No contract/pay as you go/pay per day cell phones - what carrier?

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Posted 3/17/2013 by tania7424 in NSBR Board
 

tania7424
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Posted: 3/17/2013 4:31:45 AM
I live in Canada, and we have a RV permanently located in WA. I plan on being down there quite a bit this summer, and need to look at phone options. Adding a US plan to my Canadian cell phone is insanely priced. DH was in FL for a week last month and it was $40 just for unlimited texting while in the US for one month on his phone only. If I pay per use on my Canadian phone, I'm paying .50/text, .60/min roaming plus long distance if it's not local, and $5/MB for data. Clearly I need an American cell phone for while I'm in the US.

I talked to someone at T-Mobile while I was at the mall across the border on Friday and she recommended the no contract for summer months when I'm down a week at a time, and then switching to pay per day for non-summer months when I'm down for the day/weekend. I have no idea what T-Mobile is like as a carrier, though.

Does anyone have experience with no contract or pay as you go or pay per day? With what carrier? Would I be safe buying a phone in my closest city in WA (Bellingham or Lynden, RV is in Lynden, I shop in Bellingham)on Craigslist as opposed to buying direct? Or should I just go to Best Buy where they have all carriers and see what they say? When I talked to T-Mobile she knew exactly what I was getting at and what I needed, so I would imagine Best Buy Mobile in the same mall would also know. I'm just kind of lost.




not2peased
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Posted: 3/17/2013 6:57:11 AM
I reccomend straighttalk-you can sign up online or at walmart.

I havent had any issues it's $45 a mo for unlimited calls and texts per month


-Kerry


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firemanswife
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Posted: 3/17/2013 7:22:26 AM
I've had a cricket for about 12 years and love it. I've also gotten a straight talk for my son in the past year. We've had no issues with either one of them!


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~Cheryl



kmk1112
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Posted: 3/17/2013 9:01:49 AM
We have used Tracfone for about 5 years. Their better phones come with triplex mutes, so for $19.99 per month we get 180 minutes, which meets our needs. You can buy in larger increments. Minutes roll over as long as you add new every 3 months.


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Miss Jen
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Posted: 3/17/2013 10:16:13 AM
On the recommendation of a pea, I switched for almost a year to Page Plus Cellular. The prices were awesome (I paid under $30 for 1200 minutes of talk, 3000 texts, and 100mb of data) and the customer service was great--and based in the US. They operate on the Verizon network so call quality was always great and I was able to use my old Verizon phone.

I used them for nearly a year. I only left them when we made the switch to iphones for our business because PPC doesn't allow iphones.

SMayer
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Posted: 3/17/2013 10:24:31 AM
My DH has an AT&T Go phone. I think it's $0.10 a minute for calls and $0.20 per text. There is no monthly or per day charge.

**cindyupnorth**
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:00:55 AM
My dd had a tracphone for school, and it sucked. For some reason where her college is, it couldn't pull from their towers. It worked fine at home. They assured her that att had towers alll over, and they do. But for some reason some of these tracphones can't pull from certain towers. So we went and bought her a cell and put her on my family plan thru work.






ChanelNo5
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:01:30 AM
Verizon has a pre-paid plan for $50 (plus tax) that includes UNLIMITED Talk, Text (picture messages too) & Web (mobile web browser, not data). You can use a feature phone - LG Extrovert, for example - and check email and FB or even 2peas.

Amazon probably has the best price on feature phones and they come with a $10 credit that you can apply when you get started.


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Linda-H
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:11:27 AM
Page Plus

BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:12:21 AM

On the recommendation of a pea, I switched for almost a year to Page Plus Cellular. The prices were awesome (I paid under $30 for 1200 minutes of talk, 3000 texts, and 100mb of data) and the customer service was great--and based in the US. They operate on the Verizon network so call quality was always great and I was able to use my old Verizon phone.
Can you use any cellphone with these plans? DH bought a Nokia phone a year ago and bought the monthly smartphone plan, which was close to $50/mo for the smallest package. He's NEVER on the phone and we don't do anything on the internet with it. He'd just need it for calls/text (pics would be a plus), but he only needs 250 min at the most. Can any of these companies use any phones you have?? Just figuring out if we have to buy a new phone (his was $200 last year). TIA.









stace3
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:13:22 AM
I'm in Canada and I've had a T-Mobile pay as you go phone for years. This is what I have: Pay As You Go It was best for me to start with the $100 right off the top. That way I've got gold status, I can refill with the 15% discount and my number is active for 1 year. I don't want the number changing all the time. Towards the end of the year I top up again, generally with a lower amount reflecting my past year's usage. Refills less than $100 don't affect your gold status and the number remains active for another year.

It's just a basic phone, with no data. I can call and text. I have voice mail. I have used it while in Canada to call both here and back to the U.S. It uses the Rogers network up here.

The only thing you are going to have to check into is what the coverage is like where you are located. I've travelled in the north and south east with no issues.

He**inWA
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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:26:11 AM
If your RV is in NW Washington, Verizon has the best coverage in the rural areas, particularly along SR-20 (and is why I switched from AT&T).
I also had a T-mobile phone for work & unless you were on the I-5 corridor, the coverage was spotty at best. I also had a Sprint phone, and it's coverage was also spotty at best, except along the I-5 corridor.

