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Thread: Straight Talk Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ") Page (Updated 3/20/2014)

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    Question Straight Talk Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQ") Page (Updated 3/20/2014)

    The Straight Talk Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) Page

    Revision Date: 3/20/2014

    This is the Straight Talk FAQ. It answers the most frequently asked questions on Howard Forums about Straight Talk Wireless.

    -----------------------------

    Table of Contents

    [1]: What is Straight Talk Wireless?
    [2]: What is an MVNO? What is GSM? What is CDMA?
    [3]: If I buy a phone or SIM card from Straight Talk, which network will I get service on? AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint?
    [4]: Can I move the SIM card in my Straight Talk phone from one phone to another?
    [5]: Can I switch from one network to another?
    [6]: Can I port my number?
    [7]: How much does Straight Talk charge and what do I get?
    [8]: My data stopped working (or is very slow)! What can I do?
    [9]: I’m having a problem with Straight Talk and cannot get any help? How can I reach someone?
    [10]: What is the default SIM PIN for my Straight Talk GSM Phone/SIM?
    [11]: I activated a Straight Talk Verizon phone, but I cannot place calls. Is there anything that I can do before I call customer service?
    [12]: Does Straight Talk have an accurate coverage map?
    [13]: Does Straight Talk add any taxes to the cost of service?
    [14]: What’s the best phone?
    [15]: What’s the safest way to do business with Straight Talk?
    [16]: How do I unlock/root/jailbreak/tether my phone?
    [17]: Can I bring my own phone to Straight Talk?
    [18]: How can I bring my own iPhone to Straight Talk?
    [19]: I'm fed up with Straight Talk! Is there a better choice?

    -----------------------------

    [1]: What is Straight Talk Wireless?

    Straight Talk wireless is a brand of Tracfone, Inc., which is a Mobile Virtual Network operator based in Florida. ST sells phones, SIM cards, and mobile telephone service in the United States from Walmart stores, walmart.com, and their own web-site, straighttalk.com. ST is unique because it sells phones that operate on all four major wireless providers in the U.S., including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint.

    [2]: What is an MVNO? What is a SIM? What is GSM? What is CDMA?

    Read the Prepaid Wireless FAQ for answers to these questions. You can find a link to the latest Prepaid Wireless FAQ by clicking here: http://howardforums.com/uQ5tG

    [3]: If I buy a phone or SIM card from Straight Talk, which network will I get service on? AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint?

    That depends upon where you buy your phone or SIM Card, and which phone or SIM Card you purchase. Straight Talk phones can use AT&T, T-mobile, Verizon, or Sprint, depending upon where you purchase your phone, the ZIP code entered before you shop for a phone on Straight Talk’s web-site, and the specific model phone that you select.

    Phones

    To find out which phones are available in your area, shop for a phone on StraightTalk's web-site. After entering your ZIP code, look in the URL (http:/) address in your browser. Look for the letters after "market=".

    If "GSM4" appears in URL, your list of phones will include GSM phones (model #s ending in G and Smartphones) that will operate on AT&T's network.

    If "GSM5" appears, your list will include GSM phones (model #s ending in G) that will operate on T-Mobile's network.

    If "CO" appears, your list will include CDMA phones (model #s ending in C) that will operate on Verizon's CDMA network.

    If you see "SPR", your list will include Android smartphones that operate on the Sprint network.

    If you see "AT", your list will include smartphones that operate on the AT&T network.

    You may also see a combination of these letters. For example, GSM5ATSPRCO would mean a combination of T-Mobile (Model #s ending in G), Verizon (model #s ending in C), AT&T (Smartphones), and Sprint (Android) phones. COGSM4 means that you'll see Verizon CDMA phones (model #s ending in C) and AT&T GSM phones (model #s ending in G AND Smartphones).

    Non-smartphones whose model number ends in "G" will operate on either AT&T (GSM4) or T-Mobile (GSM5), depending upon the Zip Code entered before the phone is purchased on StraightTalk.com.

    If purchased at Walmart, the box should have a sticker on the bottom indicating the Serial Number of the SIM. If the phone is a GSM phone, you can determine which network the phone uses by looking at the Serial Number of the SIM card, which is usually located underneath the battery. If the numbers on the SIM card begin with 890126, your phone uses T-Mobile’s network. If the numbers on the SIM card begin with 890141, your phone users AT&T’s network.

