Cell Phone Plan/Suggestions [Seriously]

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ecstasy, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. ecstasy macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #1
    Well, after having not used a cell phone plan for about 6 years, my family is deciding on a cell phone plan for us (2 lines).

    Here's the catch: Budget is $50/month. (price can be negotiable, no higher than 80).

    It seems almost impossible. I was given the task of finding a good cell phone company. After some Google research, I've thrown out Boost and Verizon as possibilities (not good experiences with Verizon phone at home).

    Here's what I'm looking for:


    - Good amount of texts
    - Decent coverage and calling
    - Good amount of minutes
    - Keyboard phone (mainly for texting)

    The thought of a prepaid plan has crossed my mind, but I'm new to all of this.

    Can any of you MR members point me in the right direction? I'm kind of in a rush to get one, because college is starting, and I'm probably the only one without a phone (plus, I'm a commuter :().

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #2
    Check if you have Cricket Wireless in your area.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    This seems to be the best deal in that price range, if you don't want a particular smartphone. They are however also CDMA, so depending on why Verizon is not good where you live, their network might also not be good where you live. Unlike the GSM providers, though, they have domestic roaming that isn't free/unlimited, so you have to read the plan details in that respect.

    (Incidentally, wow, they have a 5GB/mo plan for a mobile broadband card for $40/mo without even having to have cell service with them!)
     
  4. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    Cricket does indeed looks like the best deal. I checked the coverage, and it covers a majority of the NY/NJ area.

    :)

    Have any of you personally tried it out?
    I don't want a phone that allows texting, but texts are received after 15 minutes (Boost Mobile).


    And mkrishnan, the main problem we have with Verizon is that they always seem to charge ridiculous prices when our monthly bill comes in. One call to another city in the same county was roughly $3.


    Edit:
    Sounds almost too good to be true. The reviews on CNET (http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/cricket-communications/4505-6454_7-32890531.html) are completely varied.
     
  5. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #5
    Don't forget Verizon land line and cell are different. The cell side might be better than the home phone side.
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #6
    Pay as you go AT&T?

    You can grab a sweet unlocked GSM phone, throw your SIM in there, and you've got a nice device for a low monthly cost.
     
  7. jmann macrumors 604

    jmann

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Location:
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    #7
    Like previous poster said Verizon Communications and Verizon wireless are two separate.

    All of VZW's plans (Nationwide, America's Choice) are nation-wide, and no domestic long distance. :)
     
  8. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    The Evildrome Boozerama
    #8
    Don't go with AT&T, man. Even their pre-paid plans suck.
     
  9. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #9
    ^^ Thanks all for the replies! I'll have to look more into Verizon's cell plans.

    On another note, my school has this Ramcell phone plan for students.

    Here's the lowdown:

    - $45.99/month for 400 minutes // $55.99 for 1000 minutes
    - Full 1-year contract required
    - Unlimited:
    -- text
    -- night-weekend minutes at 7PM
    -- Sprint Mobile-to-Mobile Calling (Does this mean it's Sprint network?)
    -- internet access
    -- Domestic roaming & Long Distance
    -- Voicemail, Caller ID, & Call Waiting

    The phone they offer/recommend is the Centro by Palm.
    ===

    I know nothing about cell phones, at all. Anybody think this is a solid plan?

    PS - I'm sending them an e-mail right now.
     
  10. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surfers Paradise
    #10
    I had Sprint for almost 10 years when I switched to AT&T for the iPhone and I have no complaints. The Palm Centro is crap if you ask me, you're better off going with one of their Samsungs or a Blackberry if you're on Sprint, they never have had the most spectacular line of phones.

    Hopefully it works out.
     
  11. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #11
  12. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #12
    IF you have Cricket coverage in your area:

    $40 a month (No contract) gives you:

    Unlimited minutes to anybody in the US
    Unlimited text/MMS
    Mexico text
    Caller ID/Call Waiting/3 Way Calling/Voicemail.


    If you go out of Cricket zones, you'll be charged roaming (Provided you make calls/text).

    Their $50/month plan has 30 roaming minutes a month.
     
  13. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #13
    ^ I've read reviews about Cricket, and most agree that it's horrible.


    After some extensive research, the most ideal plan right now is Page Plus. But being un-knowledgeable about cell phones in general, I have no clue.


    It's almost impossible to get a good, inexpensive plan. I'm killing myself here.

    :(
     
  14. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #14
    Those do seem to be mutually exclusive conditions, don't they?;)

    If you go for the one from Ramcell, I would go with the 1,000 minute plan.
     
  15. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #15
    Hehe.

    :eek:

    I agree. That seems to be the best.

    I haven't asked them yet, but I'm assuming that if you don't use up the 1000 minutes/month, they don't carry over to the next month, correct?

    So you'd basically start each month with a new 1000 minutes.
     
  16. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #16
    The only company I know of that lets you keep your unused minutes is at&t.
     
  17. Bfat567 macrumors 6502

    Bfat567

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NewYork
    #17
    PagePlus, Prepaid. $39.99 a month unlimited talk and text and 20mb data. Uses the Verizon network but isnt actually Verizon (MVNO). You can use any Verizon phone.
     
  18. pb1300 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Aigio, Greece
    #18
    400 minutes would be almost 20 minutes a day, seeing as each month is about a 22 day period (free weekends and nights). That plan seems pretty good, but I would do the one for $10 more, and the extra 600 minutes, and find out if you can lower a few months down the road when you can see what you are averaging monthly.
     
  19. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #19
    What do you mean when you say "lower a few months down the road"?

    The plan is for 1 year, so I'd agree that it's ideal.
     
  20. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #20
    ^^^

    I think he means start with the 1000 minutes a month plan and after a few months, go down to the 400 minutes a month plan if you aren't using all of the 1000 minutes.
     
  21. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #21
    Yes, but he can't do that. He's locked into a 1 year contract.
     
  22. ecstasy thread starter macrumors 6502

    ecstasy

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #22
    Yeah, it's a one-year contract.


    Looking around some more, I found that Page Plus received some pretty nice reviews. I'm not sure if the customer service is great, considering how big of a following it's getting.
     
  23. Bfat567 macrumors 6502

    Bfat567

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    NewYork
    #23

    Its a smaller company so they are a little swamped right now about a 13 minute wait last couple times i called. Once you get someone though there always extremely helpful. Im a dealer and have all my friends and family switched over.
     

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