Recommend a cell phone service

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Okay, I might be dealing with the devil here... but I think I am going to get a cell phone in the next few months. Yes, I hate them, but I'm moving into an apartment where I won't have a phone line included, and I need to be able to somehow call people. I think a cell phone would be simpler and easier than buying a phone line for the place where I'll be living.



From what I've seen, T-mobile seems to have the plan that fits me best. 300 anytime minutes per month, $30/month. Not too expensive (no way I'm spending more than $30/month for a cell phone), and probably enough minutes for me. In fact, probably more than enough. However, when comparing their coverage maps, Verizon seems to really have things covered well. Unfortunately, Verizon's website sucks, and from the looks of it, it seems like I have to get one of those premium plans with email and text messaging and all that other crap I have no use for. I really don't want to get a Sprint (dis)service because my family has a Sprint cell phone and the coverage SUCKS. It cuts out on the mall on the U of MN campus... it fades in and out on major roads... it didn't even work when my mom took a business trip and tried to use it from just outside the Empire State Building. That's just pathetic.



Anyway, T-mobile looks like it has a good, simple plan. Anyone have experience with them?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    I use T-Mobile currently, and they're pretty good. Make sure that you're in their service areas... it seems like they hit most major cities and highways, but as soon as you go away from those areas, signal will be weaker or disappear (had this happen in Wisconsin a little bit).



    They definitely have a wide variety of plans and definitely cheaper when compared to Verizon. There looks like there are one or two Verzion plans around $35/month, but nothing really worthwhile under $30/month.



    Cingular may be another option, though I've never used their service (so can't comment on their reliability), and it doesn't look like it's available in Minnesota.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    I tried Cingular's website, and it seems that they don't have any service in Minnesota. I'll look into T-mobile. I will also see what kind of family plans they all have - my parents want to get rid of our crappy Sprint phone, and my brother is going to be getting his driver's license this summer, so it's likely we'll have a real use for about three phones pretty soon.
  • Reply 3 of 20
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I've heard very few complaints about T-Mobile and Verizon.



    I've heard TONS of complaints about Cingular (for their awful Customer Service) and Sprint (for their poor coverage).



    I personally have T-Mobile and have no bad things to say about them. Their reception could be a little better, but they're working on that. Their web site is well done and useful, and their Customer Service is pretty good -- if you actually have to talk to them for any reason.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Well, ALL U.S. based cell companies suck. So far I've dealt with AT&T, Alltell, Sprint PCS, Verizon, and GTE Wireless. And so far I've told each and every one of them to take their accounts and shove them up their rectum. Sprint PCS tried to gouge me with a 60 dollar charge to take my phone number and have it transferred to a new phone that I paid $250 for in the store. I watched the push-button moron take a laser scanner and scan the old phone's ESN number and delete it on the screen and then scan the new phone's ESN number and hit return on the screen. For that, I had the privilege of being charged $60. I told the guy to take that charge off because I told him that I didn't see $60 worth of labor to warrant that. He said he couldn't do it. So I closed my account on the spot and told them to shove the account where the sun doesn't shine. That was a year or two ago.



    I wanted to go with T-Mobile because they are the ones with GSM service, and being in the Navy, that would be great when I'm overseas. But they wouldn't give me the plan I wanted. They wouldn't budge at all. So I told the lady behind the counter that they lost a customer forever, and that word of mouth spreads. So stay away from T-Mobile.



    Oh one more thing. I did go back to Sprint because I ran out of choices. So last August the ship I am one, the USS Enterprise, went on deployment. I called Sprint to find out what can be done to put my account on hold since I wouldn't be able to use it for 6 or 7 months. They said Hey, you can go with the Vacation Plan, and for $5 per month, don't use your phone at all, and then when we can get you started again when you get back. So I said okay, and then a few weeks ago when I got back home, I called Sprint to get put back on the plan I was on. Well, lo and behold, the Sprint PCS Vision plan that I was on doesn't exist anymore: $50 monthly for 800 anytime minutes and unlimited Vision internet. Now the plans are actually worse: $60 monthly for 700 minutes and NO unlimited internet. Seems the jackass 6 months ago failed to tell me that the family plan constitued "a plan change" and then to get put back on a plan, I would have to sign another year's contract. So, I got screwed out of my decent plan and had to sign another year contract for service. See, this is the only way that U.S. cell phone companies can keep customers... by making them sign contracts.



