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Alternative to Virgin Mobile?

Discussion in 'Virgin Mobile' started by WiGal, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. WiGal

    WiGal Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I have reached the end of my rope with Virgin Mobile.

    Their coverage is spotty and unreliable. Customer service is non-existent.
    Most recently, someone was able to get into my account (I have no idea how, I never disclose my login information). They accused me of lying about it, were unbelievably rude and insulting over the phone, and refused to help me.
    A new number had been assigned without my knowledge and get that info in order to fix my voice mail. I called them for help and they had absolutely no idea what they were doing. I figured it out on my own while they kept telling me to do the same thing which was not working over and over.

    I'm set up on Google Voice, so now no matter what happens with my carrier, I'll be fine keeping a consistent number.

    I love the $25 price on VM, but it really is true that you get what you pay for!

    Any good options in the $25-$35 per month range with Android phones available?

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  2. gamikzone

    gamikzone Android Enthusiast

    im not sure about 25-35 but pageplus has verizon coverage for $55 a month and that is unlimited with 2gb data, or you could buy an unlocked gsm phone and use it with straight talk they offer plans for 45 a month.
  3. mogelijk

    mogelijk Android Expert

    T-Mobile has a $30/month plan, which is online or Walmart only. It has 5GB of data before throttling though, the down side, only 100 minutes of talk. What many do, to make up for the lack of minutes, is use GrooveIP with Google Voice to get free minutes using VoIP. It also has the advantage that you can bring any compatible GSM phone, you just need to buy a SIM Activation Kit (99 cents online) to put in the phone.

    A great phone you can get (for $300 or $350) is the Nexus 4 from Google, though it is out of stock at the moment. T-Mobile Monthly also has a Galaxy SII you can buy from Walmart for $330, though it includes a $30 T-Mobile prepaid card.

    There are many of us who have switched from Virgin to T-Mobile and been very happy. Not to mention, speeds on T-Mobile tend to be much better than on Virgin (most people seem to get average download speeds between 5 and 10 Mbps). Of course, you experience may vary, you need to make sure you have good T-Mobile coverage in your area.

    As for security and Virgin Mobile, it is sad they'd even give you a hassle about that. Virgin Mobile has been hit hard in the press recently for their security issues, such as this article on CNET.
  4. aurora40

    aurora40 Android Enthusiast

    If you don't use a lot of data, Page Plus also has a $30/month plan with 1200 minutes, 3000 texts, and 250MB of data.

    You can easily use any Verizon phone that is not prepaid or LTE. And some people have put Sprint, VM, and other phones on it. Though you may need to do some work to get that to happen, or pay a dealer to do it.

    And of course on the opposite end of the data vs minutes spectrum is T-Mobile's $30 monthly plan that has lots of data and little minutes.
  5. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female

    I second this, as I too switched from VM to T-Mobile. Not a single complaint here and am happier than ever with the service.

    However, I do highly recommend the Carrier Coverage app. I ran mine for roughly 2 weeks so I could get a decent indication of what carrier would be best for my area, which is why I chose T-Mobile. You'll get a lot of replies regarding who prefers their carrier and why, but ultimately the choice should be based on who is going to offer you the best connections for your area. Also check out this article (it's a fairly long read, but the information it gives is outstanding).
  6. hiwatt

    hiwatt Android Enthusiast

    I feel like lately VM connection speeds are all over the place. It's either around 1.5m or like just crawling along. It's starting to irritate me enough into thinking about switching to T Mobile (a company that after 8 years basically screwed me and made me leave them for vm). How are your 4G speeds over there? You aren't too far from me it looks like. I'm at Irving and Western.
  7. gamikzone

    gamikzone Android Enthusiast

    yes make sure you check the coverage maps before you get a new plan, like for me i would get t-mobile but it is not very usable for me in my area, on the other hand the best choice for me is verizon since they are the only carrier with 4g in my area but i dont think i can afford that :D.
  8. c1atsite

    c1atsite Newbie

    Speaking from experience , Virgin's 35/mo no-contract plan is a financially horrid choice for chatterboxes, but where I am, their signal is very good so accessing the web and drop-free calls are always smooth. I agree with gamik on the map suggestion. Where I am, T-Mobile is downright unreliable, sadly. I like their customer service.
  9. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female

