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Thread: Best Wireless Provider for Non-Techy Older Folks

  1. #1
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    Best Wireless Provider for Non-Techy Older Folks

    Say for a non-techy grandparent or an older parent, talking the around 65ish and older crowd, who do you say is the best wireless provider?

    My vote is for Charity Mobile. They pick up the phone after a few rings when called during normal operating hours, no voice response unit (they also have email support if prefer that). Knowledgeable, kind, and patient reps. They can completely disable text messaging and also data except for phone operating system updates. Great for older folks who want and used to a phone being a phone for making and receiving calls only. You can postal mail payment for your monthly bill or pay online and get a copy of the bill both ways, with no pressure to be forced online. They also use the Verizon Wireless network. No pestering by unwanted advertising. Though they appreciate feedback how they are doing, no customer surveys. With some 21st century tech, not over-bearing, much traditional school how in interacting with them.

    What company is your choice or vote?

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    Holy crap they are expensive. $24.95 a month just to have a data enabled line over and above the monthly plan charges?

    This household of over 65 uses Red Pocket. Why? because they are cheap and their customer service is always willing to help.

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    My mom likes the flip phones. But she's well over 65... So that's what's important.

    If Verizon Wireless is what works now in their place, I would look at Total Wireless. $25/mo unlimited talk and text. One-time $10 payment to add 5GB of unexpiring data, if they have smartphones.
    Or, if they use more data, two line family plan is $57 (with 30GB of data).

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    It depends on the older person's usage. My parents are both 84. My dad had been using a smart phone for more than 10 years, most recently an iPhone 5s for a few years. My mom had been using a flip phone for 20 years & I expected her to stay with a flip. When the announcement came that Verizon would eventually required VoLTE devices, I suggested to my dad that he get an iPhone 6s. Then to my surprise, my mom said she wanted a smartphone now too. Also, they both didn't want the size of the 6s, so they both ended up with iPhone SE models. Of course my dad is doing great with it, but surprisingly, so is my mom. They are on TracFone. They each got the $50 annual plan from eBay, which includes more than enough minutes text and data for their usage over the next year. All that to say, it's stupid to say that all old people need flip phones or special service. Especially one that rips everybody off with extremely overpriced service like the one suggested in the original post.

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    Everyone should read https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...Charity+Mobile where there is more discussion about Charity Mobile and how they are so extremely overpriced.

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but Red Pocket appears to be prepaid, whereas Charity Mobile is postpaid. For some seniors, NOT all, a paper monthly bill where can still write a check is preferred. In some seniors declining memories, remembering to make a pre-payment is something that can be forgotten among health issues and other challenges of old age, and then restoring lost service can be a mess. Reality is you are not going to change the mindset of SOME seniors. And SOME seniors would prefer not to deal with text messaging at all. And others have such severe arthritis, joint, or hand issues that maneuvering a smart phone screen is not for them.

    Though Charity Mobile is more expensive than other MVNOs, its still around 25% cheaper than dealing with Verizon directly. Paying less for 6GB with Charity Mobile than was paying for 2GB directly with Verizon. And experience more often than not in the last year with the company layoffs, the Verizon Wireless phone reps have been less helpful, less experienced, and time wasters.

    Though Red Pocket may work for some seniors, for others it is worth the extra price of another MVNO.

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    It's worth the peace of mind to buy the service on one of those 360 plans so you don't have to worry about renewing each month.

    It's cost effective too. The 360 plans on Red Pocket and Net10 average out to less than 20$ a month for unlimited talk, text and 2-5 gb of LTE data, unlimited 2g after that.

    The best tech support your aging family will get is from their tech savvy family members.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app

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    And can Red Pocket disable text messaging? That would be a deal breaker for some. Last time my mom got a text message, it was several minutes walking through it with her on the phone on how to erase it. This article explains it well why anything complicated about a phone is not for some https://www.politico.com/agenda/stor...ulation-000531

    Two other issues see with Red Pocket, 1) it uses a mix of networks. I would imagine, this is probably discussed elsewhere, if four carriers have coverage in an area, Red Pocket would pick the cheaper one to cut costs. So if it uses Sprint here locally, a relative nearly lost their life from a house break in from weak Sprint indoor coverage (had the house phone, but burglars cut phone line, and unknown before had used the phone outdoors only in the car, which then found indoors coverage weak), so never again for them. Had Boost Mobile myself for a while, but indoor coverage was garbage, so no go as a landline replacement, and definitely not a money saver paying for two phone lines for one person. 2) And looks like it is a requirement to bring your own phone with Red Pocket. Though a nice option to have for an MVNO, it should not be a requirement. For some seniors inserting a tiny SIM card with bad eyesight or hands is not for them. Like the entry level car, can see why Red Pocket is cheaper, but it is not good for everyone.
    Last edited by spurkcell; 10-14-2019 at 12:45 PM.

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    My grandmother is using the Total Wireless $25 plan because she is alright getting cards every 30 days and the price. Plus she does not use any any data. She still wishes we can find a more basic flip phone that work with Verizon's VoLTE system, but we can't tho. The main reason for the switch is her old home landline was costing just her about $70 per month, and that was about all the taxes. She was trying to get her bills down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spurkcell View Post
    ...Two other issues see with Red Pocket, 1) it uses a mix of networks. I would imagine, this is probably discussed elsewhere, if four carriers have coverage in an area, Red Pocket would pick the cheaper one to cut costs....
    That's not the way Red Pocket works. They offer all four and you pick which carrier you want. Otherwise, yes, Red Pocket may not be the best choice for some seniors.

    Other prepaids do this, like Tracfone and Consumer Cellular.

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    You get what you pay for. The reason why there are physical brick and mortar stores for all the 4 carriers is so you can get personal customer support from a live person in person. But that costs extra.

    The whole mvno approach is for tech savvy people to be able to save money by knowing what they want. It's not for everyone....or I guess you could say non techy older folks.

    There are mvnos where you can buy the phone and service all in one in a package at your local pharmacy, Walmart, Target, ect...navigating this necessary tech does not have to be a daunting task.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app
    Last edited by ShredFred; 10-14-2019 at 01:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by advcomp2019 View Post
    My grandmother is using the Total Wireless $25 plan because she is alright getting cards every 30 days and the price. Plus she does not use any any data. She still wishes we can find a more basic flip phone that work with Verizon's VoLTE system, but we can't tho. The main reason for the switch is her old home landline was costing just her about $70 per month, and that was about all the taxes. She was trying to get her bills down.
    The Tracfone MyFlip is VoLTE compatible and can be activated on TW using the SIM card that comes in it. $14.99 from https://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-...hone/564300365 or $14.00 from https://www.amazon.com/Tracfone-Alca.../dp/B07GBRB55Z.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    That's not the way Red Pocket works. They offer all four and you pick which carrier you want. Otherwise, yes, Red Pocket may not be the best choice for some seniors.

    Other prepaids do this, like Tracfone and Consumer Cellular.
    Minor corrections regarding Consumer Cellular - they default to T-Mobile service except when not available at your billing address, but the customer can request AT&T. Also they are technically post paid...
    Trying to come up with some sort of signature line...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    The Tracfone MyFlip is VoLTE compatible and can be activated on TW using the SIM card that comes in it. $14.99 from https://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-...hone/564300365 or $14.00 from https://www.amazon.com/Tracfone-Alca.../dp/B07GBRB55Z.
    She is using one of those right now, but she still gets confused at times with it. She still wants more basic tho. If you want to know, I have found the Tracfone version of the MyFlip on clearance in a Walmart Neighborhood Market for $3 each.

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