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Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:05 AM

Phones and 'Straight Talk'....

Last edited Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:01 AM - Edit history (1)

does anyone use this? Pros and cons? Specifically looking for comments on 'Straight Talk'.

I want to know because I 'may' do DU on my phone via internet if I can get a good deal. I've been
encouraged to buy into this but have reservations.

Thanks for comments!

40 replies, 2675 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Phones and 'Straight Talk'.... (Original post)
babylonsister Nov 2012 OP
jberryhill Nov 2012 #1
rbixby Nov 2012 #29
jberryhill Nov 2012 #31
David Zephyr Nov 2012 #2
babylonsister Nov 2012 #5
dsc Nov 2012 #3
babylonsister Nov 2012 #4
dsc Nov 2012 #6
babylonsister Nov 2012 #11
dsc Nov 2012 #18
babylonsister Nov 2012 #21
tomsmom22 Nov 2012 #32
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #33
Old Codger Nov 2012 #7
babylonsister Nov 2012 #10
Old Codger Nov 2012 #12
babylonsister Nov 2012 #14
dsc Nov 2012 #19
Old Codger Nov 2012 #20
jmowreader Nov 2012 #8
babylonsister Nov 2012 #9
Old Codger Nov 2012 #13
nc4bo Nov 2012 #15
babylonsister Nov 2012 #16
nc4bo Nov 2012 #17
babylonsister Nov 2012 #22
nc4bo Nov 2012 #24
babylonsister Nov 2012 #25
nc4bo Nov 2012 #30
Old Codger Nov 2012 #35
JustAnotherGen Nov 2012 #26
babylonsister Nov 2012 #27
JustAnotherGen Nov 2012 #34
nc4bo Nov 2012 #28
Old Codger Nov 2012 #36
nc4bo Dec 2012 #37
Old Codger Dec 2012 #38
union_maid Nov 2012 #23
bloomington-lib Feb 2013 #39
babylonsister Feb 2013 #40

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:11 AM

1. I read DU on my phone more than any other device

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:59 PM

29. All this time there's been a mobile version!

Wow! Its like a whole new world for me!

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Response to rbixby (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:48 AM

31. Yeah...

...every now and then someone makes a comment about an avatar and I'm like "oh... right."

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:12 AM

2. I also read the DU on my phone.

It's cool and now I get to visit more than I could during the last years. Good luck.

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Response to David Zephyr (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:00 AM

5. Do you use Straight Talk? NT

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:56 AM

3. I use Straighttalk

Pros cheap, has good coverage, internet works well most of the time. Cons horrible customer service. can be hard to add service cards on the website, card has been charged more than one time (they do fix this but the money is tied up for a day or two). Again, the service itself is good but the customer service leaves much to be desired.

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Response to dsc (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:59 AM

4. Thanks! This is the kind of info I'm looking for. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:04 AM

6. no problem

If the customer service were better I would recommend it without reservation but given the customer service I do admit to having some concern with any recommendation.

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Response to dsc (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:43 AM

11. Can I ask you

if you have your monthly payments deducted online, or do you buy the cards? I'd rather do the online thingy instead of having to remember to buy cards, or have to go to Wally World.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:17 AM

18. I don't do the auto thing which I probably should do

I bought a six month card so I don't have to worry about it until April.

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Response to dsc (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:16 PM

21. Good to know; I could do Wally World

twice a year, but may check out the online option. Thanks!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:56 AM

32. Here's what I do:

I've been using the $30 plan for about a year and a half now. I buy the cards from Walmart.com and add them on the Straight Talk website. The pin numbers come in email in a few hours or as late as the next day. I add them as a Reserve plan, which means that when the plan currently in use expires, the Reserve plan then becomes active, no lost days or minutes. You can enter any number of plans into your reserves. I have never had a problem with this, though I was initially very wary! Customer service phone support is pretty poor--it's the same people who do Tracfone support. They are invariably polite, but it seems that if the problem is at all complex, all you do is go around in circles. That said, I have only had to contact them one time and the problem was fixed. I suggest that you find out what cellular plan works best in your area. The Straight Talk phones that end in "C" use the Verizon network, and the ones ending in "G" run on the AT&T network. When I decided to try it, I knew that Verizon works very well here, so got a "C" phone. Also, on the Straight Talk website, they often offer a reconditioned phone for free, you just need to buy one month's plan along with it. I figured that was a pretty good way to try the service, prior to giving up the service I had been using. The free refurbished phone works well, and I continue to use it with no problems. One last thing, if the only phones you are seeing after entering your zip code are "G" phones, and you'd like to try a "C" phone, try some different zip codes. For example, many areas in MN outside the large cities only have the "C" phones, because, I assume, that's what works in the more rural areas. You can purchase either phone regardless of how you find it, as you could be using it as a gift; what determines the area code and phone number is where you are when you ACTIVATE the phone. I think they also offer some of the newer "smart" phones now, too, if that's what you want. Also, Walmart brick?motor stores also carry Straight Talk phones, though mostly "G" phone. HTH.

