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Choosing a Straight Talk phone number
I've been reading up on Verizon and Straight Talk but have yet to find an answer to my questions, so hoping someone can help me.
Every time a friend of mine forgets to refill his Straight Talk card, when someone calls his phone they get a message about "the Verizon subscriber you're trying to reach." Does this mean he's using the Verizon network? He's currently using an unlocked iPhone 5 but he's had the same number since he got an Android TracPhone a year ago. All he remembers is that he got it because the phone number wasn't long distance for his girlfriend who lived on a military base in another part of the state.
If you bring your own phone, is there any way to guarantee you sign up for a Verizon number, or do you have to buy one of their Verizon phones? If you do that, can you transfer the number to another phone?
I currently have a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3, but in the settings for mobile networks it has the option to switch between GSM, WCDMA, and GSM/WCDMA (Auto Mode). Does that mean I can use the phone on Verizon? (I realize I'd have to unlock it first.)
What I'm getting at with all these questions is this. T-Mobile's service in my town has been going downhill for the past few months. Two weeks ago we all suddenly lost data service, and now we're missing incoming calls and texts, our outgoing calls aren't able to be completed as dialed, there are delays in receiving incoming texts and voicemails, and we're all getting the same runaround from customer service. I know of nearly two dozen people who are having the exact same problem over a wide variety of phones, and all only here in town; our phones get 3G just a few miles outside of town.
Meanwhile, my forgetful friend and a co-worker on Verizon are both enjoying flawless 4G speeds even sitting right next to us! After months of complaining repeatedly and being straight-up lied to by T-Mobile customer service, we're fed up and ready to move on, but my sister just signed up for Straight Talk with a T-Mobile phone and has the same problems we do. AT&T is available here but slow, and we've never had Sprint. Everyone is wanting to switch to Verizon, but Straight Talk would be a little over half the price I'd have to pay for 2 lines on Verizon and I'd have to get 2 new phones, even though the ones we have now are fairly new.
I know that was long, but every time I post on one of these forums they tell me I didn't give enough information, so I'm giving as much as I can think of! Thanks for reading, and any help you can give.