Cell plans--back and forth decision on the best plan

Well, been with AT&T cell plans forever but prices are just too high. We are paying a bit over $100 per month, unlimited data for two lines.
On the plus side, it works well. Rarely a dropped call or no service. Usage about 6 gig on my phone about three on hers.

We are considering Mint or Consumer Celluar. Of interest, we are retired and taking road trips so want to be sure we have good coverage. We also do day hikes in some of these areas and depend upon some service for mapping. Not sure how well T-Mobile does in these spots.

Mint is a bit cheaper, but requires up front payment. Not sure how easy it is to cancel…do we get a refund?

I’ve read the reviews etc. but still on the fence. You can find pros and cons for both. One day I lean towards CC to stay on the ATT network. Other times, look to Mint for less cost! This was way easier when we just used two tin cans and some string for phone calls!

Either way we are switching! Just haven’t settled on one carrier.

Look at Red Pocket. They have individual and family plans that run in the 20-30 per month everything unlimited through their website. Through their eBay store you can get a10gb per month annual plan on AT&T for $220 and can likely get a lower cost renewal around Black Friday. I do usually recommend that people try the service for a month or two before getting an annual plan just in case it doesn’t work well for you.

I’ve used Mint for the past year, and have had some difficulties. Roaming has been sub-par, much worse than when I had T-mobile postpaid service. They also raised their international roaming pricing mid-year, and I go to Mexico often. I went with Mint because they offered a great deal on a new Google Pixel phone bundled with a years cell service. The year is about up and I’m going to go back to my prior service, Visible. I think Visible has the best balance of service, coverage and price. It’s owned by Verizon and rides on their network, but at a fraction of the price. I’ll have to check out the Red Pocket offer, too.

I love Tello, which runs off of T-mobile’s network. You can make your own plan to give yourself whatever you actually need. I pay $8/month for 2 GB of data, 300 minutes of talk time, and unlimited texts. Plans start for as little as $5.

FWIW, I forgot to mention that you have a choice of networks on Red Pocket. IMO, other than perhaps coverage in your area, the major difference is that AT&T lets you use your monthly data for a hot spot if needed. Verizon does not.

Our family used to use AT&T. We switched to Cricket as they opened up two stores in our city so we could go in person when we needed help. Cricket should be the exact same coverage and service as AT&T but cheaper. It’s also convenient to have a brick-and-mortar place to go for questions or to upgrade a phone, etc.

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback.

Not sure the right answer, but I moved from AT&T Cricket several years ago and then to Commie Cast (xfinity) some time later. It provided a gigabyte for $15 which to me is tough without keeping cellular data off. Over the gig cost another $15 which I did not like. So I moved to Mint not long ago.

Regular line seems about as good as the xfinity, and the cool thing about Mint is that if you go over the 4 or 5, they simply throttle you. I really like that and may stick. On the $15 plan but don’t like the tack on charge that makes it about $18.50 plus tax. It is of course prepay which I prefer. Also trying a Boost $10 plan but no verdict on it yet.

With the Mint sim came one to give away to a friend. Very good so I activated it and got the coolest phone number I have ever had in 50 years! So I took 3 months and now can comment on how to port out from Mint. First you have to get your account number and pin from them. Look for how to do that. Then you goto new carrier and order the port. It took Mint about 10 days to actually do the port! This is UNACCEPTABLE but tolerable if you know it will happen.

You will be amazed at the deals you can get from HSN or QVC on Tracfones. Less than $100 per year with lots of minutes and data, and NO MONTHLY BILL. Use chat at Tracfone to activate since the Customer Service Reps are hard to understand over the phone.

We have been with CC for years and love it! You just need to get the right SIM card for the AT&T network. We pay about $50/month for two lines.

I have Verizon itself (on someone elses account). I signed up for Mint duringt heir special (ends today?) and will put their sim in the second slot on my phone. Verizon is sketchy at my Sisters cottage and people there say AT&T is best there. I want to do side-by-side comparisons so my Sister can request a different carrier when her service can be changed.

It will be interesting to see where Mint 5G works here, because Verizon doesn’t have it except perhaps at a couple of the resorts up north (the ones where the celebrities stay - a 4 bedroom cottage is $18,000 a night). Come to think of it, I seem to remember no phones or TVs in the rooms, no cell phones allowed in common areas etc. So if they restrict cellphone use, do they really need the 5G?

After a bit more research, we opted for Consumer Cellular to stay with the AT&T network. There is a $50 incentive we took advantage of (SAVE50), a referral piece from a MIL and the AARP discount.
Transfer was mostly easy, although I had to wait on hold at AT&T for 20 minutes to get some kind of ‘fraud lock’ taken off the account. (Evidently, it prevents someone from hijacking a phone number)
BTW, I had to make five calls to CC as we figured out AT&T’s issues and in each time, I spoke with a rep in seconds…no waits!