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Response to tomsmom22 (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:04 PM

33. Welcome to DU!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:13 AM

7. I use them

They are pretty good as long as not needing much in the way of customer service, hard to understand operators .... sometimes takes a while to get your problem through to them... unlimited for $45 a month is about as cheap as you will find, you can beat the payment problem by buying cards at Walmart, if you pay with debit or credit card they add in the taxes and other little charges that they all use but if you get card through retail it is just flat rate..I usually go 6 months at a time and save a couple dollars that way
so far service has been good but I use an unlocked phone so can move any time I want.

A really good company that I use for family phones is Consumer Cell Co. good prices and customer service is done in US and personnel actually talk so you can understand them.
If you buy phone from them they will not unlock it, you can get the same phone cheaper and unlocked on Amazon. One I got from them was 130 same phone unlocked on Amazon was 87 then just get sim from them and insert it same service and have a phone you can move to another company any time you want...

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:42 AM

10. What is an unlocked phone?

I have no idea what that means.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:43 AM

12. Unlocked

Each phone company puts software into their phone that only allow that they be used on their network, an unlocked phone can be used on any similar phone network, all that is needed is a SIM from the company you wish to use, most of them have SIM programs where you buy a SIM, some of them like consumer cellular will actually give you one free and ship it free. I have two phone plans one is straight talk which is unlimited data,text and talk the other is consumer cellular for the family shared minutes plan....
You can buy unlocked phones on amazon and go with company of choice.

PM me if you want more on this.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:54 AM

14. Thanks for all the info! I will be in touch. Need to get this done. nt

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:21 AM

19. actually they tax you the same at the store

A 45 card costs about 48 no matter where bought.

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Response to dsc (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:31 AM

20. Maybe

where you live it does but I bought a one month card at Wally World for the face price of 45 dollars, no tax nothing at all extra. Also a 6 month card for $255 nothing more.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:28 AM

8. Straight Talk is a Walmart brand

I use iWireless, which is private label Sprint. No complaints. VirginMobile is another decent one.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:41 AM

9. I know that, but am just trying to find the best

deal. I currently have AT&T, contract is up next month, and I'm tired of feeling like I'm being robbed.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:50 AM

13. I know that feeling

I was with sprint fore 12 years, had 4 phones......... I dropped one about a year ago, then circumstance arose that I had need of going back to 4 so I tried to get them to activate one and put it back on my plan they would not do it unless I renewed my contract for 2 more years...also they would not let me go to a smart phone on my family/shared plan, they insisted that I had to carry that on a separate data plan...I got fed up with them, my contracts were almost up so I paid them off and bought unlocked phones for each of us and went on from there, bill is about half of what it was, no contract and although I paid full price for a smart phone I got other slightly less "smart" but android phones for all of us have good data/text/voice on all 4 of them now and no contract, can move to another service any time I please... the actually appreciate my business.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:29 AM

15. We use Straight Talk too. One thing along with the other good ST comments already listed...GSM/CDMA

GSM = AT&T, T-Mobile. Phone model usually has a "G" at the end of it. For example: Samsung S390G.

CDSM = Verizon, Sprint, Metro PCS, etc.

Sometimes you either have to look closely at the box or search online to find more info on the Android phones. Example: Samsung Galaxy Proclaim is CDSM but the LG Optimus Logic is GSM.

AT&T towers always gave us shaky service here, lots of dropped calls, no service messages etc. may have improved from a year or so ago but we started looking and using CDSM phones and have better service with those towers.

If you use smartphones, ask whether or not if it's GSM or CDSM, there are several smartphones in each category or go online and research.

