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Thread: Why is no one talking about Expo Mobile?

  1. #1
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    Question Why is no one talking about Expo Mobile?

    As PPC continues to refuse 4G phones on their PAYG plans, Many of us long-time PPC users are moving to other VZ MVNOs. I've seen destinations mentioned including:

    Tracfone: low monthly cost, min rollover, but high $/min
    SelecTel: cheap, but no rollover, and no data on annual 4G plan (not even if you want to pay extra)!
    MyWireless: low monthly cost, high $/min, no rollover
    ... ...

    I think 100min/mo is too low even for a low volume user nowadays.

    I've been looking at Expo Mobile and their $30/120day plan with interests for a while. It is cheap both in terms of $/min (2c/min) and monthly ($8/mo), and includes (low speed) data for occasional use. It seems to me that this is a much better deal (4x minutes compared to Tracfone/Mywireless at the same monthly cost) and best compared with the PPC $80/yr plan. But I don't seem to see many conversations about Expo, and reported experiences with Expo is lacking.

    I have to wonder if there is something wrong with them. Are they legit? why aren't many people, in particular outgoing PPC PAYG users, move to them? Or maybe people do, but it is such a smooth process and no one feels the need to talk about?

    Any comments from people "in the know" is appreciated.

    Sean

  2. #2
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    I'm currently on $80 pay-go, which lasts over 6 months, and I've also used the $12 per month plan at Page Plus. They seem to offer one of the lowest pay-go voice rates for Verizon, so that's the main selling point I see from the listed information. If it's the best fit for your interests, I figure they might be worth a try. Expo simply isn't for me.

    - No roaming (I tend to write off any Verizon MVNO for this reason, since I don't like the idea of reducing voice coverage, and my current phone roams at work)
    - Data speed listed as only up to 128kbps (Listed speed is slower than current 3G service)
    - No rollover (According to prepaidphonenews)
    - Longest pay-go option is only 120 days (According to their website)(I can't tell if there are any auto-refill options)
    - 5˘ per MB (It's better than Page Plus rates, but Tracfone is as low as 1˘ per MB)
    Last edited by alluringreality; 09-09-2016 at 02:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    As PPC continues to refuse 4G phones on their PAYG plans, Many of us long-time PPC users are moving to other VZ MVNOs. I've seen destinations mentioned including:

    Tracfone: low monthly cost, min rollover, but high $/min
    SelecTel: cheap, but no rollover, and no data on annual 4G plan (not even if you want to pay extra)!
    MyWireless: low monthly cost, high $/min, no rollover
    ... ...

    I think 100min/mo is too low even for a low volume user nowadays.

    I've been looking at Expo Mobile and their $30/120day plan with interests for a while. It is cheap both in terms of $/min (2c/min) and monthly ($8/mo), and includes (low speed) data for occasional use. It seems to me that this is a much better deal (4x minutes compared to Tracfone/Mywireless at the same monthly cost) and best compared with the PPC $80/yr plan. But I don't seem to see many conversations about Expo, and reported experiences with Expo is lacking.

    I have to wonder if there is something wrong with them. Are they legit? why aren't many people, in particular outgoing PPC PAYG users, move to them? Or maybe people do, but it is such a smooth process and no one feels the need to talk about?

    Any comments from people "in the know" is appreciated.

    Sean
    I'm not "in the know", but I think it's because the throttled 128kbps data is $0.05/MB, when 5Mbps LTE data is available from TF at $0.0098/MB, and many people are using more data. For example, for $99.99/yr, $8.33/mo, TF gives users 100/100/100, plus additional data is available at $10/GB. But if you're going to use close to the ~375 min &/or text/mo that the $30 will provide, and little or no data, then Expo might be worth considering. What happens to any remaining funds out of the $30 at the end of 120 days on Expo?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    I'm not "in the know", but I think it's because the throttled 128kbps data is $0.05/MB, when 5Mbps LTE data is available from TF at $0.0098/MB, and many people are using more data. For example, for $99.99/yr, $8.33/mo, TF gives users 100/100/100, plus additional data is available at $10/GB. But if you're going to use close to the ~375 min &/or text/mo that the $30 will provide, and little or no data, then Expo might be worth considering. What happens to any remaining funds out of the $30 at the end of 120 days on Expo?
    Once your talk and text usage gets "too high", RedPocket's ebay plan or Boom's $20 plan is probably better.

    Boom's $20 plan includes unlimited talk and text and 250 MB of LTE data and you can add data at $10 per GB, $14 for 2 GB, $30 for 5 GB that rolls over for 90 days.

