Tell me your unlikely-yet-successful wireless plan sharing situations!
May 17, 2012 10:52 PM   Subscribe

In-laws? Old roommates? craigslist? I'm trying to save some money here! Plus bonus snowflake question about tethering/MiFi options!

I'm a single lady living several states away from my family, relatively new in town. I want to jump on someone else's mobile plan, or figure out a way to start a good shared plan.

Without the obvious family-or-serious-romantic-relationship connections (and my folks use a dinky plan for their "dumb phones" anyway), what's a girl to do? I am doing a prepaid plan now, light on minutes, unlimited text and data--but I know there's gotta be a better way!

I'm in Indianapolis, and it seems like Verizon is the only carrier that gets good coverage--my cheapo pre-pay uses the Sprint network, which almost makes my HTC Hero useless. However, if other Indy residents can vouch for other carrier networks, I'm all ears!

Please also share suggestions for the logistics of payment--I have most of my bills auto-deducted from my credit cards so I can get rewards, so it'd be the greatest if I could find a way to continue doing that somehow.

My kneejerk reaction is that I'd have to find folks that are very responsible and trustworthy...and I do have some close, responsible trusted friends who only live an hour away. But maybe I'm not thinking outside the box enough?

Super bonus question: I'm going to need to set up internet for a new place soon, and I am seduced by the ease of use of my office's MiFi's. I watch a lot of video online, so perfect shared plan + tethering probably wouldn't be the best way to go, right? I've looked at several spreadsheets comparing plans but I'm wary of coverage issues, even though I'd likely only be using the MiFi at home. I haven't had a landline or cable in years, so it makes more sense to me to try to bundle wireless + internet together. I am only moderately electronically savvy.

I promise I searched on Google and in the AskMeFi archives for a week before posting this! Suggestions for general resources are appreciated as well as specific answers!
posted by leemleem to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The only way is to ask!
posted by parmanparman at 1:11 AM on May 18, 2012

Do some more research in to cheap pre-paid plans. I'm not a heavy data user on my phone, but I have the old $25 Virgin Mobile unlimited data/text and 300 ATM. It works pretty well for me, and when I run out of minutes, I have GVoice+groove IP. They have more expensive plans for more anytime minutes, but the data speed is just typical 3G over Sprint.

I know there's a lot of people who do prepaid plans through Tmobile (and WalMart I think?) that are super cheap and can be used with a ton of different smartphones. Somebody who knows more about this should link to that.

Oh, just re-read your part about getting poor service from anything except Verizon. My bad!
posted by apip at 1:47 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Family plans on verizon only let you share voice. Data and texts are charged per phone no matter what. Data+texts are going to run at least $30/month on Verizon in addition to your share of the voice plan.
Have you looked into hopping on your parents' plan and paying to add data to your phone? If you need a local number, there is probably a google voice related solution to deal with that, or Verizon should let you port your old number.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:34 AM on May 18, 2012

Have you looked into PagePlus? They use the verizon network. I haven't used them but I hear great things.
posted by susanvance at 6:40 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

2nding Virgin Mobile. My boyfriend and I looked into a number of family plans, and none of them worked out to be as cheap as the $25/month unlimited data and 300 minutes. But, we are not big talkers, we mostly text. If you know you would use more than 300 minutes of talk time, it doesn't make sense.
posted by hworth at 6:41 AM on May 18, 2012

I think Virgin use the Sprint network, so if Sprint's no good for you then Virgin probably isn't either.
posted by anadem at 7:52 AM on May 18, 2012

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