It may not make a difference for you but it did for us and after going round and round with customer service and the (usually) uninformed Walmart employees (we lucked out and found one that actually knew all about this) - we found out what the problem was and bought only CDSM phones.

Straight Talk CS = Philippines. Sometimes very difficult to understand and may not be able to go off the help desk script. Sometimes problems with adding funds from the card but doesn't happen often enough to complain about, no more frustrating then dealing with AT&T about a billing, service they screwed up or adding services you don't want and charging you for their mistake :S.

We're happy with them!! $45 for everything, no surprises! I use a $30 card each month and have never run out of minutes/data. DH and son use $45.

ETA: Most of the smarter phones require you to use $45 refill card or the phone will not work.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:52 AM

16. Thanks for all that good info!

So I'm looking for a smart phone, CDSM. Have you ever done a monthly payment online so you didn't forget to buy minutes? I wonder how complicated they make that?
And these cards; once you pay for it, are you automatically signed up for the minutes? I'm such a noob at this, I do appreciate yours and everyone's help!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:13 AM

17. No Babylon - we just go pick up a card and refill with a phone call or online.

It seems everything about ST is all about convenience so I'd be surprised if autopay would be any different. I doubt it would be very complicated and after the initial figuring it out period, it should be simple as pie.

When we refill, we just pay for our cards (cashier automatically activates it when you pay at the register), go home or one could just use your smart phone to go online and refill. My dumb phone allows me to do it on the phone itself but my son has the Galaxy Proclaim and says there's no option to do it on his. There's a sort of "refill bank" where you can refill ahead of time and the phone automatically uses the fresh minutes at the end of your service time without you having to do anything. Not sure how long in advance it can be done but know that this is an easy enough question for ST's CS to handle LOL!

We went with ST because (and unfortunately) there are Walmarts EVERYWHERE (even in the dinkiest of towns), usually open 24/7 and getting a refill card will never be a problem - like I said, they are all about the convenience factor and they know if it's too complicated people would bail on ST the same way people are bailing on the contract companies (like we did with AT&T contract services)!

No worries about the questions, wish we'd had someone to ask our questions instead of just taking a big ole leap o' faith.



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Response to nc4bo (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:19 PM

22. Again, many thanks! I'll be going

phone shopping soon. What model did you settle on? I only have a flip phone now, so anything will be an improvement, but don't know what to look for. I'm grudgingly entering the 21st century!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #22)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 03:04 PM

24. I have an "old/ancient" 2-year old slider by Samsung LOL

My son has the Samsung Galaxy Proclaim touch screen and absolutely loves it.

Go here, enter the zip code of where you live/using the phone and see what's available: http://www.straighttalk.com/ShopPhones. As mentioned upthread, ST is also getting into unlocked phones and will sell SIM cards - check to be sure the phone is compatible with ST, they have a list somewhere I believe.

My husband's really hard on phones so he got the cheapest flip phone he could find that still has photo/browser capabilities....he had brought home a the same phone as DS but figured he'd destroy the touchscreen immediately and took it back for the cheapo flip.

I love my slider but DS let me play the game "Plague" on his smart phone and check out all the APPS and stuff and .

I won't move until my slider kicks the bucket though.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:20 PM

25. Thanks for the link and

one last question! Did you keep your old phone number and how do you do that?

I know I'm a pill and thank you for your patience and help!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #25)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 05:01 PM

30. Yep - when we first moved to a new area, we carried our landline phone number like turtle/shells.

Had no problem transferring the number to the ST. The time between landline/cell phone transfer can vary but we've never been phoneless for more than an hour at the most. Usually it's alot quicker than that.

When you transfer, only do one phone at a time so there's always a working phone you can call customer service with or have a friend or kid around and use theirs.

You just call ST customer service, tell them what you want to do, they'll walk you through all of it - mostly getting a release of the number from your old carrier is what holds up the transfers more than anything. AT&T were real jerks in our case

You're always welcome and I'm glad you're getting plenty of feedback so you can make a good informed decision.

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Response to nc4bo (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 04:13 PM

35. Pay ahead

They offer up to a year ahead if you choose, I do 6 months at a time for $255 saves $15 that way.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:30 PM

26. No

You are looking for CDMA - but CDMA devices that are VZW branded/sold/approved on their network are not SIM Card Capable. I think that was a typo by the previous poster - but it's going to cause confusion for you. So CDMA.

