questions about go phone plans

Tutor

questions about go phone plans

Hey everyone! I'm confused about some things and hoping maybe ya'll could help me.My postpaid contract with AT&T is over.I have the 450 minutes,unlimited text and $15 a month data plan.It's $75 a month.I have a feeling that I will be laid off from my job in february or march.My husband and I are trying to prepare for it now.I have gone over the go phone plans.It seems to me that it's $60 a month for the talk and text.Then $15 to $25 a month for data.So I don't see any savings in going prepaid,

 

Are you able to just have the 10 cents a minute voice plan with a text and data package? I also saw that there's a $50 unlimited everything plan.I've read that you can't use it for smartphones.I do see some phones on there like the Samsung Solstice and the Samsung Captivate.It doesn't say if these phones are feature phones or smartphones.

 

Thanks everyone for your help.

Message 1 of 15 (2,930 Views)
Professor

Re: questions about go phone plans

[ Edited ]

You're right. How much you save depends on your talk time, and the number of text messages you'll be sending/receiving. If you have moderate number of e-mails and light web browsing, you may get by with $25/500MB data plan to start, followed by $5/10MB data refill each month. It all depends on your usage and your husband's.

 

Samsung Solstice is a feature phone.

 

Samsung Captivate is a smartphone.

Message 2 of 15 (2,919 Views)
Scholar

Re: questions about go phone plans

Go over your bill and see how many much you use your phone. Add up all your minutes including nights and weekends and mobile to mobile since if you go with Pay As You Go, you don't get those perks. How much texting do you do? Because while unlimited sounds good, if you only use less than 1000 messages per month, there are cheaper plans available.

 

At the very least, even if you go with the $50 unlimited plan, you should be able to save $10 per month on GoPhone even with a smartphone using 3G data as long as your usage doesn't exceed the 200MB you're getting now with your $15 data plan.

 

30 days [1]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $25/500MB = $75

30 days [2]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $5/10MB (rollover unused data) = $55

30 days [3]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $25/500MB (replenish data balance) = $75

30 days [4]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $5/10MB (rollover unused data) = $55

30 days [5]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $5/10MB (rollover unused data) = $55

30 days [6]: $50 unlimited talk/text + $25/500MB (replenish data balance) = $75

 

6 months prepaid: $390 including taxes

6 months postpaid: $450 + taxes

 

I just checked my most recent bill and my usage was:

 

Calls

M2M: 55

ANY: 45

N&W: 10

Total: 110 minutes

 

Text: 150 messages

 

Data: 2.5 GB

 

Disregarding data use, if I had opted for the $0.10 per minute Pay As You Go plan with the $5/200 message package, I would have only spent $16 for last month.

Message 3 of 15 (2,905 Views)
Master

Re: questions about go phone plans

You can add any of the messaging and data feature packages to the $0.10/minute plan, and that is probably the best way to go if you don't use many voice minutes per month as it allows you to spend your money on the services you actually use.

 

If you decide to pursue the prepaid option, be sure to first check the GoPhone tab on the coverage viewer link from above for the area(s) where you will need service.  Depending on where you are located there can be significant differences between the coverage on an at&t prepaid plan vs. a post paid plan.  If you have friends/family with an at&t prepaid plan in your area that's the best way to get an idea of whether the prepaid coverage should suit your needs.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 4 of 15 (2,899 Views)
Master

Re: questions about go phone plans

I use a Samsung Captivate smartphone on my GoPhone plan with the $0.10 per minute rate plan and unlimited messaging. It only costs me $25 per month (or less) and I get to take advantage of using a smartphone. The best part of all, I don't pay a single cent for a data plan that I wouldn't want to use, anyway.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 5 of 15 (2,888 Views)
Tutor

Re: questions about go phone plans

Thank you everyone so much for the help.

