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Thread: Novice Seeking Advice On Carriers

  1. #1
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    Novice Seeking Advice On Carriers

    Hi all,

    INTRO: I'm a novice cell phone owner. For a few years I've used a cheap flip phone (Dorophone) and pre-pay on the H20 network. I rarely make calls, it's really just an emergency phone. Due to the end of a 3G network I now have a new flip phone. H20 seems to be imploding, so it looks like I need a new carrier too. I'm seeking your assistance in finding a new carrier.

    QUESTION: What I did on H20 was send them $10 in advance every 3 months. I never used all the time, and the balance would roll over to the next month. Hoping to duplicate this on another carrier.

    If it matters here's my new phone:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/AT-T-Alca...hone/395025664

    Again, I know very little about phones, and basically hate the entire cell phone industry. :-) The only reason I have a phone at all is for emergencies. Point being, simple is better for me.

    Thanks for any advice you can share!

    PS: Here's why I didn't just sign up with AT&T. The following form they send you to makes not the least bit of sense to me. https://www.att.com/prepaid/activations/#/activate.html

  2. #2
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    I am not certain what the confusion about that form is. There is an embedded online link if you don't know how to find the information that it requires. If you need clarification about those items, feel free to ask here to get help. This information is usually also found on a label on the side of the box that the phone is packaged in. These items can also be found through the phone's settings. Best wishes.
    Just another day in paradise.....

  3. #3
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    Right. You are not certain about what the confusion is. Because you're a super moderator on a phone forum and have read 10 million threads
    about phones, and thus are some level of expert. And, as very clearly stated above, I am not an expert, but a very novice user. The problem here is that ATT wants to do business with you, but not me.

    Note how the ATT form tells me nothing at all about how much I will pay, where I will pay, how often I need to pay, what the terms and conditions are etc. They clearly want me to activate this phone and use their service, but they've presented me with the worst sales landing page I've seen in years. Apparently, I'm supposed to learn a bunch of mysterious techno stuff so as to earn the privilege of leaping blindly in to the unknown.

    Anyway, sorry to rant, and if you'd like to address the question I asked I'll be grateful for whatever you can share.

  4. #4
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    As best I can tell, I could be wrong, it looks like ATT cheapest pre-pay plan is $25 per month.

    I've been paying about $2 per month. Two dollars. Per month. Worked out just fine.

    Another reason why I'm seeking other carriers.

  5. #5
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    You bought a subsidized, carrier locked phone. You can't use on another carrier.

    Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojniles View Post
    You bought a subsidized, carrier locked phone. You can't use on another carrier.
    Thanks, I was wondering about that. Ok, it's only a $22 phone so I can toss it and start over. I have pretty much sorta learned the KaiOS operating system, so perhaps that knowledge will transfer to the next phone.

    Again, let's forget about ATT. What other cheap carrier options do I have? Looking for cheap, and simple as possible.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Do I need something like this?

    $2.50/Mo Red Pocket Prepaid Plan: 200 Talk 1000 Text 200MB

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/13319683182...sAAOSww2Zfu-Xf

  8. #8
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    Just know it doesn't roll over.
    I will be Judged on how I helped the poor, sick & others in need; strangers & loved ones alike.

    My plans:
    Visible (Verizon) UTT & Unlimited Data $25/mo
    Liberty Wireless (T-Mobile) UTT 09.06.22
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.03.23
    Truphone (AT&T) every 180 days by 07.18.22

  9. #9
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    Just get a Freedom Pop Walmart sim $10
    300 mins, 1000 text, 100 mb. / monthly $0
    Of course make sure you get a Tmobile compatible unlocked 4g/5g phone.

    Sent from my SM-A025A using HoFo mobile app

  10. #10
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    Take a look at: https://prepaidcompare.net/

    A "carrier" is a "Brand" on the website, and there are only three "Network"s.

    The problem is, you can easily find people complaining about all the Brands. For example:

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...stomer-service

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...r-alternatives


    About the phones:

    AT&T Prepaid phones (which you already have), which are heavily subsidized (check Walmart), will work on any plan that uses the ATT Network.
    (A "plan" is a line on the website.)
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...-on-GSMA-MVNOs

    (Beware that this only applies to AT&T Prepaid phones. If a phone, even of the exact same model, is sold by H2O (or Cricket for example), the phone may not work on a plan on the ATT Networked offered by another Brand.)