    SIM Cards

    Straight Talk sells both AT&T and T-Mobile SIM Cards that you can install into an unlocked phone of your choice at StraightTalkSIM.com, Walmart.com, and at Walmart. If you purchase a Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card, it will use AT&T's network. If you purchase a Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM Card, it will use T-Mobile's Network. ST SIMs are for customers who already have a phone, or who want to buy a non-StraightTalk phone. If you buy a phone from Straight Talk, you will not need to purchase a SIM separately.

    [4]: Can I move the SIM card in my Straight Talk phone from one phone to another?

    If you bought a SIM card from StraightTalk.com, WalMart.com, or Walmart, you can move the SIM Card from one phone to another as often as you like.

    If you bought a phone, then it depends on several factors. Historically, the SIM cards used in Straight Talk phones were locked and could not be used in a non-Straight Talk phone. However, Howard Forums users have reported that certain AT&T phones that Straight Talk only permits to be activated on the $45.00 per month plan (Samsung Galaxy Discover, LG Optimus Ultimate, LG Optimus Extreme, LG Optimus Logic, Samsung Galaxy SII, ZTE Merit, Nokia E71, and Nokia E5) may have SIM cards that are unlocked and can be used in other unlocked or AT&T locked GSM phones, using one of the the following two APN Settings for data:

    Option 1- Old Settings:

    NAME: Straight Talk
    APN: att.mvno
    PORT: 80
    MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
    MMS PROXY: 66.209.11.33
    MMS PORT: 80
    APN Type: default,mms,supl,agps,fota,dun,hipri,entitle

    Option 2 - New Settings:

    NAME: Straight Talk
    APN: tfdata
    PORT: 80
    MMSC: http://mms-tf.net
    MMS PROXY: mms3.tracfone.com
    MMS PORT: 80
    APN Type: default,mms,supl,agps,fota,dun,hipri,entitle

    Note that your Straight Talk account is tied to the serial number of the phone (and not the SIM card), and so if you are able to move your SIM card, you should not sell or give-away your phone to someone else or try to activate it again.

    [5]: Can I switch from one network to another?

    Yes. Just purchase a new phone or SIM that uses your desired network. Then log-in to your account on StraightTalk.com and print out your current service end date. Then choose the option to "Activate/Reactivate" and then "Transfer my Existing Straight Talk Service." Do not return or sell your old phone until you have transferred service to the new phone.

    [6]: Can I port my number?

    Yes, but you shouldn’t. Porting is a major source of trouble with Straight Talk. Also, due to Straight Talk’s notoriously poor customer service, there is always a risk that you could lose your number.

    [7]: How much does Straight Talk charge and what do I get?

    Straight Talk advertises unlimited talk, text, and data for $45.00 per month.

    In late September of 2013, Straight Talk changed its terms and conditions and announced that it's "unlimited" data plans now offer 2.5gb of high speed data, followed by unlimited data at a lower speed. Straight Talk has stated that speeds will return to normal once a new monthly cycle begins.

    Prior to that time, Straight Talk advertised that it's data plans were "unlimited." However, it was widely reported that Straight Talk would cancel your service, cut-off your data, or throttle (reduce the speeds) of your data if you use more than 1.5GB to 2GB in a month. However, other HoFo users reported being able to greatly exceed 2GB in one month with no consequences. Straight Talk admitted that it imposed limits on how customers may use their data, in this PC Magazine story:

    If you have an Android phone and want to keep track of your data usage, you can download an app called 3G Watchdog from Google Play.

    The cheapest way to buy Straight Talk service currently is to buy a 90-day service card from Walmart.com. This reduces your monthly cost to just under $42.00 per month.

    [8]: My data stopped working (or is very slow)! What can I do?

    Many Howard Forums users have reported having their data throttled or cut-off. Some report that Straight Talk told them that they had used "too much" data, or had violated Straight Talk's Terms of Service by tethering or streaming. Other HowardForums users have reported that their data services were cut-off because of a configuration error by Straight Talk. Some instances of slow data have been caused by network congestion or problems with the underlying carrier. There have been two well known episodes with AT&T SIMs where every MVNO customer experienced repeated data issues over a period of several weeks.

