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billburnett
Premium
join:2005-12-06
Oak Harbor, WA

[Verizon] Straight Talk (Trac Phone + Verizon)

I recently switched my cell service from T-Mobile to Straight Talk. In short, because I will be saving about $30 monthly once I pay off the new phone I purchased (three months' time). My activation involved porting a T-Mobile Cell phone number to Straight Talk. Straight Talk is, essentially, Trac Phone, specifically selling time on Verizon's Prepaid network coverage area. ($30/month for 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and 30 MB data OR $45/month for Unlimited Voice/Texts + 30 MB data).

I ordered a Motorazr 3 from Wal Mart's site for $99, and had it shipped directly to the store. No glitch.

That evening, I initially activated the phone via the Straight Talk site using the code provided with the cell phone.

The next day around noon, my T-mobile cell phone indicated "Unregistered". I had hoped this meant that I'd soon be able to use my Straight Talk phone (as was suggested would be the case when would occur), but the "*228" code did nothing until late morning the following day after that.

Once the "*228" code indicated success on the phone, its gave me a message to call "*22898". This is apparently Verizon's # to dial for activating Prepaid services. Unfortunately, this number kept telling me it was unable to complete my transaction, for about two hours. At that point, I dialed the Straight Talk customer service line and I got manually walked through the phone registration in about a 10-minute phone call. After that the phone worked fine. The customer service rep indicated that some difficulties were being encountered with the auto-registration process, so they walk through manually anyone who calls with a problem.

As it was, I was without cell service 24-26 hours total.

Afterward, I was able to program the phone/service to work with my "YouMail" service that I had been using with T-Mobile, also. The phone took the voice mail programming update quite easily (as per YouMail's website directions).

The Straight Talk "user account" section of their website is apparently still under construction, but you can check your account balance there.

I believe the coverage being provided is what Verizon indicates is their coverage for all the prepaid plans on their website.



tim_k
Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-02
Stewartstown, PA
kudos:37

Good grief. Even with my employee discount I'm paying nearly $30/mo for 300 mins, no text, no data. Next month my contract is up and I'll be switching to something much cheaper.


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3

These piggyback carriers usually have a very limited selection of phones, and you cannot tether if that matters to you. They also usually don't carry the roaming carriers of the main provider, while they are good for major cities, not so great for traveling.


billburnett
Premium
join:2005-12-06
Oak Harbor, WA

You are correct in that Straighttalk currently offers only three phones, which are all basic phones. Also, yes, as I understand it (but have not read this from Verizon or from Tracphone), the service uses only Verizon's native network. That coverage is shown on Verizon's "prepaid" maps. For some rural areas, and some midwestern states, coverage does appear to be less than the sum total of what Verizon advertises as their total coverage.

For myself, in WA State, 99% of Verizon's coverage (which is very good) appears to be from their native network that Straighttalk uses. Yes, there are places in the US that, had I lived there, I would have opted to not use Straighttalk. Luckily, I neither live nor visit those places. (I kept my older GSM T-Mobile phone, which can and does GSM-roam on ATT and other GSM-providers) as a 10-cent per minute backup prepaid-as-you-go in case I do find myself off Verizon's network sometime).



jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

1 edit
reply to billburnett

Hi Bill.

Straight Talk may be my best option. Perhaps you can help me understand something. I'd call them but currently have no telephone service.

Looking at this webpage leaves me uncertain if the phones accept regular TracPhone pay-as-you-go minutes (purchased cards). I'd like option of either buying a month service or loading with pre-paid minutes. Sketchy kid at Walmart says yes but....

Thanks for any info. I've never had anything but conventional 2-year service contracts.
--
My sig is more ideologically rabid than yours.


billburnett
Premium
join:2005-12-06
Oak Harbor, WA

Apparently you can purchase cards for Staight Talk, but they appear to be specific to this service. I use the auto-pay, auto-refill service they offer (i.e. they "fill me up" back to 1000/1000/30 every 30 days), so I have no personal experience with the refill cards themselves.



jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

OK thanks. Tomorrow I'll be somewhere calls can be easily made. Will give them a ring.
--
My sig is more ideologically rabid than yours.


hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH
reply to billburnett

for the amount you're paying Straight Talk you should have went to Page Plus Cellular (resold VZW) and got the same thing for $39 unlimited voice and unlimited texts!



Littlem129
Premium
join:2007-05-13
White Pine, TN
reply to billburnett

Does anyone know if someone with a regular Verizon phone could talk to someone with StraightTalk for free if the Verizon customer had free mobile to mobile?

I'm assuming this would work if StraightTalk uses Verizon's network, but I'm not sure.

