Key Points To Consider When Switching Carriers
by June Stoyer
Cell phone carriers are not unique. They offer the same services and sugar coat them to make their company more appealing. For most people, it all boils down to the quality of their service.
If you are thinking about switching carriers, the best place to start is by reviewing your bill and analyzing the services included. Consider the following questions:
- What services matter the most? Ex: video conferencing, etc.
- Can you buy a cell phone elsewhere without a contract?
- Also, what are they selling you that is simply extraneous?
- Are there free premium streaming services or other benefits offered?
- How much will a multi-line household cost?
- Are there any special discounts available for specific groups? Ex: teachers.
A Wonderful Convenience
I’ve had a cell phone plan with AT&T wireless for over 30 years. I was the first in my family to own one. At that time, it was considered a luxury. Most people that owned a cell phone bought it as a built-in accessory for their car. Back then, cell phones were as big as a brick. Even though my mobile phone was much smaller it was still fairly heavy. The phones were made to simply make calls. They didn’t have a fancy camera, texting capacity or even internet access. It was a simple mobile device that allowed me to make calls wherever I was. It was very convenient, especially if had issues with my car or was running late because I was stuck in traffic. Mobile phones (also called handy’s) were a wonderfully convenient device to own.
Over the years, it has been quite an experience dealing with competing cell phone carriers. Many sales people have tried to convince me to sign up with their company, promising me everything under the sun. Regardless, I felt very loyal to my AT&T Wireless. After all, most marriages don’t last as long as my 30 years with AT&T Wireless. Then it happened. In one fell swoop, AT&T broke my heart. On June 23rd, I received a notification that my cellular phone plan was changing and there was nothing I could do about it. It was clear. The time had come for me to move on.
Somehow, my plan managed to go from $45 to $72. This is for a basic plan that offers a modest 5GB of data. In their monthly statement, AT&T neglects to mention their miscellaneous fees, taxes and all sorts of other incidentals that they are ambiguous about. Enough was enough! Time to go!
Interestingly, I spoke to a friend of mine who felt the same way about AT&T Wireless. Was it worth it to stay with AT&T? What exactly is AT&T doing for me that makes it worth spending more? Nothing! So, what next? Where do former AT&T customers go?
The topic of Mint Mobile came up. We were both curious about what would happen if we switched. I committed to exploring the option at some point in the near future. However, after a few dropped calls, I decided to take action immediately. As it turns out, Mint Mobile is a no-frills version of T-Mobile. They have excellent cellular coverage and are significantly cheaper than everyone else!
My Blind Date With Mint
MintMobile.com is very easy to navigate. They make it easy, so you don’t need a tour guide to find out where to go and what to do. The first thing that I did was review their plans. Basically, you get a lot for very little. So, what is the catch? Well, if you want to take advantage of their pricing, you must prepay. It is that simple! They don’t have offshore call centers to deal with when you have technical or billing issues. It is very cut and dry!
Here is a snapshot of their plans.
Making It Official
In order for AT&T wireless to release your cell phone number, you have to call *7678. AT&T will immediately text you a pin to provide to the new cell phone carrier. It was that simple!
If you prefer to keep your old number, you can do so or request a new number once your account is activated.
How Minty Fresh It is!
After you contact MintMobile customer service, you will receive two SIM cards. One for the trial and one for your actual account. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of having to waste time on the phone going through the whole set up process twice, so I opted to install the SIM card for the year. You have the option to auto-renew but I prefer to make that decision at the end of the year, in case I am not satisfied with the service. Time will tell but so far, so good!
Tying The Knot
Once your new cell phone plan is active, you must set up a new voice message. To set up your new voicemail, simple press 1 and it will instantly connect you to your voicemail. You can record a new greeting and access old messages, etc. from your previous carrier. It is good to know that Mint does not delete old text messages or voicemails. They will be carried over to your new Mint Mobile account. If you would like to block unwanted calls and spam, go to Google Play Store or Apple Store and find an app to manage these calls. I chose Hiya. There are a number of apps to choose from. Review the options to see what will suit your needs.
If you are trying to access your Mint Mobile app, tech support instructed me to shut off Wi-Fi and then access the app. Otherwise, it is going to give you a message stating that the account is not found. Although this is an inconvenience, it is not a big deal to do this. You can always check your account online without having to do anything. They are aware of this glitch but, once again, not a big deal.
Try It For Free
How would you like to try Mint Mobile for free? This discount code will give you $15 off (one month free) and includes high speed data plus unlimited talk and text. Simply click the link and a new window will open to Mintmobile’s website! MintMobile Discount
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Please also read: The Facts About Faxing Without A Fax Machine