Changed cell phone plans?

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Frank B

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Calgary, Alberta
Well, I got the Visible phone today, but this is probably not going to work. It is SO SLOW that websites time out before they load, and WhatsApp can't even detect a network to send a message on. As soon as I connect to the AT&T hotspot, WhatsApp sends the message.

Now, it may be the Verizon tower we are connected to is overloaded. We are moving to another spot tomorrow, so I should know for sure then. But it is looking like I just peed another $50 against a post. ☹️

I'll see if I can get any help from Visible tomorrow. Maybe I've done something wrong? But if it is just THAT slow, then it is effectively useless to me.

I don't know whether to spend yet more money on a Google Fi SIM, or just bite the bullet and keep forking out more cash for additional data from AT&T. Sure is a royal pain getting a decent data plan this year. ☹️
 

Frank B

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OK, the SIM wasn't activated, and the app they wanted me to use was not on the Google Play store. The nice lady on the support chat activated it for me. It now works. Tomorrow we will see if it works fast enough to support Zoom.
 

Frank B

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As a follow-up: The Visible plan does work with Zoom for groups. But, it just barely works. Audio is decent, but video often freezes, and occasionally the Zoom app will lose contact with the Zoom server and spontaneously restart. It is usable, but only just.

For other day to day activities, the Visible plan is noticeably slow. However, it will stream Netflix et al quite well. It is a very decent low cost option if you can put up with the slow speeds. You can hotspot the whole 22 gig.

We have also decided to try Google Fi this year as well. They claim that it will work with both of our aging unlocked Samsung phones. The SIM cards should arrive in the mail by January 5th. Then we'll see how that works.

That will give us coverage on all three major networks. The Visible phone works with Verizon, we canceled one of our AT&T phones but will keep the other for the time being. And then Google Fi operates primarily on T-Mobile.

Visible is the cheapest at $40 per month, but is slow. You can stream the whole 22 gig through a hotspot if you want.

AT&T is next at $50 a month if you enable auto pay. However, while performance is good, you can only use 10 gig of the 22 promised as a hotspot.

Google Fi is most expensive at $60 a month per line if you take two lines. However, you can stream every last drop of the 22 gig that they give you over a hotspot. They claim high-speed, the same as at&t, but we won't know how well it performs until we get our Sim cards.

Stay tuned...
 

LarsMac

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Good info, there.

Google Fi is more expensive. but I have been using it for a couple of years, now.
We live out in the boonies. We used CenturyLink for a while, here, but my google phone with hotspot was faster, and more reliable.
 

Frank B

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Good info, there.

Google Fi is more expensive. but I have been using it for a couple of years, now.
We live out in the boonies. We used CenturyLink for a while, here, but my google phone with hotspot was faster, and more reliable.
Disadvantage to Fi is if you exceed your 'unlimited' data. You get throttled to dial up speeds, or have to pay $10 per gigabyte to get more! 😳 AT&T only gives half as hot spottable data, but they are $10 for 5 gig if you need more.
 

SeilerBird

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I have had Fi for years and I love it. Speeds are fantastic. And their web site makes it so you don't have to visit the mall to talk to a teenager. If you use this number then both you and I will save $20.

 

SeilerBird

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"Disadvantage to Fi is if you exceed your 'unlimited' data. You get throttled to dial up speeds, or have to pay $10 per gigabyte to get more!"

Nope. Fi charges $10 a gig up to 6 gigs then no more charge. So $80 per month is the most they will charge you for one line. And then after that it is free. They don't throttle anyone.
 
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Frank B

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"Disadvantage to Fi is if you exceed your 'unlimited' data. You get throttled to dial up speeds, or have to pay $10 per gigabyte to get more!"

Nope. Fi charges $10 a gig up to 6 gigs then no more charge. So $80 per month is the most they will charge you for one line. And then after that it is free. They don't throttle anyone.

Thanks for that info. There is a lot to learn about this service, and I wish I had started asking questions BEFORE we got South this year. ☹️

I got $100 off for porting one of the AT&T phones to Fi, and they said I cannot double up on their offers. Sorry.

