Tuesday, February 17, 2015

You still have made a choice (TextNow Review)

About a month ago I posted a very gripping tale about cell phones and phone services and now I’m here to follow up! The program I ended up with is called TextNow which boasts some of the cheapest full service (1 G data, ample minutes and unlimited texting) I could find. They also enable you to get pretty nice phones for pretty cheap, and they don’t have contracts, so weird unstable people like me don’t have to make up their minds long term.
I’ve officially had TextNow for a month, and to be honest, I’m still figuring out a lot on the phone. I have however determined some clear pros and cons.
Got a great phone, with a case for $100. My one pre-req. was that the phone be refurbished, but it didn’t seem like a pre-owned phone. It came in a fancy box with charger and case, and some get started manuals. I like the Samsung style, and how customizable everything is(once I figured it all out).
Customer Service in English: They seem very committed to customer service. All of the people I’ve spoken with are native English-speakers, and when you e-mail them a question, they answer when they can (which may take a day or two) and then follow up to make sure your problem is solved. . Certain things can take a while, but that’s because their customer service hours are reasonable hours to ask a human to work in customer service, so if you ask a question on a weekend it could take a day to get back to you.
Cheap!: I’m currently on the $27/month plan, which is the cheapest plan I could find for what I wanted (1g of data, 1250 roll over minutes, unlimited texting). By the time of my bill I had only used 856 gigs and 160 minutes, so I’m thinking about downgrading, especially in my busy/remote months. It’s nice to have a phone service that makes it so easy to fluctuate between prices and services. The lower plan is only $18.00 a month…but it’s set up for people who have wifi in their homes and offices and don’t really use data much. Although I don’t have wifi in my home or office, I think I can get away with the cheaper service, especially when I’m out on the road so much.

Poor Service: I have been trying to argue this as a positive thing (I’ve already been able to use the excuse, “Sorry I didn’t take your call, boss, I have really poor service” but I’m worried that will wear out soon). Whether inside my concrete bunker of a house, or outside on the street, I rarely get more than 3 or 4 bars (I think it goes up to 6).  Part of the dysfunction could be that I’m still figuring out how to use a smart phone… but I definitely have a less reliable call experience, and searching the internet seems to be variable on how close to the window I’m standing or which direction I’m facing.
Text message fail: Unless I have a certain amount of service (2 or 3 bars maybe), text messages don’t send through the TextNow service, which is the only service that I have to send text messages. It bugs me that it doesn’t tell me when a message doesn’t send… It just casually pops up a little error message and then I notice an hour or a day later when I wonder why the person hasn’t responded, and the question or comment is irrelevant. I’m not sure how to remedy this, but I’ll keep playing with it, or get used to it, for as long as I have this service.
Missing Voicemails? As I was typing this I was informed that someone who showed a missed call on my phone, had actually left me a message, but no where does my phone say that. This is the second time that's happened, so I submitted some feedback to Textnow. Honestly, it might be a game changer. It's one thing to miss calls or drop calls, but completely miss information that people think they're leaving me...not okay for a phone service. 

Overall I’m happy with my purchase but that’s because I don’t mind having a sort of ghetto service. The phone itself seems smarter than me- and I’m okay taking my time to get to know it.
I think this would be a great plan for someone who pays for internet and doesn’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of money a month for cell service, and has plenty of sprint coverage in the places they spend the most time. 

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