Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

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Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:52 am

I'm interested in switching from Sprint to a pay-as-you-go vendor that uses either the Sprint, US Cellular, or Verizon networks because those have the best coverage in my area[1]. I don't have a strong preference right now between a smartphone with dataplan and a featurephone with just voice/text, but if I opt for a smartphone it'd have to be with a Sprint or Verizon vendor because USC doesn't have LTE coverage here yet.

Right now my wife and I share a Sprint featurephone plan with unlimited minutes & texting but no data for IIRC around $100/mo. I don't know how much data we'd use per month yet; we've both got tablets and computers to hand. As you might expect from our crap phones, I'm most interested in saving money but I wouldn't object to getting a decent Android device.

Sprint themselves have a PAYGO plan but their phone selection is crap with most of the available units out of stock and the rest being feature phones.


[1] Also they're not AT&T, which I hate.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:06 pm

Alternatively, I could piggyback on my work phone and port my Sprint phone number to Google Voice. I've used GV on this phone for a couple days and it seems reasonably good; does anyone have experience with this path?
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:47 pm

I had similar requirements for a cell phone a while back. I know of two providers that use Sprint towers. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. I ended up using Boost Mobile. It was pay as you go, I was on the Monthly Unlimited plan. That got me Unlimited everything, talk, data, etc. I started out at $55 a month and it went down $5 every so often, I think it was in three month increments.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:59 pm

I've researched this quite a bit recently, and am initially impressed with Ting. I haven't personally used them, so I can't give a definitive recommendation, but an acquaintance recommended them, and I like how they structure the payment into tiers for talk time, texts, and data each month.

Let us know what you decide.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:16 pm

If you live in a Sprint LTE area, maybe it's worth considering one of their MVNOs. If you're in a 3G-only area...well I found 3G to be unusable even with "full bars" (which was roughly 1/2 mile from a tower and -77dBm for a signal). Voice connection and quality was fine, but I jumped ship about 5 months after going to them.

But why limit yourself? Is it just based on cost? As far as MVNOs go, I'd recommend T-Mobile assuming you can get a signal. Had them for a about 16 months (right after bailing on Virgin) but they don't have reliable service in my new home.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:44 pm

T-Mobile has crap coverage in my town, so they're out; believe me, they were the first non-Sprint outfit I checked. I am in a Sprint LTE zone.

Ting looks mighty tempting, though, especially given that I've got an old supported Sprint featurephone (LG Rumor 2) that does an adequate job of voice and text; for our needs I can get a plan through them for $52/month. I don't see a similar BYOD setup for Boost, unfortunately.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:00 pm

As long as you're in a Sprint LTE zone, it's hard to ignore what Virgin/Boost have price-wise.

edit: didn't notice you were in SW MO. Went from my area through St. Louis, to Joplin, and then down into Oklahoma while I was with T-Mobile. I roamed some, I had GPRS some, but once I got out of Springfield I almost never had data. My bad, had I noticed I wouldn't have brought it up. Great service and great price if you can get it, but a bummer if not.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:08 pm

It is based largely on cost, BTW: my wife switched jobs and so household income is down about 20%.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:18 pm

My wife's receptive to trying Ting. Another selling point with us is that they bill based on what band of service you're actually using: if you use between 101-1000 texts in a month, that's $5, and if you go a bit over they'll automatically bump you up to the next band for $8 instead. Same thing for voice minutes and for data.

The only win here for Sprint is that on-network calls are free, but even then they're more expensive.

SWMBO still would like a smartphone, so now I get to find out what of the available models are good.... dear Cthulhu. I clicked on the entry for the LG Optimus F3 and it's described as "an orgy of raw power and screaming engines." :lol:
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:42 pm

bthylafh wrote:.... dear Cthulhu. I clicked on the entry for the LG Optimus F3 and it's described as "an orgy of raw power and screaming engines." :lol:
Wait, you mean it's not? But the vendor sold me earplugs and orgy insurance!
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:33 am

@Inkling: It'll be until early-mid December when our Sprint contract expires, so naturally I won't switch until then.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:05 am

Republic Wireless is worth a look. They don't fit all the parameters you want, but they have some very interesting plans, especially with the with Moto X.
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:20 am

bthylafh wrote: dear Cthulhu. I clicked on the entry for the LG Optimus F3 and it's described as "an orgy of raw power and screaming engines." :lol:


You called? Ting has some amusing descriptions for the phones it sells, but the only way the Optimus F3 could be "an orgy of raw power & screaming engines" is if you were watching F1 racing on it, with the volume on max. 8)

Anyways, my wife and I use Ting, and have so far been quite happy with the service. The one time I had to call customer support (when there was an issue porting over our numbers from our previous carrier) I had a real person answering the phone within 30 seconds, that spoke understandable English, and was able to contact the other carrier & get the problem fixed. Ting can also do voice & text (but not data) roaming onto Verizon's towers, which is a nice advantage over Boost or Virgin Mobile if you travel around a bit - those two can only use Sprints towers.

I would also suggest looking at used phones on swappa.com or the like; I got the wife & I new-in-box Galaxy S2s for fairly cheap when we switched; for less than the $250 Ting wants for the Optimus F3, you could get one of last year's flagship phones (Galaxy S3, Optimus G, Evo 4g LTE, Photon Q) in mint condition.

And if you do choose Ting, I can send you a referral code, that gets you $25 worth of service credit with them; and the same to me, of course! :P
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Re: Best PAYGO vendor on Sprint or Verizon or USC networks

Postposted on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:13 am

You have a PM.
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