    There are NO smartphones that are a) cheap, b) easily purchased new, and c) will work on a plan that uses the TMO Network.
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...ap-VoLTE-phone
    (But see below about the Nokia 225.) (For b above maybe someone knows which Tracfone phones would work when unlocked.)

    For example, I had to activated temporary unlock on a Nord N200 (a T-Mobile Prepaid phone) in order for it work with the Walmart FreedomPop plan (referenced by munkala, the third line on the website). The Red Pocket $30 a year plan that you referenced uses the exact same SIM card, just different branding/pricing hence a different plan (Red Pocket owns FreedomPop).

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...3#post17220623

    Because you already have an AT&T Prepaid phone, I suggest you look for a plan that uses the ATT Network. You may end up deciding to stick with H2O for a while longer and see if things improve, then maybe try Red Pocket $60 per year, or Airvoice.


    Some people were talking about the Nokia 225. I don't know if dr0ss ended up getting one. Maybe you can exchange notes with him because I see he is also having issues with H2O.
    With the Nokia 225, you should then be able to consider plans that use the TMO Network, though I have no personal experience.
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...3#post17220963


    Also, you can try getting your AT&T Prepaid phone unlocked (may or may not be successful), then it may or may not work on the TMO Network.
    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/ >
    Unlock your device >
    Do you have a mobile number from AT&T -> No

    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...8#post17220318
    https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...2#post17219902
    Last edited by andyk88; 07-17-2022 at 10:38 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    Thanks, I was wondering about that. Ok, it's only a $22 phone so I can toss it and start over. .....
    Again, let's forget about ATT. What other cheap carrier options do I have? Looking for cheap, and simple as possible.
    If Verizon will work for you, there's a super-cheap alternative available right now: $30 will get you a flip phone plus 1,200 minutes, 1,200 texts and 1,200 MB that you can use over the duration of one year.

    (It's available on HSN, and they don't ship to Maryland and New York, though).

    There's also a rewards program that will get you another year of service *for free* on that flip phone.

    Please PM me, and I can give you crystal-clear, step-by-step instructions on how to get the $30 deal, and the free second year of service.
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code (you get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or brand new phone!) You'll also get great karma! Please PM me for code.

    Right now, you can get started with $80 Tracfone referral rewards with these HSN deals: (1) One-year service with 1200 talk/txt/data, plus Alcatel MyFlip2 phone, for $30; (2) Moto G Power 1500 talk/txt/data 1-yr service for $60; (3) Moto G Pure 1500 ttd 1-yr service for $70.

  12. #12
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    Black Wireless perhaps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    What I did on H20 was send them $10 in advance every 3 months. I never used all the time, and the balance would roll over to the next month. Hoping to duplicate this on another carrier.
    Although it is a division of Red Pocket, I did use Black Wireless successfully a few years ago. PAYGO is largely the same as H2O's: a $10 deposit lasts 90 days; minutes & texts debit @ 5˘. I don't remember the balance rolling over, though.

    I purchased PAYGO and a SIM card, then activated same, entirely online -- I don't recall having spoken with Cust. Svc. at all. The SIM card cost ten bucks at the time.

    Correction to B.W. website: NO to "Use any unlocked GSM phone"...you must use an AT&T whitelisted phone, such as the one you just bought.

    As with most MVNOs, you probably will need to change the phone's APN (usually under "Network" or "Data"). Follow the instructions for Android (disregard any settings your phone doesn't have). When the phone displays 4G LTE at the top, and you can make & receive calls and texts, you're done.

  13. #13
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    Hey guys, many thanks for all the useful posts, much appreciated.

    While I'm digesting all your good advice, perhaps this question will help me focus my choices.

    I hear you that there are only 3 networks.

    I know ATT will work in my area because that's what I've been using with H20, and my wife uses ATT too. I would just keep using
    H20, except that their support has collapsed under the weight of the 3G transition.

    Can you offer some advice on how I can confirm that Verizon and T-Mobile will work in my area?

    If one of the networks won't work that can help me narrow the options.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clueless Guy View Post
    Can you offer some advice on how I can confirm that Verizon and T-Mobile will work in my area?
    The surest way is to ask your neighbors what carriers their phones use and how good the signal is.

    You can use the Coverage Maps provided by the carriers (search the Internet for the links), but they tend to be optimistic, usually not taking into consideration things like the terrain of your neighborhood.

  15. #15
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    To better determine which cellular networks will work best in your area of use, you need to confirm which state/city you are in. Cellular coverage is not the same in all areas nationwide with all carriers.

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