    Cox Cable didn't make me sign a contract to get Digital Cable and Verizon didn't make me sign a contract to get phone service, so why do cell companies do it? Because they all SUCK, and they know that consumers know that they all SUCK.



    So, to wrap it up, don't get a cell phone. Stay with a land line, and stay out of the drive through, they **** you at the drive through...
  • Reply 5 of 20
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca

    I tried Cingular's website, and it seems that they don't have any service in Minnesota. I'll look into T-mobile. I will also see what kind of family plans they all have - my parents want to get rid of our crappy Sprint phone, and my brother is going to be getting his driver's license this summer, so it's likely we'll have a real use for about three phones pretty soon.



    T-mobile's been advertising family plans starting at $49/month, I think $10 for extra phone lines, probably one of the cheapest family plans available. Depeding on how much your family uses cell phones, there's also higher priced family plans with more minutes to share.



    http://www.t-mobile.com/plans/Family...lanDetails.asp
  • Reply 6 of 20
    cbothcboth Posts: 16member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by His Dudeness

    Well, ALL U.S. based cell companies suck. So far I've dealt with AT&T, Alltell, Sprint PCS, Verizon, and GTE Wireless. And so far I've told each and every one of them to take their accounts and shove them up their rectum. Sprint PCS tried to gouge me with a 60 dollar charge to take my phone number and have it transferred to a new phone that I paid $250 for in the store. I watched the push-button moron take a laser scanner and scan the old phone's ESN number and delete it on the screen and then scan the new phone's ESN number and hit return on the screen. For that, I had the privilege of being charged $60. I told the guy to take that charge off because I told him that I didn't see $60 worth of labor to warrant that. He said he couldn't do it. So I closed my account on the spot and told them to shove the account where the sun doesn't shine. That was a year or two ago.



    I wanted to go with T-Mobile because they are the ones with GSM service, and being in the Navy, that would be great when I'm overseas. But they wouldn't give me the plan I wanted. They wouldn't budge at all. So I told the lady behind the counter that they lost a customer forever, and that word of mouth spreads. So stay away from T-Mobile.



    Oh one more thing. I did go back to Sprint because I ran out of choices. So last August the ship I am one, the USS Enterprise, went on deployment. I called Sprint to find out what can be done to put my account on hold since I wouldn't be able to use it for 6 or 7 months. They said Hey, you can go with the Vacation Plan, and for $5 per month, don't use your phone at all, and then when we can get you started again when you get back. So I said okay, and then a few weeks ago when I got back home, I called Sprint to get put back on the plan I was on. Well, lo and behold, the Sprint PCS Vision plan that I was on doesn't exist anymore: $50 monthly for 800 anytime minutes and unlimited Vision internet. Now the plans are actually worse: $60 monthly for 700 minutes and NO unlimited internet. Seems the jackass 6 months ago failed to tell me that the family plan constitued "a plan change" and then to get put back on a plan, I would have to sign another year's contract. So, I got screwed out of my decent plan and had to sign another year contract for service. See, this is the only way that U.S. cell phone companies can keep customers... by making them sign contracts.



    Cox Cable didn't make me sign a contract to get Digital Cable and Verizon didn't make me sign a contract to get phone service, so why do cell companies do it? Because they all SUCK, and they know that consumers know that they all SUCK.



    So, to wrap it up, don't get a cell phone. Stay with a land line, and stay out of the drive through, they **** you at the drive through...




  • Reply 7 of 20
    cbothcboth Posts: 16member
    I, also, am looking for a cell phone, but only for emergency use. I looked at Virgin Mobile, which is a pay as you go (no contract)- cost for minutes higher, but don't plan to use it much at all. Anybody have any experience in this area.\
  • Reply 8 of 20
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    cboth, you're going to end up spending less in the long run with a pre-paid than subscription just because you don't have that obligatory, regular fee each month. Pre-paid should be fine for an emergency-only phone.



    Nobody listen to His Dudeness. He's a LITTLE jaded that he can't get his way on things. I wonder, when you order pizza for delivery, do you try to negotiate the price down, Dudeness?







