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Old 11-19-2014, 07:37 PM
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Default Cheapest Cell Phone Plan

My wife and I have Iphones and use AT&T as our provider. We pay $140 a month for both our plans. We honestly use the phones mainly to call each other. Yes we use the internet and check emails etc... but could live without that. What is the cheapest and most practical approach to lowering our monthly phone bill? Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:43 PM
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Look into Ting and Republic Wireless. We use Ting and pay about $80 for three phone, but we also use a fair amount of data.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:09 AM
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I'm amazed at how much people spend on their mobile phones every month...

You can save a lot of money by using an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) instead of using one of the major carriers directly. An MVNO (ie. Straight Talk, Republic Wireless, Ting, etc) leases the equipment from the operators (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile).

I used Tracfone for a long time - they are super cheap. I was paying $30 per month for 4 phones (they are used sparingly, so don't assume your bill would be that low). Of course, when you pay that little, don't expect the same level of service as a primary carrier. Tracfone's customer service is quite bad.

A couple months ago I switched to Ting, because I was having technical problems w/ Tracfone. My monthly bill (for 1 phone) will be $15 (again, I primarily use wifi for data and don't make a whole lot of calls/texts).

I can't help you personally, because I don't know anything about IPhones. Whether they can be unlocked (used w/ other providers), which underlying cell technology they use (GSM or CDMA) will affect your options.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:25 AM
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We use Ting. Their customer service is excellent and their plans are very inexpensive, so win-win. That said, there will be an upfront cost with switching from another carrier (you'd be switching from AT&T to Sprint-compatible phones). But Ting gives you a lot of incentives and credits to make the switch. Our bill for the first 5 months or so was -0 with all of our credits, and we did not take advantage of any phone deals since we already had Sprint phones. If you sell your phones and buy the same phone for Ting they will credit you some of the price differential.

We pay $30/month for two people. I'd say we use a fair amount of data and minutes. In fact, I am getting wifi at work next month or so which will significantly cut our data usage, but I only expect our bill to go down by only $5/month in the process. If you want to go hog wild on the data, it's extremely cheap.

Last edited by MonkeyMama; 11-20-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:35 AM
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consumer cellular, plans for $10, $20 and $30 a month on AT&T network
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:17 AM
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I use Ting as well. Here's my bill this month, which is pretty typical. Every so often I'll go over 100 minutes and into the "medium" bucket, but I'm ok with that. I'd rather pay more only when I use more, than pay for another service where I get so many minutes I never use.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Plan Data Usage S 92 Mb $3.00
Plan SMS Usage M 291 messages $5.00
Plan Minutes Usage S 90 minutes $3.00
Line Fee -------------------- $6.00 Oct 16 - Nov 15
-------------------------------------------------------------------

And here were the taxes we collected for Uncle Sam...
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Sales Tax $0.87
E911 Tax (Wireless) $1.00
Fed USF Cellular $0.54
FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless) $0.02
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Total comes to: $19.43

I did pay $269.94 for a "new" (used) phone in May of 2013, but as I was paying $77.73/mo for cell service before the switch, by October I had paid for the new phone in what I had saved in cell phone bills. I'm saving over $600/year now.

Last edited by NetSkyBlue; 11-20-2014 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:33 AM
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I use Republic Wireless. 4 phones total ..

*2 Phones (One Moto E and One Moto X) on the unlimited calling, text and data 3G plan. ($25 a month plus taxes)
*2Phones (Both Moto X) on the unlimited WiFi, Text and Calling Plan. ($10 a month plus taxes)

Total monthly bill for 4 phones with all taxes and fees is around $88 a month.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:53 AM
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I use Cricket (GSM) which uses AT&T network so unlocked GSM phones should all work. 100/mo flat rate for 5 phones split with my family. Great coverage, unlimited everything except for high speed data, but we have yet to hit data limits where data simply throttles to a lower speed. Its awesome!

Contract plans are for suckers IMHO.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:08 AM
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We had used T-Mobile pay as you go (no contract) plan on 2 flip phones that we used for the better part of 5 years. We spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $180 a year across both. They didn't text very easily, and the coverage was sometimes spotty in remote areas, but the phones lasted a long time.

I'd look into other no-contract plans, and use a phone from CL or Ebay.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm very interested in Ting seems like a lot of money can be saved using them. My other question is my Iphone from AT&T won't work with Ting (Sprint). What's the best way to obtain a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? I saw an Ebay suggestion but is that the cheapest and least dicey way to get a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? Thank you again!
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbpeninsula View Post
Thanks for the replies. I'm very interested in Ting seems like a lot of money can be saved using them. My other question is my Iphone from AT&T won't work with Ting (Sprint). What's the best way to obtain a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? I saw an Ebay suggestion but is that the cheapest and least dicey way to get a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? Thank you again!
If you want to stick w/ IPhones, I can't offer advice.

