Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

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sunnyday
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Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by sunnyday » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:54 am

My wife and I both have iPhone 5's and are on Verizon's Share Family plan which costs us $130 / month after taxes. We love our iPhone's and use them a lot, but we're usually on wifi or sending iMessages instead of text messages. Our typical usage is:

Phone 1: 100-300 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-200 mb data

Phone 2: 600-1,200 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-300 mb data

We have a year left on the Verizon contract and if we break the contract it would $250 per phone. If we do this, what carriers could we port a Verizon iPhone to? What cell phone plans would be ideal for our usage? It seems like page plus $30 plan (1200 minutes, 3,000 text, 500mb data) would be more than we need but I'm not sure if we can transfer our phones over.

ieee488
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by ieee488 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:46 am

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slopecarver
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by slopecarver » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:18 am

Try one of the ones listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un ... _operators

I'm using Go Redpocket, you could lower your bill to $80/mo with it but you would need an ATT phone.

jasc15
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by jasc15 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:26 am

I second the MVNO options. I use one, but it's on a GSM network (i.e., AT&T and T-Mobile compatible network), rather than a CDMA network like your plan (i.e., Sprint and Verizon). I pay $45/mo, which would simply be $90/mo for 2 phones. You should be able to have your phone unlocked for use outside Verizon's network once your contract is up, but I wouldn't be so sure about that if you cancel early. I'm really surprised more people don't go the MVNO route. It's pretty well advertised, but I suppose it still comes off as an inferior alternative to the big providers.
Last edited by jasc15 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

Quickfoot
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Quickfoot » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:29 am

MVNO is the way to go, I just moved from Sprint to Ting (operates on the Sprint network, kept my phones) and will save between $100 and $120 a month.

Sidney
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Sidney » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:33 am

It has been a while since I looked at the MVNOs but when I did, there were a couple of issues. One, some of them did not have access to the 4G services of the main carriers they were reselling. Also, in some cases, the terms of service prohibited certain usage such as video and audio streaming -- although some people elect not to conform to the terms.

In my case, in the end, it came down to the fact that VZ is the only carrier that offers data in my area. As a result, I have stuck with my Tracfone and my IPOD Touch (I know where most of the open hotspots are in my town).
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Luke Duke
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Luke Duke » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:25 am

sunnyday wrote:If we do this, what carriers could we port a Verizon iPhone to?
http://www.ebay.com/gds/List-of-GSM-and ... 079/g.html

mikep
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by mikep » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:32 am

sunnyday wrote:My wife and I both have iPhone 5's and are on Verizon's Share Family plan which costs us $130 / month after taxes. We love our iPhone's and use them a lot, but we're usually on wifi or sending iMessages instead of text messages. Our typical usage is:

Phone 1: 100-300 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-200 mb data

Phone 2: 600-1,200 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-300 mb data

We have a year left on the Verizon contract and if we break the contract it would $250 per phone. If we do this, what carriers could we port a Verizon iPhone to? What cell phone plans would be ideal for our usage? It seems like page plus $30 plan (1200 minutes, 3,000 text, 500mb data) would be more than we need but I'm not sure if we can transfer our phones over.
Page plus can only support iphone 4 and 4s 3G phones (off the record -- they technically ban them but no cases of being booted off the network for an iPhone). with iphone 5, straight talk might be an option. 4G LTE is not on page plus yet. You'd probably be better off selling your iphone5's, buying an iphone 4s and use the leftover cash to cover your contract termination fee. www.kittywireless.com is a top dealer with a lot of info.

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coachz
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by coachz » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:39 am

I have never had a cell phone. Saves me a ton of money. But I also do my own haircuts for free.

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sunnyday
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by sunnyday » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:58 am

Thanks for the replies. I was able to reduce my data on Verizon down to 500mb so my monthly bill will now be $120. I looked into a few MVNOs before signing up with Verizon. Straight Talk at the time seemed like the best deal but it would have only saved me $30 / month and the phones would have cost me an extra $900 so the break even point would have been 30 months -- too long IMO.
mikep wrote:
Page plus can only support iphone 4 and 4s 3G phones (off the record -- they technically ban them but no cases of being booted off the network for an iPhone). with iphone 5, straight talk might be an option. 4G LTE is not on page plus yet. You'd probably be better off selling your iphone5's, buying an iphone 4s and use the leftover cash to cover your contract termination fee. http://www.kittywireless.com is a top dealer with a lot of info.
I can sell the 5's on Gazzelle for $310. That would leave me with a profit of $120 after the early termination fee. However, buying two new iPhone 4's will cost about $800, a difference of $680. If I save $60 / month with page plus the break even would be just over 11 months. I think I'll wait for now and stick with the newer phones, but it'll be interesting to see how the comparison is when my contract is up.

