Best bang for the buck. List 5 pros and cons for your provider

We are all looking for the best bang for the buck for our particular phone needs.
I'd like to see unbiased response for the good and bad of your particular service; hopefully this will be of use when we are wading through all of the conflicting information available when selecting a provider.


  • Only need to use paygo once every 90 days to keep it active with no top ups required
  • Good customer service - chat, email and phone. Very responsive and knowledgeable.
  • Cheap 3c min/2c mb/1c text for paygo
  • Very easy to use website and the dashboard includes details like your MSL, call logs, phone swaps etc
  • Mix up paygo and plans - eg monthly data plan with talk an text coming out of your paygo
  • No roaming and it is on sprint
  • Ports are a little slow but not too bad
  • No family plans, multiple lines per account or swapping credit between accounts.
  • App doesn't receive incoming calls (just outgoing)
  • Used to be 180 days for the paygo inactivity, used to be 1c for UK calls (now 3c)

I've been through many mvnos this past year and Tello is the one I have zero reservations about recommending if you want to use sprint.

Tracfone: a good low-usage or backup/emergency phone.


  1. pick your carrier from VZW, AT&T, T-Mobile. (takes some research to get on the carrier you want.)
    2). Full rollover of units, as long as you have service days.
  2. True pre-pay. No credit card needed to maintain an account.
  3. Affordable pricing for the right folks, as long as you watch out for how to take advantage of certain promos. (Easy to manage for $8/month prorated, including the phone, less if you play the cards right.)
  4. For true emergency planning, an unactivated Tracfone can be activated immediately.


  1. Willing but painful customer service. English usually a second language, it takes a while on the phone to get anything done, and you have to cover your bases to protect yourself.
  2. Not for those who want to swap devices frequently. (see con #1)
  3. Not for higher volume users. The most economical price point assumes an average consumption of about 100/100/100 per month.
  4. Some time investment is required to learn the ropes on how to minimize cost.
  5. The best rates rely on purchasing a year of service at a time.

+minutes are good for a full year, I can use a bunch in one month and none the next, but still have th rest of my full allotment available if I need them
+I can use any of the 4 major networks
+minutes roll over from year to year

  • customer service can be great or lousy it's a crap shoot .
  • You have to wade through myriad conflicting info to find the cheapest possible deal

Hungry Ghost.
Is it possible to subdivide this topic by providers so that folks searching for info can see pros and cons categorized by provider?

FreedomPop-- an excellent way to extend your capabilities if you're on a low-allotment plan elsewhere, or if you just need a little bit of data on a device with no plan elsewhere.


  • As close to free as you're likely to find right now.
  • Choice of Sprint or AT&T (and maybe, kinda-sorta T-Mobile if you have the right device, and live in the right place.......)
  • VoIP voice service has improved over the years-- some say especially with the AT&T LTE SIM
  • hotspots and tablets are allowed.


  • Geared towards necessary upgrades to achieve something similar to 'real' phone service. (i.e., VoIP voice, no voicemail included without upgrade.)
  • Terms of Service have been changing a lot lately, and generally with no notification or explanation. (eg: throttling on Sprint lines, degraded service on Global SIMs, new minimum usage requirements on LTE SIMs, reductions on sharing/gifting data-- expect changes to disrupt your plans and require re-thinking your strategy.)
  • Many reports of faulty billing systems that produce unexpected charges.
  • Time invested to learn the ropes, and keep up on changes
  • Can't use Freedompop # in tandem with Google Voice. (but Hangouts is possible.)

Best thing about freedompop to me is using it in a dual sim phone. Use the other sim slot for calls and texts. You can even get free incoming calls and texts with truphone or toggle mobile. That overcomes many of the voip issues.

Sprint free year-
-Only pay for tax/fees, usually under $5
-Unlimited, no data limit/throttling other than deprioritization
-Access to unlimited extended LTE coverage (which prepaid/MVNOs have to pay for as roaming), and 800 minutes voice/100 MB data roaming
-Access to free Magic box and other reception aids that are only available with a Sprint account
-Any postpaid Sprint phone or device on the BYOD list can be activated

-Only lasts for a year, regular price $60
-Can be complicated to sign up, as porting from non-Sprint carrier is required and in-store activation is not allowed, some phones may need to have prepaid flag changed
-Requires hard credit check
-Variability in speeds/reliability/coverage, areas with Band 41 carrier aggregation can get well over 100 mbps, while congested 3G and B26 are often less than 1mbps
-Possible suspension for inadequate usage

+Cheap plans via the special link with unlimited 2g data
eg Unlimited talk and text and 100mb for $7.99
+10% to charity of your choice

  • Dashboard is easy to use
  • sprint or tmobile
  • Can't switch to another ringplus plan
  • Not doing well in the UK with poor financials. NB it is a UK company
  • Have to call to port out
  • Customer service isn't the easiest to get a hold of but I've never needed them