    If you experience data problems, you have two choices: Try to reach someone at Straight Talk to resolve the concern or switch to another provider that has better customer service.

    [9]: I’m having a problem with Straight Talk and cannot get any help? How can I reach someone?

    Customer service is one of Straight Talk’s biggest challenges. Howard Forums users have reported having incredibly long hold times, being disconnected, and even being transferred to busy signals. Howard Forums members have reported the best luck getting support from Straight Talk’s Facebook page. Straight Talk also occasionally responds to posts on Howard Forums, and has posted that Bloggers can reach them by email at “ST.CorpResolutionTeam@straighttalk.com”.

    It has widely been reported that 800-876-5753 reaches their executive resolution team, but I believe this number goes to a call center overseas, and I have found them to be the most unhelpful escalated method of receiving service.

    If you’re having number portability issues, call the main Straight Talk number and select the options for number portability. This actually reaches people who are trained in number portability.

    If you are having data issues, call the BYOP program number at 855-222-2355. Even if you don’t have a BYOP SIM, these agents are trained in handling data related problems.

    Straight Talk also maintains its own forums at www.straighttalkwirelessforum.com

    You can access Straight Talk's web-chat by visiting StraightTalk.com, clicking on "Support," and then the FAQ's pull-down option. After you arrive at the page, click the "Live Help" button towards the upper right hand corner.

    You can write to Straight Talk here:

    Corporate HQ Address:
    Straight Talk, Inc
    Attention: Executive Resolution Department
    9700 NW 112th Avenue
    Miami, FL 33178

    If all else fails, file a Complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Communications Commission, using the following link:

    http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

    [10]: What is the default SIM PIN for my Straight Talk GSM Phone/SIM?

    For AT&T based phones PIN1 = 1111 PIN2 = 2222
    For T-Mobile based phones PIN1 = 1234 PIN2 = 5678

    [11]: I activated a Straight Talk Verizon phone, but I cannot place calls. Is there anything that I can do before I call customer service?

    Try dialing *22890 and then send from your phone. This forces Verizon's network to configure your phone.

    To update your roaming list on Straight Talk Verizon CDMA Phones, dial *22891 then send.

    [12]: Does Straight Talk have an accurate coverage map?

    Because Straight Talk uses four different carriers for service, no single map can accurately depict the coverage. Your coverage will vary depending upon which phone or SIM Card you buy. At various times, Straight Talk has had a variety of coverage maps on their web-site.

    It has been reported that:

    Straight Talk's AT&T phones have the same coverage as regular, postpaid AT&T customers.
    Straight Talk's T-Mobile phones have the same coverage as regular, postpaid T-Mobile customers.
    Straight Talk's Verizon phones have the same coverage as prepaid Verizon customers.
    Straight Talk's Sprint phones have the same coverage as Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile (Sprint Prepaid) customers.

    You can get a good indication of the coverage of a particular phone by finding it on walmart.com and entering the zip code where you intend to use it. Or, you can look at the underlying carrier’s map.

    [13]: Does Straight Talk add any taxes to the cost of service?

    If you purchase a service card from walmart.com, you will be charged sales tax in accordance with the State you use as your shipping address. Service cards purchased on Walmart.com are delivered to you electronically.

    Oregon and New Hampshire have no sales tax. Currently, Walmart.com does not charge sales tax for service card purchases made to California addresses, although it is not clear why.

    If you re-up on StraightTalk.com, you will be charged the following taxes:

    Universal Service Charge: 1.5 percent of the amount charged.
    Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee: .2 percent of the amount charged.
    Sales Tax based upon billing address of credit card.
    E911 Fee based upon billing address of credit card.

    [14]: What Phone Should I Buy?

    Straight Talk sells a good variety of smart and dumb phones on their web-site and at Walmart and Walmart.com.

    Straight Talk sells an iPhone for use on Straight Talk at Walmart and Walmart.com. The iPhone 4S and 5 are Verizon CDMA phones that include a GSM slot. If you activate those phones on Straight Talk using the serial number of that phone, it will use Verizon's towers. Straight Talk advises customers that the phone is locked and cannot accept SIMs. However, Hofo users have reported that the phone is actually unlocked and can accept a SIM card from a MVNO that uses AT&T or T-Mobile (including Straight Talk SIMs). Before this phone was released, some ST users have purchased the unlocked GSM iPhone from Apple, and then used the Straight Talk AT&T SIM. There have also been reports that if you purchase the Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM, you can then select to use AT&T's network from the carrier select screen.

