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Cellphone contracts

Cellphone contracts

Old Mar 9th 2018, 10:14 am
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Default Cellphone contracts

Hi all,

Well, thanks for all of your help so far - after a ton of delays we finally move to NJ next week on L1A/L2 visas!

So in comparison this feels like a small-time issue, but...

I'm interested in getting the new Samsung Galaxy 9+ phone when I move, and in any case it'll be time to start a new contract. How does starting a phone contract work with regards to my credit score? I understand that in the US you purchase the phone contract and rent the phone separately. I would rather not buy a new phone outright to get round this.

I have a dormant social security number from 2005 from my previous life as a summer camp counselor, but it's had no hits on it at all since.

Do you guys think that getting a phone by paying instalments will be possible? Had a search round the forums but could not find anything that addressed this issue specifically.
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Old Mar 9th 2018, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Go to a t mobile store or one of the other networks.

You'll probably just need to put a larger down payment towards it.
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Old Mar 9th 2018, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

You probably don't have a credit score at this point, unless you retained a credit account from when you where here in 2005. I doubt that they are going to be filling to give you a contract and finance a brand new phone in the first instance.

Certainly Verizon would not even look at me before I had been in the country for 6 months, and even then they wanted a $400 refundable deposit for 12 months to give me service. I didn't go for it then, but after 12 months they gave me 5 lines, with 5 financed phones without batting an eyelid or asking for a deposit.

YMMV, but I think that buying a phone outright and using prepay is going to be easier right off the boat - then in a little time you can get a shiny new Galaxy 10+!
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Old Mar 9th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

As above, major networks wouldn't look at me until i'd been here for 6 months.
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Old Mar 9th 2018, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

I thought contracts were mostly done here. Buy the phone full price and go.
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Old Mar 9th 2018, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

I purchased an iPhone outright in the UK before moving. Went in to T-Mobile and got a sim-only deal which didn't require a credit score as I wasn't financing anything (phone). I did need a SSN though.
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 12:47 am
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

just been into t-mobile to check out deals for a client.

BenK91 You don't need ssn to get a pre-paid account.

they're running a deal where if you pay $100 onto your prepaid account ( ie 2 months of the $50 a month 10gb plan) then you get to choose one of 4 smartphones for free. They're not top of the range but they are ok and will get you through a few months until you have ssn and a bit of credit history to go and get something on credit.

these are the phones available.
https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/...r=&memory=16gb

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/...alaxy-j3-prime

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/lg-aristo

https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone/t-mobile-revvl
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

The down side of the above is that you are stuck with T-Mobile, even for a short time!

I would suggest you wait until you arrive and ask the neighbours and anyone in range of where you live, work and are likely to spend leisure time, what the signal is like before you commit. Companies like Straight Talk and Cricket (AT&T's PAYG arm) have good offers and even companies like MetroPCS and Boost Mobile are worth a look and may save a lot of money!
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
Cricket (AT&T's PAYG arm)
Cricket is owned by AT&T and is PAYG. But AT&T also do their own PAYG plans. I almost went with a Cricket plan because they were consistently cheaper than AT&T, but on further investigation I discovered that the difference was on Cricket you get your data speeds throttled all the time. So I went for AT&T.
And if you set up Auto-pay AT&T knocks $5/month off your plan cost anyway.

OP if you do intend using your European phone on a US network check which ones will be fine. More recently phones are being designed to work on all networks, but if not, then your European phone won't work well on Verizon or Sprint.
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
The down side of the above is that you are stuck with T-Mobile, even for a short time!

I would suggest you wait until you arrive and ask the neighbours and anyone in range of where you live, work and are likely to spend leisure time, what the signal is like before you commit. Companies like Straight Talk and Cricket (AT&T's PAYG arm) have good offers and even companies like MetroPCS and Boost Mobile are worth a look and may save a lot of money!
I think in terms of t-mobile Guindalf you are a bit out of date.
Sure, you can get cheaper service elsewhere. However, just being able to walk literally off the plane, into t-mobile get set up a 10gb account on a free $150 phone with no obligation past the 2 months you've just paid for and do it in 40 minutes. No brainer. Can pay with a UK debit card too.
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Old Mar 10th 2018, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

T-Mobile been great for me. Have wifi calling too. Only place they don't work is when I visit the Appalachian mountains... And frankly it's nice to have a break from the phone.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by ch2016 View Post
Cricket is owned by AT&T and is PAYG. But AT&T also do their own PAYG plans. I almost went with a Cricket plan because they were consistently cheaper than AT&T, but on further investigation I discovered that the difference was on Cricket you get your data speeds throttled all the time. So I went for AT&T.
And if you set up Auto-pay AT&T knocks $5/month off your plan cost anyway.

