The Best Cheap Cell Phone Plans (Under $40 per Month)

equsnarnd

Distinguished
Feb 7, 2011
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One wonders how you do your testing. It seems little more than an expansion of a sales brochure with no real knowledge of the carriers that you rate.

For example, Straight Talk gives you 10GB of data, unlimited text and calls, all for $45 a month. Yet after being with Straight Talk for a few years I couldn't leave the plan fast enough. They lie, deceive, do things that are borderline corrupt and otherwise are an entirely rotten experience not worth any price. However, on paper they look great.

If all you're doing is regurgitating their sales info or citing customer stats then you are offering no service at all and it would be better to stop doing these comparisons.

What do I mean? Let me illustrate.

1. Straight Talk doesn't tell you when you sign with them that whether you're choosing Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile as your network that you will be a 2nd class citizen, that you will have not only slower service but the quality of the signal is poorer. In areas where a plan has coverage it may not have high capacity so you won't have any coverage at all. When ST shows, eg, a coverage map from Verizon, that doesn't mean you have that coverage. Verizon customers do but you don't! That's lying.
2. Buy a phone from ST and you will NEVER get updated to the next version of the OS like Verizon or AT&T and T-Mobile customers do. This is never mentioned anywhere. That's deception.
3. If ST sends you the wrong phone because they screwed up, they will expect you to mail the phone back to them at your cost. That's corrupt.
4. If 8 months into your plan, you want to upgrade your phone they are more than happy to oblige. But when you ask them to unlock your old phone so you can sell it they will tell you "NO." Why? They have a RULE. Their rule is they won't unlock any phone that has not had a year of service on it. Pretty unreasonable. And they'll do this with a phone they've sent you by mistake that you paid for. Ask them to unlock it so you can sell it rather than pay to return it and the answer is NO. See the rule.
5. If you terminate service on your auto pay date so that you don't lose service time you've paid for, watch out. I told them three weeks ahead of time that I wanted to terminate service on my next auto pay date. They said fine and in the last week they sent me a text a day reminding me that my service would terminate and did I want to buy more minutes. What they never bothered to tell me is that if I didn't request to have my phone # ported to my new carrier before the termination took effect that they would not port it. RULE No phone number will be ported that is not an active #. The service ended at noon and I was asking to have it ported by 4 the same afternoon.

These are the sorts of things that Straight Talk does that can turn a business relationship into pure hell. Now, how many of these companies that you have reported on have you queried about these things, queried their customers about? How much do you actually know about what it is like to deal with MetroPCS? My guess is, not much at all.

And just so you don't think I'm biased against Straight Talk, let me tell you something Verizon does that, as corporate policy, is idiotic, anti-customer, anti-marketing, violates any business or common sense: I have an LG V10 with an FM radio chip in it that can pick up FM broadcasts. Verizon turns off that function [AT&T has it turned on] so that if you want to use the FM radio you are forced to stream it as part of your paid for data stream. They charge $50 a month for 7GB of data and $10 for each 1GB over that. How petty of them and what a great way to create enmity among their customers. One wonders where their upper management went to business school. Seems more like the Mafia than Whartons.

A review of carriers as businesses, their ethics, their practices as regards their customers [rather than as hyped up features] would be welcomed and valuable.
 
May 27, 2018
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MERGED QUESTION
Question from rernst75 : "One word: Consumer Cellular- Fantastic!"

What about Consumer Cellular for low-cost excellent wireless phone carriers? I have used their service for 3 years and never once, did i have a problem! I pay only $28.50 per month for unlimited data, talk,and text. I love their service which is in the United States!!
 
Jun 5, 2018
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My "Best pricing options" suggestions:

Mint Mobile: $15/mo for unlimited talk and text, and 2GB data. Uses T-mobile towers. Great for GSM phones. They have some you can buy or they allow BYOP. Also allows you to use the phone as a hotspot.

Secondary option for people with CDMA phones: PagePlus $26/mo (with autopay) for unlimited talk/text, and 2GB data (beyond 2GB it is throttled down to "2G" speed but still chugs along), AND it uses Verizon towers for the best US coverage.

I suggest removing any NVMO that uses Sprint, they have the worst coverage, and even their own coverage maps lie. Can be in an area 5 miles from city limits along a major interstate that shows full 4G on their map and you're sitting there with no service, not even analog 1X. I ran into this way too often a few years ago during my travels through the southeastern US. 98% of the time on the road even in remote rural areas, my wife had Verizon 3G/4G signal, versus 65% of the traveling I had ZERO signal with Sprint (well a compatible company, FreedomPop, but I had same problem with Sprint directly previous to FP). Oh and while we're talking about FreedomPop, with their scam extra fees (their free plan actually charges you $2.95-$4.95 per month), and their HORRIBLE customer service, the only positive with that company is they do not charge you to leave them (but I'm sure they will find a way to charge a "deactivation fee" soon enough).
 
Aug 2, 2018
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good article, yet interested why you would choose a company that makes you use wifi as best deal for $25 with 2GB. I fired Repbblic because I was sick of the wifi goofiness. I found twigby and it is the same price AND I get to use Verizon and Sprint combined. I don't think any of these carriers let you do that. I dont know about your scoring, but Coverage is a big deal to me. Just thought I would point this out. Do with what you want with it
 
Aug 22, 2018
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I have been approached about a plan being sold via MLM called MCS Telecom AKA MCS USA. They are claiming to sell a plan that costs you $300 up front (plus $48 if you wish to port your existing number) and you will get service for 9 YEARS at no additional charge. They use the GSM networks and provide service to 93 countries. They give you SIM card that you put in your unlocked phone and PRESTO you have service for 9 years. Unlimited voice, text and Internet (although the fine print says they may throttle after 2 GB).

mcstelecom . com

When asked on how they will generate revenue to carry the company for 9 years, they CLAIM that they (and ALL the major carriers) make money just by having the phone on. He went on to claim that the major carriers could give us all our plan for free and still make money, LOTS of money. Somehow I doubt these claims and feel this is all too good to be true. Any comments on how this kind of business plan could work?
 

rgd1101

Polypheme
Moderator


Look a lot like scam
 
Jan 4, 2019
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You’ve obviously not used MetroPCS. They were horrible. I traveled for work during the time I used Metro and in half of my locations I had no service. They sold knock-off phones that quit in months (I went thru 3 phones in about 14 months). Their customer service wasn’t just bad, they were dishonest. Stay. away.
 
Jan 6, 2019
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My carrier is RedPocket through whom I get Verizon service. I pay $10 + tax per month for 500 minutes, 500 text messages, and 500 MB of data. This is fine for a low usage user. RedPocket also has plans offering higher service levels.
 
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