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With so many phone carriers and wireless plans on the market, it can be tough to choose. If you are looking to sign up for a new plan, get a new phone or just want to see if there are better options out there, we can help.
Our staff gives their firsthand accounts of what led them to choose their current wireless plan and why they choose to stay or look for other options. From family plans to prepaid deals, we’ll cut through the advertising hoopla to tell you about real wireless plans we use and why.
The backstory: When we left Pennsylvania for Arizona six years ago, we had T-Mobile and knew that only Verizon worked where we were moving. Before we left, we ended our service and bought two Samsung smartphones and got two Verizon prepaid plans as a temporary fix. However, we discovered that at $45/mo. per plan, it was working fine for us, so we kept it, replacing our phones every two years.
Why I keep it: Verizon has never treated us differently than a post-paid customer. In fact, we’ve gotten a $5 discount every other year for staying with them. So now, I have an unlimited data plan, with a hotspot, for $55/mo. on my phone. My husband doesn’t use his phone as much as I do and he’s still got an unlimited call/text and good-sized data plan for $35. I think it’s a good deal!
The backstory: I’ve been on an AT&T plan by myself for about 15 years. I moved my cellphone number from AT&T to Sprint (because they offered a better plan at the time) and then back again because I moved to an area where Sprint had less coverage. I kept my cellphone plan with unlimited talk and text and 2GB of phone data for about a decade. I rarely went over 2GB of data per month because I was always connected to Wi-Fi at home and at work.
Back when your phone plans made you pay per text, I separated myself from my family plan because I wanted to have unlimited text — and my parents didn’t want to pay for it, can you believe it?
Why I keep it: I recently upgraded to a 9GB plan because I called AT&T customer service about an unrelated issue, and the representative let me know that I could be paying less for more data! A win-win for sure. My favorite thing about my AT&T plan is their International Day Pass. I just call customer service ahead of time to let them know my dates of travel and where I’m going, and then I get charged $10/day for unlimited talk, text and data while I’m away. And, I only get charged for the days I use it.
The backstory: I am on a Verizon Wireless family plan with all of my immediate family. We have four lines on the plan and eight tablets (four iPhones and four iPads). The maximum number of tablets you can have is 10.
Why I keep it: We used to be on AT&T, but switched to Verizon Wireless because Verizon was supposed to have better connectivity in more places. Regarding data plans, we initially tried the Verizon Wireless medium size data family plan (4GB), but recently moved up to the large data plan (8GB) because we went over our monthly cap a few times and were getting charged.
The backstory: I’m happily on an AT&T plan and unashamed to say that I piggybacked onto my wife’s plan some 10+ years ago. I’ve been pleased with the service and rarely have complaints.
Why I keep it: Before that I was on a company-paid AT&T plan … so I’ve been blissfully unaware of the details for some time! To put it another way, if you want to have a comprehensive discussion about the finer details of our wireless plan, find my wife!
The backstory: I’m on an AT&T family plan with my wife and her parents. They have DIRECTV also, so we all get unlimited data, which is convenient. Even though I largely don’t use my phone for much more than pulling up Spotify or playing a game or two (oh, and the occasional text or phone call), I find the unlimited data to be a major perk.
Why I keep it: My previous plan did not have unlimited data, and let me say you don’t realize how much data these little devices can go through until you go on a road trip with the GPS on and music streaming the whole time.
The backstory: I have to admit I’m still on my parents’ family plan with Verizon. (My dad says we only have to leave if we get married.) It’s the only cellphone carrier I’ve ever experienced, but I’ve never been disappointed with it.
Why I keep it: I’ve gotten great service everywhere I’ve lived, and even on some remote hikes. This year, Verizon even threw in a free year of Disney Plus. I might never get married.
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Written by:Lisa Iscrupe
Writer, Broadband & Data Content
Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. … Read more
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