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Cell phones in the US

Cell phones in the US

Old Sep 29th 2015, 5:23 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
I think T Mobile offers an 'autopay' option for all PAYG plans, whereby their system will automatically bill a credit or debit card every month without any prompting. Maybe they offer this for post-pay contracts too? I set up autopay for my PAYG plan and it works well.
I expect they do, but I like to do bills manually, out of autopay paranoia. I don't want to give any company here the ability to debit my bank account; I just don't trust them or the consumer protection legislation enough
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Old Sep 29th 2015, 5:35 pm
  #17  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by into_thewild View Post
Sounds good. One last question - do they give you the sim in store or do they have to mail it out to you?
At least with T-Mobile you'll get it in the store.A word of warning with T-Mobile though: They use somewhat unusual frequencies for their 3G and LTE service, so you may find you'll get stuck at GSM/EDGE speeds if your phone doesn't support them. It'll still work, but mobile data will be slow.
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Old Sep 29th 2015, 5:43 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I expect they do, but I like to do bills manually, out of autopay paranoia. I don't want to give any company here the ability to debit my bank account; I just don't trust them or the consumer protection legislation enough
Cricket gives you a $5 monthly discount for setting up autopay.
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Old Sep 29th 2015, 5:56 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
I expect they do, but I like to do bills manually, out of autopay paranoia. I don't want to give any company here the ability to debit my bank account; I just don't trust them or the consumer protection legislation enough
This is why I pay by credit card, so they're not debiting my actual bank account. I also get credit card rewards on the money that I'm going to be spending anyway.
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Old Sep 30th 2015, 1:14 am
  #20  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Not sure about TMobile, but Verizon is a CDMA network and doesn't use sim cards.
Pretty sure that's changed. The Apple site says all Verizon iPhones since the 5 have sims.
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Old Sep 30th 2015, 1:21 am
  #21  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Republic works fine foe me, warning Verizon does not allow you to piggy back on wifi for calls.
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Old Sep 30th 2015, 7:41 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

I went into the T-Mobile shop when I arrived and had a US mobile number live and working within an hour.You will need to either buy a phone from a store like Walmart OR bring a phone (unlocked) with you. Just check it will work on the networks here. I had a Nokia Windows phone when I arrived 18 months ago but now use a 2nd hand iPhone 5s.Ask for a Pay Monthly SIM deal. I opted for a deal which was $45 per month which was unlimited US calls and a good data bundle (I forget how much but it was more than enough for me) and then paid an extra $15 a month for unlimited calls to the UK so I never worried about calling people back home.Now I pay $142 (incl taxes) for unlimited fast data on two SIMs for me and the other half, unlimited US calls and unlimited calls to UK on both phones. That's quite a high bill, and I've got a credit rating now so it's getting to a time to review and maybe contract for a better deal.Oh one more thing... When I got here I had an iPad with SIM in from the UK. As it was with 3Mobile they included roaming data on it within the 13 pounds a month fee. That was useful for a while, though I felt it was slower data speed than I got on my mobile US T-Mobile deal.Good luck
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Old Sep 30th 2015, 7:44 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by FinnDiego View Post
At least with T-Mobile you'll get it in the store.A word of warning with T-Mobile though: They use somewhat unusual frequencies for their 3G and LTE service, so you may find you'll get stuck at GSM/EDGE speeds if your phone doesn't support them. It'll still work, but mobile data will be slow.
It's true that T-Mobile (in my experience) do not have great US coverage. But I like their unlimited calls to UK for $15 on top of my pay monthly cost, and coverage is good at home. Coverage at work was not great, but I complained a few times and pestered them... They provided a free Femtocel (booster system) for work, so I have a unit by a window one end of the office and a broadcaster sending out the 3G/LTE signal half way down the building which works for me and a couple of other T Mobile users
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Old Oct 1st 2015, 2:55 am
  #24  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by Hanco View Post
It's true that T-Mobile (in my experience) do not have great US coverage. But I like their unlimited calls to UK for $15 on top of my pay monthly cost, and coverage is good at home.
Why not switch to Ultra who use the T-Mo network, but include calls to the UK in the base amount?
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Old Oct 1st 2015, 3:16 am
  #25  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by retzie View Post
Why not switch to Ultra who use the T-Mo network, but include calls to the UK in the base amount?
T Mobile are still killing everyone on family plans. We're paying $120 a month for 4 lines, all of which have 10GB of data where any unused portion rolls over to the following month(s). (We got a limited time deal - the rack rate for the same plan is now $140.)