    Straight Talks also sells an iPhone 5C and 5S. That phone appears to be an AT&T phone.

    If you think you want an Android phone that uses Sprint, you should reconsider. Sprint's network is much, much smaller than Verizon's, AT&T's, and T-Mobile's, and there is no roaming on Straight Talk's Sprint phones. To see how small Sprint's network is, go to Virgin Mobile's web-site and view their coverage map.

    If you want to find your own GSM Phone with the AT&T SIM, consider any AT&T Prepaid Phone (i.e. any AT&T Gophone). Most AT&T GoPhones will work on an AT&T-powered MVNO’s SIM card without unlocking, and the phones will come with the correct bands for AT&T’s high-speed data services. If you want to use a GSM Phone on an MVNO that uses T-Mobile’s towers, consider a T-Mobile Prepaid Phone.

    Google sells the Google Nexus4 phone running Android for $299, and it will provide high speed data with both an AT&T SIM card or a T-Mobile SIM. Otterbox makes a fantastic case to use with this phone.

    There are a number of web-sites that sell unlocked GSM phones that will work on either AT&T or T-Mobile, including Amazon.com, expansysusa.com, negrielectronics.com, and www.net10wirelessphones.com. Most of these devices are phones that were originally sold in Latin America or Europe, and so they often will not have all of the apps or features that a comparable U.S. based phone will have. Some will actually have apps and features that U.S. based phones do not have, such as sharing your data over wifi. If you want your phone to support high speed data, make sure that it supports the 850/1900 Mhz HSDPA band if you are going to use an AT&T-based SIM or that it support 1700 Mhz HSDPA if you are going to use a T-Mobile based SIM.

    Straight Talk now allows you to bring some existing Verizon and Sprint phones to Straight Talk. See Question #17 for more details.

    [15]: What’s the safest way to do business with Straight Talk?

    Buy 30-day service cards from walmart.com, and apply the card 14 days before your current plan will expire using straighttalk.com. This will give you enough time to contact Straight Talk and get any problems sorted out before your current plan expires if you have trouble adding the service card to your account.

    Don’t buy a service card until you are ready to use it. It has been reported that service cards expire one year after the date of purchase. After you apply a service card, print out the web-page showing your new expiry data and keep it handy, in case Straight Talk’s system loses it.

    If you use an Android phone, download 3G Watchdog or My Data Manager and use it to ensure that you don't use more than than 2GB in a 30-day period.

    If you need to return a phone or send it in for warranty repairs, purchase a new phone or SIM card and transfer service using straighttalk.com BEFORE you contact Straight Talk to arrange the return or before you return the phone to Walmart. Straight Talk ties your phone number and account to the serial number of your phone, and so if you have them open a ticket to return it or return it to Walmart and it has active service, they may cancel it, and you may lose your number and your remaining service.

    Do not buy more than three phones in a six month period from Straighttalk.com using the same name, address, phone #, email address, and credit card combination. If you do, you risk being permanently banned, which will affect your ability to auto-renew and has been reported to prevent purchases of airtime cards on Walmart.com as well. If you need more phones for family or friends, have them buy the phones in their names, using their credit cards, and their addresses. Better yet, buy the phones at Wal-Mart.

    If you wish to switch from one phone to another do not do so unless you have 90 days or less service remaining on your account. Do not switch from one phone to another more than once every seven days. Before switching, print out your current service end date.

    [16]: How do I unlock/root/jailbreak/tether my phone?

    Straight Talk's terms of service prohibit you from tethering your phone to another device. If you purchased your phone directly from Straight Talk, it may be a violation of the Terms of Service to unlock/root/jailbreak your phone.

    However, if you purchased your own iPhone or Android device, you can usually find the most up to date information on Lifehacker's always up to date guides:

    Lifehacker: Always Up to Date Guide on Jailbreaking an iPhone

    Lifehacker: Always Up to Date Guide on Rooting an Android Phone

    For information on tethering your phone on a service provider that allows it, you may wish to check out xda-developers.com.