You can also look at straight talk for phones that use the verizon network.... You can tell by te coverage maps.
Also, tracfone has some cdma phones that use verizon towers... Look at coverage maps.
Be careful if you are looming for a smart phone, as many of the prepay smart phones are Tmobile based.

HTH


He**inWA



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tania7424
Who am I kidding? Too tired to drink tequila

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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:28:43 AM

The only thing you are going to have to check into is what the coverage is like where you are located. I've travelled in the north and south east with no issues.


Good point. I just checked and the campground where our RV is has 2G service only bordering on satisfactory service for 3G/4G.




tania7424
Who am I kidding? Too tired to drink tequila

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Posted: 3/17/2013 11:30:25 AM

If your RV is in NW Washington, Verizon has the best coverage in the rural areas, particularly along SR-20 (and is why I switched from AT&T).
I also had a T-mobile phone for work & unless you were on the I-5 corridor, the coverage was spotty at best. I also had a Sprint phone, and it's coverage was also spotty at best, except along the I-5 corridor.


Thank you!! It's just off 586/Guide Meridian (KOA Lynden).




zonefan
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Posted: 3/17/2013 12:00:25 PM
I have a virgin mobile month to month phone with unlimited text and data and 350 minutes talk and hve had absolutely no problem with their service anywhere. I think the plan I have is now only $35.00 per month.

**cindyupnorth**
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Posted: 3/17/2013 12:04:39 PM
Be careful of those coverage maps, they really are misleading. Our DD should have had NO problems with coverage where she was. She did. Big time.






He**inWA
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Posted: 3/17/2013 12:29:04 PM
I agree about the coverage maps being off, particularly in NW Washington.

I would probably talk to others at the campground, or the owners, and ask what cell company they use and how the coverage is there.
And talk to the younger people working in Electronics at the Bellingham Walmart...ask about their personal cell phone providers and coverage.

If you are over on Whidbey at all, the Olympic Penninsula and SR 20 heading upriver past SedroWoolley, Tmobile & Sprint are the worst choices.
I am adding this since I don't know if you also travel around the area.

ETA:
After reading the other posts, it will depend on how many minutes you want. If you use your phone a lot, straighttalk has a $45/m0 unlimited everything plan, and a 1000 min, 1000 txt and data also (can't remember how much data) for $30/mo.


He**inWA




Jeip
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Posted: 3/17/2013 1:42:28 PM

I reccomend straighttalk-you can sign up online or at walmart.
I havent had any issues it's $45 a mo for unlimited calls and texts per month


I agree, straighttalk is pretty awesome. $45 a month unlimited everything, even with a smart phone!




enjoytotheend
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Posted: 3/17/2013 2:38:04 PM
I have verizon prepaid unlimited calls, texting and data. It is $50 a month. I haven't had any issues with it.

Miss Jen
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Posted: 3/17/2013 3:34:33 PM

Can you use any cellphone with these plans? DH bought a Nokia phone a year ago and bought the monthly smartphone plan, which was close to $50/mo for the smallest package. He's NEVER on the phone and we don't do anything on the internet with it. He'd just need it for calls/text (pics would be a plus), but he only needs 250 min at the most. Can any of these companies use any phones you have?? Just figuring out if we have to buy a new phone (his was $200 last year). TIA.


You can use any *Verizon* phone with 2 contingencies:
1. It can't be 4g
2. It has to have started its life as a "regular" cell phone, not a pay as you go. Something about the phones that were manufactured to be prepaid are programmed differently or something. Page Plus does have their own phones that you can buy if you want and they have a 250 minute plan that is $12/month.

2LuvPeasLife
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Posted: 3/18/2013 9:37:32 AM
Roam

Received an email from Surrey.com about this company.

Do you have a Costco membership?
We have seen $10. pay as you cell phones at the kiosk in the bellingham & Mt. Vernon locations.


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BergdorfBlonde
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Posted: 3/18/2013 2:25:17 PM

You can use any *Verizon* phone with 2 contingencies:
1. It can't be 4g
2. It has to have started its life as a "regular" cell phone, not a pay as you go. Something about the phones that were manufactured to be prepaid are programmed differently or something. Page Plus does have their own phones that you can buy if you want and they have a 250 minute plan that is $12/month.
Thank you so much! Yes, he bought it for the pay as you go plan, so I guess the phone is now useless. Ugh. It's between this program and that Jitterbug one for him. Thanks!









Annabella
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Posted: 3/18/2013 2:38:26 PM
I have t-mobile pay as you go, it's only for calls and texting. With my usage I average about $30 a month. $112 for 1000 minutes and 10cent per text $1 for photo text which includes iphone group text message.




Leone
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Posted: 3/18/2013 3:31:42 PM
We have tracfones to use for five months in the summer when we are at our mountain cabin. We are not heavy users. But they work fine. HSN.com has excellent prices and often have tracfone packages as the TSV. You normally can get an LG phone and 1400 minutes for $99.....sometimes $89 and free shipping. If you order online, I don't pay sales tax...but do if I order by phone.
I don't want monthly cell phone bills so this works well for us.

Leone
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Posted: 3/18/2013 3:36:23 PM
I had the t mobile $.10 a minute for years but switched to tracfone as its cheaper. I found those t mobile employees in the malls are clueless regarding pay by the minute programs...they only want to sell you something thatis a monthly bill. The jerk I talked with this year claimed there was no such thing!
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