    Like I said earlier, I've heard few bad things about T-Mobile and Verizon. If you want to look at getting a cell phone, look there first.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Yeah, nobody pay attention to me. I have no idea what I'm talking about... I've dealt with my fair share of cellular services. And since when do companies tell the consumer what they can and can not have?
  • Reply 10 of 20
    homhom Posts: 1,098member
    Verizon: Great reception, terrible phone selection, terrible CS

    T-Mobile: Mediocre reception, great phones terrible CS

    Cingular: Good reception, great phones, mediocre CS

    Sprint: Good reception, terrible phones, terrible CS

    ATTW: Mediocre reception, good phones, terrible CS



    These are my personal experiences with the different companies. As with all cell discussion YMMV.



    EDIT: I should add that twice Verizon Wireless defrauded me. Two different CS people changed my plan to a family plan and added themselves to my plan. I ended up with a $700 bill and I had to fight in court. Verizon did everything in their power to deny my claim and sued me to get the money. It wasn't until the NY AG's office got involved did they admit that there was a problem. After that point I require that a password is added to all of my accounts so another person, even one from the inside, cannot get access to my info.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    HOM, some questions...



    First of all, when you say "Terrible phone selection," what do you mean? I don't care about cameras, text messaging, email, color screens, games, bluetooth, or any of that other nonsense they've been adding to phones lately. I just want a device for talking to people. Hopefully you can store some phone numbers for easy access, but that's about the only feature I care about.



    I figured that all the phone companies have terrible customer service. Maybe that's just what I have to put up with. But I won't let any dispute go without a fight.



    His Dudeness, I am glad you told me your experiences, but they do seem rather extreme. I doubt I'll be in a situation where I would have to leave my area code with the phone, and I certainly won't be moving to an aircraft carrier. Since you say to avoid cell phones and get a land line instead, do you have any general suggestions for who to go with? How much do they cost, what features do you get at various price points, and what companies are good?
  • Reply 12 of 20
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca

    HOM, some questions...



    First of all, when you say "Terrible phone selection," what do you mean? I don't care about cameras, text messaging, email, color screens, games, bluetooth, or any of that other nonsense they've been adding to phones lately. I just want a device for talking to people. Hopefully you can store some phone numbers for easy access, but that's about the only feature I care about.



    I figured that all the phone companies have terrible customer service. Maybe that's just what I have to put up with. But I won't let any dispute go without a fight.



    His Dudeness, I am glad you told me your experiences, but they do seem rather extreme. I doubt I'll be in a situation where I would have to leave my area code with the phone, and I certainly won't be moving to an aircraft carrier. Since you say to avoid cell phones and get a land line instead, do you have any general suggestions for who to go with? How much do they cost, what features do you get at various price points, and what companies are good?




    Verizon's phones are horribly outdated. If you don't need any fancy features, then it won't matter much but if you want anything slightly advanced, you're out of luck. It doesn't sound like you need that, so you'll be ok with them.



    I just made the switch to verizon from t-mobile because their coverage is much better than t-mobile's. When T-mo works, it works great, but you end up with no coverage way too often.



    I've used Cingular recently, as well. I had them all last year. I didn't have any major problems with them. Coverage was good and I never had a billing issue.



    Sprint just sucks horribly. They were my provider about 2 years ago. I'd never go back. The service sucks. The CSRs suck. Nothing redeeming about them at all.



    I'd say go with Verizon except that they are the most expensive - because they have the best coverage and they know it. Not much else to say about it really.... Except that GSM phones have much better resale value. After a year of using T-Mo, my service cost me $10. For the year. After all the free phones and easy sales, I spent only $10. I'm still happy about that.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    homhom Posts: 1,098member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca

    HOM, some questions...



    First of all, when you say "Terrible phone selection," what do you mean? I don't care about cameras, text messaging, email, color screens, games, bluetooth, or any of that other nonsense they've been adding to phones lately. I just want a device for talking to people. Hopefully you can store some phone numbers for easy access, but that's about the only feature I care about.





    Well I was talking about that stuff. Depending on how often you are going to use the phone, the only feature that is worth anything is syncing. I am never going to add dozens of numbers to my phone by clicking out the names again.



    The other thing to look at is if the address book can store multiple numbers per entry or if each number has to be their own entry.



    Verizon still offers the Moto V60, which is a very outdated phone by modern standards, but is a no-frills phone that is iSync compatible via a USB cable. I would go with that if you are going to go with Verizon.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    I'll put in a good word for Verizon while we're at it.