    [17]: Can I bring my own phone to Straight Talk?

    Yes. If your phone is an AT&T phone, you can buy an AT&T SIM card from StraightTalk.com or Walmart.com. If you have a T-Mobile phone, you can buy the T-Mobile SIM. These SIMs should work even if your phone is locked to AT&T or T-Mobile.

    If your phone is a Verizon or a Sprint phone, you may be able to bring your phone to Straight Talk, and use the same network as before. Sprint users should note that Straight Talk's Sprint network does not allow for roaming.

    You can verify whether your phone is eligible by using this link: http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/port...p/registration

    [18]: How can I bring my own iPhone to Straight Talk?

    Special Thanks to hayburner for writing this section of the FAQ!

    Buy an AT&T SIM from Straight Talk's web-site or from Wal-Mart or WalMart.com and install it in your iPhone. To get data and MMS working follow these instructions:

    The Basics on APN Settings

    Any smartphone needs two sets of information in order to (1) use cellular data and (2) use MMS (ie, send pictures in text to non-iPhones or send texts to email addresses).

    Because of some random settings dictated by some combination of the Straight Talk AT&T SIM and the iPhone, the defaults for these two sets of information is completely and utterly wrong.

    On Android phones, you can simply go into the APN settings and change both of these sets of information, so one doesn't have much trouble.

    On an iPhone, things get much more complicated, because by default, the combination of the Straight Talk AT&T SIM and the iPhone does not let you edit these settings.

    Known workarounds to edit APN settings on iPhones

    1. You can download an APN profile from a site like unlockit.co.nz (visit this link on your mobile device, select Straight Talk, and download profile). This only gives you one set of information, number (1) above. It's not clear why these sorts of APN profiles are unable to set the APNs needed for sending/receiving MMS.
    2. You can do the T-Mobile SIM swap, where the presence of a T-Mobile SIM allows you to put in the correct settings to General->Cellular->Cellular Data Network. This gives you both sets of information because you are actually typing in the settings under both headings (Cellular Data and MMS). These first two workarounds do not require your phone to be jailbroken.
      1. For Straight Talk AT&T SIMs, iPhone 4S/5 can be factory unlocked or locked to AT&T. I believe iPhone 4 must be unlocked. For Straight Talk T-Mobile SIMs, iPhone 4/4S/5 should be unlocked.
      2. You need a T-Mobile prepaid SIM (ask a friend, or get one here).
      3. Remove any APN profile you may have downloaded.
      4. General->Reset->Reset Network Settings.
      5. Quit out of all running apps except Notes.
      6. Go to General->Cellular on the iPhone. Make sure Cellular Data button is set to ON.
      7. Open the SIM tray and swap in prepaid T-Mobile SIM.
      8. Give it a moment to activate (it will boot you back to General) and then in General->Cellular, a menu called Cellular Data Network will appear (it is located below "Data Roaming" and above the "Set Up Personal Hotspot"). Quickly click into the menu option and you will notice that all the cellular setting fields are blank.
      9. Once you get into the Cellular Data Network menu (bunch of blank fields), double-tap the home button to invoke multitasking and switch to the Notes app.
      10. While in Notes, swap out the T-Mobile SIM and place in the ST SIM. Wait in the Notes app until "HOME" appears in the upper left. It will start with AT&T, and then finally switch back to HOME. This may take a little while.
      11. Double-tap the home button again to invoke multitasking and switch back to the Settings app. You should still be in the Cellular Data Network menu.
      12. The ST SIM will have put info in many of the empty fields ("phone"). Replace these entries with the "New" settings below, or the T-Mobile settings if you are using a T-Mobile SIM.
      13. Once confirmed, exit the cellular data menu by hitting the upper left button (says Cellular). DO NOT click Reset Settings. The Cellular Data Network menu option will have vanished from General->Cellular.
      14. If correct, it should start working right away, but give your phone a reboot to make sure.
      15. Test cellular data and MMS. Cellular data should be self-explanatory, but test MMS by sending a text message directly to an email address. This works, and should confirm that your MMS is functional.
      16. If it does not work, return to step 3, entering the "Old" APN settings in step 4. One of these two should work, unless you actually have a Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM, in which case your APN settings should be the ones on the bottom.
      17. SIM swap explanatory video
    3. If your phone is jailbroken, you are on easy street. By jailbreaking, you can use tweaks (TetherMe or EditAPN or others) to gain access to the General->Cellular->Cellular Data Network menu and then edit the APN settings to whatever you wish. This, again, gives you both sets of information because you are actually typing the settings in.
      1. Remove any APN profile you may have downloaded.
      2. Remove any settings that may or may not be in Settings->TetherMe (I'm not sure what these would be, if anything).
      3. General->Reset->Reset Network Settings.
      4. Go into General->Cellular->Cellular Data Network and enter the "New" APN settings below.
      5. If correct, it should start working right away, but give your phone a reboot to make sure.
      6. Test cellular data and MMS. Cellular data should be self-explanatory, but test MMS by sending a text message directly to an email address. This works, and should confirm that your MMS is functional.
      7. If it does not work, return to step 2, entering the "Old" APN settings in step 4. One of these two should work, unless you actually have a Straight Talk T-Mobile SIM, in which case your APN settings should be the ones on the bottom.


