“No Evil”: My NET10 Wireless Experiences

closeThis post was published 8 years 9 months 19 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

Update (2012-02-26): Apparently NET10 now sells SIMs for use with AT&T, T-Mobile, and unlocked GSM phones, if you’re willing to pay for the $50/month Unlimited Talk/Text/Data plan. Thanks to Anna for her comment.

NET10 Wireless logo

NET10 Wireless: No Bills. No Contracts. No Evil…?

Last summer I began using a prepaid cell phone (an LG 300G, the cheapest, most basic model available at my purchase location) from NET10 Wireless, supposedly the “high-usage division” of TracFone. NET10’s rates are flat: 10¢ per minute (even if it’s actually one second, like any other per-minute charge) and 5¢ per text message in or out.

The phone’s been very handy for some important calls and the 5¢ text messaging rate sure beats major carriers’ rates of 10¢–25¢ or more per message (on plans without a texting bundle), but I wonder how true the “No Evil” part of the company’s motto really is.

Airtime Treadmill

All of NET10’s airtime packages come with a fixed number of days after which users are required to reload, or face losing their accumulated minutes (and their number, though that’s not a concern for me because of Google Voice). I don’t use the phone that much, so I buy the relatively economical 300-minute package for $30+tax every time I need to re-up, making my effective “monthly bill” $15-and-change. The package gives me 60 days to use my 300 minutes, but—and here’s the kicker—whether I use them or not, I am forced to renew every sixty days. My low usage means I’ve accumulated over 1,000 extra minutes since last June—minutes that I would lose if I fail to renew. In order to not waste the money I’ve spent before, I must continue to renew my service. I suppose I should be thankful they let me keep all my minutes as long as I continue to renew, eh? :-/

The issue here is, the $30 package is the most economical one I could find. Analysis of the other available packages shows that paying every two months is probably the cheapest maintenance option available. There’s a $20 package of 200 minutes, but it only lasts for 30 days. Deal breaker. Similarly, there are packages that last much longer (4,000 minutes for $400, two years’ service) but with low usage, paying in two-month increments is actually cheaper in the long run:

  • 1 yr. = $200
  • 60 days × 6 ≈ 1 yr. & $30 × 6 = $180
  • $200 − $180 = $20; 5 days can’t possibly equal $20
  • Similarly: 2 yrs. = $400
  • 60 days × 12 ≈ 2 yrs. & $30 × 12 = $360
  • $400 − $360 = $40; 10 days can’t possibly equal $40

So it is truly cheaper to pay every two months, or use one of the other packages not exceeding 600 minutes. (At the 1,000-minute level, the number of service days earned for each dollar spent goes down due to the extra $10 price increase: $30 = 60 days, $45 = 90 days, $60 = 120 days, $100 = 180 days.)

I wonder about NET10’s stated motto: “No bills, no contracts, no evil”. Perhaps there are no bills or monthly contracts, but if you’re a low-usage customer you must continue to pay into the system even if you never use most of the airtime you’re buying. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that draws people along and keeps them paying so they don’t lose their previous airtime investments.

As annoying as the practice of placing an expiration date on minutes that users have paid for is, it’s a practice that seems to be matched by most prepaid carriers. I spent about two hours researching all the different options at a Wal-Mart store in Colorado Springs and came to the conclusion that NET10’s service was the least evil. Other carriers have no expiration but charge a daily access fee on days the phone is used. Others have ridiculous per-minute rates. So NET10 is not “no evil”, but I think “less evil” would be pretty accurate.

SMS Attempt Charges

On New Year’s Eve, just after the ball dropped on a rebroadcast segment from Times Square, I attempted to send out a New Year text message to Ping.fm for posting to Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Of course, because it was seconds after midnight (Central), the network was so congested that the message didn’t go through. My phone displayed “Sending failed” after spending about thirty seconds trying to send out the text. I tried three more times, to no avail. (I gave up and borrowed a few minutes’ access to a computer.)

