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Net10 and the cell phone wars

I recently switched cell phone providers. I had Verizon for about 15 years because they were the only cell phones that worked at my house in the early days. Times are changing. There is an explosion of new cell phone companies out there that are offering cheaper phones and cheaper service than the big guys. An Android phone with unlimited talk, text and data will likely cost you $300 for a phone and $100 a month or more through one of the big guys like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon etc… and they require a two year contract.

Enter the new small guys like Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Tracfone, Net10, Straight Talk and Cricket just to name a few. With these guys you can get a cheap Android phone for less than $100 and $50 a month for unlimited everything with no contract. They ride on the same networks that the big guys do and so far, it’s been my experience that the quality is good.

I’ve had the same phone number through Verizon for 15 years. It was costing me $49 a month just for the minimum plan of 200 minutes a month. No text, no data. I bought the Net10 android LG Optimus Net phone for $99 from Radio Shack and brought it home and it worked very well. I decided I made a good move so I ported my old Verizon number to the new service and phone through easy online tools that Net10 and the others provide. It took about 3 days to complete. When the number port is complete, if that’s the only number that you have with your old phone company, then that account is automatically closed. My Verizon contract was long since satisfied so no penalties were due. Bottom line is that I got rid of the old guys, got better service with the new guys and got to keep my phone number so I didn’t have to go through the hassle of changing phone numbers.

The common thread on the internet is that the customer service sucks for these smaller companies, but that was not my experience at all. I suppose if you are the type that requires a lot of customer service then that might be the case, but the dealings that I had with them through the porting of my number were pleasant and professional. Also, if you are a cutting edge type of person, these guys are not for you. While the big guys are rolling out 4G everywhere, the smaller guys are just now rolling out Android phones with 3G.

I honestly couldn’t be more pleased with my new phone and service. The Android 2.3 operating system is awesome, everything works and syncs with Google, and the great GPS and voice/speech applications work flawlessly. Do yourself a favor and look into these phones if you feel you are stuck paying too much for your cell phone service. I’m glad I did!