Author Topic: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?  (Read 17421 times)

Richard (richard)

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2016, 07:52:10 PM »
We eventually got the $10 phone for the two of us for a $100 a year contract. After the first year I used a total of 34 minutes. Then we started using them to find each other in the grocery store. After several times of that we found that when we looked up after dialing we were down the same aisle from each other. Now it's primary use is to receive special offers from the phone provider.

Offline krispykreme

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2016, 09:43:31 AM »
totally agreed. don't even bother about the internet all day long, because i have wifi at home. apart from money consuming it is also super time consuming. and i don't communicate by phone a lot so don't use prepaid cards either

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2016, 10:36:02 AM »
My wife and I just had this conversation. I've been with Sprint for 16 years and I was paying $200 a month, total, for two smartphones. It was ridiculous. A friend in my office turned me on to Google's amazing, cheap, featureful cell provider: Project Fi. Most people don't know about it. Heck, I'm in IT and pretty switched on and I hadn't heard about it. You should check it out...

Here's the plan summary
  • $20/month, first gig of data included.
  • $10/gig extra data
  • Unlimited Domestic talk and text
  • Unlimited international text
  • Add a line, $15 each, up to 5 users. Data is shared across account.
  • Wifi Hotspot allowed, no extra charge
  • Free data only sim card (for a tablet, etc. No extra line charge!)
  • Credits for data you don't use
  • Great international rates
  • $5/m phone insurance available
  • Backend network is Sprint AND T-Mobile (two is one, one is none)
  • Supports wifi calling natively
  • Stock Android phones. No provider bloatware and regular OS updates as soon as they are released.

Best part: I had to call service, and I get a real stateside human after one prompt. They gave fantastic service and are actually empowered to solve your problem without endless tiers of approvals.

I can't speak highly enough of this service. It's the way a phone provider should be, imho.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2016, 10:42:27 AM »
I had heard about Fi but my phone won't work on it so I figured I'd give Ting a shot first. My wife's phone won't work on Ting so we'll have to buy her a phone regardless. I may look into the Nexus 5 for her and give Fi a try if I'm not sold on Ting by that time. If the 5 will work on Ting or Fi (I think it will since it's the same network) I may go that route and end up getting myself the same phone if Fi is better than Ting. Even if I experiment with two services like this for a couple months it'll still be cheaper than what I was paying at Verizon.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2016, 11:15:15 AM »
A friend in my office turned me on to Google's amazing, cheap, featureful cell provider: Project Fi. ......

Best part: I had to call service, and I get a real stateside human after one prompt. They gave fantastic service and are actually empowered to solve your problem without endless tiers of approvals.

I can't speak highly enough of this service. It's the way a phone provider should be, imho.

My wife and I recently tried Project Fi. While I agree that their technical service is great. Their phone service is not as they advertised.

We purchased a brand new Nexus 5x from them. According to their coverage map, we were to get 3G service at our home. While it is not great, it should have worked perfectly for our home phone when we would be on wifi most of the time. So we switched. We have absolutely zero service at our home. Even standing outside in the driveway, I cannot place a call. We spent countless hours with many nice people, but to no avail. They simply said the map must be wrong.

So we tried the phone at our new house we are building. According to the map, we should have solid 2G with spotty 3G service at our new home. Again, zero service. And nothing tech service could do to fix it.

So we are planning to go back to straight talk. It's a good phone service in places that have decent cell phone coverage to start with. But anywhere that service might be less than stellar, it hasn't proven to be a winner. It can still improve. But it's out for me until things significantly improve, which will probably be a few years.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2016, 11:21:50 AM »
My wife and I recently tried Project Fi. While I agree that their technical service is great. Their phone service is not as they advertised.

We purchased a brand new Nexus 5x from them. According to their coverage map, we were to get 3G service at our home. While it is not great, it should have worked perfectly for our home phone when we would be on wifi most of the time. So we switched. We have absolutely zero service at our home. Even standing outside in the driveway, I cannot place a call. We spent countless hours with many nice people, but to no avail. They simply said the map must be wrong.