As I said, I just moved to Ting a few weeks ago - I bought an unlocked Moto G to use with their service for $80. For the price, it's a very nice phone. That's new, from Best Buy:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/boost-mo...&skuId=3135008

If you go that route, it needs to be the first generation Moto G, not the newest model. Ignore the fact that the phone comes in a Boost Mobile box; it works on Sprint networks and can be used w/ Ting.
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Last edited by feh; 11-21-2014 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbpeninsula View Post
Thanks for the replies. I'm very interested in Ting seems like a lot of money can be saved using them. My other question is my Iphone from AT&T won't work with Ting (Sprint). What's the best way to obtain a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? I saw an Ebay suggestion but is that the cheapest and least dicey way to get a phone that will be supported by Ting (Sprint)? Thank you again!
Here is a link to answer your question

https://ting.com/trade

I'd personally probably just buy the phone you want from Ting. Buying a used phone is a little too iffy for me. But others may have some suggestions on where to find a better deal. The cost should be offset quickly by the lower monthly rates.

https://ting.com/shop

OF course, before you do anything, see how much you would spend monthly on Ting:

https://ting.com/rates
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:38 AM
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Just a bit of advice regarding buying used phones.

We bought 3 iphones off CL, and for 2 of them we required the seller to meet us at an AT&T retail store so it could be checked out. That went smoothly, and we paid the seller on the spot.

I bought another iphone off an individual, meeting in a public place. I had my daughter test it out, we plugged in the SIM, and all was good.

The last 2 iphones we bought were off ebay. Check the seller's rating and number of stars: you want high values for both, which indicate a reseller who probably scours CL and turns a small profit on ebay. These sellers may have this as a sideline gig or maybe even as a full time source of income, so they have a lot to gain by striving for high ratings and volume.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feh View Post
If you want to stick w/ IPhones, I can't offer advice.

As I said, I just moved to Ting a few weeks ago - I bought an unlocked Moto G to use with their service for $80. For the price, it's a very nice phone. That's new, from Best Buy:


If you go that route, it needs to be the first generation Moto G, not the newest model. Ignore the fact that the phone comes in a Boost Mobile box; it works on Sprint networks and can be used w/ Ting.
Is that link for a first generation Moto G? Thank you!
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbpeninsula View Post
Is that link for a first generation Moto G? Thank you!
The link was for the Ting-compatible Moto G.

Here is some more info: https://help.ting.com/entries/777138...-guide-?page=3

This is probably the best/cheapest option for Ting. The phone is a great value. They are occasionally on sale for $50 - is what our kids (tweens) use. But I mean, that buys them a NICE phone that isn't the end of the world if they break or lose it.

You can check with Ting that the phone you buy is compatible before you even open the box. Just a little extra assurance.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:09 PM
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Thank you MonkeyMama. My next question would be why are some Moto G's compatible and some are not? Also how would Ting know the phone is compatible before it's even taken out of the box? Please excuse my ignorance.
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Old 11-23-2014, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbpeninsula View Post
Thank you MonkeyMama. My next question would be why are some Moto G's compatible and some are not? Also how would Ting know the phone is compatible before it's even taken out of the box? Please excuse my ignorance.
There is a number on the outside of the box that uniquely identifies that phone. Before you activate w/ Ting, you can enter that number on their web site and they'll tell you if it will work or not.

And yes, that link I posted was for the first generation Moto G.

I am not a shill for Ting, but if you sign up using this link, you'll get $100 credit toward their service, and I'll receive $50.

https://z7s8c63gke8.ting.com/

PS - for the $100, you'd need to activate the phone before December 2nd
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Last edited by feh; 11-23-2014 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:33 PM
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For those who uses "small" carriers, how is the signal?

I know being frugal is good, but smartphones are part of our lives now. It is important to have a quality cellular signal all the time especially if you're in an emergency.

I have T-Mobile and had one of their grandfather plan, 2 phones unlimited talk and text plus 2GB LTE data for about $92/month after taxes. Not bad in my opinion. We need data for GPS maps, etc.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:46 PM
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I live in a major city, and there is no difference between my service with Ting and my service when I was with Verizon or ATT.
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Old 11-25-2014, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
For those who uses "small" carriers, how is the signal?

I know being frugal is good, but smartphones are part of our lives now. It is important to have a quality cellular signal all the time especially if you're in an emergency.

I have T-Mobile and had one of their grandfather plan, 2 phones unlimited talk and text plus 2GB LTE data for about $92/month after taxes. Not bad in my opinion. We need data for GPS maps, etc.
Go to wikipedia and look up "MVNO" for an explanation of how they work.

In short - you're using the same infrastructure as the big 4. I get the same coverage w/ Ting as I would if I were a Sprint customer. When I was a Tracfone customer, I had the same coverage as Verizon customers.
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Last edited by feh; 11-25-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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