cell phone without a contract?

Hi everyone! I'm posting this question a few places online in the hopes of getting some feedback that will help guide me in the right direction.

I want to get a new cellphone (the one I have is terrible - it turns off randomly, doesn't alert me to messages sometimes, and just gets worse the longer I keep it) but I don't want to sign a contract. Have any of you used a pay-as-you-go service? What's your experience and opinion? I know I'll end up paying more for the new phone up front but right now, I don't even care. I'm just SO frustrated with the phone I have.

I've heard okay things about Boost mobile, but figured it couldn't hurt to ask around and see what ya'll think too Happy

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5 replies since 6th December 2010 • Last reply 6th December 2010

I used to have a Virgin Mobile phone. It's a pay-as-you-go and as long as you only use your phone for basic calls it's very cheap and worthwhile. Plus depending on where you live you can buy the payment cards & cheaper phones in the grocery store. Their phones are relatively cheap and I never had any problems with it.

VIRGIN MOBILE WEBSITE
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans.jsp

I have also used CRICKET. The cheapest pay-as-you-go plan is $35 per month but you get talk,long-distance, voicemail, caller ID. Not bad for what you pay, I used this plane and never had any issues. If you do not pay your bill for the next month by a certain day they turn off your service no penalty. In order to get service again you just pay the $35. I would be using this now, but they do not cover where I am. Happy I have AT&T now and it sucks.
Also with Cricket you can get refurbished phones for almost 70% off the original price. Happy

Good luck hope this helps!

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I use pay and go in the U.K., I don't know how it is where you are but here service providers offer tons of stuff like free texts, airtime or downloads when you top up your phone credit.
I pay £15 and get unlimited texts and 500mb of downloads free (it used to be unlimited downloads but I guess some people take the p*ss).

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AT&T Go phones currently $15 with $15 air time at Fred Meyer.$1 day charges.20 C per minute by minute text.We used this for two years on the Eastside and it works just fine.
The teen had his phone lost/stolen last week so I replaced it yesterday.Guy's at AT&T sorted out the new phone with the old number this morning.They where awesome.

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Virgin mobile & Koodo mobile both have 'tabs' where you can put some or all of the upfront cost of the phone on a special bill (the TAB) and it gets paid off while you pay a monthly fee. With these plans you can pick and choose what services you want and you pay a monthly fee BUT it's not locked in a contract. Instead if you ever want to leave you just pay the remaining balance on your 'tab' (which is just the cost of the actual phone) and you are free! And you can usually change your services once a billing cycle, so if you had unlimited local calling but wanted unlimited texting you can change it!
I've had pay as you go and if you use your phone a lot it gets expensive. I've also had a contract, NOT worth it if you plan on changing your life (ie moving to a new city) within the contract time because you'll want different features in order to stay in touch with friends & family (ie long distance instead of local minutes) so my recommendation is a provider with the TAB service without a contract. You don't have to pay for the phone up front, you still get a fancy new phone and you can pick and choose what services you want without paying for junk you don't need. I'm currently with koodo, so far it is great and it's nice to know I can leave any time without hassle.

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I don't know if you already picked up a phone but I know right now Verizon Prepaid (which has one of the better coverage networks for prepaid phones) has unlimited text and minutes for $2 a day and only on days you use it.

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