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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why I’m abandoning my pre-paid cell plans (and moving to post-paid)

I used to pay Verizon more than $160/month for the three cell phones my family has.  For the last 13 months the family has been on pre-paid T-Mobile service, for a total cost of $95/month (no taxes on that, either).  It should have been $75/month, but I chickened out and got my wife a $50/month unlimited talk/text plan.  I should have gone with the $30/month unlimited text, 100 minutes of talk that I have.  My son’s feature phone is $15/month.

Next month I’m moving to post-paid when my re-up is due for the pre-paid.  Here’s why:

  • VoIP (voice calls over the data network), which I was using to stay below 100 voice minutes on my phone, doesn’t work very well on Android.  I tried the built-in VoIP and that really sucked.  Very laggy conversations.  I tried all the VoIP apps I could find and finally settled on GrooVe IP.  It uses your Google Voice number and hooks into Google Talk.  It’s better than the native Android VoIP but it still isn’t as good as the voice network for voice calls.  Here are the problems:
    • When answering a call, there is a delay of 4-5 seconds where the other person can’t hear me.  They inevitably start saying “hello?” and the beginning of every conversation is a back-and-forth of hello’s.  That’s pretty annoying.
    • There is still a good amount of lag and drop outs.  Basically, the quality of the conversation is pretty bad, even when on Wi-Fi with a strong signal over a really fast internet connection.
    • VoIP calls get dropped when transitioning from Wi-Fi to 3g/4g and vice versa.  It’s very difficult to remember when you’re leaving work (connected to Wi-Fi) to not stray too far or get into the elevator to get home.  Otherwise, the call will be dropped.
  • I really like having Google Voice handle my voicemail, however it doesn’t work with pre-paid.   So, sometimes I get voicemails in Google Voice and sometimes in T-Mobile’s voicemail.  That’s annoying.
  • You can’t have more than a single phone in a pre-paid account, so I have three separate accounts.
  • The T-Mobile website doesn’t work at all in Chrome.  I have to use IE.

T-Mobile’s post-paid doesn’t require a contract and the price will be about the same ($50 + $30 + $10 + taxes).  It’ll be nice to get off the pre-paid train.