    You should only need to do one of the above steps. If you do more than one, the settings given could conflict, and it's hard in that case to tell which settings it's using and therefore what's causing the problem. The Straight Talk Wiki has seen better days and the page describing this information pertaining to iPhones has been deleted, but you can find it in an internet archive here if you need more information

    New ST AT&T APN Settings

    Cellular Data
    APN: tfdata
    Username:
    Password:

    MMS
    APN: tfdata
    Username:
    Password:
    MMSC: http://mms-tf.net
    MMS Proxy: mms3.tracfone.com:80
    MMS Max Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

    Old ST AT&T APN Settings

    Cellular Data
    APN: att.mvno
    Username:
    Password:

    MMS
    APN: att.mvno
    Username:
    Password:
    MMSC: http://mmsc.cingular.com
    MMS Proxy: 66.209.11.33:80
    MMS Max Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf

    ST T-Mobile APN Settings

    Cellular Data
    APN: wap.tracfone
    Username:
    Password:

    MMS
    APN: wap.tracfone
    Username:
    Password:
    MMSC: http://mms.tracfone.com
    MMS Proxy: 216.155.165.40:8080
    MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL: http://www.apple.com/mms/uaprof.rdf[/QUOTE]

    [19]: I'm fed up with Straight Talk! Is there a better choice?

    Possibly. There are several MVNOs that have considerably better customer service than Straight Talk and which might save you money.
    Read the Prepaid Wireless FAQ. It includes a list of the most popular MVNOs. You can find a link to the Prepaid FAQ here: http://howardforums.com/uQ5tG

    If you decide to port your number from Straight Talk, your new provider will want your account number and your PIN:

    Account Number: Your telephone number
    PIN: Log-in to StraightTalk.com, select "Update Personal Profile" on the left, and then scroll down to "Current Security PIN."
    Last edited by Endeavor; 03-20-2014 at 11:16 PM.
    Questions?? Read the FAQs: The Prepaid FAQ . The Straight Talk FAQ
    Disagree with someone? Be Nice!
    Report posts that violate the rules by clicking the dark triangle at the bottom, left of the post.


    I no longer see messages from these users (and won't respond to them):
    pfoneguy, rcentros.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Very good write up. Thank you for doing this.


    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    [8]: Does Straight Talk have an accurate coverage map?

    Not really.

    The Android map on their web-site shows the coverage for their Sprint phones, and is completely inaccurate for the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim (which uses Verizon’s towers) and for the ZTE Merit (which uses AT&T’s). The non-Android map is a more generally accurate map for AT&T and T-Mobile’s coverage, but it is not perfect, either

    As you mentioned, one area where Straight Talk could improve their website is their maps coverage. The "Androids" map coverage is laughably wrong. It's like they have not even thought about updating their maps from back when ALL their Straight Talk branded Androids ran on Sprint.

    They need to trash that outdated "Androids" map entirely.




    And even though the genius BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) SIM plan is so totally different from the rest of Straight Talk, that it has its own URL -- StraightTalkSIM.com -- all the links are so intermingled with the "regular" Straight Talk website (and their outdated maps) that it's too easy to think if you are bringing your own state-of-the-art Android phone to Straight Talk it will have almost no coverage. On StraightTalkSIM.com, the "coverage" link at the TOP of the page is accurate for BYOP. The "coverage" link at the BOTTOM of that same page is for Straight Talk-branded phones only, not the BYOP. VERY confusing.