MindBogler
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by MindBogler » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:04 pm

If you're not dead set on the iPhone, you could get a Nexus 4 for $199. We use these on T-mobile with a 500mb data plan and it has been great so far.

http://www.google.com/nexus/4/

mikep
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by mikep » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:13 pm

sunnyday wrote:Thanks for the replies. I was able to reduce my data on Verizon down to 500mb so my monthly bill will now be $120. I looked into a few MVNOs before signing up with Verizon. Straight Talk at the time seemed like the best deal but it would have only saved me $30 / month and the phones would have cost me an extra $900 so the break even point would have been 30 months -- too long IMO.
mikep wrote:
Page plus can only support iphone 4 and 4s 3G phones (off the record -- they technically ban them but no cases of being booted off the network for an iPhone). with iphone 5, straight talk might be an option. 4G LTE is not on page plus yet. You'd probably be better off selling your iphone5's, buying an iphone 4s and use the leftover cash to cover your contract termination fee. http://www.kittywireless.com is a top dealer with a lot of info.
I can sell the 5's on Gazzelle for $310. That would leave me with a profit of $120 after the early termination fee. However, buying two new iPhone 4's will cost about $800, a difference of $680. If I save $60 / month with page plus the break even would be just over 11 months. I think I'll wait for now and stick with the newer phones, but it'll be interesting to see how the comparison is when my contract is up.
Don't use gazelle or any other middleman that lowballs you. You should profit from swapping iphone5 for and older 4s nicely. What I meant was :

Buy the iphone4s used on amazon/ebay for 200-250. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... ition=used
Sell the iphone5 on ebay/amazon used for ~400. http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... ition=used

You have 150-200 cash left over from each phone swap which could go towards your termination fee. Don't wait too long between swaps, as with the new iphone 5c/5s release current iphones will start dropping in value.

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ryuns
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by ryuns » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:50 pm

MindBogler wrote:If you're not dead set on the iPhone, you could get a Nexus 4 for $199. We use these on T-mobile with a 500mb data plan and it has been great so far.

http://www.google.com/nexus/4/
Good combo. I'm hoping for an upgrade to the Nexus 4 (in the next 6 months or so?) before I upgrade from my old Samsung running android 2.3, but it's a top notch phone as it is. T-Mobile won't be as cheap as an MVNO, but the network is pretty good and their data plans are generous (I like that they throttle the speed once you exceed the limit, rather than capping or charging you extra). We pay about $100/mo for 1000 minutes of talk on 3 lines, unlimited texts on 3 lines, and 2 gb data (plus unlimited throttled data) for 2 lines.

I'm hoping that phone companies will follow T-Mobile's model of moving away from the contract + subsidized phone combination. But that model is the lifeblood of high-end phones (new Galaxies and iPhones run $600-800 off contract), so I'm not sure it will ever happen.
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Randomize
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Randomize » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:03 pm

slopecarver wrote:Try one of the ones listed here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Un ... _operators

I'm using Go Redpocket, you could lower your bill to $80/mo with it but you would need an ATT phone.
LOL @ 420-Wireless :mrgreen:

MindBogler
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by MindBogler » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:54 pm

ryuns wrote:
MindBogler wrote:If you're not dead set on the iPhone, you could get a Nexus 4 for $199. We use these on T-mobile with a 500mb data plan and it has been great so far.

http://www.google.com/nexus/4/
Good combo. I'm hoping for an upgrade to the Nexus 4 (in the next 6 months or so?) before I upgrade from my old Samsung running android 2.3, but it's a top notch phone as it is. T-Mobile won't be as cheap as an MVNO, but the network is pretty good and their data plans are generous (I like that they throttle the speed once you exceed the limit, rather than capping or charging you extra). We pay about $100/mo for 1000 minutes of talk on 3 lines, unlimited texts on 3 lines, and 2 gb data (plus unlimited throttled data) for 2 lines.
I was concerned at first about going with so little data but we have access to a lot of wifi between home and work. Turns out we've been using under 20mb of data each month because 99% of our usage is at home/work. You also get to roam on AT&Ts network through T-mobile, so the coverage is actually very respectable.

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bogleblitz
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by bogleblitz » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:22 pm

As mentioned, if you are staying with iPhones, then might as well stay with Verizon. It is going to be expensive everywhere.

I'm in similar situation as OP. currently staying with Verizon because I have unlimited data plan.