It wasn’t a big deal that the message failed. I knew that the network would be busy. But it was a very big deal that my account balance was still debited for the 5¢ texting charge each time. Failed messages apparently counted. (It should be noted that friends using Verizon were texting with no problems. NET10 uses AT&T’s network, which often has coverage and service issues.)

I emailed NET10’s customer support. After a few days’ back-and-forth, they asked me to call their support center so something could be “verified” on my account. I posed my question to the operator. She informed me (through her thick foreign accent) that the software on NET10’s phones takes care of managing charges, and that it is the attempt to send a message that results in a charge; the outcome is irrelevant.

The Post Office charges for returned letters, I suppose, so that’s not really a violation of communications business practice. But for a company that claims “no evil”, I find that policy disturbing. Blowing 20¢ on failed text messages isn’t going to break the bank, but it is annoying in principle. I’ll just consider whether or not the network is likely to be busy before sending a message, and refrain from doing so if failure is probable.

The real question is, do other “normal” carriers like Verizon do this? With their much higher rates, I would think conventional monthly-contract providers would have significant user backlash if they attempted such a thing. Does that make NET10 more evil than “less evil”?

Hardware Lock-in

NET10 freely admits that their SIM cards and phones are specific to them. I received the following after emailing support to inquire about the possibility of using an unlocked GSM phone (such as the Nexus One) with their service:

If your phone is not manufactured as a NET10, we will not be
able to activate it using NET10 Wireless Prepaid Services. Hence, the
NET10 Wireless service will not be compatible with an unlocked phone.

Furthermore, NET10 SIM cards only work in the phones they were activated
with. Therefore, the SIM cards should not be switched between phones as
this may result in permanently disabling them.

The above was followed by a paragraph encouraging me to check out the selection of available phones at NET10’s website. I did so just on a whim, and my expectation of disappointment did not go unwarranted.

NET10’s website catalog lists only 16 phones at present, most of which fall into the “basic” category. Two devices have slide-out keyboards and a special text-messaging rate of 3¢ per message, but at $79.99 they are also the most expensive phones on the list. And of course, a lower text messaging rate would just mean I’d use even less of my balance than I do now. (I don’t care about a camera, so I won’t analyze that, but many of NET10’s phones do have cameras.)

I have seen forum threads about using devices like the iPhone with NET10, and I assume the company has also seen them and works to keep users from doing so. Why prevent use of smarter phones on NET10’s service? It comes back to software. Phones not manufactured as NET10 devices do not have the software to deduct minutes from a user’s account. People using non-NET10 devices with NET10 service get effectively unlimited usage of voice and text communication because the phone is not configured to manage the account balance.

My question then is, why not commission an Android application to enable smartphone compatibility with NET10 and capitalize on the market of users like myself who would want a smartphone without a data plan? I would certainly be happy to restrict my Internet usage to Wi-Fi–enabled areas; having the phone+SMS+Internet functionality on the same device would be awesome if I could do it without paying for an expensive monthly contract from Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile.

This doesn’t make NET10 evil or not, but it does show that they have lower regard for customer choice than one might think. By operating a no-contract cellular service, they are promoting consumer choice, but they limit consumer choice when they restrict the devices that can be used on their network to a tiny subset of the handsets available on the market. Of course, they’re not the only carrier to do this; most U.S. carriers have handsets that only work on their network, and have handsets that will not work on their network no matter how much you plead. But still, it’s a limiting factor.

Call & Text Spam

While it’s not specifically a NET10 problem, I question the company’s willingness—or lack thereof—to help me solve the problems. I received frequent and disruptive nuisance calls to my NET10 number from an underhanded collection agency for four months after activating my NET10 phone, and I continue to receive occasional calls from a second. I’ve never given out my NET10 number to anyone except my mother, and I made her promise never to call or share it; all communications to me come through Google Voice, and direct calls to my cell phone are by definition not for me. The calls also began the morning after I activated my phone.