    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    [10]: What’s the best phone?

    If you want to bring your own phone, many people choose the unlocked GSM iPhone which you can buy from Apple, and then buy the Straight Talk AT&T SIM Card directly from straighttalk.com. While you can use the iPhone with T-Mobile, it will have very slow data (2G).

    Google sells the Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone running Android for $349, and it will provide high speed data with both the AT&T SIM card and the T-Mobile SIM.


    If you want your phone to support high speed data, make sure that it supports the 850/1900 Mhz HSDPA band if you are going to use an AT&T-based SIM or that it support 1700 Mhz HDSDPA if you are going to use a T-Mobile based SIM.
    EXACTLY. For $349, the Galaxy Nexus is hands-down the best all-round value. The Galaxy S III or HTC One X are about the only two phones that could possibly beat it in performance (iOS or Android), yet the Galaxy Nexus is a pentaband phone that can be used with all GSM carriers world-wide. For those in the USA, that basically means it can be used with both AT&T and T-Mobile for HSPA+ speeds.

    And it comes with the latest Android software from Google, 4.1 Jelly Bean while not many Android phones even have 4.0 ICS. Most Android phones still are running on 2.3 Gingerbread. The Galaxy Nexus has great specs, and the newest software -- and is still onlly $349. For an unlocked new Galaxy S III or HTC One X or latest iPhone you would be paying around $600 or more.

    The Galaxy Nexus (< designed by Google engineers to be an Android showcase) still gives the newer Samsung Galaxy S III a run for the money:

    Second Look: Samsung Galaxy Nexus can go toe-to-toe with the S III
    http://howardforums.com/6ivv0


    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    [11]: What’s the safest way to do business with Straight Talk?

    If you use an Android phone, download 3G Watchdog and use it to ensure that you don't use more than 100 MB per day and don't use more than 2GB per 30 day period.
    Good advice on the cautionary limits, which Straight Talk refuses to be honest about.

    However, while 3G Watchdog is good, in my opinion My Data Manger is better.




    Shows you how much data you are using over mobile or wi-fi. Lets you set multiple alarms, daily and monthly, as you approach the limits you set. Lets you sync with your billing cycle. Shows you via chart, lists, graphs what is using the most data.

    AND, if you wish, My Data Manager lets you set a self-governor so you don't exceed a certain level of data usage over mobile. If you desire, you can set a daily/monthly limit to automatically cut yourself off before Straight Talk throttles you. Others have said 3G Watchdog does not have that feature, and they have to download a 2nd app for that functionality. My Data Manager has it all.
    Last edited by ChazzMatt; 08-17-2012 at 09:38 AM.
    Your creed may be interesting, but your deeds are much more convincing.

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    When describing cost of ST refill card at walmart.com you should mention that the prices you quote are only true if you specify a ship to address to a State without sales tax. Since the refill card is delivered by email, the ship to address is of no consequence
    Pete

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    Thanks to everyone who has responded.

    Pete, I've specified a California "ship to" address and was not charged sales tax.

    Quote Originally Posted by paroots View Post
    When describing cost of ST refill card at walmart.com you should mention that the prices you quote are only true if you specify a ship to address to a State without sales tax. Since the refill card is delivered by email, the ship to address is of no consequence
    Pete

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    Very helpful & informative post EndeavorOR. The only suggestion I would make is to create a wiki and add just the link to your post.
    The reason I suggest that is Hofo only gives a short amount of time to go back and edit posts so after a week or so you won't be able to go back to add anything or edit. Just a suggestion.

    We need to contact a mod about making this thread a sticky in the ST forum.

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    I just bought a re-up pin from walmart.com last week that was emailed to me and I had to pay the standard sales tax for my state... FL. Cost me 48.15 total.
    PLEASE, don't PM me with questions that could and should be answered in the open forum. Then everyone can benefit from the answer, and you will get more than "one" opinion... Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndeavorOR View Post
    Thanks to everyone who has responded.