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mike143
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by mike143 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:08 pm

Nexus 4 on PagePlus (Verizon) $30 plan is a really good option. Recently put the wife on a used Motorola Droid Razr Maxx with $30 PagePlus (Verizon) plan.....then few weeks later the Nexus 4 dropped in price. :annoyed

Wife came from Virgin Mobile (Sprint) $25 grandfathered plan but the poor service with Sprint in general and specifically at her works place was driving her crazy. I transferred her balance to my Virgin Mobile account and will ride out the $300 balance. Kind of good to have two different services. Use hers when we are out and want to web browse (PagePlus/Verizon: better network)and use mine in the car for music streaming and live gps (Virgin Mobile/Sprint: "unlimited" data).
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hectorochoa
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by hectorochoa » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:44 pm

I also recommend PagePlus

mobi999
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by mobi999 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:03 pm

if handset doesnt matter to you get lumia 521(130USD). If you are bit more into app get LG l9(180usd) or better nexus 4(200usd). If you can wait better get a nexus 5 expected to be 300 something. For plan get walmart family plan which is essentially TMob re-marketed. in 40 USD you will get unlim calling and 500 Mb data.

Hiker-Biker
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Hiker-Biker » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:10 pm

Like you were saying, I would keep your Verizon contract until it ends. We switched to Straight talk after our contracts ended and we kept our subsidized phones. It doesn't make sense to pay early termination fees to save money unless you get the service and savings you need.

Gleevec
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Gleevec » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:04 pm

I switched to tmobile, but it only works well in urban areas. In cities I feel it is even faster than VZW/ATT. But the rural coverage is not nearly as good as the competitors.

If you buy your phone outright you can save a ton over a 2 year period, and the contracts are very reasonable

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mudfud
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by mudfud » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:01 pm

mike143 wrote:Nexus 4 on PagePlus (Verizon) $30 plan is a really good option. Recently put the wife on a used Motorola Droid Razr Maxx with $30 PagePlus (Verizon) plan.....then few weeks later the Nexus 4 dropped in price. :annoyed

Nexus 4 is GSM, so won't work on PagePlus.
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dandan14
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by dandan14 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:29 am

coachz wrote:I have never had a cell phone. Saves me a ton of money. But I also do my own haircuts for free.
Are you still paying for a landline? And long distance? If so...you'd be way better off with a cheap cell phone plan.

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Cosmo
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Cosmo » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:40 pm

sunnyday wrote:My wife and I both have iPhone 5's and are on Verizon's Share Family plan which costs us $130 / month after taxes. We love our iPhone's and use them a lot, but we're usually on wifi or sending iMessages instead of text messages. Our typical usage is:

Phone 1: 100-300 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-200 mb data

Phone 2: 600-1,200 voice minutes, 60-300 text messages, 80-300 mb data

We have a year left on the Verizon contract and if we break the contract it would $250 per phone. If we do this, what carriers could we port a Verizon iPhone to? What cell phone plans would be ideal for our usage? It seems like page plus $30 plan (1200 minutes, 3,000 text, 500mb data) would be more than we need but I'm not sure if we can transfer our phones over.
$130 per month for two phones? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Trev H » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:53 pm

My wife uses Straight Talk's unlimited plan - 45.00/mo (with taxes and fees - actually right around 50.00 monthly). She has a nice android phone, but you can do this with iPhone too.

Me - tracfone - it's all I need, and I spend less than 200.00 a year for my service.

So for the both of us, right around 800.00 year or 67.00 a month.

Trev H

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runner9
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by runner9 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:53 pm

So am I correct in understanding that we could buy an iphone used on ebay, etc. and then get straight talk for $45 plus fees and use it basically the same as an iphone with Verizon or Sprint? EDIT: after buying iphone used plus SIM card for $6.99 from straighttalk website.

Is Straight Talk merely only at Walmart is or it part of Walmart? Having not been in a Walmart in 11 years (for reasons unmentionable here) can this all be done online without actually going into the store?

Thanks!
Last edited by runner9 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CarlZ993
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by CarlZ993 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:57 pm

runner9 wrote:So am I correct in understanding that we could buy an iphone used on ebay, etc. and then get straight talk for $45 plus fees and use it basically the same as an iphone with Verizon or Sprint?

Is Straight Talk merely only at Walmart is or it part of Walmart? Having not been in a Walmart in 11 years (for reasons unmentionable here) can this all be done online without actually going into the store?

Thanks!
Straight Talk is a subsidiary of TracFone that is only sold @ Walmart. I'm not sure about buying an i-Phone elsewhere and getting it transferred to Straight Talk.

I use Straight Talk w/ an Android phone over Verizon's network. No complaints for the most part. No extended coverage of other networks. You either have Verison's network or you have a paperweight. That's the trade-off you have w/ this pre-paid service.
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Trev H
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Trev H » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:23 pm

On the comment below...