Message 6 of 15 (2,877 Views)
Master

Re: questions about go phone plans

Happy to help. Smiley Happy

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 7 of 15 (2,857 Views)
Professor

Re: questions about go phone plans

You're welcomeSmiley Happy

Message 8 of 15 (2,854 Views)
Tutor

Re: questions about go phone plans

My phone now is a Samsung Captivate.I got from a friend for $200 recently who was moving and wanted to switch carriers due to coverage.So anyway this is something that I was told by a coworker today.I was just wondering if any of this information is correct.His friend had a phone and a post paid account.We have a wireless store here and it's what you call an AT&T authorized dealer.The nearest actual AT&T store is 30 minutes away.So his friend decided that he wants to put his phone on prepaid.

 

So he goes to the little wireless store here in town.He wants to try prepaid for a month to see if he can live with the 10 cents a minute plan before he cancels his post paid service.Apparently they told him that he could try out prepaid and use his existing number.So he puts in the go phone sim in his phone.He activates the account online with the post paid number.

 

I'm sure you all know what happened next.They ported the number and his post paid service was canceled.So now he's stuck with a prepaid account that he's paying the same money for cuz he's using minutes.Then you gotta have your data and text.I probably would have been smart enough or phone savvy enough to question being able to use the same number on both accounts.Apparently he wasn't and it caused him lots of problems.

 

So my question is what do you do in a situation like this? Can you port your number on a gophone account at a later time or does it have to be done at activation if you want to keep the same number?

 

I will have to go close to the actual AT&T store in a few days to do some Christmas shopping.It's just there's always 200 people in there.I tried to call today and I was on hold for 40 minutes.Then I had to go to do something else.

 

Thanks everyone for the help.

 

 

Message 9 of 15 (2,838 Views)
Scholar

Re: questions about go phone plans

[ Edited ]

riley79 wrote:

So my question is what do you do in a situation like this? Can you port your number on a gophone account at a later time or does it have to be done at activation if you want to keep the same number?

 

I will have to go close to the actual AT&T store in a few days to do some Christmas shopping.It's just there's always 200 people in there.I tried to call today and I was on hold for 40 minutes.Then I had to go to do something else.

 

Thanks everyone for the help.

 


In order to keep the same number, it has to be done during activation and you'd probably need to go to an AT&T store to handle the number porting. My suggestion, buy a $2 or so AT&T SIM Card from ebay and add enough load for your estimated one month use. If you like the service, then that's when you go to an AT&T store to get a new SIM card and port your number.

 

In your case, you're paying $75 per month and even if you get the $50 unlimited talk/text + $25 data feature package every month, It still works out to the same price. Another thing, if you'll be mostly be at home and have access to wi-fi, you could choose not to add a data package for the months you don't need it (or just top up the minimum to roll over data). By the way, your friend isn't stuck with the $0.10/minute plan. He can go to the online access page and change to a plan that might be better suited for him, e.g. $25 (250 minutes + unlimited text) or $50 (unlimited talk/text + unlimited web for non-smartphones).

 

Again, check your bill. How many minutes, messages and data do you use every month? That's the big question in deciding which plan would be best for you.

Message 10 of 15 (2,829 Views)
Highlighted
Master

Re: questions about go phone plans

As hnzw_rui has already indicated, the best approach is to try out the prepaid service by activating a new line of service with a prepaid account type.  Later, if you determine the prepaid service is going to suit your needs, you can have at&t convert your post paid line of service to a prepaid account type.  (For clarity sake, let's not use the term "port" - porting your number means moving it to a different carrier - regardless of the type of service that is being utilized on either end of the move.  Simply changing service type within the same carrier is not a "port" - it's an account type change. Smiley Happy )

 

The account type change needs to be done in an at&t Corporate store as you will probably have to obtain a new SIM - provisioned with your existing phone number and the prepaid account/rate plan of your choice, etc.

