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Old 08-29-2016, 08:22 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,209 posts, read 1,832,825 times
Reputation: 3476

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We're on a grandfathered plan from AT&T that we've had for about 3 years. Our phones (two - 5s, me and wife) are wearing out. Went to the AT&T store to shop for a new plan and two new phones. Conclusion of the experience = makes no sense to sign up again with AT&T and leave the plan we already have. We pay $130/month for two cell phones. Even when we do "go over" our data plan, we get another gig of space for like $10. The highest our bill has ever been ($150) was still lower than what AT&T wants to re-sign us up for ($175) with 10 gigabytes of data. But, we would like new phones.



Noticed Sprint plans are much cheaper, and can get two new iPhones that we like and still be at/under where we are now on our grandfathered plan. BUT, I don't know anything about Sprint. I absolutely expect complaints about them, but honestly, what cell phone provider can't you complain about?


Does anyone have Sprint in the area? Can you give some feedback if you like them enough to not want to run as far away as possible? We're not techies by nature, just want phone and text service, with occasional internet usage outside of our wifi network.


thanks!


PS: Anyone bundle their cell phone with their home service provider and it make financial sense to do so? We have Verizon FIOS at the house, phone/internet/tv. Wondering if discounts would be available if we also included cell phones on it too?
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,566 posts, read 33,292,659 times
Reputation: 32125
I've had Sprint for 5 years. They are okay in terms of quality of coverage and okay on customer service. The strength of signal is not as strong as Verizon's indoors but they will send a device that will help with that for free if you request it.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Chester County, PA
1,077 posts, read 1,427,128 times
Reputation: 1033
I'm with AT&T and $175 per month for 10GB and 2 phones seems really high unless you're including the installment plan cost of the phones. I have 3 phones with 15 GB in my plan, and it's only $145 per month (before any installment plan charges for the phones). That has been one big change the past couple of years - no more subsidized phones in exchange for 2 year contracts. Instead, you pay for the phone over the course of time and have no contract. At least with AT&T, they lowered the cost of their plans when they made this change, so over the course of a couple years, you end up in close to the same place as you did with subsidized phones and 2 year contracts. But, you may do better with Sprint or T-Mobile - they both seem to be making a lot of plays for big red and big blue customers these days.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:34 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,209 posts, read 1,832,825 times
Reputation: 3476
Thanks guys, I'm really considering the Sprint route. AJ, you're correct, that price does include the phone costs for two iphone SE models (don't like the 6 frame as much as our current 5s model). Looking at sprint, it appears I can get 20gbs of data, two 64 GB iPhone SE's, unlimited text/talk, etc, and have either phone function as a "hot spot" for my kids iPads when travelling, for around $120/month.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:34 PM
 
10,596 posts, read 12,090,790 times
Reputation: 6458
I have a Sprint iPhone for work and AT&T personal account. My Sprint work phone almost *always* has better signal than my AT&T coverage. It is about the same in my house but at various locations I almost always have to use my Sprint phone to do anything. I am also contemplating switching to Sprint.

I have a 5 cell phone plan with 15GB of data and, honestly, I can't even tell you what I pay. I think I can do better on Sprint but I am a little nervous.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:17 PM
 
4,711 posts, read 10,863,041 times
Reputation: 3773
I have a Tracfone that costs about 7 bucks a month. Works great for making phone calls!

I'll tell what's highway robbery though...satellite phones. I bought one for our cruise to Nova Scotia this summer. $1500 for the phone, $1.50-$3.00 per minute for calls, and get this...up to $15.00 per minute for data. But it may one day save our lives. Cell phones are useless once you're 10 miles or so offshore.

The boat has two types of marine radios (VHF & SSB) but if we ever have to have to get in the life raft quick, like in the case of a major fire, the sat phone will be the only way to call for help...
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:48 PM
 
Location: SoCal
4,897 posts, read 8,741,326 times
Reputation: 3625
If you travel frequently to oversea then T-Mobile has the best plan because they have free international roaming.

OP, assuming you're satisfied with the current plan with AT&T but just want new phone, this is what I did (my carrier is Version but it works the same). I went to local Apple Store and bought a iPhone 6 SE. They have a financing plan for 24 months which amounts to $16/mo with 0% interest. I simply pop in my Verizon SIM card and I am in business. They have the same financing with other models just different monthly payments.

The iPhone from Apple comes unlocked from factory so you can use it with any carrier of your choice. Verizon wanted to charge me the same price but with additional 2-year commitment. But the phone maybe locked and I wanted to travel oversea and did not feel like being controlled by Verizon.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:30 AM
 
290 posts, read 296,608 times
Reputation: 347
If you don't use data too heavily, or can move a lot of it to WiFi, then Ting may be worth looking into.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:12 AM
 
Location: National Harbor, MD
219 posts, read 499,982 times
Reputation: 108
I just switched from Verizon to Sprint and my service is terrible, primarily for internet. My office is in downtown DC, near Chinatown, and I have to keep my phone on WiFi to use the internet and sometimes I have to use their Wi-Fi Calling feature at work so that my calls don't drop.

It does not work at all at home (I live in the National Harbor), so I am forced to use Wi-Fi Calling and Wi-Fi for internet at home as well. Their service is very spotty but the prices and customer service are really good.

Before you consider porting your existing number from AT&T over to Sprint, I suggest trying it out for a few weeks first to see how it works at home and at your workplace. Then you have the option to port your number over later if your satisfied....wish I would've done this.

I had no issues with Verizon, no matter where I traveled within the DMV area, and I plan on switching back to them when the iPhone 7 comes out.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:45 AM
 
65 posts, read 50,725 times
Reputation: 91
Sprint also has free international roaming, but you'll need an LTE/GSM device. If you travel abroad frequently, Tmo may be a better choice.
As far as Sprint's DC area coverage is concerned, I remember that they offer free domestic roaming back in 2014, just turn on your data/voice roam and you'll be connected even when you're in the metro tunnel. (data is limited though). The coverage is slightly inferior to Vzn, but with roaming turned on, it's actually quite good.
I've also used VirginMobileUSA, which is just the cheaper, pre-paid version of Sprint, using Sprint's LTE network. VMUSA's plan is quite straight forward, with good data coverage. However, you you won't get the same domestic/international roaming as Sprint.
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