Before coming to Straight Talk, I’d been part of a mobile phone contract company since 2002. After ditching the contract in search of lower costs for cell phone service, I tried two other popular prepaid wireless brands. I got rotten phone reception with both of them. Imagine having to leave home to talk on your cell phone because there’s little or no coverage at your house.
When we got with TracFone Wireless and purchased our Straight Talk phones at Wal-Mart, we loved the cost and the coverage Straight Talk provided. The unlimited plan cost $45 a month. Customers talk, text, call 411 and browse the web as much as they want. The 1,000 minute talk and text cost $30 a month. This plan includes 30 megabytes of web access and unlimited 411 calls. I’ve used both service plans, depending on what’s going on in my life.
Switching from one wireless phone service to Straight Talk is fairly easy. Customers can transport the wireless phone number they already have with their current provider over to Straight Talk if they choose to. There are at least 11 styles of Straight Talk phones to choose from ranging from $49.98 upward.
I love the fact that with Straight Talk, my mobile bill is not going to leap out of control for no apparent reason, like I just heard a friend complaining about her $1,000 bill with one of the contract wireless companies. With Straight Talk, if you want to talk and text, you will buy the service card. Just paying $45 a month, having good reception and no monthly phone bill surprises are definitely pluses in Straight Talk’s favor.
There are some drawbacks to Straight Talk wireless. For instance, with the $30 1,000 minute plan, you don’t get to roll over unused minutes into the next month. If you don’t use up 1,000 minutes in 30 days, you still have to purchase a new service card. It seems like you should be able to talk all your minutes up before having to buy a new card, whether it takes 15, 30 or 60 days. That’s not the case with Straight Talk.
There’s no way to check how many minutes you have left from the Straight Talk phone itself if you have the 1,000 minute plan. If there is, can somebody please tell me where to find it? Mostly, you have to call customer service to check your minutes. If you call *611, Straight Talk’s automated greeting may inform you that it could take an hour before you speak to a representative. That’s 60 precious minutes of your 1,000 minute plan that you will have to use.
As yet, Straight Talk hasn’t been recognized by websites like Google and Yahoo. Those mobile alerts you were used to getting with Verizon, Sprint and Alltel? Kiss them goodbye with Straight Talk, at least for now. You can still view emails though.
There are other services you can’t get with Straight Talk, such as *67 and *69. I’d been getting some annoying anonymous calls on my Straight Talk phone. When I called customer service to see what I could do about it, I was instructed to file a notarized subpoena to see my phone records. From that conversation, I learned that Straight Talk is more concerned with my caller’s privacy than mine. What a frustrating revelation.
Straight Talk prepaid wireless by TracFone is a great way to have exceptional coverage at a low cost without a contract. Just don’t expect too many other perks. You get what you pay for.