BrightSpot- Good even with some quirks.
I have been using BrightSpot for a bit over a month now. Prior to this, I was using Tmobile pre-paid direct from T Mobile for about 1 year, and prior to that, T-Mobile post paid for a few years. I searched for reviews from others of BrightSpot service, and basically this forum is all I saw. So I wanted to share my experiences with the service and why I chose it.
My initial main reason to switch from T Mobile post paid to pre-paid was to save money for the same service. My overall T Mobile post paid bills were around $100 (tax inclusive) for unlimited everything, and pre-paid made that go down to about $75 (tax inclusive). Around Christmas, I wanted to upgrade from my Samsung s2 to the s3. The s3 from TMobile pre-paid was at around $450 in stores. Target had the same phone for $349, and the month service was (still is) $65 including 4gb of 4g data, enough for me.
So essentially, I have stuck with T Mobile service, and my bill has decreased about $40 a month between post paid and BrightSpot. This is primarily because of the difference in taxes for pre-paid service; in FL the monthly savings is substantial.
That's the background, now my actual opinion of Brightspot.
Phone Pricing is competitive, and lower than T Mobile directly.
Coverage and data speed same as T Mobile pre-paid.
If you buy a refill card using a Target RedCard (debit or credit) you save an additional 5%- I actually pay $61.25 a month for the $65 plan.
Customer service was adequate and the agent seemed to be in the US- at least when I called I know this can change.
Target's plan of $25 Gift Cards every 6 months. Sooo if you really want to get into the math, I'm paying $57.09/mo for service if you calculate the $25 Gift Card by 6 months. This would only benefit those who shop at Target.
The phone actually worked in Mexico. I turned off data roaming but calls and texts came through. I only made 1 call, and got 1 text. This was a surprise to me for a pre-paid plan.
Phones are unlocked.
TEXT MSG SIZE LIMITS
Large text messages that include pic or video attachments are not viewable to receive and cannot be sent!! I called cust serv and they actually have a list of carrier to carrier limits for text messaging max size (Im not sure she was supposed to share that specifc info with me but did). Some of mine go through- others forget it. This seems odd to me, but I guess a reflection of the cost savings? The workaround is to download a messaging App and send pics or videos through a data service, that works fine. I can upload pics and videos through Facebook etc, just fine. Not a deal breaker to me; just annoying.
I cannot find a way to view any bill details online. I was in Mexico; phone worked; it cost me about $4 for my very limited use; no idea of the details.
The phone will not allow wi-fi calling to engage.
The $65 plan refill card is not sold in stores (at least not now). Again- seems odd to me. To get the 5% discount I have to buy the $65 refill card online. And to get free shipping, you must use a Target Red Card. You CAN refill the service online with credit card, checking account, and I suppose I could buy two smaller amount refill cards at the store to get to the $65. But just odd, you offer a $65 service but dont sell the $65 cards in Target stores (just $50, and I think $35)??
I hope this info helps anybody trying to decide if it's right for you. Im not too much of a techie, so I apologize in advance if you ask me tech questions and I have no idea how to answer