Aside from the fact that there was no way a collection agency could have gotten my number that quickly, I also have no creditors that could possibly be seeking collection of old debts. I’m not old enough for that. So I was being woken up at 06:00 MDT by calls from Pennsylvania (placed at 08:00 EDT) intended for someone who had thrown away their prepaid phone number long ago. That sucked.

It did occur to me that I could just answer one of the calls and say the person the agency was looking for no longer owned the number, but even that would have cost ten or twenty cents that didn’t need to be used on scumbag sub-legal debt collection agencies. (I looked into the firm that called me all summer. My research indicated that they dredge up debts that have long passed any relevant statutes of limitations and attempt to collect on them for profit. Hence my usage of “sub-legal”.)

More recently, I’ve begun to receive spam SMS from various numbers, some of which are so much longer than 10 digits (or 11; senders are usually presented with the digit ‘1’ prepended for some reason) that I don’t think they even exist. Only opened messages are charged for, but NET10 is so focused on making money from text messaging (a trait they unfortunately share with all other U.S. cellular carriers) that the software on my phone displays only the first five characters of incoming messages. That limitation makes determining spam extremely difficult. If I could see more of the message—maybe display “Do you have more than $” instead of just “Do yo”, scrolled horizontally like the phone’s software does for contents of Notes—I could effectively avoid being charged for spam, but in my cynicism I have come to believe that NET10 doesn’t care about spam because it potentially makes them more money.

On multiple occasions I have investigated the possibilities for blocking calls from specific numbers (the collections calls are consistent), or filtering spam from my incoming text messages, to no avail. NET10 cannot block calls, but they would have changed my number for “convenience”. No guarantees that the new number wouldn’t have more nuisance calls than the old one, of course. And there are no provisions for blocking text messages. The kicker is that a “normal”, non-NET10 LG 300G would have the ability to block calls by itself, but that feature was removed from the NET10-compatible software. Grr…

My experience is admittedly limited (as I’ve only ever gotten one number from NET10) but I’ve heard from friends and classmates that it’s not uncommon for a number from any provider to have problems with calls and texts intended for previous owners. It’s not specifically part of NET10’s “bad”—rather a con universal to the telecommunications industry—but it was still annoying.

Final Thoughts

Despite the issues, I’ve been pretty happy with NET10 itself. Even if they charge for failed text messages, require renewals every few months, and refuse to help me block spam, they’re still a pretty good deal. At some point, once I establish a steady income, I plan to use up the minutes on my current phone and end its service to switch to something a little better. For now it serves the purpose of keeping me connected on the go when I need to be, and $15 a month isn’t bad for a U.S. carrier. I’d move to drop them much sooner if they were more expensive.

Of course, these are my experiences with one phone, a NET10-programmed LG 300G purchased in June 2009. Any of the problems I mentioned, especially those related to features of the software features, might not exist on other models or a later release of the 300G.

Update (06/07): Be sure to check out Speak No Evil’s comment below. It has some words of warning that I think are important.

Minor edit at 15:20 to correct erroneous usage of ≅ to ≈

dgw

I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

38 Comments:

  1. Great review. I’ve been happy with my T401g, which is designed for texting but I mainly use it for infrequent calls. The funny thing is that except for the LG 300 deal, you can actually get Tracfone airtime cards which when combined with some of their phones actually cost less per minute that Net10’s ten cent rate.

  2. The reason I went with and continue to be with Net10 is because the deal really is just much of a money saver. When I moved out on my own, the first bill I had to cut down was my cell phone bill and the Net10 “No Evil” campaign and “easy minutes” monthly plans caught my eye and I’ve had a really positive experience so far. I’m saving more than $60 a month versus my previous service and I purchased the T401G slider as well despite having low battery life and being a bit on the bulky side, its been a great value phone. Texting is affordable, but I mainly I use the phone for calls and the TMobile network has proven to be very reliable and much better than I’ve had in Miami. Best of all, I travel often so .15 international calls to 60 countries is a great plus. Customer service was highly rated and has been really great for me. I consider Net10 a great money saver and so convienent – I just went to Target and was on my way.

