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Thread: Consumer Reports ignores our favorite MVNOs again

  1. #1
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    Consumer Reports ignores our favorite MVNOs again

    No mention of Airvorce or H20 for ATT service or Selectel for Verizon. They are mostly pushing crappy Sprint MVNOs and Carlos Slim's Tracfone group. Don't even mention Cricket for LTE and large families.

    Scant or no mention of the great bargain phones:

    Lumia 520
    Lumia 635
    Moto G
    Mot G LTE
    Blu

    Also they don't make it clear that Tmo and Sprint networks are OK for large metros if you don't travel/ski/hike but otherwise you want Verizon or ATT network.

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    Consumer reports is like the BBB. When people say to complain to the BBB they inform the company, offer an incentive to make the complaint go away, and profit off it. You pay into the BBB, it's actually a business protection in a sort. Consumer reports only compares what companies push money towards them is my guess.
    Last edited by MobileBoost; 01-09-2015 at 01:16 PM.

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    Consumer Reports does not take ads though. Neither to do they use evaluation units of products. Magazine buys everything and then tests them. That is partly why the hardware reviews for cell phones tend to be dated. The devices tested are usually just the postpaid ones.

    In the article on cell phone service, you have to realize that the story is not Consumer Reports' review and opinion of a provider. Instead, what you are seeing is the result of reader surveys. When that happens, you are no longer just taking the viewpoint of random people.

    The individuals who fill out the surveys are Consumer Report subscribers. That group is going to skew toward older folks. Furthermore, the non-inclusion of a mvno does not mean the Consumer Reports is for or against the company. That just means that there are not even people who filled out the survey uses that particular mvno.

    With only non-professionals giving their opinions, there is going to be seemingly illogical results like a Sprint mvno having better coverage than Sprint itself.

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    Most people have no idea what a "MVNO" is, and if they have heard of or used any of them it is very likely only Tracphone, Straight Talk, or Net 10. They think of them as phones for drug dealers or people without credit. Only a small fraction of the market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ten Four View Post
    Most people have no idea what a "MVNO" is, and if they have heard of or used any of them it is very likely only Tracphone, Straight Talk, or Net 10. They think of them as phones for drug dealers or people without credit. Only a small fraction of the market.
    This, exactly. I have a lot of phones like many of us here. One on Lyca, one on H20, etc, etc. My friends notice that, even ask about this phone or that one. When I tell them for example, my Startac costs me $30 a year, they all get interested and say "Wow, I'll have to look into that". Then the next time I see them they have the next iPhone and another 2 year contract with the big boys.

    I've come to the conclusion that there are people that actively seek options and those that want solutions handed to them. And by the way, it's my friend with the new iPhone on contract with ATT that subscribes to Consumer Reports as well.

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    Yeah. None of my friends other then 1 has a prepaid phone company. They only have it because I told them about republic wireless

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    Quote Originally Posted by raderator View Post
    No mention of Airvorce or H20 for ATT service or Selectel for Verizon. They are mostly pushing crappy Sprint MVNOs and Carlos Slim's Tracfone group. Don't even mention Cricket for LTE and large families.

    Scant or no mention of the great bargain phones:

    Lumia 520
    Lumia 635
    Moto G
    Mot G LTE
    Blu

    Also they don't make it clear that Tmo and Sprint networks are OK for large metros if you don't travel/ski/hike but otherwise you want Verizon or ATT network.
    Remember, the results are from the surveys that CR sends out to its subscribers. So there is going to be some skewing of the results toward the demographics of a CR subscriber, older, more educated, and more well-off financially.

    Selectel is so small that no doubt it could not possibly have had a sufficient number of responses to be considered.

    What is always strange to me is when an MVNO does much better in the survey than the network on which they operate. Ting is highly ranked but Sprint is ranked extremely poorly. Consumer Cellular is ranked much higher than AT&T.

    I am amazed that Ting did so well since it's no bargain and the coverage is mediocre, with no off-Sprint data roaming (which means no off-network MMS). Ting suffers from the same roaming issues as Sprint in areas where Sprint has a network but has poor coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samatman View Post
    This, exactly. I have a lot of phones like many of us here. One on Lyca, one on H20, etc, etc. My friends notice that, even ask about this phone or that one. When I tell them for example, my Startac costs me $30 a year, they all get interested and say "Wow, I'll have to look into that". Then the next time I see them they have the next iPhone and another 2 year contract with the big boys.

    I've come to the conclusion that there are people that actively seek options and those that want solutions handed to them. And by the way, it's my friend with the new iPhone on contract with ATT that subscribes to Consumer Reports as well.
    I have experienced the same thing. Someone will complain endlessly about how much they are spending on wireless service for their family, often >$200 per month. You tell them how to spend considerably less but they never act upon your advice because they are addicted to getting "free" or subsidized phones, or are just too lazy to make any changes.

    One of my favorite quotes:

    “It's best not to argue with people who are determined to lose. Once you've told them about a superior alternative, your responsibility is fulfilled and you can allow them to lose in peace.” Mark Crispin, inventor of the iMAP e-mail protocol.

    I have given speeches at Toastmasters about reducing recurring monthly costs for wireless service. A few people followed my advice. Some are still paying $40 per month for an old flip phone with no data and one is paying $50 per month for dial-up internet and landline service. I just assume that they are independently wealthy and have money to burn, but the reality is that they don't and they are just lazy and clueless.

