A couple years ago, my wife and I decided to drop our pre-paid cell phones and sign up with US Cellular instead. We quickly learned that was a mistake; both because of the quality of service and the fact we never knew what surprises our monthly bill would have. But, we were under a contract.
That contract finally expired last month and, this past weekend, my wife and I said goodbye to that company and are once again doing pre-paid with Straight Talk.
When we originally had pre-paid phones, our options in this area were limited. We had to pay per minute or per text and often would spend more in a month than we would have with a contracted phone plan. Or, so we thought (we didn’t realize how much more sending a picture message or connecting to the internet would add to our bill).
What attracted us to Straight Talk was we weren’t paying per-minute. Instead, we could sign up for unlimited service for just $45. That is still $90/month for two phones; roughly what our plan with US Cellular was supposed to have cost us. But, the pre-paid amount includes picture messages and web surfing; we did a lot of that with US Cellular and our bill would usually be about $20 higher as a result.
If you don’t do a lot of text messaging or web surfing, there is also a $30/month option that gives you 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of data.
The thing that has really impressed me so far is the fact, in addition to being cheaper than what we paid with US Cellular, the service seems to be better. We ran quite a few errands yesterday. Some of our stops were places where we had terrible reception with US Cellular. We had four bars with Straight Talk in all of those areas.
When I sent a text message with US Cellular, it would usually take 30-40 seconds to send. With Straight Talk, it takes about 5 seconds and I have yet to get an SMS error; something that happened at least once a day with our other cell phone service. Even the web access is faster. I was able to check the weather yesterday in much less time than it would have taken me with US Cellular.
The best part is the fact we didn’t even need to change our cell phone numbers. We activated our phones online and, as part of that activation, we were able to keep our existing numbers. It didn’t even take that long to port the number over; it was taken care of that same afternoon.
I also should mention I didn’t have to settle for a crappy phone either; like with other pre-paid plans. They had a limited selection. But, I was able to get an LG slider phone (with camera) that was a definite upgrade over the one I had been using.
Since we have only had the service for a short time, I’m sure there are things about it that I will discover I don’t like. For example, I haven’t taken the phones outside of the city limits yet and it’s possible they won’t work when we do. But, so far, these phones have more than exceeded my expectations. I was able to reduce our monthly cost and, from what I can tell at least, my service is much better than the service I replaced it with.
If you are looking for a pre-paid service that gives you both quality and an affordable price, this is the service I would recommend.