So we tried the phone at our new house we are building. According to the map, we should have solid 2G with spotty 3G service at our new home. Again, zero service. And nothing tech service could do to fix it.

So we are planning to go back to straight talk. It's a good phone service in places that have decent cell phone coverage to start with. But anywhere that service might be less than stellar, it hasn't proven to be a winner. It can still improve. But it's out for me until things significantly improve, which will probably be a few years.

I'm surprised and disappointed to hear that. Did you ever try a sprint and/or tmobile device in your house before? Thankfully I have not had that issue anywhere I have gone, yet.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2016, 01:22:32 PM »
I'm surprised and disappointed to hear that. Did you ever try a sprint and/or tmobile device in your house before? Thankfully I have not had that issue anywhere I have gone, yet.

No, we didn't try sprint or t-mobile. Most people around use ATT or Verizon. But I was hopeful based off Google's coverage maps and lured in by the cheap rates. But in the end, I walked away disappointed.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2016, 05:31:44 PM »
Unfortunately, t-mobile is horrible at my house.  Sprint isn't much better for me.

Years ago I went to Tracfone.  We have 4 smartphones on it for each of our family.  We always have phone minutes rolling over.  My wife is the only one that goes through her voice minutes, the other 3 of us have 3000+ minutes.  The rest of us go through data and texts.  Until the kids started getting into texting, I was spending about $400 per year for all 4 phones.  Now it's a bit more.  I'll have to figure out what I spend per year, but it's nothing like the $160 per month that most of the people I know pay.

Offline 1022

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2017, 07:49:25 AM »
My cell bill for my wife and I was 150$, we both have Iphones. I ditched the data plan, and put a data block on the phone and cut it in half to 75$/month. Even though I live in the middle of nowhere there are still enough places with wi-fi that I have not missed having cell data. And the extra 900$/year sure comes in handy.

Offline Carl

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2017, 08:41:02 AM »
I do not use a cell phone.I live with my dog and my friends and family know my schedule well enough that the wired phone works just fine.
The world works just fine without the interruption or obsession of such devices.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2017, 09:33:41 AM »
Verison, unlimited text and phone, 3G data. $35 a month.

Cedar

Since I posted this... I found out,  even when I run out of data, they don't cut me off, just slow it down, and I really do not notice a difference where I live, as it was slow to begin with due to the distance/ obstruction to the tower/s. I still get unlimited phone and text.

Cedar

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2017, 10:51:48 AM »
I went with StraightTalk awhile back. Bought one of their cheap phones to start with. Few years ago bought a Moto G4. They have a bring your own phone where they send you a sim card. So much better than their crappy phones at the time. 45 a month and they just upped it to 8gigs a month. AT&T, so coverage around here is decent. I do loose signal a lot when we get jobs up in Maine though. I am going to have to change my number soon though. No one answers their phone when it comes up from an area code half way across the country  ;D

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #42 on: September 11, 2017, 09:10:17 AM »
I ended up going with Google Fi. We had to pay upfront for two phones but after 9 months we recoup the cost in savings over what our Verizon bill was. I think we're on month 6 or 7 now and it's been great. I've never been a place that I didn't have service that Verizon also doesn't. Our bill is right around ~$55/month for unlimited talk/text and 1GB of data. We don't use a ton of data since we're always around WIFI so it works out very well for us.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2017, 10:11:32 AM »
My wife and I switched to Project Fi. $20 a month for unlimited talk and text, plus a gig of data. Each extra gig is $10 a month, and they provide credits for unused data. With that plan and careful use of WiFi, our bill is around $60-80 a month, total. That's with the equipment replacement plan ($5 a month extra).

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2017, 03:04:34 PM »
I almost did the equipment replacement but opted to not. We take good care of our devices and I'm winning the insurance gamble at this point since I think I've only replaced one or two devices in 10 years due to insurance claims.

