Why doesn't everyone do pre-paid?
March 29, 2016 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Our AT&T smartphone bill is absurdly high for two people who never go anywhere, do anything, or talk to anyone. There are cheaper "postpaid" plans, but there are even cheaper—by a lot—prepaid plans. Why doesn't everyone have a prepaid plan, if this is the case? What's the catch?

The cheapest "post-paid" ATT plan we can get totals $130 dollars, for talk, text and data. The prepaid is $80. Is there some reason for us not to do this?

The only thing I can conclude is that buying a new sim card is an extra hassle, and that, despite assurances that we can keep our numbers, that process doesn't seem totally straightforward. And of course I understand that prepaid means the company is taking no risk on you paying your bill.

(Suggestions for other carriers entirely welcome too—I've heard T-Moble is good.)

We're in Brooklyn NY.
posted by pipti to Technology (47 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I think you lose out on a few extended features (IIRC you don't get the free t-mobile international calling stuff), but I have at least one friend who made the switch to prepaid for the savings.
posted by Phredward at 7:42 AM on March 29, 2016

I'm about to do this. Following this frugal communications guide. I'm hoping to get my bill a lot lower than $40 as that's what I already have with my AT&T family plan.
posted by chaiminda at 7:47 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

We have a family plan through AT&T with 5 phone lines, two tablets, and a large shared data bucket. At that scale, each individual line is cheaper than if we all had our own plans. Going prepaid wouldn't make sense in our situation, but it sounds like it does for you.
posted by almostmanda at 7:48 AM on March 29, 2016

If you're low-usage, ting.com can be a good deal if you're willing to buy your device upfront. It's post-paid by you pay according to usage (you need to have a credit card be autocharged each month and no paper bills, which says them money).
posted by typecloud at 7:51 AM on March 29, 2016

Also, in prepaid -- are you paying for the device/phone upfront? smartphones are fairly expensive without a plan.
posted by typecloud at 7:52 AM on March 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Project Fi if you're an Android user.
posted by deezil at 7:52 AM on March 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think that outside of cases like almostmanda's and people who live in parts of the country that have limited service (that's how we started out with Verizon Wireless back in the day), it's just inertia. Doing research, finding another company, probably having to switch phones (and I think a lot of people don't realize that you do get to keep your phone number nowadays), I think people just don't really feel like dealing with it.

We switched to Virgin Mobile a few years ago after way too long with Verizon Wireless. There's no catch other than having to buy our own phones when needed (I generally get last year's mid-market model off of ebay for ~$100--just do a search on ebay for the name of your carrier and you'll find plenty of gently used phones for cheap). We have unlimited talk, text and data (though they do throttle after 2.5GB/month) for $35 per line.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:53 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: We have old iPhones and don't plan to upgrade, largely due to the expense.
posted by pipti at 7:54 AM on March 29, 2016

Part of it's the old (declining?) contract/subsidy model, where it was the main way to get a really fancy phone under the illusion that it was cheap, by paying for it over the course of a contract. Part of it's the relative non-portability of phones across carriers in the US. That in turn creates an assumption that the going rate for smartphone cell service is close to $100/month.

[This is an assumption that people from outside North America don't necessarily bring with them. In Europe, it's very easy to go PAYG/pre-paid and swap SIMs on short notice if you prefer a different carrier's rates.]

That said, family plans in the US do often save money over individual pre-paid plans.
posted by holgate at 7:55 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was on my parents' family plan, went to a pre-paid phone plan for a couple months, and then back to my parents' plan. The major issue I had was with the phone service. I completely changed carriers from AT&T to Sprint via Virgin Mobile (I think it was Virgin? I know the Sprint part for sure) and the phone call service was awful with the new carrier. For two months, every call I had would drop in the middle. The phone itself was also poor quality, but I see that you are going to keep your existing phones. So my caution is that if you're switching to pre-paid, I would recommend keeping the same major carrier if you can, or check with people around you already on the new carrier and make sure that they have good service through them.
posted by possibilityleft at 8:03 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was on Virgin Mobile until recently and the coverage was not good in rural areas. I don't mean the middle of a forest where no one would get service. My wife has Verizon and the difference is definitely notable on road trips etc. Without her better coverage we would not have been able to use GPS navigation on vacations in sparser areas, etc.

