Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by ThomasC, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I'm living off-campus this year, and I've been debating for the past few days about whether to get phone service or not. I don't use the phone service that much, so I don't want to pay a huge monthly fee and an activation fee. The land line would cost at least $30 to activate, and the monthly fee would be at least $25. T-Mobile has a $19.99 plan that includes 60 daytime and 500 weekend minutes. 60 daytime sounds like way too little, so I don't think that would work. Virgin Mobile's plan sounds like the best option, since I only need to add $20 to my account every 90 days, there's no activation fee, all I need to pay upfront is for the phone. The service, however, is another issue. I read that Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint Network for its calls. How reliable is Sprint coverage?

    EDIT: Forget it. 25 cents a minute for the first 10 minutes each day? I don't use the phone that often, but when I call my parents, a call could last up to 30 minutes or so, and I'd end up paying almost $5 for that one call. Ugh, it looks like I might be getting a land line then.
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    What about the more reliable and larger networked AT&T GO phone set up?
     
  3. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    It's funny that you mention tmobile and virgin because those are exactly the companies I have.

    I have the tmobile $20 plan because I'm a very light user and I want to use a Treo (combines pda and phone into one device). In some months I do go over my 60 minute limit, but it's still cheaper in the long run for me to go this route instead of going to the $30 plan. The $30 plan might be better for you (300 weekday minutes and unlimited weekend minutes). You should know that tmobile does not have evening minutes. The only distinction they make is weekday vs. weekend. I think tmobile is known as the cheapest cell phone provider for light users. In my area, no one else comes close to their $20 plan and even their $30 plan might be hard to beat. Once you get over that amount, then many more companies come into play.

    If I didn't want a Treo, I would be a Virgin customer. I've set up both my wife and mother-in-law on Virgin. They are also very light users and the best thing about Virgin vs. other pay-as-you-go plans is that your dollars never expire. Like you said, you have to put in $20 every 90 days, and they do have a limit on how much you can have in your account ($150 I think). So if my mother-in-law gets close to her limit, I just tell her to make a long distance call to one of her friends and she can easily chat for an hour. I pay for my mother-in-law's phone by going to Virgin's website and adding money to the account. My wife adds money to her phone via her phone. Both methods are extremely easy.
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    AT&T Go looks like the best option. However, a few days ago, I set up an account for PC-to-Phone service at Dialpad, because it's a lot cheaper than any of these plans. Their prepaid plan lets you pay in increments of $15, calling in the U.S. is 2.9 cents per minute, and you only have to refill your card every 120 days, which is a longer period compared to any of the pay-as-you-go wireless plans that I've seen. The reason I was looking for awireless plan is because I couldn't get the sound on my computer set up right until yesterday (thanks to NickSo), so I don't think I'm going to get a wireless plan anymore. But, this may be helpful in the future, so thanks.
     
  5. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Since you're looking into PC-to-Phone, have you looked into www.skype.com? ~$0.02/minute. Sound quality is freakin good, better than land-line. Credits last 180 days. PC-to-PC is free.
     
  6. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Gordon, I already set up the account a few days ago, so I'll wipe out my balance and then see how Skype's service is. You've used it, I guess?
     
  7. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    You can still set up a skype account to use the free PC-to-PC service. I used the PC-to-PC for a couple hours straight last week talking to a friend in Florida and I'm in Virginia. No lag (that I could detect), no drops, excellent sound quality. Another friend received a PC-to-Phone call and could not tell that it originated from a PC. I used it over DSL, but they claim to work over dial-up also. I think it uses somewhere around 3 or 4kBps. Give it a try!
     
  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I just finished a call with my parents on Dialpad, and the latency and sound quality was pretty bad on their side. I spoke with a Dialpad agent afterwards using their online live chat feature, and he was very helpful. Since my parents are pretty much the only people I call, I asked him if I could get my unused funds back. He said that if I cancelled my account, I would, so I cancelled my account. Dialpad's products may not work all that well (or maybe it's my Internet connection), but they sure have very good customer support.

    Skype doesn't allow refunds, so I'm not going to try them. Thanks though, Gordon.
     
  9. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    In terms of quality, Skype is far superior to Dialpad.

    Do your parents know how to use a PC? If yes, you could go with the CyberphoneK from these guys http://www.shop.voipvoice.com for $60.
    It's a USB phone that you connect to your PC and works with Skype. The idea is that if you set up your parents with this, you could use the free PC-to-PC service.

    BTW, you might want to reconsider going wireless. Even though the per-minute rate seems high, it's the out-of-pocket cost that you should consider. A land-line will cost you a minimum $20-$25 a month for basic service and that's not including any long-distance fees. You might find that wireless is actually cheaper for you overall.
     
  10. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    The main thing to consider when going wireless is to find out if they have coverage in your area. I would highly recommend calling their customer care lines and provide a street address of where you live, where your girlfriend lives, where your best friend lives, your parents live, your work place, and where you hang out often outside of these places (like a common vacation spot for example). The thing that ticks off people the most is to pay for a wireless provider and not having service where they expect to use it.

    To find out what you may expect from the customer care of a provider you may consider I suggest to visit this forum
     
  11. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    After cancelling my Dialpad account yesterday, I started considering a wireless plan. There's no way I'm getting a land line. I found out after I started this thread that my university has a deal with Cincinnati Bell, in which I pay $15 for activation and $15 per month. I can choose from two free phones and there is no contract to sign. I get 300 Miami minutes (calls within my area code) per month, and every minute for calls outside of the area code use up one Miami minute plus 4.9 cents. All incoming calls only use up one Miami minute per minute. There are no free nights and weekends (but honestly, can you expect that at $15 per month?), but if I use up my $15, additional minutes are just 3 cents per minute. Sounds like a plan to me. [​IMG]
     
  12. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Here's yet another option - sign up for VoIP service from www.vonage.com Basic service is $15/month for 500 anytime/anywhere minutes. Each additional minute is $0.039. They even give you a free phone adapter to use with your regular phone. Only hitch is you need broadband service.
     

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