unlock it. They claimed they had to email us the code to unlock the phones...I had three and we had to wait for months as each one was unlocked one at a time. FINALLY....I was able to switch to verizon, who handled every issue on the spot and on the phone. I have now been calling tmobile for two days and NO ONE can tell me what I owe for the last month AFTER I canceled!! I know they charged me and I attempted to fight it but its virtually impossible as I end up in the phillipines or India or some place talking to pp I can barely understand. I JUST WANT TO PAY THE DAMN BILL AND RID MYSELF OF TMOBILE AND I CANT BECAUSE MY PIN NO LONGER WORKS!!! I just finished telling this guy...so what is plan B? NOTHING? I cant EVER PAY MY BILL and Ill end up in perpetual collections and have my credit ruined because NO ONE has a plan for when your pin doesnt work???? Ive been on the phone all morning AND finally they told me to try going to the store and talk to someone in person. So NOW I have to take the day of work to go find out what my bill is!! STAY AWAY FROM TMOBILE...THE WORST!!
 

Lee_85

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May 3, 2017
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I have had Verizon and they were very good but expensive and I spent three years with ATT which lured me with a great price, then were also expensive and were not anywhere near as good as Verizon. Then when I switched to Comcast for internet and TV coverage I found out they were starting to offer cellular service too. I have been with them for five months so far and they are nothing short of amazing. They use the Verizon network so coverage is the best you can get and the most amazing thing is the service is free if you have Comcast internet. The only charge is for mobile data, the unlimited talk and text is completely FREE! They offer two plans either $12 per GB of data or unlimited data for $45 per month. I find myself connected to a WiFi network almost all the time anyway so with both my Wife and I using our phones the same as we did before we average about .5 GB combined so our monthly cellular bill including local taxes has been about $14.50 a month! I can't believe this plan, it's too good to be true but so far it is true. I live in the San Francisco bay area so it should be available to a lot of people. I don't know why you didn't mention this plan in your article.
 
Aug 6, 2018
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Let's just say Sprint is an organized crime. They lie, overcharge, lie, say inconsistent things, lie some more. Once I paid well over $1400 to get out of Sprint, they come back with an $83 bill.. and part of that has to do with them canceling service on one of the phones 2 weeks later after all other phones were canceled. They are butt-hurt people are leaving them left and right. I will make sure people, yes, including random people, don't choose Sprint.
 
Sep 17, 2018
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Where is Tracfone? We pay Tracfone $6 a month plus tax for another month's service and all of our unused minutes, texts, and data are carried over. Just ran out of texts and paid $5 for another 1000 texts. We live on the edge of town and our Tracfone uses the Verizon network. Five bars of signal. Tried a T-Mobil phone. Zero bars in the house. Had to walk out to the street to get one bar. Checked T-Mobil's coverage map --their service ends in the middle of our street. Behind us is the Gt Smoky Mtns NP -- Good luck, T-Mobil users, trying to use your phone in the park!
 
Sep 19, 2018
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I was a Verizon customer for the past 12 years, but recently got suckered in by Sprint's "Free Year" which turned out, for me and my son, to be anything but. I have a backup phone with Freedom Pop which runs on Sprint, so I thought (mistakenly) that Sprint would be ok, forgetting that since my Freedom Pop plan is data limited (think maybe 3-4 GB/month), I pretty much just leave it on Wifi all the time. Ok, my mistake, I really, really should have burned a GB or two testing out that data connectivity more thoroughly than I did.

Since my son and I prefer removable-battery phones, we both I still have Galaxy S5s, and these were not compatible, so ok, I just bought a couple more refurb Sprint phones. Fine. Had to order SIM cards too, still ok. It was a horrible, long drawn out nightmare where I spoke with I can't even count how many customer service reps, probably around the globe, and definitely almost around the clock, but our phone numbers were finally ported over. Ok, still fine, since I'd be saving so much money! Ummm, yeah. No.

Day 1 was ok, since we were mostly home and connected to wifi, not to mention it was late afternoon by the time the Sprint phones actually worked. Day 2 we went to a baseball game, and the signal was actually pretty good at the stadium. Day 3, a Monday (I'd deliberately waited until the weekend to deal with the porting, since it did, as expected, take up most of my Saturday), I dropped my son off at school, no signal. No signal on my commute, except for a brief flicker when I passed the state fair grounds, of all places. An MLB stadium, I can understand, but state fair is bustling just 2 weeks a year, with random events drawing much smaller crowds the rest of the time. But whatever. Anyway, get to work, no signal. So, no data when not connected to wifi anywhere but state fair and the baseball stadium...No. Just no. No matter how much money we'd save, for that kind of "free" we might as well not even have smartphones. Even dumb phones, really, since text and calling were also iffy, and this is right in the middle of a major city!!! One where Sprint assured me the signal was great!

Turns out that the free year plan includes NO roaming data, and as soon as your phone even thinks it might want to connect to a non-Sprint tower (which is always), off it goes. There was another plan I wisely chose to pass on, the $25/month/line forever (or until they decide to stop it, and/or the T-Mobile merger kills it, or Sprint mercifully, and deservedly, goes out of business) plan, that actually charges for roaming. Ha, this is the exact issue that caused my earlier breakup with Sprint, when I, back around the turn of the millennium, deserted AT&T for the lure of a no-contract, monthly plan (this was long before such plans were common, and prepaid wasn't even that widely available). One month, that's all I lasted, since I got my bill and saw $400 (not kidding) of roaming charges when I had never, not once, left my home area.