I recently switched to Project Fi which has better service overall, but still doesn't match the coverage of Verizon.

So for us it's cheaper to keep one on Verizon and I use a cheaper plan, but we couldn't both switch to the cheaper plan unless we were willing to go GPS-less on some trips.
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:09 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

despite assurances that we can keep our numbers, that process doesn't seem totally straightforward
I moved a number from a postpaid to a prepaid account in the past and it worked fine. I had trouble moving it back to a postpaid account later because it was hard to find the account number for the prepaid carrier (in 2008). The account number is different than the phone number, by the way, even though you can sign into a prepaid account using the phone number. I just moved a different prepaid line onto my postpaid account and it was quick and easy this time because we had the account number and password.

If you like the coverage you have now, Cricket is the prepaid service of AT&T, so it uses the same towers.
posted by soelo at 8:10 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

For us we usually get new phones and we use a lot of data (playing on our phones.) We upgrade every 24 months. It works out for us.

For a lot of people, using the computing aspects of the phone is important, streaming content, storing music, etc. So for us, it's worth it to do a regular phone plan.

If you don't use your mobile phones much, then pre-paid is the way to go. It's mostly about what you want.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:10 AM on March 29, 2016

Cricket has a list-price $40 plan with 2.5 GB data and unlimited national talk and text. Data is throttled thereafter, don't know if it's also usage billed, but i suspect not.

Straight Talk offers a similar $45 plan with 5GB data and throttled data thereafter. Actual rolled up bill total is more like $48.

You'll need unlocked phones (to a greater or lesser degree).

Not exactly prepaid, but significantly lower than your current cited rates.
posted by mwhybark at 8:10 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, some of the "pre-paid gets worse service" stuff is anecdotal, but pre-paid customers, especially ones on MVNOs, often don't get the same roaming privileges across other networks as post-paid ones on the major carriers.
posted by holgate at 8:11 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

nthing Cricket. I am so much happier with them after paying Zeus knows how much with T-Mobile, Verizon, Cingular, and AT&T for yeeeeaarrsss.

posted by lunastellasol at 8:21 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm on a prepaid now and I went with PagePlus because I needed Verizon for the coverage. There the issue whether a phone that you already possess will work with them. They offer phones for sale on their website but IIRC it was a complicated/obscure process to determine if a phone from another source would work.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:28 AM on March 29, 2016

The catch is family plans usually work out cheaper for families that are heavy users. Some people get used to the bells & whistles, get used to them so think they are necessities & so are willing to pay for those necessities. Seriously that is pretty much it. They think their phone is a reflection of them, they need the tech for work or just think they need the tech & that is what they are willing to pay for it. Some people don't think that. Neither option is right or wrong they are just different demographics.

Having said that I pay $3 a month for my phone on a prepaid plan. I have never run out of calls or texts, but I am a very light user (emergencies or finding my husband when one of us wanders off at the supermarket) & still have my old "chocolate bar" phone. I've never lost a call or not had a signal.

My husband is in web development all his work mates have fancy iPhones, he has a cheapish moto phone. He pays $25 pm on Republic Wireless for 1g of data & unlimited talk & text, because it uses wifi where it can & that doesn't touch your data limit he has never run out of data. There is a hell of a lot of free wifi in the world now a days.
posted by wwax at 8:29 AM on March 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

We stick to contracts and regular upgrades partly because my husband is an app developer and needs the most recent hardware, plus his job subsidizes part of the bill. And partly because he's a tech-head that enjoys his toys, and we can afford it because we choose to economize on other things.
posted by telophase at 8:35 AM on March 29, 2016

Someone upthread suggested Ting -- since you already have phones, this would be a great option. My husband and I average around $30 a month for service for two phones (you pay for what you use). Both sets of parents have switched at our urging and are also very happy. Worth looking into.
posted by baby beluga at 8:41 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

The catch is family plans usually work out cheaper for families that are heavy users.