  3. Hey ya’ll!!! I just want to say that I love my Net10 phone. Net10 has been mighty good to me. Like whom ever wrote this article, I pay less than 200$ a year. Prior to about a year ago I didn’t even have a phone. About a year ago my brother got into a motorcycle accident, and as such it has been a necessitate for me to be reachable. After searching high and low for great rates I decided there were none better than net10.

  4. My Net10 phone has an option on the Contact list to block entered numbers. If I’m getting calls I don’t want, I simply add them to my Contact List as “Junk Caller” and block the number. I use the Motorola EM326g phone. I don’t know if your LG phone would have the same options. But if you haven’t already, check your Contact list for a blocking option.

    • Thanks for letting me know that the feature exists on at least one of Net10’s phones. I guess mine’s just the cheapest one, and has had its software crippled. (I looked up the manual online a while back; the standard version has a lot more features than Net10’s customized model.)

    • thanks Tek104
      I did not know how to empty my reject calls,I did as you said and great it work,now when I empty them does that mean the are still block?

  5. Net10 is fantastic. I really enjoy that I dont get an overcharged contract bill, so paying in is no problem especially when $15 getting me 150 minutes. Messages are cheap at 5c and its easy enough to resend them. Ive found my minutes last me and topping up is easy. As for keep it simple with customer service.. don’t get into tricky situations and you’ll be fine. All in all Net10 is the best prepaid around.

    • I’m sure you can understand my point about being charged for failed messages, in principle. But I must ask: Would anyone purposefully get into a tricky situation? Live customer support should be for resolving the non-obvious questions, the unexpected unexpecteds; normal and cursory questions, or expected unexpecteds, should be handled by an FAQ page and/or a help site.

  6. After reading a lot online about Net10 I think their slogan shouldn’t be “No Evil”, but rather “Least Evil”. They operate in one of the most competitive markets there is, the prepaid phone industry, and still manage pretty clear and reasonable call rates. Aside from failed messages, or other less frequent examples, there are no surprises or hidden fees. In comparison to most other prepaid plans (who charge daily usage fees on top of call rates) or contract cell providers (evil incarnate) they are doing a great job. Well done Net10 and thanks for being less evil to me.

  7. After getting laid off, I was forced to re-evaluate my spending habits and cell phone bills was one of my first cuts. Since switching to Net10, I’ve been saving over $50 a month. I’m very happy with the phone, it’s pretty basic but suits me just fine (Lg300) and I’m satisfied with the coverage and most happy, ofcourse, with the montly spending of $15!

  8. Speak No Evil

    Evil: If you’re an existing Net10 customer and “upgrade” to a new phone, they don’t transfer your days and minutes as they claim. You first have to provide a lot of personal information on the Net10 website, then work thru a tedious process of retrieving and entering codes. Then they will offer to transfer only a portion of your minutes and ask if you agree. I would have lost about 70% of mine. If you don’t agree, the process stops and you have to call a rep who barely speaks English (and no Spanish at all). They say you only get the minutes you “paid for” and you lose all of your “bonus” minutes accrued along the way. This is illegal. The “bonus minutes” were offered before the purchases and are clearly an inducement to buy. The agree/disagree selection on their website shows they know this and are trying to trick you out of minutes you own. When I insisted that their website said all minutes would transfer, the rep spoke as though I had recently bought airtime and I would “only get the minutes I paid for – no bonus minutes.” I insisted I had paid for all my minutes and they must be transferred. They probably get some of push-back on this, but most people just hit “agree” and lose a lot of their minutes. The rep walked me through the same process of retrieving and entering codes, but gave me a different code for “parameter 00.” All my minutes transferred along with my phone number.

    More Evil: Net10 promises you’ll get the “bonus” days and minutes included with your new phone, but they don’t tell you that you’ll lose the balance of days from your old phone. The FAQ on their website says days, minutes, and phone number all transfer. I had five days left until end of service which didn’t transfer.