Anyway, this will be a learning experience again this year. Cell phones and cell plans change so quickly that it is hard to keep up. 🤯
 

jackiemac

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After using AT&T every year I found it almost impossible to get sorted as in the Vegas area they are trying to stop the prepay. I eventually got a sim but after a lot of hassle I went with Verizon.

I found that most of the network providers have almost identical packages.

Our UK phones connect to AT&T so now we have 2 networks.
 

Frank B

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After using AT&T every year I found it almost impossible to get sorted as in the Vegas area they are trying to stop the prepay.

Yeah, AT&T was really good for us in previous years. This year, not so much.

I eventually got a sim but after a lot of hassle I went with Verizon.

I found that most of the network providers have almost identical packages.

Yes, they are all kind of looking over each other's shoulder. Competition? Yeah, maybe not so much again.

Our UK phones connect to AT&T so now we have 2 networks.

Though the girl at the AT&T store in Great Falls told us that our Canadian phones would not work on the AT&T network, they have been working just fine on that network using our Canadian SIMs. Our Canadian carrier partners with at&t, but the price is exorbitant. I would imagine that eventually the voice bands that our Canadian phones use will go away in the states in favor of 5g. However, there was no need to force that on us this year.
 

LarsMac

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Thanks for that info. There is a lot to learn about this service, and I wish I had started asking questions BEFORE we got South this year. ☹️

I got $100 off for porting one of the AT&T phones to Fi, and they said I cannot double up on their offers. Sorry.

Anyway, this will be a learning experience again this year. Cell phones and cell plans change so quickly that it is hard to keep up. 🤯
They may not give you the 100 bucks again, but they would probably be happy to port the phone.
 

CharlesinGA

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50 miles south of Atlanta, GA
I have had Visible for over a year now, and do notice that sometimes the data seems slow, as I think Verizon is prioritizing the high dollar Verizon customers over the Visible customers. However it is very good. I am in a group with a buddy who has two phones so we pay $30 each, but you can find groups all over, possibly search Facebook for Visible groups to find one. I think groups are limited in max size but I don't recall what.

Watch this recent video by Grand Adventure to see what he has to say about all of this. They work from the road and move constantly except in the winter, and Marc has worked it out.


Charles
 

jymbee

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Upstate NY
I am in a group with a buddy who has two phones so we pay $30 each, but you can find groups all over, possibly search Facebook for Visible groups to find one. I think groups are limited in max size but I don't recall what.

Charles
Visible "Parties" no loner have limits on the number of members. Some groups now have thousands. Really no need to pay any more than the $25 charge for monthly service.

Many use this site to find a group to join:

r/VisiblePartyPay
 

Frank B

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Calgary, Alberta
They may not give you the 100 bucks again, but they would probably be happy to port the phone.
Well, I ended up having to give up.

Google Fi appears to be a really good deal for someone living in the United States. But there are a huge number of hoops to jump through if you are a Canadian snowbird. It appears that the Google Play store on my base Gmail account is tied to Canada. That is why, I think, I was unable to download the app from Visible to enable their SIM card. Tech support had to do that for me.

Same issue with Google Fi. I was unable to find or download the app from the Google app store to enable the 2 Fi SIMs that we ordered because that app is not available on the Canadian Google Play store. The person on the tech support chat wanted to refer me to another department that communicates via email. Yeah, no. Chat is slow enough. Email exchanges are glacial.

In addition, I ordered the SIM cards on an alternate Gmail account. When I went for chat tech support, even though I was logged into the secondary account, the chat defaulted me to my primary Gmail account. Then we had the issue that the tech support person could not see the order placed on the secondary email, and logging in with the secondary email prevented that support person from seeing what had been discussed with me previously. Catch-22. 🙄

It just got too complicated, and I got too tired. I am here for a rest.

So, though AT&t is expensive, it is not stupid money above what Google fi charges. And though Visible is much cheaper and VERY slow at least it works well enough for most of our needs this year.

If we do this again next year, I will start well in advance with Google Fi. But then, who knows how plans and pricing will change between now and then? 🤪
 
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