"Visible" cell phone plan?
June 26, 2019 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about switching to the visible cell phone plan and wondering if anyone here has any good or bad experiences with it.

It appears to run on Verizon network which seems to get the best reviews. I'm wondering if there's a catch. I read this article which is what made me want to switch over. Are there any other good discount providers that I should look at first?

Thanks for any unbiased reviews y'all might have.
posted by whistle pig to Technology (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Google Fi and Ting are postpaid pay-as-you-go plans, which IME are the best and cheapest by a huge margin. Postpaid so you cannot "run out" of points/minutes/megabytes and have to buy more in the middle of a very busy day. Pay-as-you-go so you pay for what you used, that month, not what you might someday want to use. My highest Ting bills were like $60 when I didn't have reliable home wifi and used it for everything except work, but it's usually like $20.

At this point I have Ting primarily because Fi didn't work on my iPhone when it rolled out, and I don't want to bother porting my number.
posted by bagel at 9:32 PM on June 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Republic Wireless. We've used them for five or so years. Whenever possible, calls are routed over Wifi (your local network, Starbucks, wherever you happen to be.)

They only use certain phones, but you can bring your own if it's one of the compatible group.

It is possible to run out of data (but their charges are cheap). However, there are no roaming charges on top of that (downside: doesn't work outside USA), and you can't run up extra charges (beyond extra data units you'd have to buy explicitly) with games etc. (Of course, you can buy stuff with your smartphone browser on Amazon, or purchase extras in games, but then you're providing your credit card/paypal, just as you would with a PC.)
posted by alittleknowledge at 10:01 PM on June 26, 2019

I am super happy with Ting (memail me for a referral code), I haven't paid more than $25 a month on my phone in years, most of the time it's more like $18. Their billing is very clear and I've had good, fast experiences with customer service when I've switched devices or needed a different sim card. It's basically Sprint but less annoying.
posted by Mizu at 10:54 PM on June 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I like the Verizon network, but it really depends on your location. As a lower tier of service (compared to Verizon postpaid), your service will be "deprioritized", or secondary, and you'll get slower speeds, possibly to the point of unusability. But I haven't noticed any real degradation of service where I live.

Unlimited data sounds great, but if you don't watch a lot of video or stream a lot of music, you probably aren't using that much data. How much data you use per month should be in your last phone bill. Even if I tried really hard, I probably couldn't break use 10GB in a month.

I have Verizon prepaid for two lines. Currently they're running a double data promotion. I'm paying $70/month for one line with 16GB and another with 6GB. On average, both lines use less than half their allotment. Visible would cost slightly more ($80) but would provide no benefit.

I know someone who has Xfinity Mobile, which requires they also have their cable TV service, but also uses Verizon towers. Very low data usage, so they're paying $12 (just fees and taxes) for 500 MB with each additional 1GB for $12. Their monthly cost is basically $12 or $24. It's exactly the same service as Verizon prepaid, and if something weird happens, they can easily go into an Xfinity store and talk to a human being about it.
posted by meowzilla at 11:00 PM on June 26, 2019

I'm very tempted to switch, too - we're on Verizon with four phones, and that runs us over $200 month. But we've also got tablets on our plan, and Visible doesn't do that yet.

My questions are similar to yours:
- Is the Verizon "main" service the same in terms of performance as Visible?
- Visible implies that there may be slowdowns (only) when there is congestion, and says that's not unique to its service. But does the slowdown itself act differently w Visible vs. Verizon? Is the definition of congestion the same?
posted by soulbarn at 6:14 AM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

If it's relevant to you, find out if you can do tethering on this plan. I switched from Ting to Page Plus (another small/prepaid company that uses Verizon's towers) and was no longer able to use my iphone to make a mini wifi network like I could before.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:21 AM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

I was on Verizon shared plan as it is the best network locally. My bill averaged $36 a month. I’m not a big data user. Then I went to Google Fi which was $25.00 a month.

I switched to Red Pocket which offers a $99.00 a year plan (from their eBay store). The plan offers unlimited voice and texts and 500MB of LTE data per month. I almost never use that much, but you can buy more to “top up.” Even allowing for extra data purchases, it’s still cheaper than anything out there which runs on Verizon’s network.
posted by sudogeek at 11:03 AM on June 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

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