We don't have a landline so for a family with a teen and almost teen, this is pretty good for a complete monthly phone bill.

For international, I use Skype/ FaceTime mostly, and occasionally phone my parents' landline using the 2.5 hours a month of UK Skype calling I buy for $15 a year.
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Old Oct 1st 2015, 3:44 am
  #26  
 
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
....Verizon is a CDMA network and doesn't use sim cards.

Verizon uses SIM cards, I know, I just swapped one in to my replacement Verizon phone. Verizon's 4G LTE has only been out almost 5 years, so it is an easy mistake to make
Blazingly Fast: Verizon Wireless Launches The World's Largest 4G LTE Wireless Network On Sunday, Dec. 5
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Old Oct 1st 2015, 4:33 am
  #27  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by retzie View Post
Why not switch to Ultra who use the T-Mo network, but include calls to the UK in the base amount?
Probably because if they are anything like the other MVNO's they force all of your mobile data through a proxy to throttle the speeds which seriously ramps up the latency, and you don't get access to T-Mobile features like Wi-Fi Calling.

Also, it looks like they don't include calls to UK mobiles - the $15 Stateside International Talk option includes this too.
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Old Oct 1st 2015, 3:09 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

A move to Ultra is not on the cards for me
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Old Oct 4th 2015, 8:09 am
  #29  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Anyone used H20 or blackwireless - they both sell SIM's for unlocked phones. Its $30 a month for the base level. Setting up payment I suppose may be a challenge?
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Old Oct 4th 2015, 3:53 pm
  #30  
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Default Re: Cell phones in the US

Originally Posted by katiefordham View Post
Anyone used H20 or blackwireless - they both sell SIM's for unlocked phones. Its $30 a month for the base level. Setting up payment I suppose may be a challenge?
Never heard of the companies you mention. Setting up payment is not a challenge anywhere that I know of.
When you get to the US (even if just visiting before a move here) it's worth setting up the checking account (to UK people aka "Current Account"). Just check their fees!
Bank Of America is who we went with. We arrived, went and got a mobile phone SIM from T-Mobile then a couple of days later when I had some things with my name and an address on I went to the bank and opened the account. BoA has a rule about the minimum balance to be "fee free" for day to day account services, so I just maintain that level minimum ($1.5k I think it is)
Online banking here is a little different to the UK in the set up of things but you get used to it. I have my suppliers set up in my "Bill Pay Center" and setting them up is a bit like setting up a friend in your online account in the UK so you can send them money. Then, when I need to pay T-Mobile or my utilities, credit card etc, I go into the Bill Pay Center on the website and enter the amount and date to pay it. It happens automatically from there.
Of course you can set up "Auto Pay" where the supplier can direct debit from you. Or you can set up direct billing where the bill can still come to you on paper or email but it can go direct to your bank. When you log into your bank account you can see any bills that are waiting to be paid. I don't use that but some people do obviously.

Worse case, I think with companies like T Mobile who have physical shops, you can go in and pay in person with cash or card. Maybe for a fee I don't know. There's quite a lot of "fees" for things here in the US. Convenience Fees do my head in!! I think, "Convenience Fee? For you to take my money?" and the best is when the "Convenience Fee" is online... Online! When they don't have to pay wages to clerks at a window to count cash or move paper... Sigh. I suppose they'd say "To pay for the website design, maintenance etc".
And when you get here you will LOVE (not) Comcast and AT&T. Mostly Comcast though. They will, virtually guaranteed, mess up your bill on a regular basis, possibly call you a liar when they deny you had the deal you signed up for (even though you screenshot the confirmation page with all the detail on it LOL)

It's a great place really. Hope you get your cell phones sorted people. And you'll find more and more they are calling them mobiles now
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