Any info on this would be appreciated.



sjw

@rr.com

I have the same question! Most of my friends have Verizon, and if straight talk uses the Verizon network I wonder if it would be free for them, mobile to mobile etc...



pe38385pe485

@northwestern.edu

No, unfortunately. I'm almost 100% certain the free mobile to mobile calling would not apply to post-paid Verizon users calling you on your pre-paid service, regardless of whether it uses the same network. This has to do with termination fees, and likely some other back end nonsense we users don't have to monkey with.

I'd probably recommend Page Plus as an alternative to access Verizon coverage since so many users have reported issues with Straight Talk. Plus, you can bring in any Verizon compatible phone on that service. In this sense you could grab a Verizon issued CDMA/EVDO smartphone on ebay and activate it on Page Plus w/o having a data plan requirement. Its' all about options .



Solearth

join:2009-10-21
Lubbock, TX
reply to billburnett

Page Plus sounds pretty good. But let me get this straight. A pre paid, but auto renewing monthly charge of $39.95 is all inclusive? No additional BS infrastructure and other charges that add almost $10.00 per month on my Verizon bill?
In other words, my Verizon service 1200 minutes (peak) + virtually unlimited weekend & evening [grandfathered in from Cellular One] (no data or text included) at $39.99 plus taxes and fees [Just under $50.00 after taxes] can be replaced with lower expense, and unlimited Talk and Text plus 20 meg of data? Bye Bye Verizon (assuming I can port my number).



billburnett9

@comcast.net

I currently have the Straight Talk plan that they advertise as being a $30 per month plan. I am in WA State. My credit card gets hit for $33 monthly from them.


BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
Premium
join:2000-01-13
kudos:3

What is your sales tax at? All retailers still have to force you to pay tax.



cwarnold

@charter.com
reply to billburnett

Page Plus offers 1,200 Minutes / 1,200 SMS/MMS / 50 MB Data $29.95


Tommix3

join:2001-06-02
Southington, OH
reply to billburnett

I was very happy at first, the phone is nice and the quality of the cell service is good. Once I spoke to customer service I was less than amused. WARNING: If you purchased a card for service, then sign up for Auto Refill, you best do it at the end of your thirty day, otherwise they charge you double. I understand the idea of the card and refills, but when a service says "Auto Renewal" you think as in when this ends it will renew. No so and the website doesn't say that anywhere. Outsourced Customer service basically said "To Bad, so sad" and I spoke to a supervisor as well. Not a good way to start. For this alone, I would say no. Tom B


big red9

join:2009-05-11
Albany, GA

1 edit
reply to billburnett

I'm thinking about getting one of these phones and the question I have is, lets say that I have the $30 plan and I buy a refill card, can I use more than one at a time or no?



Littlem129
Premium
join:2007-05-13
White Pine, TN

There isn't any need to buy two $30 refill cards, just buy the $45 card which has unlimited talk & text + 30 MB data.



sjw

@rr.com
reply to billburnett

I've had mine for a month, I love the phone, I need to go refill the card tomorrow, but for my piece of mind I'm just gonna run to my local Walmart buy a card and add it on, I know they have an auto refill, but eh I just prefer to buy the card and add it on. I love the phone, I love the whole unlimited idea, Its overall great I highly recommend it.



Littlem129
Premium
join:2007-05-13
White Pine, TN

Can your friends that have a Verizon phone with free mobile to mobile talk to you for free?

Which phone did you buy?

I agree, if I get one I'd rather go to Walmart and buy the refill card.


VBeverly

join:2010-02-06
Walkertown, NC
reply to billburnett

i havent seen one person on here have the correct info on straight talk...first of its $30 for 1000 min, 1000 text and 30mb of data ..for $45 dollard u get unlimieted everything including data and they do have a really nice touch screen phone the samsung finessee

how about u go to www.straighttalk.com and read


Nehmo

join:2004-03-23
Kansas City, KS
reply to billburnett

Straight Talk will take days away if you pay before your due date, but the terms and conditions say
"SERVICE END DATE: Your “Service End Date” is the last day of your Service period. When you add Services, your Service End Date will be extended by the number of Service Days purchased.
"
In other words, you lose if you pay before your service end date.



mjn
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Cape Coral, FL
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..
reply to billburnett

Has anyone tried activating a Verizon branded phone with Straight Talk? I'm serious looking to move to ST as I'm using TXT more than voice lately and even with the $40 plan, a decent TXT plan is $10/mo, and that's just unlimited in network. If I can get $45 for unlimited everything, on the VZW network, it would be great. I have quite the collection of phones that I would like to make use of if I can.