    If you mean minutes, that's not really an issue. Google Voice coupled with GroveIP gives you free minutes. I pay 30 a month on 4G with 5GB of data and unlimited texts... with 100 minutes. I'm lucky if 2 minutes a month get used on my plan. :p

    With all of the apps out there that offer free minutes, no one should ever base their plan around how many minutes are offered. ;)
    c1atsite likes this.
  10. thebryceee

    thebryceee Android Expert

    Vegas has good coverage and HSPA+ 42. Get around 3-4 Mbps down in really bad coverage areas and, well, I get this in good areas :p

    Edit: you need a phone that supports HSPA+ 42

    Attached Files:

  11. c1atsite

    c1atsite Newbie

    +1. I'll need to look up the latter because I only heard of it just this very moment. Thanks
  12. c1atsite

    c1atsite Newbie

    I just looked at your speedtest.net image file and I was wondering why mine seems to have a different readout. Like Fahrenheit and Celsius to give an analogy. Heres mine taken Saturday or Sunday. Why is the readout different from everybody else's I've seen? It makes it hard to gauge because I'm not the most tech eloquent person. Closer to gramps/granny than a developer. (Edit: just used a conversion tool on the internet and i feel like that proverbial person who wholeheartedly believed they won the lottery but actually didn't) (btw this is on the Galaxy Note 2, my other phone, soon to be my "main" phone)

    Attached Files:

  13. kfisher

    kfisher Lurker

    I can't understand why so many people hate VM CS. I was with Assurance Wireless (which is a part of VM) for a long time before I bought a VM phone. I have had to deal with them on several occasions, and they have ALWAYS been very courteous, polite, helpful, and knowlegeable. Twice, they transferred me to Sprint - whose towers they use here - and they were helpful as well. I had Sprint before and wasn't always thrilled with them, but for me - VM is awesome. I mostly use my wifi, or that of someone else when I am out and about and in a place where I know the business/personal friend whose wifi I am tapping into, so data speed and usage aren't such a big deal with me. Yes, sometimes it is slow - but when I had Sprint and paid out the nose, they were the same as now that I pay $35 a month. Verizon is tops in every regard, except value for price. When they decide to come down off their high horse, I might think about returning to them, but it wouldn't be because I don't like VM. I hope that I read from at least some posters here that they like VM.
  14. thebryceee

    thebryceee Android Expert

    Are you talking about why yours says XX,XXX kbps and mine says XX.XX Mbps? Go over to the next screen and choose "display speeds in: Mbps"

    Attached Files:

  15. aurora40

    aurora40 Android Enthusiast

    You might look into Page Plus if you like Verizon's network but not their price.

    As to VM, I think you touched on the main thing people don't like, and that's the data speeds. While it's true Sprint users pay more for the same crappy speeds, that doesn't make it any more palatable.

    I think a reasonable number of people pay for a smartphone plan in order to have the convenience of using a smartphone when they are away from home. If the data speeds are bad, the usefulness of the phone drops significantly.

    If you aren't bothered by bad data speeds, it stands to reason you'd be pretty happy with VM. I liked VM's plans, in terms of the pricing/mix of minutes and data. But the reality was I generally got speeds in the 100kbps range. As a result, things like checking traffic/looking something up became difficult, even things like getting timely notifications of email were problematic because the requests would often time out (sometimes causing the mail client to hang).

    It made the phone feel/act like a piece of crap, but it was in many ways due to the slowness of the data. On wifi, the phone experience was fine, but I don't need to pay smartphone plan prices to enjoy a smartphone on wifi.
  16. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female

    This is why I left VM. I went from having fairly decent speeds that I could tolerate to no connection whatsoever. Went through vigorous troubleshooting for over a month before finally giving up and going to T-Mobile. Haven't looked back since.