"You either have Verison's network or you have a paperweight. That's the trade-off you have w/ this pre-paid service."

We tried Verison - and in our area it really STUNK. Quit and changed after 2 months service. Call quality was poor, calls dropped, wife could not even text our daughter in the local mall and that was the killer for my wife.

Changed her to StraightTalk unlimited and she has been very happy - NONE of the problem above - it all work and works great.

So the statement above is definately not true for everyone, everywhere.

Trev H

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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by CarlZ993 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Depending on which phone you buy from Straight Talk, you'll have Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint carriers. I was able to see the difference of a pre-paid Verizon coverage vs. a contract Verizon coverage on my recently completed Appalachian Trail hike. My hiking buddy had a contract Verizon phone & I had a pre-paid Verizon phone. Quite frequently on the trail, he'd have coverage & I didn't. His extended network would pick up another carrier's signal. And I'd have nada.

Again, the best carrier is the one that works the best in the area where you plan on using it at a price you're willing to pay for.
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by stan1 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:38 pm

My experience with iPhone 3GS and 4S is that after 18 months I start to see noticeable battery life drops, and at around 30 months the phone needs to be recharged several times per day when I'm using a moderate amount of data (I use about 1 to 2 GB/month since I don't have WiFi at work, no audio or video). Battery replacement is a cost to keep in mind if you are considering usage of an older phone (either one you have now, or one you buy used). It's a definite risk if you are buying an older iPhone off the internet.

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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:25 pm

iPhone users tend to be brand loyal, so changing to Android might be a moot point. That being said, I just dumped my AT&T $120 / month (includes employer discount) for T-mobile ($96 - 15% employer discount).

Since my prior AT&T plan charged for texting, I never used it. Now, I have unlimited voice, text, and a 2.5 GB data cap (which throttles back over this limit). I like T-mobile's plans, as I was able to select a different data cap for my husband (500 MB - he's not a heavy data user). Since T-mobile does not do service contracts (I like this business model), it also means that they have no contract subsidized phones.

I checked my cellphones at the T-mobile store for network compatibility (the stores have test SIMs) and found that they didn't support 4G. New cellphones were needed.

T-mobile had phones in the $240 price range, but the salesman directed me to Best Buy Mobile where I could get the same phones for $200 (the stores are in the same mall). Long story short, I ended up with an LG Optimus L9 ($200 price reduced to $175 for me) and F3 ($200) and activated the phones at T-Mobile. I paid an extra $10 x 2 for the SIM self-install kit.

These phones can do wi-fi calling, which gives me excellent coverage in my house. Additionally, T-mobile permits tethering and I have a 500 MB wi-fi hot spot cap.

Update: Made long story short.
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by Hiker-Biker » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:11 pm

runner9 wrote:So am I correct in understanding that we could buy an iphone used on ebay, etc. and then get straight talk for $45 plus fees and use it basically the same as an iphone with Verizon or Sprint? EDIT: after buying iphone used plus SIM card for $6.99 from straighttalk website.

Is Straight Talk merely only at Walmart is or it part of Walmart? Having not been in a Walmart in 11 years (for reasons unmentionable here) can this all be done online without actually going into the store?

Thanks!
Yes, you can get a used phone off EBay. Just make sure it's unlocked. Straight Talk allows you to do everything online. Their website also has a script you can run to configure your SIM card if you are using it on AT&T's network. The only thing I cannot do is send texts with pictures and visual voicemail doesn't work.

leonard
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by leonard » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:45 pm

Tracphone. About $10 per mo.
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steve roy
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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by steve roy » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:13 pm

Mentioned this before, but we're on a Republic Service Plan: $19/month per person. Republic leases Sprint towers, and uses wi-fi/3G phones. (Ours are Motorolas.)

Service suits me fine, but I use the wi fi option a lot (the phones switch back and forth automatically between wi fi and Sprint.) My spouse, on the other hand, isn't crazy about the quality of service ... but she is crazy about the cost.

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Re: Help me save on my $130 cell phone bill

Post by pteam » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:47 pm

Here's what we did to save $1700 a year, went from $165 a month to $20 a month for two phones. Cancelled verizon and got http://www.airvoicewireless.com they use at&t's network. Data is expensive on this plan but you won't really need it except in emergencies because your office and home probably have wifi, and all sorts of restraunts and other places do too. How often do you really need to be connected online?

Calls are 4 cents a minute and texts are 2 cents. When we are home we always call from our home phone which is basically almost free thru triple play. Extra money rolls over each month , this month after my $10 got added onto the new month I had $21 total from rolled over money. If you use the $10 too quick you can simply add another $10 on for tha month.

You can use any AT&T phone or tmobile or something. We actually got really nice phones off eBay that were a slight upgrade.

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