Yeah, even with only three lines (including a data hungry teenager) our Unlimited data Sprint contract plan is $150/month, which is about the same as three Straight Talk plans, but much simpler to manage and with more data. Additional lines are only another $10, so if we had multiple children the family plan would actually be cheaper than individual pre-paid phones. I've honestly thought about asking a couple of friends or extended family members if they want to join on and kick me $30 or $40 a month.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:42 AM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've been using ATT's prepaid service for years and it is indeed cheaper than my hubby's traditional contract plan. It's $72 total for everything including plenty of data. I ported my number over just fine. I had bad luck with the secondary carriers like Ting and Cricket; but my plan is entirely ATT and the service is great. I would say go for it.
posted by bleep at 8:49 AM on March 29, 2016

I have Virgin Mobile for $45/mo, which is great if you expect to do all your calling inside the country. The catch: no roaming and no way to swap in another SIM (although you can compensate by using Skype over WiFi).
posted by thomas j wise at 8:49 AM on March 29, 2016

I've had T-Mobile pre-paid and post-paid, and you definitely get better customer service with the post-paid/contract plans (like when I've called in I got fluent English-speakers who seem to want to help on the post-paid side vs. hours of terrible connections and unhelpful, difficult-to-understand reps on the prepaid side).

But given that I've really only needed to contact customer service when I wanted to change SIMs, it's not worth it to me to change. I do pay for my phone up front but I don't mind, and I like owning the phone free-and-clear from day one.
posted by mskyle at 9:03 AM on March 29, 2016

I believe, although I only have anecdotal evidence for it, that AT&T's prepaid plan does not include roaming agreements with other carriers. For many years my father was on an AT&T prepaid plan while the rest of the family had regular AT&T postpaid, and his phone coverage was consistently worse (e.g. dropped calls on a certain stretch of road near our house in the suburbs).

I know for sure that third-party carriers who resell AT&T network only have the "core" AT&T coverage. And right now on a postpaid plan, which network you're using at any given time is invisible to you--it all shows up as "AT&T" and you'd never know you were roaming. So look at coverage maps carefully.
posted by serelliya at 9:05 AM on March 29, 2016

I switched to Project Fi (and bought the Nexus 5x outright) and I've been incredibly happy with the service, plus my bills are between $25 and $35 a month now, compared to $90 before. I was really hesitant to do it out of fear that the service would suck; I did a low-cost VOIP service (Ooma) at home to replace a landline a few years ago and it was such an irritating experience of poor call quality that was *just* okay enough to not cancel for about a year. I dithered on switching to Fi for a long while over fear that it would be a repeat of that experience but happily it's been totally seamless and I haven't noticed any degradation of call quality or coverage.
posted by iminurmefi at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2016

Thanks for the prompt to look at Ting - they added GSM in 2014 via what appears to be the ATT network, like Cricket and Straight Talk. I'll have to do a usage survey but I suspect I can get our two lines down under $50 total... which might mean I can buy us some new phones finally!
posted by mwhybark at 9:27 AM on March 29, 2016

As a current prepaid customer (StraightTalk) with a Nexus5 purchased from Google's website, one thing that I miss from my previous life (as a Verizon customer with a 2-year contract and their associated phone) is the ability to walk into a physical store location and ask them about my hardware and/or firmware issues. There's a bit more sense of terror when my phone just stops sending and receiving texts and there's nothing I can do about it but search online forums. I'm not anybody's customer, so I've got no customer care.
posted by aimedwander at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2016

I had to change prepaid to invoiced with T-Mobile to get their international free service. But not much price difference.
posted by Lady Li at 9:44 AM on March 29, 2016

I was a customer with AT&T for a few years paying $140/month for two lines, my wife's and mine. A couple of years ago we switched to Airvoice Wireless, the absolute-rock-bottom-cheapest MVNO out there.

These days we spend roughly $30/month for our two lines. Yes, we bear the cost of our phones. Yes, there are compromises (data, in particular, is costly and not super reliable). Yes, we wander in and out of coverage areas when we travel. That said, we've embraced this way of paying for our phone service and really have no complaints.