 

It seems unlikely to me that your coworker's friend accomplished an account type change simply by activating a SIM that had been partially activated for prepaid service by an authorized retailer to an existing post paid number.  But I certainly can't say it's impossible either.  lol.  Was he still under contract on the post paid line of service?  As if so, I'd think his first and largest complaint would have been the ETF.  And if he hasn't received a final billing statement on the post paid line of service, I just have to think he's probably still using post paid service but he thinks he's on prepaid because the old SIM was deactivated when he activated the new SIM with his existing phone number.  (More than one SIM cannot be activated with the same phone number at the same time.)  Is he specifically "refilling" his account periodically as you have to do with prepaid service?  And did his on-line account access change with the change in account type?  (GoPhone customers have a completely separate on-line account maintenance - with much less functionality - than that of a post paid customer.)  Sorry, with so few specific details I'm just not really convinced that your coworker's friend has indeed changed his account type; as I would think he would have complained/made note of some other things besides just the fact that it's costing him the same amount as his post paid service did.

 

But as hnzw_rui has also already noted - the best way to determine whether a prepaid account will result in cost savings is to take a look at your historical usage patterns and actually make the calculations under the various prepaid rate plans for an average month of service compared with what you are paying for your post paid plan; and then also consider the reduced coverage footprint and lack of technical support for prepaid customers as compared to at&t's post paid service.  There is a lot more flexibility with a prepaid account in terms of spending your money on the services you actually utilize; however, that doesn't necessarily mean you will save money, depending on what your individual usage pattern looks like (although for someone on an individual plan it's far more likely for prepaid to be less expensive).

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 11 of 15 (2,598 Views)
Tutor

Re: questions about go phone plans

Thank you for the help.His friend's contract was over.He didn't have to pay an ETF.It's a long story.We have a small regional carrier here.There's a rumor that they are getting the Samsung Galaxy.So he wanted to hold out for that and try to save some money using prepaid in the meantime.I don't know what he did to get his postpaid account canceled.I would never go to that store.They deal with lots of carriers and they just want your money.They probably have no clue what they are doing.

 

I've done some research and compared plans.I'm still not sure which option is best for me.Is the coverage the same on AT&T's prepaid plans as their postpaid plans?

Message 12 of 15 (2,586 Views)
Master

Re: questions about go phone plans

It is believed to be a slightly reduced coverage range for GoPhone customers compared to post paid subscribers, but I wouldn't say too much of a difference. For example, a post paid user may have three bars of 3G service in a specific location and a GoPhone user using the exact same phone might only have one bar.

Personally, I'd like to test this theory out between my friend's and my Captivate.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Message 13 of 15 (2,583 Views)
Tutor

Re: questions about go phone plans

I really appreciate everyone for being so helpful.I read an article on one of those saving money or coupon websites about how someone only pays $15 a month for service.They have their phone on the 10 cents a minute plan and have the $15 a month data plan.Then use Google Voice for calls and texts.

They didn't say how much calling or texting that they did when they weren't in wifi.Does anyone know if using this method uses lots of data or not?
Message 14 of 15 (2,571 Views)
Scholar

Re: questions about go phone plans

[ Edited ]

Calls via Google Voice use around 1MB per minute. You'd need a 3rd party app since the official Google Voice app doesn't route calls over wi-fi/3G. Google Voice call quality is highly dependent on the quality of your internet connection so expect dropouts, static, etc in areas with poor signal. Texting via Google Voice uses roughly 5-10KB/message (don't ask me why when SMS is only 160 bytes). However, using Google Voice + data package for texting is still cheaper than any of the messaging plans (bar the unlimited one if you send more than 40,000 messages per month).

 

I don't suggest the $15/100MB package. Alternating between the $25/500MB and $5/10MB packages is much more cost effective. For the same two month interval and $30, you only get 200MB going with the $15 data package while going with the $25+$5 packages would give you 510MB. And since the balance rolls over, you can just continue renewing the $5 package every 30 days (I suggest renewing every 28-29 to be safe) until your data balance runs low at which point, you can add the $25/500MB package to top up.

 

The absolute minimum cost for GoPhone (with no lapse in service) is $100/365 days.

 

Again, look at your bill. How much calls and text messages have you made every month on average? Pay As You Go is great for low usage but if you use a lot of minutes (anytime, mobile to mobile or nights & weekends), you might be better off sticking to postpaid or getting the $50 unlimited plan.

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