You would do best to get an unlocked GSM phone that can be used with AT & T or any old SIM Card Carrier if you opt to not get a prepaid Data Capable device.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:47 PM

27. Why would I need it to

be compatible w/AT&T if I switch to Straight Talk; is it because I can have more wandering room?

Thanks for your input also!

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:35 PM

34. High Level

I've launched 57 phones for VZW, followed by being the Global Services (and everything that implies) product Manager -

So when we went from 85 to more than 220 voice countries outside of the US - that was me.
I also launched the first 'big' global phone (the Storm) in partnership with my old team - devices.


A CDMA phone that was launched FOR VZW will not be SIM compatible - there is LITERALLY no SIM card slot on those devices. Can't be done. Locked/Unlocked - no biggie - but you can't physically but a SIM Card in the VZW SIM Only phone.

The Global Read (dual chipsets with all networks/speeds - example CDMA/GSM/UMTS/etc. etc. ) unless the requirements I gave to the device team have changed (don't think they have) -

Those devices are 'blocked' from being able to have a major carriers DOMESTIC SIM Card placed in it and access their network - because VZW doesn't have 'GSM' in the US - only CDMA and now 4G/LTE. So you can't use their GSM Speed SIM Card in a VZW phone. LTE phones I'm gray on - but I still wouldn't attempt it because now that I'm in finance and can take a broad picture view -as long as we are ENSLAVED to SELLING PHONES I want to protect the network as much as possible . . . so moves are underway to do this.

Really - try and find an unlocked GSM Carrier (T Mobile/AT & T) device and then source your SIM card.




Note - I don't speak for VZW - other than having the knowledge on this subject matter. But it tickles me pink when the consumer resources their own device. In my dream world - we do what we do best - provide voice and internet wirelessly -

And the consumer walks into Best Buy, Target, Electronics store just like they do for a Flat Screen T.V. and we aren't bound to sell them a phone, repair it, provide, support, etc. etc. It's a much more profitable model and then it also gets us out of the mix with the slave element (folks who make the phones abroad) of the industry. In my dream world - the blood relationship is on the consumer - not the telephone company.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:55 PM

28. Thanks JustAnotherGen

that was a typo - fingers, fast typing, laptop keyboard, distracted typing..........yea.

That's one of our things to look for to avoid ATT, is the absence of a SIM card.

Babylon will have to decide which providers/networks work well for her - not difficult if one has had to deal with crappy service from a particular network.

I thank goodness that now we have choices and we're no longer tied down.

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 09:56 PM

36. CDSM VS. GSM

CDSM is tied to those companies only, cannot use with straight talk I don't think, GSM have SIM cards and can be used with any GSM company.

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Response to Old Codger (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:39 AM

37. My Straight Talk phone is CDSM (Verizon) as is my son's smartphone.

If it has a sim card, we avoid it because of the crappy AT&T service where we are.

My one complaint about ST is that Walmart's customer service should be able to explain or warn customers (or at least put the information on the box) that not all ST phones use the same carriers. As it stands now, its not widely known info.


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Response to nc4bo (Reply #37)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:17 AM

38. there are several

different things that are not real clear with ST or for that matter most of the carriers, they offer no contracts but they don't make it real clear that you are still tied to a single carrier unless you go with unlocked phones. I purposely stayed away from CDSM phones due to my experience with sprint.... with the SIM based unlocked phones I have a wider choice of carriers...But that is just personal choice not necessarily good or bad depending on circumstances.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:25 PM

23. I mostly like Virgin Mobile

Prices are certainly good. I guess I'm commited for a while because I just ordered my first smartphone (for my husband to give me for Chrstmas) from them, so will keep them at least until I'm ready for the next phone after that. My husband's account and mine cost less than the shared one we had from Sprint. Same netwok, except that you can't roam at all on Virgin Mobile. Not a big problem for us, but it would be if you travel outside the network area much.

Edited to add I never bother with buying cards. I do the auto thing for monthly charges and add money online or through the phone itself if I need to. Only needed to do that once, but it was easy.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:28 PM

39. Thinking about getting rid of ATT and going with ST. Good info here. Thanks DU

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Response to bloomington-lib (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:01 PM

40. I did it after getting all this great info, and am

a happy camper, feel like I'm saving $...and I am!

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