Overall I'm very impressed with Fi.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #45 on: September 11, 2017, 06:41:03 PM »
Project Fi seems like a great deal, but phones starting at $650 is a bit steep.  I had a hard time paying the $250 I paid for my Moto G5.  Their page says they are sold out of everything except the Pixel.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 06:50:39 PM by fritz_monroe »

Offline Fixit

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2017, 06:56:14 PM »
Well I might as well add my .02 worth . What I did was no cell phone at all. I went with Straighttalk home . This gives me a cell phone box that I hook a normal house phone to . I use it in the house and on  the road with a 200 watt inverter with a wireless home phone . As long as my phone is within range of its base i n the truck I have service . This is less that $18 a month.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2017, 09:30:03 PM »
Project Fi seems like a great deal, but phones starting at $650 is a bit steep.  I had a hard time paying the $250 I paid for my Moto G5.  Their page says they are sold out of everything except the Pixel.

Ouch that's rough. We bought nexus 5's so it was $250/phone. If I'd only had the option of the Pixel I might not have done it. I've heard you can use Fi sims in non-Google phones but they have to be activated in a Fi phone first, so there are some hoops you have to jump through.

Offline Survival Librarian

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #48 on: September 12, 2017, 08:32:09 AM »
One I haven't seen mentioned yet is Republic Wireless. They're more aiming for the niche of people who want a smart phone but don't use a ton of data a month. You have to buy the phone, but they have a lot more reasonable options. The cheapest, the Moto E, is still a decent phone and regularly goes on sale for 99 dollars.

The plans vary by the amount of data, but are very reasonably price, and last I checked, you could switch plans twice a month without penalty. So if it looks like you were going to go over, bump up for that month, then bump back down at the beginning of the next month. There's no contracts, so no gotcha's there to worry about either.

I and my wife have had them for about 5 years now and we've been pretty satisfied. We're only paying 60 dollars a month for two phones with unlimited talk, text, and 3G, which is pretty much unheard of from anyone else. Unfortunately, they don't offer that plan anymore, but we're grandfathered along as long as we keep our plans and only replace, not upgrade, our phones if something happens to them.

We have some limitations, such as having no data service if we're roaming, but considering my wife usually goes through close to 10 gigs of data a month, we're going to stick it out until they pry that plan from our cold, dead hands. If we had to switch, we'd be looking at close to 200 dollars a month and that's before factoring in whatever the costs of the new phones would be.

Anyways, not the cheapest phone available, but something to look at if you want smartphone features, without the smart phone price.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #49 on: September 12, 2017, 08:54:52 AM »
10GB on 3G? ouch. She must never put her phone down  ;)

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #50 on: September 12, 2017, 09:23:52 AM »
  This provider may prove a better deal for many cell users.

https://www.patriotmobile.com/

Offline archer

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2017, 09:56:04 AM »
i'd not trust fi.google.com, i expect they would collect and sell anything that goes across their network.

Offline Survival Librarian

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2017, 12:24:26 PM »
10GB on 3G? ouch. She must never put her phone down  ;)
HD video streaming. It adds up fast. :-\

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #53 on: September 12, 2017, 02:10:34 PM »
i'd not trust fi.google.com, i expect they would collect and sell anything that goes across their network.

I'm sure they do, but in today's world I think so does everyone else... Nothing you can really do about that. You think Verizon, AT&T, etc. don't also share your traffic metrics?

Offline archer

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2017, 02:21:24 PM »
I'm sure they do, but in today's world I think so does everyone else... Nothing you can really do about that. You think Verizon, AT&T, etc. don't also share your traffic metrics?
traffic metrics sure, but i expect google also grabs what you search for and view and the content of emails you send/receive, contact info, calendar info/etc..

Offline minijas

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Re: Options for reducing the cell phone bill as drastically as possible?
« Reply #55 on: June 25, 2018, 03:42:30 PM »
Depending on where you work, your company may offer discounted plans to employees. I was able to save 20% on my plan by providing proof to the carrier of my employment.