Our perspective is that once upon a time, we did not have cell phones at all, nor answering machines, much less full-fledged computers in our pockets. At $30/month everything is gravy. If you are willing to make do with less, prepaid is pretty attractive.
posted by rocketman at 9:49 AM on March 29, 2016

I am on an AT&T Family Plan. I cannot afford to move from it. I negotiated 20gb/month for $80. I own our phones. I pay $15 month per line. So, with 4 lines I am $140 month. Now, if my daughter didn't use 10-12gb herself per month... Btw, I think it is her iPhone. Here is a link to an AT&T calculator for data usage.

It depends on your data usage and how many are sharing the data. My daughter is free riding on her brothers and father in terms of eating up half our monthly allowance.

Also, porting a number is usually pretty easy these days. I ported a landline to a cell phone at AT&T. Took about 8 hours, but it went.

Finally, call AT&T and ask about lower rates or "specials" they can offer "loyal" customers especially ones that are leaving. I have found them to at least try to find a rate they can give you that lowers your bill. They got pretty creative and "found" something that was not advertised, was better than Verizon's better rate and worked for me. The salesperson at the AT&T store I was in recently asking about phones asked me how I got that rate at the time I got it.
posted by AugustWest at 9:49 AM on March 29, 2016

I add that if you own your phones and demonstrate a willingness to move, they will try to keep you as a customer. I have switched between Verizon and AT&T twice now. It is actually pretty seamless to do it to in case you do go pre-paid.
posted by AugustWest at 9:52 AM on March 29, 2016

I just made the process not too long ago to switch three lines on a family plan from AT&T to Verizon. I would have loved to switch to prepaid, but had the following reasons to stay postpaid:

- Verizon's coverage is much better than in family's suburban homes. AT&T was regularly dropping calls and T-Mobile didn't work at all, and both tested on postpaid so prepaid could not have been better. Wifi calling would mitigate this problem, but that's a feature that's mostly on postpaid networks. Family was a bit unwilling to deal with using Skype / Facetime / Google Voice calling instead of normal mobile calling.

- I have a corporate discount that makes the cost of postpaid only slightly more than prepaid.

- Project Fi would have been great but family is also unwilling to leave their iPhones.
posted by meowzilla at 10:10 AM on March 29, 2016

because we pay $20/month to republic wireless for unlimited talk/text/data using an old republic wireless smartphone we got off ebay for like $40.
posted by aniola at 10:14 AM on March 29, 2016

It makes sense for many people to use prepaid for the reasons stated here and number portability is actually fairly easy now.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the reason I stay on traditional AT&T: We locked into a plan with unlimited data and text and a decent number of minutes before mobile data was really a thing. We now still pay ~$120 for 4 lines with unlimited data which is impossible to get today. That's worth it to us because we USE the data (about 20GB/mo). They can't kick us off the plan as long as we keep it and keep paying. Prepaid plans can change terms much more easily, though if you're a lighter user this is less likely to be a consideration.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2016

I pay ~$10/month with a prepaid T-Mobile plan (GSM, so it will work with your iPhones). I don't have data service, but it can be turned on temporarily, and inexpensively, if I travel. When I'm not going to unusual places, I'm fine just using WiFi at home or at a cafe.

It's really awesome. You can do a lot with $40/month that's not being spent on phone service.

I'm not just being cheap, either -- it's really all I need. In fact, I also maintain a land phone line, because it's just plain better for real conversation than _any_ cell phone service (even though it's really expensive).
posted by amtho at 11:51 AM on March 29, 2016

I am a huge fan of Tracfone, but I have been told recently that a) apparently, when I call my mother, it somehow adds charges to her landline phone bill and b) she cannot call me. She gets an error message that the number does not exist or something.

I considered changing carriers, but I have no idea what is causing the problem and no idea how to solve it.
posted by Michele in California at 12:35 PM on March 29, 2016

A fellow MeFite MeMailed me regarding my speculation regarding Ting's GSM coverage: apparently they are partnered with T-Mobile, not AT&T. Historically, in the Seattle region, T-Mo has had worse coverage than AT&T/Cingular/McCaw, so that might affect applicability for me. But on the other hand it's literally been years since I heard someone complaining about that firsthand, so perhaps T-Mo's area network has been sufficiently beefed up.
posted by mwhybark at 1:09 PM on March 29, 2016

Another vote for Cricket.

