I Switched from AT&T Wireless to Spectrum Mobile

AT&T has been shit inside my house for the last six months or so. My phone makes weird noises to the people on the other end of a call and often cuts in and out unless I’m standing by my big kitchen window. So I’d been planning to switch to Verizon. Then a friend told me about Spectrum Mobile, which actually uses the Verizon network. They have two plans:

  • By the Gig: $14 per GB of data usage
  • Unlimited: $45 a month

The By the Gig plan sounded really cool and perfect for me because I usually use less than 1GB of data per month and rarely more than 2, unless I’m traveling. In the Spectrum account you can set notifications and it’s easy to switch between the two plans in the middle of a month, with no penalties. So if I was going to go over 3GB of usage, I’d just change to Unlimited for the month and then back after the billing cycle.

I’ve been paying about $73 a month for service through AT&T! That’s ridiculous for how little data I use and the handful of times I talk on the phone each month. If you don’t have a family plan, these cell phone companies basically rob you. $14-28 for most months with a maximum of $45 is much more reasonable.

The decision to switch was a win-win; better network and cheaper bill. I paid off the remaining 5 installments for my iPhone X and made the request for AT&T to unlock my phone. Then I ordered a free SIM card from Spectrum, paying a one-time activation fee of $10, plus $14 for the first month of service.

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Apparently the monthly charges even include the taxes and fees here in Michigan.

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I couldn’t believe how easy the entire process was. I never had to talk to anyone at AT&T to pay off or unlock my phone, which felt like a miracle. The Spectrum sign-up process was much better than any other time I’ve signed up for something with them (or the old Charter). After the SIM card arrived (in 3 days) I went through the activation (also a breeze) and I did have to call AT&T to cancel service with them.

Yesterday I called my mom for her birthday and I was able to have a conversation from my office, so it’s already much better than AT&T.

I Want An iPhone

The iPhone comes out this Friday, the 29th. I was at the MacWorld Expo keynote in January when Steve Jobs announced the revolutionary phone/iPod/Internet device and I was very excited to see it. I’ve thought about it quite a bit because my current Verizon contract isn’t up until February, so if I did get one, I’d have to pay nearly $200 to cancel my contract. What to do?

I could wait until February to get the iPhone and by that time they might have a newer one available with more storage capacity and GPS capabilities. The price might drop a couple hundred bucks by then. But boy, would I love to have the iPhone right away.

When I grabbed the link to the Apple iPhone page, I saw the rate plans were there and it’s a lot more affordable than I (or anyone else) expected it to be. For $60 a month, which is $15 more than I currently pay, I can get the same number of minutes I get now, but I’ll have an unlimited data plan. The one big question about the iPhone right now is…how fast will data actually be on AT&T’s Edge network. There are so many great things about the iPhone, which I won’t waste my time going over here (just look it up on Google and you’ll find tons of info), but the data speed can really make or break the deal for me. If I bought the iPhone I’d be using it all the time because there really isn’t any other portable device out there with Internet capabilities like this.

So what do I do?

If I decide to get one, you can bet, I’ll be posting again in a few days…

Send Text Messages to Email

It baffles me how few people realize you can send a text message from your cell phone directly to your email address. Instead of typing in a phone number, just enter the email address. I use this nifty little feature all the time to send myself reminders or to get photos off of my phone. In the address book on my phone I have contacts specifically created for Flickr, Gmail, my SVSU email, and maybe a few others.

Verizon even lets you send something from an email address directly to your phone using vzwpix.com. The service creates an email address of xxxxxxxxxx@vzwpix.com where you can send the email to. Their service then converts it and sends it on to your phone as a text message. I don’t know if other cell phone service providers have something similar, but I’d imagine they would. If you know of something, leave a comment.

Why Pay More?

I just canceled the insurance on my cell phone. I’ve been paying an extra $5 a month. How stupid! That’s almost as much as I pay for my renter’s insurance, which covers me for $20,000!