    My boyfriend had Verizon at the time, and also left to follow me to T-Mobile. At 100 minutes, he still goes over since he uses his phone for business and travel. But even paying for extra minutes he comes no where even remotely close to what he was paying at Verizon.

    We both bought the GSM Galaxy Nexus. No carrier bloatware, direct updates from Google, and if for any reason we are not pleased with T-Mobile we can take our phones and move to another GSM carrier. 4G coverage, 5.2 GB a month, 100 minutes (free minutes with Google Voice and GrooveIP) at $30 bucks a month. Unless you're on the VM Grandfathered plan, $5 bucks a month cheaper with T-Mobile for better and faster service is without a doubt a better deal.
  17. gamikzone

    gamikzone Android Enthusiast

    I left virgin for pageplus. I'm glad I did there coverage is much better.
    SuperAfnan likes this.
  18. SuperAfnan

    SuperAfnan Android Expert

    How good is their data? I heard they throttle pretty bad.
  19. aurora40

    aurora40 Android Enthusiast

    Page Plus doesn't throttle at all, that I'm aware of. Verizon 3G isn't that fast though. And you pay for data with PP. If you go over, you are paying for it or getting cut off, not getting throttled.

    If their plans have enough data for you, it's a nice deal. But paying extra for data is pretty rip-offy.
  20. gamikzone

    gamikzone Android Enthusiast

    no their data is much much faster on virgin I would be around
    .2 mpbs during the daytime hours and maybe 1.5 at night, with pp I get 1.5 mbps daytime and 2.95 mbps at night. and idk about throttling I don't think they do but I probably won't go over my 2gb limit anyways xD.

    are you sure? a couple people have hit the 2gb data limit and their data just stops working.
  21. aurora40

    aurora40 Android Enthusiast

    Maybe they don't have a balance to draw from? But that seems to confirm that there is no throttle and that you pay for what you use.
  22. chilledmonkey

    chilledmonkey Lurker

    It's interesting to hear some people posting that they switched from Virgin to T Mobile. I had T Mobile for 11 and a half years in metro Denver. My data speeds were quicker on 3g, but my voice signal sucked. I could NEVER talk in ANY elevator. They were my first carrier (Originally Voicestream) and I didn't know any better. The last 6 months of constantly dropped calls and truly horrible customer service convinced me to switch to Virgin. (They still owe me money!) I guess it just shows that each carrier is different in other markets.
  23. jojo99

    jojo99 Member

    Coverage maps don't mean squat! I am a mile from San Francisco Airport (zipcode 94030) and the VM coverage maps show solid green/orange in this whole area. But my non-wifi VM coverage sucks (voice and data).

    I have been told that "maintenance is being done on the towers", "maintenance will be done on the towers", "We sent an email to Sprint", "You are in a coverage hole (but we don't show that on the map)", "we don't guarantee coverage INSIDE A HOUSE" (how about tents?) and so on. VM service and support sucks.

    Virgin Mobile is an awful company and I would not recommend them to anyone!
  24. trekleech

    trekleech Member

    Ditto, I was a TMobile customer since 2004 and just left them for Virgin Mobile. I was in the elevator of my building and it worked for the first time, I was shocked.

    TMobile games were bad but boy Virgin Mobile customer service is even worst, they don't even want new customers. But at those prices I'm sort of at their mercy and in some ways they know that.
  25. vmforlife

    vmforlife Member

    Best alternative I have found to Virgin pricing is H2O WIRELESS.

    They have a $25 plan that is mix and match. You can use any combo of text voice or data for a max of $25. IE, voice is 2.5 cents per minute so you get 1000 minutes if thats all you use is voice.

    You need an unlocked GSM or ATT compatible phonse. H2o is an MVNO of ATT and IMO their network is far better than T-mo and way better than Sprint.

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