When I retired several year ago the first thing I did was go looking for a better smart phone plan and home phone. Our AT&T service wasn’t very good for cell or landline. We have two smart phones but use them for limited data, less than 1 GB per month. I settled on Ting for $30 per month (total, all taxes and fees included) for two lines unlimited talk and text and 1 GB data shared. I like their pricing and the service is on T-Mobile. We also dropped AT&T land line for Ooma Premier. Our AT&T landline was up to over $45 per month for calling only within our exchange (middle 3 digits of 10 digit number). A real ripoff. Ooma Premier is $139 per year and $6 per month so less than $20 per month for a huge improvement in service and features via VoIP.

Rather than Ooma, I chose a different type of provider. I get a phone number of my choice for 50 cents and the account costs 85 cents a month. I use per minute calling. It is still cheaper than Ooma with the exception that I had to either buy an adapter to go with an existing phone or I can buy a telephoen with builtin adapter. Either of those options cost about $50. I personally bought Obihi (Polycom then bought out by HP) Obi2182 phones. They have builtin wifi and blutooth and at the time cost $55. They are now at the end of their sale cycle and I don’t know what HP will bring out next for the consumer.

The problem with Ooma was that they didn’t offer numbers in my area code unless I had Premier and they have very few of the addons that I use with my service. I have multiple toll-free numbers and some numbers across the U.S> because, well, why not?

If Ooma goes out of business, you are stuck. IF my provider goes out of business, there are hundreds of others I can use. If the phone provider (HP) stops making the phones I can use any VOIP adapter (except Ooma which I don’t think uses common SIP protocol). I have configured and used old Voip adapters that have not been made in over 20 years.

So $20 a month would be quite expensive for me :slight_smile:

I’ve been using 3rd party cell phone providers for abut 15 years and I’ve been through a lot of them: PuretalkUSA, Page Plus Cellular, Red Pocket, Cricket, and Tello. My favorite has been Visible (owned by Verizon). Unlimited talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data on Verizon’s network for $20/month is really hard to beat. Plus they offer an unlimited hot spot to one device. But if you just need something for calling and texting, there are other cheaper options out there.

I read your response a couple of times but other than indicating that HP sourced the phones I am not seeing who the service provider is. I would like to know so I can look into the great deal you are getting. I would like to follow up with this provider to see what services they offer in addition to what I am getting from Ooma. Thanks for the heads up. Looking forward to your reply. We all want to save more money.

I use VOIP.MS for most services. Callcentric also offers some of the same, but I like Voip.ms better.

The Obi phones like the 2182 are more business phones and I sometimes see them for $55 but now people are charging $100+ probably because theyare being discontinued. HP more than likely bought Polycom to use the technology for HPs call centers.

Obi residential devices also were the only devices which integrated directly to Google Voices free telephone service (having a physical device that directly made and received Google Voice calls as though Google was a phone provider). That option may be disabled in the future if HP decided not to continue it. Still the devices still work with many, many SIP VOIP providers.

I’ve noticed in the past couple months that Mint is deprioritized on my local T-mobile towers to the point that the service is occasionally unusable. Each 3rd party prepaid cell service (MVNOs) relies on the big 3 cellular companies for data and voice service. Each company negotiates the level of prioritized service their brand receives. AT&T, T-mo and verizon postpaid customers all get top prioritization on the available cell towers. Only a few prepaid cell providers get priority service, but most are deprioritized. That means that the data speeds of 3rd party plans may slow to a crawl during rush hour or in certain locations. Here’ s a link to a write up on which companies have priority coverage vs deprioritized. Reddit - Dive into anything

In the past few months, it’s become unacceptable for my needs, so I’m changing plans. I’ve narrowed it down to Visible plus or US Mobile. Both receive top priority data speeds on their networks.

I’m the OP.
Ultimately, we went with Consumer Cellular for us and even our daughter switched, saving her over $50 per month over AT&T,

The switch was fairly easy, a couple of issues solved. BTW, we contacted customer support multiple times and in each case was handled within 10 minutes, except once where it was about 20.

As our in-laws already were in CC, we used them as referrals and they got a $20 invoice credit!

Service has been solid and no problems.

I have Consumer Cellular and love the service. I see that they offer two lines of Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data for $55. The offer is for new customers.

Consumer Cellular is a shared data plan where multiple lines share a “bucket” of data. I don’t know what other services do that. I don’t use much data, so I like the idea of a shared data plan. I think many people overpay for data that they don’t use. Consumer Cellular allows you to start small and work up, if necessary. Of course, with the $55 plan that would not be a consideration.

Consumer Cellular uses the AT&T network. I do not buy phones from the phone company, so I do not have the monthly charge for a phone on my bill. If you want to keep your same phones, Consumer Cellular will send you new SIM cards for free.

Consumer Cellular has started opening stores in some areas. If you have a store near you, you might prefer the service of a store. Otherwise, everything is handled ove the phone. Their customer service has always been great for me.