I (stupidly) buy brand-new factory unlocked iPhones, and our extended family of early adopters has gone through a succession of prepaid carriers over time - AT&T Prepaid, AirVoice, T-Mobile, etc.

Since AT&T bought Cricket, their plans have been very good for us. We now have an extended family plan of 5 lines at $100 per month, including "unlimited" calling and texting and 2.5 GB of high speed data per line, then unlimited data at throttled speeds. They also make it easy to buy extra data on months when one of us might go over. So far, it's been pretty great at $20 per person per month.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:37 PM on March 29, 2016

I've been prepaid for about 14 years now. Never going back to contracts, getting out of them is like cancelling a gym membership and both are way harder than getting a divorce.

The only disadvantage I can see is if there is some disaster and I want to make really long phone calls to all my family and friends to say my goodbyes, I may run out of credit. However, I have gotten much better at Not!Catastrophizing! and this no longer something I worry about.

I use phones til even sticky tape won't keep them together (RIP, Nokia dumb phone). So now I get hand me downs whenever my best friend upgrades. Her contract is with the same company I do prepaid with so being locked isn't an issue.
posted by kitten magic at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm really low on the usage scale and love ting. This is a recently monthly bill:

Hi qsysopr,

Thanks for continuing to be a part of Ting!
Here are a few details for your Ting bill, which was for Feb 16 through Mar 15, 2016...

Plan SMS Usage S 4 messages $3.00
Plan Minutes Usage S 8 minutes $3.00
Line Fee xxx5558412 $6.00 Feb 16 - Mar 15

And here were the taxes we collected for Uncle Sam...
Communications Service Tax $1.39
Fed USF Cellular $0.61
E911 (Wireless) $0.87
FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless) $0.01
Total comes to: $14.88

You should see a charge for 14.88 on your card ending in 5XXX-XXXX-XXXX-xxxx from Ting
in the next day or so (if you don't already). That's us..

And, you're all paid up! We appreciate it.

This is for a MOTO G phone which cost me $80 at Wal-Mart.
posted by qsysopr at 5:23 PM on March 29, 2016

I add that if you own your phones and demonstrate a willingness to move, they will try to keep you as a customer. I have switched between Verizon and AT&T twice now. It is actually pretty seamless to do it to in case you do go pre-paid.

This is very true in my experience. Call and ask, rather than just go by the plans/costs listed on the website. Our bill ended up lower than what they advertised due to whatever internal math they do to retain customers. Owning your phones outright makes it easy to move your business, so I'll never go back to an old-style contract again.

The biggest reason for me to stay with a major carrier is that I work in remote areas and no one with a prepaid plan ever has service. In other parts of the country this is not an issue and if so then you might not be gaining much by not going prepaid. I do see a lot more strange issues with texting people who are on cheap prepaid plans, but I don't really know if the fault is with the carriers, the cheap phones, or just random electronic quirks.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:25 PM on March 29, 2016

For Reference: I have 2 iphones sharing 750 min talk, unlimited text, 3gb data, no rollover or free minutes,(maybe between the iphones, don't remember.) This costs $65. I am also paying $25 a month in installments for the the Iphone 5s which is just the retail price divided by 24 months or so, no fees. The other iphone is owned outright. The company is Geriatric Telephone AKA Consumer Cellular which is an ATT reseller. Also I am using the Iphones Visual Voicemail and its Hotspot features with no charge.
posted by Pembquist at 9:30 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

One correction here. nakedmolerats said: "Without her better coverage we would not have been able to use GPS navigation on vacations in sparser areas, etc."

GPS navigation does NOT require cellular service. iPhones can navigate just fine even in Airplane Mode (see below). You might need a signal if you're using a mapping service that requires a data connection to download the maps (such as Waze), but there are other apps that operate just fine offline (e.g. TomTom GO or Navmii). Even Google Maps now has the ability to download maps for offline use (at least here in the U.S. I know it doesn't work in Japan for example).

