1. johnnyrussoa3's Avatar
    Hey guys, I've always used at&t and had two year contracts. I still have grandfathered unlimited data as well. However since Microsoft will be offering the 950 +950 XL unlocked, I was thinking about purchasing it outright. If I do so, what's the best and cheapest service out there? I was thinking straight talk, as it uses at&t networks. This way of pay less monthly and make up the cost of the phone. Any experience with straight talk? Does it work the same as what in used to? Any other recommendations? Our should I just renew my contract with at&t?
    10-07-2015 09:24 AM
  2. Summer_Moon's Avatar
    I think straight talk is actually one of the more expensive MVNOs that use at&t network. Check out Cricket. They have a $35/month unlimited calling unlimited texting and unlimited data (2.5gb of LTE then slower speeds after that). There's also other plans but the $35 one is a great deal. And Cricket uses at&t.
    And yes, the MVNOs work the same as the bigger company just pay less and can bring your own device.
    johnnyrussoa3 likes this.
    10-07-2015 09:33 AM
  3. barotropic's Avatar
    We've been using Cricket for 6 months, and quite pleased. It uses the AT&T network, so our phones (AT&T contract customers for years) work seamlessly after switching SIM cards.

    Just like with AT&T, the coverage is great, service is reliable. Upside: no contract, and inexpensive. Downside: LTE, but throttled to about half of the speed of AT&T (you won't even notice..8 Mbps down is plenty for what we do with a phone). We gave up unlimited data after realizing that we never used more than 2GB of cellular data in any month. Result: monthly bill is about half.

    I've had limited interaction with customer service, so can't comment on that. Except to say it really can't be worse that AT&T's. But the beautiful thing about no-contract service is that if you are abused by a provider, you can just take your phones and walk away! This will be even better with the new crop of universal-radio phones.
    Last edited by barotropic; 10-07-2015 at 03:38 PM.
    johnnyrussoa3 and libra89 like this.
    10-07-2015 09:34 AM
  4. JPDVM2014's Avatar
    Since it doesn't look like we are going to have an option other than purchasing the 950XL outright, I am also thinking about moving to an MVNO. Cricket seems to be highly recommended around the forum. The plans are cheap, and they give you a discount if you activate multiple lines with them. I have had 0 problems with AT&T in the 4 yrs I have had them, but if I am buying the XL anyway, might as well save myself $50/month in the process.
    920Walker likes this.
    10-07-2015 01:54 PM
  5. johnnyrussoa3's Avatar
    I compared cricket (due to the recommendations) and the straight talk plans. Straight talk also offers 5gb of data and unlimited talk and text, for $45, but they don't throttle lte speeds like cricket does. I may go that route.
    10-07-2015 04:32 PM
  6. enthuz's Avatar
    I compared cricket (due to the recommendations) and the straight talk plans. Straight talk also offers 5gb of data and unlimited talk and text, for $45, but they don't throttle lte speeds like cricket does. I may go that route.
    Wow, I didn't know that. I may look at them too. They now have stores all over the place here.
    10-10-2015 07:42 PM
  7. JPDVM2014's Avatar
    Yea, I checked out Straight Talk also, but my wife doesn't need 5GB and I average about 8-9GB a month. So cricket is a better option for us. Straight Talk is great though if you need less than 5GB of lte. I'm hoping we don't even notice the speed difference, but we'll see.
    johnnyrussoa3 likes this.
    10-10-2015 08:14 PM
  8. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I compared cricket (due to the recommendations) and the straight talk plans. Straight talk also offers 5gb of data and unlimited talk and text, for $45, but they don't throttle lte speeds like cricket does. I may go that route.
    FWIW Straight Talk doesn't do Visual VoiceMail. A friend moved his business phone from AT&T to ST and had to move to Cricket because he had to have VVM.
    johnnyrussoa3 likes this.
    10-11-2015 07:47 PM
  9. johnnyrussoa3's Avatar
    FWIW Straight Talk doesn't do Visual VoiceMail. A friend moved his business phone from AT&T to ST and had to move to Cricket because he had to have VVM.
    I didn't know that, thanks for the info. I guess my choice is VVM and slower LTE or faster LTE and no VVM. Hmmm... I wish I knew if I even needed that faster LTE. I mean I do stream video sometimes and watch live sports games. So that is my main concern, bit is 8GBs LTE more than enough for that?
    10-12-2015 10:12 AM
  10. 920Walker's Avatar
    VVM isn't working for me on my ATT 920 on Cricket. I've had the service for 1.5 months and also have MMS issues. I've yet to contact customer service which may be able to resolve these issues, but searching the web shows customers with the same phone also not having VVM.
    10-12-2015 10:34 AM
  11. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    VVM isn't working for me on my ATT 920 on Cricket. I've had the service for 1.5 months and also have MMS issues. I've yet to contact customer service which may be able to resolve these issues, but searching the web shows customers with the same phone also not having VVM.
    Well, I haven't talked to my friend who moved to Cricket for VVM since he moved but it would seem strange for him to switch if it didn't work on Cricket. I see reports of Cricket VVM problems on Windows phones around the end of 2014 but they seem to have dried up after that. I just checked and Cricket's web site says its supported on Windows phones but says the phones themselves must support it and may require setting changes. My friend has a L640.
    10-12-2015 10:59 AM
  12. MikeSo's Avatar
    I use the free YouMail for voicemail. You can use the third-party ISeeVM app or even not bother with the app. I haven't had the app installed in a long time, still get an email right away with an embedded link to the message that can be played in IE on the phone. The app is very good though, and now works in W10 too apparently: https://forums.windowscentral.com/e?...token=lKpxF9p-
    10-12-2015 12:02 PM
  13. 920Walker's Avatar
    Well, I haven't talked to my friend who moved to Cricket for VVM since he moved but it would seem strange for him to switch if it didn't work on Cricket. I see reports of Cricket VVM problems on Windows phones around the end of 2014 but they seem to have dried up after that. I just checked and Cricket's web site says its supported on Windows phones but says the phones themselves must support it and may require setting changes. My friend has a L640.
    It may be device independent. I'm also using W10M, which could be an issue. I've tried all the tricks from Cricket's site and all the forums but no luck. I don't even see any setting or toggle for VVM, which I did have before using W10M while with ATT until 10/1.

