Recently, my wife and I decided to switch wireless carriers from Verizon to Sprint. We looked at all the major carriers for a no contract phone with more than the 4GB of data that Verizon offers us.
Our contract with Verizon expired a month or two and we debated holding out on new phones. This was until our son knocked my wife’s phone off a table and shattered the front screen. The phone was out of warranty so this made our decision to find a new plan for us. Since our contract was up we figured we would shop around to see about the best deal.
I know the coverage map for Verizon can’t be beat. It’s really all Verizon talks about whenever you think about switching but for some reason my wife and I had trouble with phone calls dropping in our own home. We live near downtown Pittsburgh which is completely covered in Verizon Red on their coverage map. I called Verizon a few times and they gave me the run around. Nobody could solve my problem and I always had to call someone else. I can’t stand Verizon or any of the big telecoms but there isn’t much choice for wireless service.
We priced out the big four. Verizon and AT&T were the most expensive and stingiest with their data plans. I’d love to go with T-Mobile but we would be out of network in only a few mile drive outside of Pittsburgh. I’ll be driving through the heart of West Virginia on our way to the beach and T-Mobile’s coverage is pretty sparse in that area. The rep at T-Mobile said in those areas our phones would switch over to AT&T in those areas and we’d be able to call using our minutes but our data would be limited to basically nothing. I know this really isn’t a big deal but I’m not trying to be stuck on a few our drive with my family with no service. This is one of the main reasons I have stuck with Verizon. I like knowing that I’ll be able to get service. Plus, T-Mobile wasn’t much cheaper than Verizon. I love their marketing and philosophy as the uncarrier and if you live in areas or only go to big cities then the coverage is fine like New York but it made me a little uncomfortable. Also, I don’t know anyone else who has T-Mobile except for Fred Wilson. I liked to become a T-Mobile customer but it’s to much of an unknown in my area. We’ll see in two years.
This lead us to Sprint which also has some holes in its coverage map but it’s a little better than T-Mobile. I read a few articles about being the most improved of the four carriers including this article from The Wirecutter that rips Sprint for its poor service and network. Though it seems that many sites rip Sprint for a poor network I know a few people who are Sprint customers and they all love it, especially the unlimited data plans. None of them have really had any service issues or billing complaints. This makes the first of two reasons I choose Sprint basically come down to word of mouth from the people I know. The second reason was due to the price. For a two person family plan, Sprint is currently offering a $100 plan for unlimited talk, text, and data. It was by far the cheapest option over any of the big four plans. They also offered the cheapest option to upgrade to the iPhone 6 without a contract at $20 a piece.
I’ve had my phone for about two weeks so far it’s great. I’ll be interested to see how the network holds up on our drive to the beach but the main thing was our level of service in our house. It’s been perfect. My wife or I haven’t had any dropped calls. When we had Verizon we actually had to stand by our front door or outside to call someone. It was ridiculous.
I doubt I’ll quit complaining about large telecoms anytime soon and I’m sure I’ll have my fair share of complaints about Sprint over the next two years but for now I’m happy with the move. I’m not paying much more than I was on Verizon, plus I didn’t have to pay nearly $600 for new iPhones and we now have unlimited data.