    I don't know where you saw that there's a limit of 128 Kbps for LTE data on Expo, but that wouldn't bother me as much as no rollover and $10 expires every 90 days.

    With P+, $10 lasts 120 days and balances rollover (less $0.50 per month fee), so that's worked for me since 2009. My average usage for 2 lines has been right at 20 - 25 minutes per month that works well for P+ standard plan.

    I've accumulated balances for P+ in the last year because I've been using R+ and I mistakenly put $80 when I started one of my lines.

    3G data has been "good enough" for me. The only issue I've had with using data is that you can't just leave 3G data "on", because P+ will deduct $0.01 every time your phone "pings" the network, since they round any data usage up to one cent or 200 KB.

  5. #5
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    Ok, checking their site shows the 128 Kbps for LTE data on PAYG plans but only on their $30 PAYG plan which lasts 120 days. The $10 / 90 day plan includes no data.

    https://expomobile.com/expoaws/index.aspx/PlansList

  6. #6
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    My model was for a happy PPC customer on $80/yr PAYG plan who needs to use a 4G phone now (not necessarily 4G service - she does not care). The objective is to maintain comparable service with comparable (or better) cost. Given that, I assume average 150-200 min/txt per month, very little data use (~50MB/mo? mostly MMS and occasionally email), but VZN network only.

    In other words this is for someone who is a light user (but not a 2nd/emergency phone) with very limited, but not zero, need for data. PPC really fits her needs except that she is unable to find a 3G-only phone that she likes.

    So

    * 128kbps data is pretty slow, but OK for occasional/MMS use. (I would be surprised if anyone paying 10c/MB to PPC will use lots of data.)
    * 120day expiration is less ideal than e.g. 365day, but 2 reminders on the phone should do.
    * no rollover sucks, but there is a trade-off with cost per min here.
    * no roaming -- does PPC offer free roaming? I have no idea.

    So if one can live with 128k data rate, Expo has essentially a $90/yr plan with 4000+ min/txt and 200MB slow data (an arbitrary break-down). TF gives 400 min for that.

    I had the impression that the PPC $80 PAYG plan was very popular. I suppose those are the people with little data need (at 10c/MB!) and need 100+ min/mo on average (otherwise lower PAYG plans would be cheaper). It seems that for them to use a 4G phone there isn't a more suitable deal.

    So it is a bit surprising to me there is very little talk about Expo. This and

    * there website is very confusing
    - In particular, their "compatibility check" always failed for me -- it complained about "not valid ESN value" when I entered several known good values (from old Verizon phones that had been used on Verizon and PPC). Since this is the first step of BYOD, it is curious how they've got any BYOD customer with VZN phone;
    - There does not seem to be a customer login portal, which seems to mean that one can not manage account online. How else, then?

    * customer service has 800 number (good) but
    - When I called it got answered on 3rd ring. This is at least 10 times better than any of my previous experience with any wireless provider. It was so impressive that I was scared -- does this mean they have too few customers?
    - The guy who answered the phone did not seem to know much (which matched my previous experience). I was basically told to go to website.

    So I am a bit concerned about their service and expected longevity...

    Sean

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    * no roaming -- does PPC offer free roaming? I have no idea.
    Page Plus has extra cost roaming, which is $0.29/min on the standard plan. If your phone is roaming you would typically receive calls on the standard plan, and to dial out you have to double dial when roaming. The Verizon signal is pretty poor where I work, so I often end up paying the higher rate for incoming calls.

    So if one can live with 128k data rate, Expo has essentially a $90/yr plan with 4000+ min/txt and 200MB slow data (an arbitrary break-down). TF gives 400 min for that.
    Tracfone cannot compete with Expo for cost of voice usage, but Tracfone can provide more than 400 minutes for $90. With BYOP Tracfone will triple the listed number of minutes for all their plans other than the smartphone options. For example the 60 minute card doesn't offer a very good value in terms of service provided per dollar spent in comparison to their more expensive options, but it does provide 180 minutes, 180 texts, 180 MB, and 90 days for $17.99 plus taxes and fees on autorefill. That works out to around $73 plus taxes and fees for about 730 minutes, 730 texts, and 730 MB in a year. Really Tracfone is aiming for higher yearly usage costs than $90, since their plans that offer more service per dollar spent tend to have higher yearly costs.

