It pays to compare cell phone companies, services, contract or no contract
I retired after over 40 years in time and attendance a year and a half ago. My employer supplied cell phones. It was my job to find the best deal for us. After some research we went with Sprint and Samsung Galaxy phones. Since we previously had Nextel we got extra discounts for using Sprint. Once I retired I needed to get my own phone.
There are what seem to be good deals out there for smart phones. For instance you can get a popular phone such as an iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S5 which list at $600.00 or more from Verizon for "just" a couple of hundred bucks. All you need to do is sign a contract for a couple of years. A plan with limited data starts at $60 a month. Go over the max data and they nail you.
Being a person who researches things to death I decided to see what other options I had. The first thing I realized was there are a lot of no contract plans out there. The drawback is you have to pay full price for the phone. The Big Boys like Verizon and AT&T have no contract plans but phone prices are outrageous. Also the no contract plans are still somewhat expensive. I looked at some of the other companies such as Sraight Talk, MetroPCS, Cricket, and several others. My only problem with these companies was do they have a good network that won't disappear away from metropolitan areas. The one that stood out to me was MetroPCS. They are part of T-Mobile and use the T-Mobile network. My wife uses T-Mobile and her phone seems to work just about everywhere. The phone selection was decent and the prices seemed to be better than other no-contract companies.
My final decision was to go with MetroPCS. The monthly charge for service is $40.00. I have unlimited phone, data, and text for $40.00 a month, no more no less! I got an LG Optima smart phone with 4.5" screen for $120.00 (way less than the Galaxy or iPhone). After using this phone for over a year I am quite satisfied with it. I really see little difference between it and the Galaxy my employer supplied me with. T-Mobile had the same phone and same plan but the service would have cost $60.00 a month. T-Mobile or subsidiary MetroPCS? Easy decision! As far as reception goes I found out how good it was while in Las Vegas. We took a drive to Red Rock Canyon northwest of Vegas away from everything. There wasn't a building is site. While there I got a call. Enough said!
So if you are one of those people who are paying outrageous prices for your cell service (more than $100.00 a month isn't uncommon for unlimited everything or with overages) take a little time and look into some of these "other" companies.