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Prepaid plans have been around for long time, but they have always been synonymous with subpar service. The networks are limited, the phones available are referred to as “throw away” phones, and it’s only recently that the big wireless carriers have started giving the prepaid option. But T-Mobile’s Simply PrepaidTM plans are changing the game. It’s kind of a big deal.
I’ve been with T-Mobile since I was sixteen years old. One night I came through the front door and my mom announced that she was not my personal secretary and that I would be getting a cell phone for my birthday. End of story…according to her.
Back then cell phones were kind of a novelty, especially in high school. I felt conspicuous when using it in public—enough so that I would wedge my head into my locker to avoid being seen making calls or texting—but I wasn’t going to complain. I had a cellphone.
It wasn’t until I’d had my beloved phone for a few months that I realized what had just happened. There was more in it for my mom than just her release from secretarial duties. Not only did she not have to take messages when my friends called, but she could easily contact me if I didn’t tell her where I was going—ahem, which never happened. And more importantly, she could call to tell me to go pick up my little sister from dance, or swing by the store on my way home. And suddenly, without seeing it coming, I was one paycheck away from being her bona fide personal assistant.
Which is fine. Teenagers should earn their keep, I say—or, I will say, when I have teenagers.
Anyway, it was a smooth move back then. Now that I am a mom, I have considered the same course of action, although my eldest is only in first grade.
Are you nuts, you ask? Who would consider giving this kid…
But, I’ve come full circle. No, I am not going to ask my six year old to start running errands for me, but it would be really nice to be able to contact her, and my five year old for that matter, whenever I need to, no matter where they are. Like, to remind them that play time has been over for fifteen minutes now and they need to come home. It’s inconvenient to call their friend’s parents or hope they see your text. When the parents don’t respond, I have to go get the kids myself, whether I am in the midst of feeding the baby, and have dinner on the stove or not.
And I really wished the kids had a cell phone when I got out of the shower one day to find that my preschooler had left the house without asking me. I do not have fond memories of calling neighbors asking if he was there or if they had seen him, and canvassing the neighborhood in all my wet-haired, makeup-less glory.
But, guess what? I feel like kids are a lot safer these days if they have one in case of emergency. What if a creeper in a kidnapper van is following them home from their friend’s house? And giving your kid a phone isn’t as excessive as it seemed back when I argued against it. Not anymore. Introducing Simply PrepaidTM from T-Mobile, prepaid plans that function the way you would expect a prepaid plan to function.
1. You pay
2. T-Mobile gives you service on their network, until you stop paying.
Why is this exciting, you ask? Because I’ve tried “prepaid” plans before with other large carriers, and they don’t work like this. Most of the time carriers foist their prepaid customers off onto a substandard network, only offer crappy phones, and then the “prepaid” plan works just like any other monthly plan that you pay after—not before, as the terminology “prepaid” would suggest—the month is over, and you still have to go through the customer service gauntlet to cancel.
Can’t I just pay as I go? And quit paying for more service if I don’t want to?
So what is different this time, besides the fact that you actually pay in advance?
- You don’t have to go through a sales person to get started. I literally walked to Walmart, grabbed the phone and a prepaid card off the rack and paid at the register. At home I followed the instructions in the box to activate the phone. No sales rep necessary. These phones and cards are what Walmart has available.
- No credit check necessary. You can pay for service with the T-Mobile Simply PrepaidTM cards which are on the shelf at Walmart as well, or you can pay with your own debit or credit card online. When you stop paying, your service ends. Credit is not applicable.
- Nationwide 4G LTE on a Data Strong network. You get to use the normal T-Mobile network, not their 2G network. Yes, my friends, 4G LTE.
- Selection of latest smart phones. You can use any T-Mobile phone, as long as you have a prepaid sim card (which comes in the box, so don’t buy an extra one). You can even switch out the prepaid sim card for a regular sim card if you want to switch to a regular plan later.
- For just $40 dollars a month get 4G LTE data and unlimited talk and text. You can even pay as you go with plans that start as low as $3 for 30 mins/ texts.
This video explains it more.
So now T-Mobile is bringing the best in wireless to prepaid, which includes their award winning customer service. This is why I got my kids a phone, and I am not obligated to keep paying or have to jump through loops to cancel the service if I decide I don’t want them to have it any more.
I’ve got my kids on a shorter leash and they don’t even know it. They are just excited that they got the Samsung Galaxy Avant, a smart phone, on which they can play Angry Birds Go!, and Temple Run 2. It also happens to be small enough to fit in my five year-old’s pocket, which makes it easier for him to tote it around (In the picture I had to set the phone very strategically so it wouldn’t sink all the way into his pocket). Perfect size.
The point is, it is no longer a long term obligation to get your kids a phone, nor will it cost you an arm and a leg. Plus it makes your life easier and your kids safer. It’s no longer considered crazy to do it, not in my book. So if you get your kindergartener a prepaid phone, I won’t make fun of you for it.
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.