Anyone know?


billburnett
Premium
join:2005-12-06
Oak Harbor, WA

From what I gather and have read, no, that can't be done. I am not saying I now it's technically impossible, but I have not seen or heard anyone who has said that it could be done, or who has done that. I am not sure WHY it could not be done, if someone at Straight Talk walked you through a phone setup manually over the phone, for example. I am not sure they would WANT to do that at all, however is the issue. However, I think it likely COULD be done with Page Plus Cellular, and they do appear to be amenable to doing just what you are suggesting. I'm still paying $33 monthly for 1000 minutes talk and 1000 texts with ST. I don't use my phone to browse, but it says I can. Hope this helps some! ST does have some QWERTY keyboard phones now, too, so it''s your call as to what's going be best for you, I suppose.



mjn
Premium
join:2000-08-06
Cape Coral, FL
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..

Thanks for the info. I don't browse on my phone either, I have a blackberry through my employer if I wanted to do that, but even that is a bit cumbersome. QWERTY would be nice but necessarily a deal breaker for me. I'm looking into Page Plus as a possibility now, since they give you that ability. I'm sure even 1000 TXT would be more than enough but not having to worry about it for a couple dollars more would be even better.



billburnett2

@comcast.net
reply to billburnett

I think you can do that via Page Plus cellular, but not Straight Talk. Straight Talk is an America Movil brand, just as TracPhone is, too.

America Movil
»www.americamovil.com/index_eng.htm

Page Plus cellular
»www.pagepluscellular.com/


Sky King

join:2001-07-02
Naugatuck, CT

You do get a little extra with Straight Talk like free 411 calls etc. and they do have a couple of nice phones to choose from. I am switching from AT&T to Straight Talk. With unlimited talk I can get rid of our land line. I will save over 25.00 a month by ridding myself of the land line which works out to around 300 bucks a year. I do have Magic Jack as a back up cuz the deal was too good to pass up......19.95 for 2 years. I will no longer need that either. Straight talk eliminates the need for any other phone service. I will use the money I save by getting rid of my land line to pay for the early termination fee with AT&T. The major carriers like AT&T are going to have to lower their prices to compete.



MIABye
Premium
join:2001-10-28
united state

1 edit
reply to billburnett2

I just signed up with Page Plus. I liked what I saw after I checked out their website. I figure until the iPhone comes to another carrier, I can save money by going with Page Plus Cellular for now. Not that I hated Sprint, but I like the idea of not having to watch how many day time minutes I use.
--
Proud owner of a MacBook Pro (2.6 Ghz) (Snow Leopard) & iPod Touch (64 Gig) (3rd Gen)



snw

@truvista.net
reply to billburnett

yes verizon n str8 talk is mobile 2 mobile single in camden sc in certain places not tht good but it still works fine 45 unlimited u cnt beat tht


billburnett
Premium
join:2005-12-06
Oak Harbor, WA
reply to billburnett

Almost, eight months after signing up with ST, I am still with Straight Talk service, still using a Motorola V3A phone. Below is a post that I also recently posted to another on-line cell phone review site regarding MY ST service/phone.

In general, 98% of the time, the ST phone and service has been completely OK from my perspective (especially with respect to coverage and cost factors compared to other providers). However, there have been a few glitches (for me), and I wanted to document that for readers here, and I also desired to ask if anyone else has had similar issues:

"I've used ST since the summer of 2009, shortly after the service first became available. I have a Motorola V3A. (They may not be selling this phone any longer via ST). Most of the time, this service has worked as-advertised for me. However, my issue is that the phone (or service) has, at times, occasionally lapsed into routinely dropping calls about 38-40 seconds into a call. I am unsure if this is a phone problem (i.e. a Verizon problem of sorts), or a problem with my phone. I have previously spent HOURS on the phone with ST customer service. I have even had this problem elevated and received a ticket problem number. The problem existed almost non-stop shortly after I got the phone. It then cleared up for a number of months. It appeared to me it was tied somewhat to NEW callers not having never having called me before with ST service. However, the problem recently came back for a few weeks (NOT related to brand new caller calling me), and, now, it is gone again. Makes NO sense to me.

IF this continues, I may seriously consider dropping ST. I'd like to hear / read about anyone else who has experienced similar problems with their ST phone or service. It would help me decide if ST is worth it for the long run, or maybe another prepaid provider would be better. Having calls dropped for reasons that are NOT related to me being in a "dead" zone whatsoever in this manner is very very annoying. I used to recommend ST to others. I am hesitant to do so now. I have not yet dropped ST, but I CAN get other comparably priced service that does NOT drop calls like this."

If I were to switch, I am yet unsure if I would stay with Verizon, or not, as I am unsure, so far, if Verizon is the source of the 38-40-second-dropped-call-problem I am occasionally having, or not.

Anyone else have similar experiences with Verizon prepaid, or with Straight Talk service?