    3 years of service, no problems.



    It's true they don't have the phones with all the latest bells and whistles, but they have some very nice ones with reasonably modern features (downloadable ringtones, color screens, voice dialing, etc.)



    The LG 4500 is a very well reveiwed phone with a decent interface, color screen, good battery life and excellent sound quality.



    But really, at the end of the day, it's all about coverage and reception, and that's where Verizon has the others beat. What good is a bluetooth phone when you can't get a signal?
  • Reply 15 of 20
    dbamberdbamber Posts: 21member
    Like any service you get, it's only as good as the people you deal with. I have three accounts with Verizon Wireless originally through two local dealers. When I had a billing issue with Verizon the dealer that I got the phone with the billing problems through could care less. The dealer for the other two phones came to the rescue, and straightened it out with Verizon. Needless to say when the time came to upgrade the phone they got the business. All of the cell companies have problems, and unless you have someone to be your advocate you are just whistling dixie. However in spite of this Verizon has my business because they have the best, albeit most expensive coverage. It works just about everywhere, and when I have PROBLEMS my local dealer gets them resolved for me. And now to change the direction of this thread how about VOIP phone service? Vonage that is. We got it three months ago, and it's half the cost of Verizon, and over $20 less than MCI. At $28.26 a month you can't beat it with a stick as long as you have a cable modem that is.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Up until yesterday, I had been a Sprint customer since they first began offering coverage back in 1997 I guess. Sprint has always had lousy customer service, but you have to understand that a company with good customer service is a rarity. Don't even get me started about Comcast asking me to "Power cycle my network".



    Anyhow, Sprint offers some lousy phones, and their coverage is decent, but they have no roaming agreements really. Cingular offers great coverage, free roaming on plans, and the phones I would want. So I walked in yesterday, and 20 minutes later walked out with my old phone number from Sprint plugged into a SonyEricsson T616 from Cingular.



    I was also looking at T Mobile, but their coverage wasn't up to par with Cingular's. They're all going to have lousy customer service. Most of them have similar phone selections, save for Sprint. I narrowed my search down to AT&T, T Mobile, and Cingular because they had phones I wanted. Then I just looked at coverage and rate plans.



    I now pay $59/mo for 850 rollover minutes, 5000 mobile to mobile minutes, and 5000 night/weekend minutes. My cell is also my only phone
  • Reply 17 of 20
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by His Dudeness

    And since when do companies tell the consumer what they can and can not have?



    All the time.



    Try ordering a pizza from McDonalds.

    Ask Lincoln if they can make a compact car just for you.

    See if you can buy a 4-pack of beer from the store.

    Try ordering a Dual 1.6Ghz G5 Power Mac from Apple.



    Businesses operate within boundaries, because it keeps them from having to use up so many resources customizing EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY. If they were to do that, costs would go up and the prices would go up for customers.



    Since when should consumers get whatever they want -- screw the company?
  • Reply 18 of 20
    If you want one of the best reviews currently out there that covers all the cell providers, the phones they offer, and info about their services check out the new magazine called Cargo. In the premiere issue they run down all the companies and what they have.



    Definitely one of the best breakdowns I have read covering all the providers.



    - G in the S
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca

    HOM, some questions...





    His Dudeness, I am glad you told me your experiences, but they do seem rather extreme. I doubt I'll be in a situation where I would have to leave my area code with the phone, and I certainly won't be moving to an aircraft carrier. Since you say to avoid cell phones and get a land line instead, do you have any general suggestions for who to go with? How much do they cost, what features do you get at various price points, and what companies are good?




    Well right now, I'm with Verizon in Virginia. They are not too bad. Pretty soon I'll be upgrading to their DSL service and so far they have been pretty helpful in helping me and my wife with necessary information.



    Hope that helps some.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by CosmoNut

    All the time.



    Try ordering a pizza from McDonalds.

    Ask Lincoln if they can make a compact car just for you.

    See if you can buy a 4-pack of beer from the store.

    Try ordering a Dual 1.6Ghz G5 Power Mac from Apple.



    Businesses operate within boundaries, because it keeps them from having to use up so many resources customizing EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY. If they were to do that, costs would go up and the prices would go up for customers.



    Since when should consumers get whatever they want -- screw the company?




    whoa, be careful. I don't want you to fall down by reaching too far too hard...
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