OP if you do intend using your European phone on a US network check which ones will be fine. More recently phones are being designed to work on all networks, but if not, then your European phone won't work well on Verizon or Sprint.
Everyone's experience's are different but I will counter the above one and say I went with Cricket and cancelled ATT precisely because I was previously paying anywhere between $85 - $95 per month with ATT on a supposedly 'grandfathered' unlimited ATT plan which kept rising in cost and was never the same amount each month due to in their words taxes lol. My consistent $35 per month Cricket plan performs just the same. I still stream YouTube unlimited everyday (the greatest jukebox known to man) text and call the UK, FaceTime UK. No issues. Except I have now saved $50 a month for the past 15 months = $750.

A word of caution. When I was thinking of leaving ATT they would constantly tell me oh you use a lot of data 5 gigs per month + and other carriers throttle we don't. Funny how in the last 15 months my Cricket plan shows me never going over 3 gigs of data, I've never been throttled etc.

When I asked the Cricket rep why don't more people use cheaper plans she just shrugged her shoulders and said 'some people just like to pay more for their phone service.' I liken it to gasoline, it varies in price depending on the brand name but it all comes from the same refinery.

Oh and I recently bought outright the new iPhone 8 (with that $750 saved above) which works perfectly on my little $35 per month plan. I bought it on Apple's Barclaycard deal of 0% free credit over 12 months + depending on the amount used. Much better than the Apple upgrade plans which require you to use one of the major carriers and pay for a higher rate phone plan. The cost of the phone is higher as well because your paying for that upgrade insurance.

Just like car buying its never cheaper to go with the lease. Always seems like you get more upfront but it always has to be paid for!

Last edited by vikingsail; Mar 11th 2018 at 4:34 pm.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
I would suggest you wait until you arrive and ask the neighbours and anyone in range of where you live, work and are likely to spend leisure time, what the signal is like before you commit.

This is a good suggestion -- the reason everyone in my area has Verizon is that it is the only carrier to have consistently good service here. No point in getting the cheapest service available if it doesn't work where you live.
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Old Mar 11th 2018, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by vikingsail View Post
Everyone's experience's are different but I will counter the above one and say I went with Cricket and cancelled ATT precisely because I was previously paying anywhere between $85 - $95 per month with ATT on a supposedly 'grandfathered' unlimited ATT plan which kept rising in cost and was never the same amount each month due to in their words taxes lol. My consistent $35 per month Cricket plan performs just the same. I still stream YouTube unlimited everyday (the greatest jukebox known to man) text and call the UK, FaceTime UK. No issues. Except I have now saved $50 a month for the past 15 months = $750.

A word of caution. When I was thinking of leaving ATT they would constantly tell me oh you use a lot of data 5 gigs per month + and other carriers throttle we don't. Funny how in the last 15 months my Cricket plan shows me never going over 3 gigs of data, I've never been throttled etc.

When I asked the Cricket rep why don't more people use cheaper plans she just shrugged her shoulders and said 'some people just like to pay more for their phone service.' I liken it to gasoline, it varies in price depending on the brand name but it all comes from the same refinery.

Oh and I recently bought outright the new iPhone 8 (with that $750 saved above) which works perfectly on my little $35 per month plan. I bought it on Apple's Barclaycard deal of 0% free credit over 12 months + depending on the amount used. Much better than the Apple upgrade plans which require you to use one of the major carriers and pay for a higher rate phone plan. The cost of the phone is higher as well because your paying for that upgrade insurance.

Just like car buying its never cheaper to go with the lease. Always seems like you get more upfront but it always has to be paid for!
so, taking away that the OP will need a pre-paid plan and will need to get a phone somehow. Always check coverage too..... ie we are now going a bit OT for him...

I just looked at the cricket site and would not save anything at all switching from my current t-mobile package.
3 lines , own phones, 2 gb data + one line with unlimited international calling and texting to landlines and mobiles. Total bill for me including all the taxes/fees is $146.
we all have smartphones and 2 gb for me and eldest daughter is more than enough. We never go over that since we both have wifi access at home/work and at college. If I am out of the house for work then I constantly use google maps but that is it.
Youngest daughter would love unlimited data to watch youtube videos to/from school but since that is the only time she does not have wifi and can't use her phone at school anyway, I'm not prepared to pay for it.

I think it is really easy to get sucked into this whole unlimited data thing and pay through the nose for it but I would honestly start as low as you can and increase data only if you need it.

It is possible to get lower costs with some of the mvno companies ?mint sim ting etc
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Old Mar 12th 2018, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: Cellphone contracts

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
This is a good suggestion -- the reason everyone in my area has Verizon is that it is the only carrier to have consistently good service here. No point in getting the cheapest service available if it doesn't work where you live.

Good point, however, if you have wifi at home and at work, you don't need to use an expensive data plan. Cricket from AT&T offers 2gb data plan for only $30 plus unlimited text and talk. Coverage is fairly good, better than T-Mobile; and it's low cost, $5 cheaper than Verizon.
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