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    I know a couple who both have great jobs with high pay, full benefits, etc. They use some archaic Verizon plan that they are grandfathered into that doesn't even include text messaging. No texts at all! I don't know but suspect they pay a ton more than my wife and I using MVNOs with unlimited talk, text, and plenty of data. I work at a tech company and I'm pretty sure most of the employees are on one of the big three tied into 2-year contracts. Many people just have no time, no inclination, and no patience to deal with the ins and outs of phone plans. They like to go into a store and walk out with a working phone and then forget about it. They probably don't even look at the huge bills--just pay them.

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    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck. Also, pretty much everyone I know uses IPhones. The thought of paying $500-$600 upfront for their phones is too much to get over, even if prepaid is cheaper in the long run.

    BTW - I see the same thing with Ooma or Obibox+ GVoice. Most my family insists on overpaying the cable carriers for their land lines, when they could saves hundreds every year. The kicker is CR rates Ooma higher than the Cable co VOIP solutions year after year, and they still too afraid/lazy to change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clocks11 View Post
    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck.
    I think they're even more fearful that they'll lose their phone number (and it's not unknown to happen).

    As for VoIP ... I use CallCentric ($4.45 a month) and, since my brothers and my father also use it, all "landline" calls are free between us. I do have a Charter VoIP phone also, because the bundled cost of Cable, Internet and Phone was cheaper than buying Internet and Cable separately. We almost never use the Charter phone.
    Blackberry Q10 on Twigby

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    Quote Originally Posted by clocks11 View Post
    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck. Also, pretty much everyone I know uses IPhones. The thought of paying $500-$600 upfront for their phones is too much to get over, even if prepaid is cheaper in the long run.

    BTW - I see the same thing with Ooma or Obibox+ GVoice. Most my family insists on overpaying the cable carriers for their land lines, when they could saves hundreds every year. The kicker is CR rates Ooma higher than the Cable co VOIP solutions year after year, and they still too afraid/lazy to change.
    Yeah, that's the one I really don't get. I can understand wanting a wired landline but if you have wired cable broadband it's coming over on the same poles as the copper pair. You should have a battery backup for your router but those are cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clocks11 View Post
    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck. Also, pretty much everyone I know uses IPhones. The thought of paying $500-$600 upfront for their phones is too much to get over, even if prepaid is cheaper in the long run.
    A lot of people are not cost-sensitive ant that's fine.

    But it's amazing to see people that complain about the cost of wireless while at the same time paying 2x-3x what they should be paying. Still a lot of people on $30-40/month plans for their flip phones. Or they insist that they can't afford a smart phone when in fact, on MVNOs, they could have a smart phone for the same cost as a flip phone. A lot of people like smart phones for the camera, the standalone apps, and as an iPod replacement and are perfectly happy with very little, or no, mobile data.

    Personally, I've gotten a bunch of people I know to move to Page Plus and Consumer Cellular, and have flashed Boost Moto G phones for them for PP (no more doing that though). For CC, the Moto G LTE is a good deal for a mid-range smart phone, though the Moto X 2nd generation is too expensive.

    It's also sad how many people fall for the most heavily advertised prepaid services that are often the worst deal, like many of the Tracfone plans.

    I'm hoping that there will be a shakeout in the MVNO industry since there seem to be way too many MVNOs right now. It does not seem to be sustainable. Also, the carriers themselves seem to be fighting back and they have the money to market their services. AT&T is heavily advertising Cricket. Both AT&T and Verizon have family plans without subsidized phones but with a lot of high speed data for lower prices than MVNOs with the same amount of high speed data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clocks11 View Post
    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck. Also, pretty much everyone I know uses IPhones. The thought of paying $500-$600 upfront for their phones is too much to get over, even if prepaid is cheaper in the long run.
    Yes, the $500-800 phones are what is sustaining the postpaid, subsidized phone, model. It's amusing because when you consider the interest rate you can earn on your savings it's a much better option to pay upfront for an iPhone and then pay much less per month, but that $20-25/month "loan payment" on the two year "loan" from Verizon or AT&T ends up costing far more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clocks11 View Post
    I think a lot of people are skeptical of MVNOs and prepaid, fearful that the service will suck. Also, pretty much everyone I know uses IPhones. The thought of paying $500-$600 upfront for their phones is too much to get over, even if prepaid is cheaper in the long run.

    BTW - I see the same thing with Ooma or Obibox+ GVoice. Most my family insists on overpaying the cable carriers for their land lines, when they could saves hundreds every year. The kicker is CR rates Ooma higher than the Cable co VOIP solutions year after year, and they still too afraid/lazy to change.
    I know that this is going off topic, but I've used Nettalk Duo for the last 4 years. For whatever reason, the Amazon reviews are very low. Perhaps, I was lucky and got a good unit. My wife initially got Vonage, after switching from a local company. She paid for some add ons, and didn't realize that she was spending about $40/month. Now, I'm paying only $29.99/year, and I haven't had any problems with the Nettalk hardware, call quality or reliability issues.

    My CC SIM is arriving tomorrow, and I'm eager to get it going on my wife's iPhone. I'm excited to be able to cut $80 from the monthly bill. I agree that a lot of people I work with (in the healthcare industry) are using the traditional 4 carriers, and just know of a couple colleagues who use MVNO's.
    Mobile:

    LG G8 Thinq ATT-Red Pocket 500/500/500
    Nokia 6.1 Dual SIM
    G V20 LS997 Unlocked-Freedompop ATT
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    Samsung Chromebook +
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    Prior Phones:

    Huawei Ascend XT2,LG Xpression +,LG Tribute HD,LG G4,Nokia Lumia 820,LG Volt,LG Tribute 2,LG Optimus Exceed 2,LG Realm,Moto X 2014,Moto X 2013,Nexus 5,Nokia Lumia 520,Nokia Lumia 1020,Samsung Galaxy S3,iphone 3G

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