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Thread: Spot Mobile vs. Ptel

  1. #1
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    Spot Mobile vs. Ptel

    After some major problems with Spot Mobile, as detailed in my earlier threads, I switched my son's service to Ptel, using promo code PTELSLICK20 (still valid as of today) to get a SIM card and $40 of PayGo credit for 5 months for $20 shipped. Here is my comparison of the two providers:

    MINIMUM ANNUAL COST
    Pricewise, Spot cannot be beat for a pure "emergency phone," as you can get three-month $5 cards, thus $20 per year, plus SIM card (Spot charged me $21 for the card and $5 credit). But that is only 200 minutes a year (average 16.7 minutes per month), so we are talking about an emergency phone in the truest sense. And this assumes no deductions for spam texts and voice mails, which was my problem with Spot. In contrast, if you buy 3 of the $20 Ptel cards, you pay $60 for 15 months ($48 for one year) and you get 3200 minutes. So $36 for 200 minutes with Spot (first year, then $20 for each additional year) vs. $48 annual for 3200 minutes with Ptel ($96 annual after promo ends).

    COST OF SERVICE
    calls: Spot 10 cents a minute, Ptel 5 cents a minute
    texts: Spot 5 cents, Ptel 2 cents
    data: Spot not available, Ptel 10 cents per MB
    (with the Ptel promo code, you in effect pay 50% of these regular Ptel rates)

    CUSTOMER SERVICE
    My calls to Spot were always answered promptly, although I ended up not satisfied with what the CS reps would tell me. My 2 calls to Ptel resulted in holds of 12-15 minutes, although in both cases the issue was resolved to my satisfaction, when someone finally picked up.

    BLOCKING OF TEXTS and VOICEMAIL
    This was my big problem was Spot, they said they could not block text messages, although they hoped to have this feature available by the end of March 2013. In the meantime, you have to pay for any spam emails you receive, and there is nothing you can do about it (they will change your number, which may or may not help). Spot also charges for voicemail, but they will disable voicemail on request. Ptel can disable both texts and voicemail. Ptel supposedly does not charge for calls that go to voicemail but I disabled it anyway.

    CALL QUALITY
    Both use T-Mobile network. I could not perceive any difference in call quality between Spot, Ptel, and regular T-Mobile here in south Florida.

    WEBSITE/CALL LOG
    Not available on Spot, they charge $5 for a list of calls. Ptel provides a free online log of all charges (calls, texts, and data), although it does not give you the phone number of incoming calls.
    Last edited by billdz; 03-17-2013 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    I went the opposite way based solely on cost and usage versus dissatisfaction. I started with Ptel for my youngest child's phone because the Ptel rep on these forums was giving away free sim cards loaded with $10 for 60 days. How could I pass that up? I was totally happy with the service. As a matter of fact, my older daughter is still on Ptel with the $20 or 5 month deal that you mentioned and I have another to use when the first one expires.

    My younger kid rarely uses her phone outside of the home so the $20 per year on Spot is ideal. For data, they both use wifi. And they mostly use a wifi texting app and only use the service texting when outside of the house.

    The only reservation I have about Spot is that their login screen is flagged by the browser as having an invalid certificate and the overall website design and operation feels amateuerish (I'm a web developer and see a few problems.)

    Ptel's rates cannot be beat and with the $20 for $40, it's beyond compare. I just hope they keep it around for awhile.

  3. #3
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    Agreed. Spot's value is as an emergency phone that is almost never used. Spot also has more unthrottled data at the $40.00 price point.
    Make HowardForums a better place:
    Don't respond to users who post insults and personal attacks.
    Instead, block them:
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  4. #4
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    @hooked - I never got that invalid certificate message with Spot, although, their website is more basic, no call log. I amended my original post to note this.

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