Lifehacker recently conducted a survey and found out that yes, most people hate the mainstream cell phone carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. Luckily, they followed it up by profiling some great alternatives. I am about to jump on one of these to save lots of money and get better service (I hope). But first! Here’s my history of cell phone plans:
- 2008 – I got my first cell phone, on Verizon.
- Dec 2011 – I switched to Credo Mobile, a great company that uses the Sprint network and pitches themselves as a more ethical carrier than the big five.
- May 2013 – Frustrated with Sprint’s poor service in my home and by Credo’s growing bill ($114 when I left) and suggested by Des of Mobile Rapid Response Unit, I switched to Straight Talk ($49), one of the alternative carriers mentioned in the Lifehacker article above. Straight Talk runs on both the Verizon network (that I wanted to be on) and the Sprint network (that I wanted to get off of). Unfortunately, I didn’t do enough homework and ended up on the Sprint network again.
- Oct 2013 – In a fit of exuberance, I dropped on the floor the fancy new handset I got from Straight Talk, and the screen broke completely. I was forced to reactivate my old handset from Credo, which I luckily still had. Less fancy, still on Sprint.
- Nov 2013 – Lifehacker posted the list of alternatives, and I discovered that Republic Wireless might just fit the bill of what I’m looking for. They’re on the Sprint network, but they have this handy thing where your phone primarily uses wireless if it can, and only uses the cell signal if there’s no wireless. Luckily, most places I want to make calls from have wireless. And better yet: the plan I’ll probably get is only $25. Until now, they’ve only had one handset option, which isn’t great. But as of tomorrow, they’re introducing a new handset, the Moto X, which is another fancy one! I’m all over it.
- May 2014 – If I stay with Straight Talk and the rates don’t change, this is the month I will have saved money over Credo.
- Sep 2014 – If I switch to Republic, this is the month I will have saved money over Credo.
- Jul 2015 – If I switch to Republic, this is the month I will have saved money over Straight Talk. Frankly, this is a bit long of a timeframe for me, but I think the improved service will be well worth it.
Traditional smart phone plans are exorbitantly expensive. I’m thrilled to be switching to a 21st century alternative that is more sanely priced.