    Pete, I've specified a California "ship to" address and was not charged sales tax.
    Guess I don't understand. I tried changing my ship to address to 3 States: CO, FL, and NH. Both CO and FL added tax whereas NH did not. Of course, NH has no sales tax. To be sure nothing has changed, I just did a checkout with a CO ship to address and it added $11.84 tax to the 90 day refill card?
    Pete

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    I just did a trial checkout using a CA ship to address and sure enough, no tax was added. Wonder why?
    Pete

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    I'm not sure.

    Since California has sales tax and no sales tax was charged, I just assumed that Walmart.com did not charge sales tax at all. Since you guys are seeing a sales tax charge, it appears that my statement may not have been accurate.

    If I had to guess, I'd guess that California's sales tax does not apply to wireless service cards, perhaps because they are really a service and not a "good." Other states may have different rules. Wal-Mart may just be following the rules properly.

    Or maybe they made a mistake...

    In either case, I'll update the FAQ accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by paroots View Post
    I just did a trial checkout using a CA ship to address and sure enough, no tax was added. Wonder why?
    Pete

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    I fail to see why a FAQ thread has to be turned into a long drawn-out discussion on how to get out of paying sales tax.
    It has already been discussed to death in other threads.

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    Woah! Nobody is talking about getting out of paying sales tax. I'm talking about how to determine how much something is going to cost you. If you're going to switch from your current provider, you need to know exactly how much it is going to cost so that you can determine whether it is worth it so switch. Nobody should be using this information to illegally avoid paying taxes that they owe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougeeebear View Post
    I fail to see why a FAQ thread has to be turned into a long drawn-out discussion on how to get out of paying sales tax.
    It has already been discussed to death in other threads.

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    So how hard is it for someone to determine $45 x their local tax % = total cost
    Last edited by dougeeebear; 08-18-2012 at 06:19 AM.

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    Thanks endeavoror, but could you please add the below maps to the FAQ's.
    For AT&T, click on the link below, this the native coverage map, which means that the phone will have more coverage than this on ST, enter your actual address to see how the voice signal is, then see what data coverage(click on data above map) you have in your area. The last link is for the actual ST maps.
    http://www.wireless.att.com/coverage...phone&opt=payg
    - For TMobile, click on the link below, this the native coverage map, which means that the phone will have more coverage than this on ST, enter your actual address to see how the voice signal is, then see what data coverage(click on data coverage above map) you have in your area.
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-coverage
    - Verizon uses only the Straight talk branded phones, no BYOD allowed, no smartphones sold or allowed. This is native coverage which means NO roaming allowed for these phones.
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/C...datacoverage4g
    - Sprint is only for the 2 branded Android phones(samsung galaxy precedent and LG optimus Q) sold by Straight Talks and uses native sprint network only, ie NO roaming outside the network.
    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check...phone-coverage
    - The below is the ST map for all its networks, as you can see the maps are broader than ATT and TMo bcoz of roaming.

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    Well, if someone did what you suggested, they'd get the wrong amount if they renew on ST.com.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougeeebear View Post
    So how hard is it for someone to determine $45 x their local tax % = total cost

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    I'll add these to the next version of the FAQ.

    I'm assuming that the ST map you posted is now several years old, and so I wouldn't rely on it for accurate coverage today...

    Quote Originally Posted by ndtv88 View Post
    Thanks endeavoror, but could you please add the below maps to the FAQ's.
    For AT&T, click on the link below, this the native coverage map, which means that the phone will have more coverage than this on ST, enter your actual address to see how the voice signal is, then see what data coverage(click on data above map) you have in your area. The last link is for the actual ST maps.
    http://www.wireless.att.com/coverage...phone&opt=payg
    - For TMobile, click on the link below, this the native coverage map, which means that the phone will have more coverage than this on ST, enter your actual address to see how the voice signal is, then see what data coverage(click on data coverage above map) you have in your area.
    http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-coverage
    - Verizon uses only the Straight talk branded phones, no BYOD allowed, no smartphones sold or allowed. This is native coverage which means NO roaming allowed for these phones.
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/C...datacoverage4g
    - Sprint is only for the 2 branded Android phones(samsung galaxy precedent and LG optimus Q) sold by Straight Talks and uses native sprint network only, ie NO roaming outside the network.
    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check...phone-coverage
    - The below is the ST map for all its networks, as you can see the maps are broader than ATT and TMo bcoz of roaming.

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