And now since iOS 8.2 the iPhone leaves the GPS receiver on when in Airplane Mode, so if you're in an area with iffy signal you can enable Airplane Mode (saving battery) but still navigate just fine. Make sure your phone is up to date.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2016

And to be more on-topic: I switched to T-Mobile this past September, after being on AT&T (and their precursor Cingular) for over a decade. The plan is almost exactly the same price of $80/mo final bill.

I lost...
- Unlimited data on AT&T

I gained...
- Brand new iPhone 6s+ 64 GB
- Free international calling and data (I use this)
- Free streaming of Spotify etc
- Data rollover (plan is 3 GB/mo)
- Wi-Fi Calling (AT&T didn't have when I switched)
- Crystal clear call quality (no more "Can you repeat that?")
- A tiny bit better coverage

One thing I will say about T-Mobile is that they GREATLY overestimate their coverage on the maps on their website. It will default to showing coverage of "LTE Extended Range" which is the new Band 12. Only the iPhone 6s and some brand new high-end Android phones support this. If you look at their maps, make sure to turn this layer OFF (you have to do it by selecting "Other" when it asks what kind of phone you have).

In my experience, despite having a phone that supports this technology and verifying that it's being used, I don't get ANY further coverage past what their basic map shows. The LTE Extended Range map is a huge lie, showing coverage for miles and miles and miles in areas where there is absolutely no signal at all. And even on their regular map, in most of the areas where it says "Fair Signal" I get no signal unless it happens to be really close to a region of "Good Signal". I found AT&T to be much more truthful about their coverage (but that was years ago, maybe they lie now too).
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

You could try a trial run with an almost-free SIM from the carrier you wish to switch to. There are many $0.01 SIMs with free shipping from Amazon and eBay, for many different carriers. Those sellers are willing to practically give away SIMs, since they get a commission from the carrier when your service is activated. I decided I wanted to try H20 Wireless, an AT&T MVNO.

By choosing an MVNO that used the same network as my previous service (AT&T), I was more confident that my phone would be compatible, and the call quality would be similar. Additionally, my phones were already unlocked, but I had heard that some people have success switching to an MVNO on the same network even if their phones were not unlocked.

I got a $0.01 SIM from Amazon for H20 Wireless and tried it out for 2 months with my existing phone – just swapped out the SIM. I swapped SIMs back whenever I wanted to actually communicate with family/friends, since they would be more familiar with my number. But for making various customer service or business-type calls, I would use the trial SIM.

I bought the smallest block of airtime available from H20 Wireless - $10. The airtime rolls over as long as you purchase a minimum of $10 every 90 days.

I was happy enough after my 2-month trial that I switched both phones in the household over to H20 Wireless. Porting was relatively painless and quick – you do need to find out your actual account number as noted above by soelo.

Tl;dr, doing a trial run with a $0.01 SIM card and small block of airtime/data time may be an option for you to consider.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 11:51 AM on March 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Why doesn't everyone have a prepaid plan, if this is the case? What's the catch?

Getting reimbursed on a prepaid plan is a huge PITA. Accountants want a piece of paper with my name on it and an amount owed, and given the employer's footing the bill, most people don't care too much about the price. There's also the matter of phone subsidies. Free phone with a two year contract's a pretty sweet gig if your employer is paying the contract. Other features of post-paid include the phone company essentially loaning you money for 30-45 days, but that's fairly trivial. Tmobile prepaid plans are also pretty much on-line only affairs. Stores can't and don't handle customer service for them.

(Suggestions for other carriers entirely welcome too—I've heard T-Moble is good.)

FWIW, I'm literally setting up my $200 Nexus 5x phone with google Fi, and I anticipate it to be about 30 bucks a month, with a built in system to load balance between WiFi, TMobile and Sprint. But before the current job, I was on a $100 a year plan with T-Mobile. The optimal contract will vary based on your usage, and your behaviorial responses to pricing models, but it's very possible for prepaid plans match or exceed your postpaid options.
posted by pwnguin at 9:45 PM on March 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

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