    I just now got MMS working though. Previously I only changed MMS APN settings in Cellular + SIM settings, with no luck. I found Extras > Access Point and added the MMS APN settings there too and now MMS is working for send and receive. I'm a noob in changing these settings as I always used defaults on ATT previously and have no clue which of these two MMS setting groups are actually being used or if they conflict each other.
    Kevin Rush likes this.
    10-12-2015 12:05 PM
  14. HoosierDaddy's Avatar
    I use the free YouMail for voicemail. You can use the third-party ISeeVM app or even not bother with the app. I haven't had the app installed in a long time, still get an email right away with an embedded link to the message that can be played in IE on the phone. The app is very good though, and now works in W10 too apparently: https://forums.windowscentral.com/e?...token=V-qbsElv
    Sounds like it could be a used with any carrier that doesn't have VVM. Just out of curiosity, do you know their business model? I mean what pays for this free service? Is it just ads in the emails they send for each message?
    Kevin Rush likes this.
    10-12-2015 12:23 PM
  15. MikeSo's Avatar
    Sounds like it could be a used with any carrier that doesn't have VVM. Just out of curiosity, do you know their business model? I mean what pays for this free service? Is it just ads in the emails they send for each message?
    Yeah, it is nice because it's carrier-independent.

    And honestly I've been wondering the same thing about making money. I don't get any ads in the messages at least. I guess there are ads on the page, but they must be unobtrusive. They have "premium" levels where you can get transcripts and I think other services too, so I guess that's what pays for it. Then again, I don't know how ANY of the Internet-businesses make money. :D
    Kevin Rush and RumoredNow like this.
    10-12-2015 12:29 PM
  16. barotropic's Avatar
    I'm a bit late chiming in, but I have a Cricket 640 with excellent VVM, built into the phone app. But my wife's 830, which we brought over from AT&T does not have VVM on Cricket.



