Our first ever cell phone experience was with T-mobile. Cliff got a phone, but I didn't... because if anybody really needs me for something, they can call Cliff and he will relay the message, and if they have Facebook, they can message me there. I do not enjoy talking on the phone.
Eventually I decided it would be nice to have a cell phone, if for no other reason than to find Cliff when we are separated inside a huge Walmart store. So we added a phone to our T-mobile plan. I don't recall how much it cost. I was working at the time and we could afford it, so who was counting?
For some reason we became dissatisfied with T-mobile and switched to ATT. I would check the minutes we used and see that I hardly used my phone at all. I studied up on some pay-as-you-go cellular companies and decided to use Tracfone. It seemed perfect for me, and we'd leave Cliff with ATT.
Don't ever use Tracfone. When I signed up the deal was "however many minutes you buy, we double them". I should have known it wasn't going to be as great as it sounded. After all, fireworks are the same way: Buy one, get five free. Right. Sounds better than simply pricing each item separately. More than once I had to call and tell them my minutes did not get doubled. They would fix it after I sat on hold for thirty minutes, but what a hassle. I had to watch them all the time to make sure they got it right.
By this time Cliff's ATT bill was over $50 for him alone. All we need to do with our phones is talk and retrieve voice mail. We don't use them for Internet, we don't text. I was hating Tracfone more and more, so don't ask me why I got the brilliant idea of getting my husband to use Tracfone too, which meant he had to pay attention to his usage constantly, lest he run out of minutes.
I searched the Internet for alternatives and recently discovered Consumer Cellular, which allows 1,000 minutes monthly for $20. Add another person, it's another $10. We will NEVER go over 1,000 minutes, but if we happened to get close to that point, they will alert me.
I love our new phones. They're flip-phones, simple to use and cheap to buy. So far I like the customer service they've given. There's usually a wait time, but I was given the option of hanging up and letting them call me back when my turn came.
I could clearly understand each of the people I spoke with.
There were a couple of bumps in the road getting switched over, all due to the fact that I had given them one digit wrong in my husband's phone serial number. It took a lot of effort on the part of Consumer Cellular customer service folks to get everything fixed, but they did it, and they were polite and friendly; I suppose if I had it to do again, I'd have simply gone to a Target or Sears store and bought my phone in person, but it's so difficult to get Cliff to do any shopping. We still haven't gone looking for a proper rocking chair for his back, even though the one he brought in from the back porch isn't going to last much longer.
I certainly hope I never feel the need to switch cell phone providers again.