Switching Cell Phone Carriers Again – Net10

I seem to switch cell phone companies every few years.

Just when I get to where I’m feeling good about the service provided by one company, they either raise their already ridiculously high monthly fee, or bill me for some super high amount for some reason that is unknown to me in advance.  It feels as much like fraud as any identity theft or fraud scam we’ve ever profiled on our site.

You would think that long-term customers would be wanted.

You would think that companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T would care about having long-term customers who had positive things to say about them.

Instead, I’ve come to believe that most of the cell phone companies have policies that are inherently designed to push customers from one company to another, because they make more (short-term) money from selling new phones and stealing customers away from each other.

Yes, I’m frustrated with my latest cell phone story, and I am looking for a new company.

I will spare you the details, but the short story is that I returned to America after 2 years of being abroad to discover that I had a $550 cell phone bill (already reported to the credit reporting agencies – before any effort had been made to reach me).  This was a bill I had never heard a thing about, despite the fact that I found out about it with a simple phone call made to me from a collection company.  My current provider couldn’t call me or send me a letter before turning over my account to collections?

With all of the options for cell phones today, it becomes difficult to decide which company is best.  I used to use Sprint.  Then I used T-Mobile.  However, I’m quite frustrated with their customer service (which can’t even send me a bill for the supposed charges on calls I never made), and so I’ve been looking around for someone else to get cell phone coverage through.

One of the companies I’ve come across is NET10.  With Net10, you pay one flat rate, and then everything is included.

Here’s a Cute NET10 commercial

I like this unlimited feature because one of my big frustrations with my other cell phone plans has been that they eventually end up billing me for some unknown charges.  In the latest issue, I ended up with a $550 bill for a 6 month period when I was traveling out of the country.  During this time, my phone was supposed to be unusable, and I was only supposed to pay $10/month to hold the phone number.  I didn’t the cell phone number in 6 months, and I suspect someone sold my phone number from within the company.  So for me, unlimited is a great deal.

Net10’s unlimited plan also includes all the texting and data you can use in a month’s time.  Unlimited means unlimited.

Here’s something from a Real NET10 customer

You also won’t have to deal with extra contracts, or credit checks because they don’t have anything like that.  They don’t do credit checks since you’re paying just once a month, and they don’t spring surprise bills on you because there are not additional fees.

I haven’t personally tested it yet, but from what I understand, the coverage with Net10 is great and works nationwide.

One thing I’ve noticed with some of the other less expensive companies I’ve been looking at (which shall remain nameless) is that they often use old or off-brand phones.  But with NET10, you can get phones from most of the major brands including LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Kyocera.  You can get phones that have cameras, full QWERTY keyboards, and Bluetooth capability.

Net10 also has other plans.  Personally I am thinking I would go with the unlimited plan for all the reasons I’ve mentioned, but they also have pay-as-you-go plans, including one that they call the “Easy Minutes Plus Plan” which gives you a way to pay just for the minutes you are using.  The most basic Easy Minutes Plan is $15 for 200 minutes.  But because there are no contracts or extra fees, if you sign up for one plan and then decide you want another, you can simply switch plans online, where you can also purchase more airtime.

You can also purchase more minutes (if you’re on one of their pay-as-you-go plans) from your phone.

What Rob has to say about Net10

I used to love each of the companies that I had service with.  Then at some point, they seem to “turn to the dark side” and add in fees, extra bills, and random charges.  I don’t mind paying the charges if I’m responsible, but when a company won’t even send me a bill.

For now, NET10 is the new player on the scene, and appears to be offering really great services and phones at highly competitive prices.  Maybe it’s just natural that I will have to switch cell phone providers every few years, but if NET10 will continue to be the good company they appear to be today with low fees and predictable bills, I will be happy to remain their customer long-term.

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