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Cheapest family plan recommendation
I've been looking for the cheapest option for my family for a while, but ironically the current Verizon plan seems to be just unbeatable by any other carrier, prepaid, etc. Could you please provide me with any insights?
My family has been using Verizon for the past 7 years and we currently have 4 phones as following:
1. Galaxy Nexus unlimited data
2. Galaxy Nexus 4GB/month
3. iPhone 4S (I know, I know...) unlimited data
4. Feature phone
Current plan we have is Nationwide Talk & Text Share 700 (unlimited texting). My brother is a heavy texter, so that's why we did Talk & Text plan.
What we pay on a monthly, pre-tax/fees basis is as follows:
Monthly voice and text access charge: $80.00 - $18.90 (21% employee discount) = $61.10
Data on #1: $29.99 - $6.30 (21% employee discount) = $23.69
Data on #2: $30.00
Data on #3: $29.99
Line access #1: $9.99 - $2.10 (21% employee discount) = $7.89
Line access #2-4: $9.99 * 3 = $29.97
None of us goes over 2GB data/month. My mom's GN uses less than 500MB, my GN is frequently connected to wifi at home and work, my brother's iPhone's 3G just doesn't cut it to go over 1GB.
However, voice is sort of important for us. Although 700 min is enough, that's because we use voice a lot calling other VZW numbers and calling at night & weekend. Total voice usage would be somewhere around 3,500-4,000 per month for all 4 lines. This factor automatically disqualifies any prepaid plans that offer so little voice usage (i.e. prepaid Tmobile $30 for 5GB data & 100 min).
After the news that Verizon is the only carrier carrying a GS3 with the encrypted bootloader, I'm more willing to move to other carriers if and only if they are cheaper than what I pay now. I think I get 19% off for primary line on ATT through my employer but nothing on Tmo.
First, I considered monthly 4G with Tmo, with unlocked Galaxy Nexus. But I'd be paying $60 per smartphone line, plus significantly more expensive device (I know it's cheap at $350, but still expensive compared to subsidized price at VZW). Considering we will have to buy 3 unlocked smartphones from time to time, this heavily offsets what we're going to save on the plan, if any. For instance, I'm still looking likely to pay $60*2 + $50 = $170 for 3 smartphones with Tmo prepaid. We need to have a feature phone as my grandma uses it.
Coverage is no concern as I live in NYC and other family members live in Los Angeles.
I'm not sure if I should be happy I'm paying the lowest with the best network in the U.S. or unhappy I'm always bounded by contracts.
Any thoughts? Thank you all in advance for reading this. I had nowhere to ask.