    I tried to set up the YouMail client , ISeeVM, but couldnt get it to work on Cricket. She didn't care, so i gave up.
    Sent from my Asus T300 Chi
    10-26-2015 02:01 PM
  17. Charles Brown8's Avatar
    I think straight talk is actually one of the more expensive MVNOs that use at&t network. Check out Cricket. They have a $35/month unlimited calling unlimited texting and unlimited data (2.5gb of LTE then slower speeds after that). There's also other plans but the $35 one is a great deal. And Cricket uses at&t.
    And yes, the MVNOs work the same as the bigger company just pay less and can bring your own device.
    Nah.. St is 5gb lte with 2g speeds for rest of month after using up your 5gb lte for $45.. I'll stick with them.. Especially since they support Verizon lte which works great on my icon. Might consider cricket if I get a 950 and that depends on cdma support for it as I have coverage issues with att / tmobile...
    10-26-2015 02:10 PM
  18. RumoredNow's Avatar
    My somewhat late 2 cents...

    I've used both ST and Cricket. ST is great if you want more data because you get 5GB if you BYOD. If you are bundling people together, Cricket saves you money.

    Right now I have 4 people on Cricket each getting 2.5GB high speed and the total bill is $100 with no taxes or fees added on top. That's just $25/user. 8mbps is plenty fast enough for me. WiFi helps contain the data usage VVM works on Factory Unlocked phones and Cricket branded phones without any fuss in my experience (Nexus 6 & Win HD LTE for unlocked, 635 branded).

    I've been a big fan of YouMail and ISeeVM for a long time now. It is great, portable and consistent across phones and carriers. The ISeeVM App also throws a handy "Activate" phone number into your contacts. Easy Peasy. All it really does is change the number your calls forward to when you don't answer away from the carrier default. I don't forsee myself using any other VVM service ever, no matter what carrier I'm on. If someone is in your contacts, it even greets them by name!!!
    MikeSo and Kevin Rush like this.
    10-26-2015 03:53 PM
  19. Summer_Moon's Avatar
    Nah.. St is 5gb lte with 2g speeds for rest of month after using up your 5gb lte for $45.. I'll stick with them.. Especially since they support Verizon lte which works great on my icon. Might consider cricket if I get a 950 and that depends on cdma support for it as I have coverage issues with att / tmobile...
    Thanks for this info! Honestly when I was looking I was trying to find the cheapest for a decent amount of data $35/month for 2.5gb fit the bill. I don't need 5gb of data so probably wouldn't go with the $45/month plan. I know Cricket lowers the LTE speed to 8mbps, but that's faster than my home wifi speed lol (1.5mbps... it sucks) so I didn't really care. fwiw Cricket also has 5gb at $45/month, but at that point I would probably go with ST unless you have multiple lines.

    Again thanks for the info!
    Kevin Rush likes this.
    10-26-2015 04:43 PM
  20. DeathMoJo's Avatar
    Those of you with Cricket are you able to have all the roaming options that typical AT&T customers have or is it limited like Straight Talk?

    I live in a more remote area and looking to save on service. The 2.5gb plan for cricket would work best for me. Thanks for your help.
    10-26-2015 10:32 PM
  21. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I just got back from a long driving tour of the Western US. My wife and I had no issues roaming on Cricket.

    Check the ATT coverage map. Cricket will match that.
    libra89 likes this.
    10-27-2015 09:26 AM
  22. DeathMoJo's Avatar
    I just got back from a long driving tour of the Western US. My wife and I had no issues roaming on Cricket.

    Check the ATT coverage map. Cricket will match that.


    I appreciate the response. I honestly can't see a reason for me to go with. ATT over Cricket since all I need is the 2.5gb data for news and random things out and about. I'll save roughly $20 a month even with a employer discount that will certainly make up the cost difference quickly of buying the 950 XL outright.
    RumoredNow and HoosierDaddy like this.
    10-27-2015 11:42 PM
  23. barotropic's Avatar
    Cricket is owned by AT&T, and uses the same network as AT&T phones. I travel frequently, all over the country, and the service has been flawless.
    Sent from my Asus T300 Chi
    DeathMoJo, libra89 and RumoredNow like this.
    10-28-2015 01:57 PM

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