This time, we lasted just the 2 days, and Monday night my son and I went straight to our local Verizon store and practically begged them to take us back. It turns out our old plan was grandfathered, so we had to switch to a new unlimited data plan which might be a few bucks more, even, but by this point we didn't even care. Yes, a whole year with no cell phone bill would have been great, but then again, I could save even more money if I gave up our apartment and we moved into my car. Or if we gave up buying groceries and took up dumpster diving. Some lifestyle downgrades, if not necessitated by dire emergency (job loss, etc.), are just not worth it, and I consider Sprint's non-free non-data to be a downgrade I'm not willing to make, even if they pay me to switch, which may have to be their next step if their service and coverage continues to slide.

And the (I HOPE!!!) final chapter, today, a bill for the 2 days of non-service - turns out my allegedly free year wound up costing $40 for 2 days. Not even going to try to fight it, since I do not care to waste any more of my life on hold or being passed from rep to rep when I am 99.99999999% certain that they'd come up with some fine print justifying the entire amount. In fact, I'm fully expecting them to tack on another $5 since I cancelled my autopay, but I am not trusting that company anymore, ever. They fooled me twice ( thought surely the coverage and service must have improved in 18 years and in a different city? but noooooo), but there just isn't going to be a third time. SPRINT SUCKS.
 
Sep 24, 2018
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I was in a fair which sprint representative told me sprint and T mobile are using same tower which is a lie so I said I will think about it but they got my information so if I decided I let them know when they called, well they didn't call so I called and told them I don't want the service and I never got any phone from them, she said she cancels the service after 2 months I got email telling me I have a past due of $290 I am trying to call them but either they hang up on me or passing me to each other like a football and can't get any result STAY AWAY FROM SPRINT AS FAR AS YOU CAN
 
May 15, 2018
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Why did I listen to this review? Metro PCS is a hustle. They have no online sales because their sleazy salesmen would miss a chance at talking you out of your $$$. If you pay for a month and the phone never can be made to work with their "service," they are happy to keep your money. Not an honest person in their corporation, AFAICT.
 
Oct 6, 2018
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Metro deserves it's spot, T-Mo being unfairly hated on here. MetroPCS is far and away the best bang for your buck. I live in rural KS and my signal is great. Not saying deadspots don't exist, but I have found surprisingly few in my travels. Massive bonus points for network speed goes to T-Mo/Metro. Hell, before a local coop laid FTTH service my Metro service was the fastest internet connection around here. It's true about customer service though, they have loads of room to improve. "Engineering" needs to directly call customers back with solutions or troubleshooting steps. Currently, they just notate your account and you gotta call them back to even find out what they said. Also, every store should employ one dedicated tech support person.
 
Oct 8, 2018
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I have been with Metro for 17 years, back when they had that butt-ugly little blue Nokia phones. I'm about to switch to T-Mobile because I am sick of Metro giving away amazing phones to attract new customers, yet they don't do anything for us. Every time I want to get a new phone I have to pay full price. Yet some newbie comes in and gets the same phone for practically NOTHING. Very irritating.
 
Oct 11, 2018
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As a Straight Talk customer of about 10 years and living in a rural area, I can honestly say this service is the best I have ever had. Have had Verizon and Att and they haven't come close to price or quality. At this time I am using the Verizon network with there 55.00 plan, 5 off for auto pay. You get 60 gig before they have the right to throttle you. Look closely at Verizon. They are 22 gig. I have been using mine as a hotspot phone 1 time using 86g and another using 79g. NOT ONCE WAS I SLOWED DOWN. In fact I ran 2 phones my laptop and my faster than my friends Verizon phone and computer.Yes their tech and phone support suck,but from what I see in the complaints is a simple fix my friends. Your phone has the wrong APN A simple Google you can find the correct APN and you're good to go. No I am not a Walmart employee but I am a customer that has used all the major services and Straight Talk is best I have ever had. It's been reliable, inexpensive and straight forward with their plans and pricing
 
Dec 3, 2018
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A few day ago, I switched my 4 lines from Verizon to MetroPCS. A minor mistake was made where the store turned on one of my new phones when it should have been turned on when it was received by my family in North Carolina. My family member had to go to a MetroPCS store in N.C. to purchase a Simm chip for his current phone so it would work on MetroPCS and his new phone was deactivated. The phone made it to N.C. and we called MetroPCS customer services and they explained that there would be a $15 charge to activate even though it was their fault that they activated the new phone too early and we paid the activation for four lines at the store. No matter how I explained, Rose the representative, kept saying I have to pay the $15 charge. The records show what I paid and the fact that the new phone was turned on too early was their fault. It was referred to a supervisor and still no assistance. This is awful service and will speak with the store to rectify this situation. Since I own the phones, I may go back to Verizon. Do not pay for phones until you are ready to activate each phone.
 
Dec 5, 2018
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It's a big country, so ranking carriers is meaningless, as their city-by-city rankings likely vary considerably. If you are in Chicago, stay the hell away from T-Mobile. If you work in the loop your phone is merely a paperweight.
 
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