    - In particular, their "compatibility check" always failed for me -- it complained about "not valid ESN value" when I entered several known good values (from old Verizon phones that had been used on Verizon and PPC). Since this is the first step of BYOD, it is curious how they've got any BYOD customer with VZN phone;
    My phone currently fails like you noted. I'm also not sure why, since it still passes on Tracfone Verizon.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alluringreality View Post
    Tracfone cannot compete with Expo for cost of voice usage, but Tracfone can provide more than 400 minutes for $90. With BYOP Tracfone will triple the listed number of minutes for all their plans other than the smartphone options. For example the 60 minute card doesn't offer a very good value in terms of service provided per dollar spent in comparison to their more expensive options, but it does provide 180 minutes, 180 texts, 180 MB, and 90 days for $17.99 plus taxes and fees on autorefill. That works out to around $73 plus taxes and fees for about 730 minutes, 730 texts, and 730 MB in a year. Really Tracfone is aiming for higher yearly usage costs than $90, since their plans that offer more service per dollar spent tend to have higher yearly costs.
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I am embarrassingly ignorant - I thought TF triple minutes only comes with certain phones/cards they sell ...

    I did some quick reading of the Hofo TF forum, and boy it is complicated. It seems to me info is not always up to date. Still have a few questions --

    * I flipped through the pages of the TF website and read their FAQ. only to get more confused ... Nowhere did I find any mentioning about triple minutes for BYOP. Shouldn't this be a big selling point for BYOP, hence featured prominently , or did I miss the obvious?

    * Of the plans they current list under "Airtime Service Plans", there are 3 groups, "one year", "pay as you go", and "Smartphone and BYOP only plans". When I chose any from the first 2 groups, it showed in "order summary" the #minutes per face value, but NO txt/data allocation. The 3rd group, in which plans have min/txt/MB all listed, has a note saying "will not triple". They do list data and txt only plans in this group (but with no length of life); I could get #txt in "order summary" by adding a txt only plan.
    This confuses me -- does a triple-able plan actually come with txt/MB in addition to min? Or do I have to buy txt/data in addition to be able to use them?

    * Also I have the impression from reading some posts that when adding an air card (is this the term?) the expiration date is pushed forward not from the current date, but from the old expiration date; therefore I could e.g. add 10 cards with 90day life and get 2.5yrs of account life. Is this true?


    Thanks,

    Sean

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by snehne View Post
    * I flipped through the pages of the TF website and read their FAQ. only to get more confused ... Nowhere did I find any mentioning about triple minutes for BYOP. Shouldn't this be a big selling point for BYOP, hence featured prominently , or did I miss the obvious?
    If you go to the autorefill section (the link below may work) and select smartphone it will show how the minutes triple on everything but the "Smartphone and BYOP Only Plans". The triple system shown on that page also applies to the "One Year" and "Monthly Value Plans". It used to be in the terms and conditions, but currently the most relevant information is in the statement "A Smartphone with a Triple Minute feature will not triple the amount of voice, text and data associated with a Smartphone Only Service Plans." I think the intent of that statement is to indicate that their smartphones and BYOP typically triple, except with the "Smartphone and BYOP Only Plans".
    https://www.tracfone.com/direct/Auto...utorefill=true

    This confuses me -- does a triple-able plan actually come with txt/MB in addition to min? Or do I have to buy txt/data in addition to be able to use them?
    Their triple system for BYOP is generally confusing, which is probably why they introduced the "Smartphone and BYOP Only Plans". The "Smartphone and BYOP Only Plans" just offer the stated service. For BYOP you get triple the number of stated minutes for minutes, texts, and data if you buy the "One Year", "Pay As You Go", or "Monthly Value Plans". For BYOP you get texts and data on all of their service options, except for the $5 text-only and $10 data-only purchases.

    * Also I have the impression from reading some posts that when adding an air card (is this the term?) the expiration date is pushed forward not from the current date, but from the old expiration date; therefore I could e.g. add 10 cards with 90day life and get 2.5yrs of account life. Is this true?
    My understanding is that the stated service days simply adds together, like you stated. This is in the terms "Each additional Airtime Card you add will further extend your “Service End Date” by the number of days specified without limitation."

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    Really appreciate the detailed response. I am now convinced that TF is a very viable replacement of PPC.

    I'll move to TF forum for further questions.

    Thanks everyone again.

    Sean

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    I having the same problem. Says "Not valid ESN value."

  12. #12
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    Call Expo's CS to check the ESN eligibility for the phone. The website checker didn't work for any of my phones that were used on Page Plus.

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    I was able to activate by calling.

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    Is there a way to check balance remaining?

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    Quote Originally Posted by grayson73 View Post
    Is there a way to check balance remaining?
    I could not figure this out. As I said this was one of the things with Expo that made me uncomfortable. I don't see enough effort that they put in to make a low overhead service -- the more things a user can do online, the less need for manned support, which should be #1 priority for a low cost operator. Their website is geared towards selling service (only).

    I hope they improve soon, as I like their offerings.

    Sean

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