    Even More Evil: You also can’t easily transfer your phonebook or saved text messages since Net10 uses non-standard SIM cards. Net10 maintains that swapping SIMs will brick your new phone. They said I have two options: rekey each entry by hand or buy an airtime card, reactivate the old phone, and transfer each entry by text message (at my cost). They couldn’t say how the contents of all those texts might get into the phonebook, but they are sure to make money on my effort.

    • Should I ever want to switch phones, I’ll be very wary of the caveats you’ve mentioned.

      Thanks for sharing your candid opinion. For this post, your comment has the lowest Shill Suspicion Score of them all. 😉 I’m sure you noticed the several overwhelmingly positive comments above.

    • What you’ve stated is not what I’ve experienced when I’ve switched to new Net10 phones . I’ve bought several new net10 phones and each time I was able to transfer ALL of my existing minutes AND existing service days to the new phone. In addition I get the minutes and days of service that come with the new phone. I’ve done this several times and the last time they even gave me slightly more minutes than they should have (it appears it may have been easier for them to “round up” the number for some reason).
      I do my phone transfers by calling Net10. I too tried it the first time using the Net10 website and found that it wasn’t going to give me all of my minutes. I canceled without completing the online transfer and then called in to Net10. I then got all of my minutes and service days transferred over to the new phone.
      I only had one bad experience, when I was trying to explain to the Net10 rep that I was supposed to get texting on the new phone at $.03 a text and she claimed all their phones were $.05 a text. This is because the Samsung T401 phone is advertised as having a cheaper rate for texting on Net10. I simply called back and talked to another rep; she seemed to know what I was talking about and got it fixed quickly.
      I used to have a job where I administered supplying cell phones to the executives in my company. As a result I had to contact Sprint quite often. Sprint was a nightmare to deal with and would give you different answers every time. If you got an answer you didn’t like you simply called back and talked to another agent. So apparently Net10 isn’t the only company that you may need to do this with.

  9. I’m an existing Net10 customer and just bought new bluetooth enabled Net10 phone. I want to transfer my phone number and minutes to the new phone. I went to their website to do this. It said that it would take 3-10 days for this process. If I do this, would I still be able to use my current phone until the switch over?

    With regards to non-standard SIM and bricking new phone, I’m not sure about that. I still have the inactive Motorola Net10 phone from couple years ago, my current LG 300 Net10 phone, and my new LG 600 Net10 phone. I have put the SIM from my LG 300 into the Motorola and LG 600 – they both rejected it. I then put the SIMs back into their respective phones. The phones seemed to work fine – I can still call on my current phone and the other two phones powered up fine. I have also put the LG 300 SIM into an unlocked Cingular 8125 smartphone, I couldn’t call with it. However, the smartphone imported the contacts and SMS messages and I can still access them even without the SIM in it.

    • @MvsD: You should be able to continue using the old phone. That said, I have never been through the process myself, so if you want an answer that at least has a chance of being correct, ask NET10 customer service. (“But you talk to 6 other Service Reps and you will get 6 more stories.” – Cannonball-II)

      Regarding the SIM, I was going off of forum discussions of people trying to use NET10 SIMs in smartphones. Some had success, others had their SIMs deactivated. Interesting about the contacts/texts; that’s a neat little trick if it’ll work reliably. 😀

  10. I started with a cheapo net10 LG phone and when I got a Samsung qwerty on Black Friday I switched my number and my minutes switched too so I don’t know what your problem was. And the texts on the Samsung are only 3¢ each which is amazing. I thing the who deal is a great value and I’m very happy with it. The web browsing is lame but for talking and texts it’s the best!

  11. Prepaid wireless is taking over and I am beyond happy that I jumped on the no-contract bandwagon. I use Net10 and have been having a wonderful experience. I save a significant amount each month along with receiving really great coast to coast coverage. Net10 even offers the chance to win a cash prize and become famous on it’s new site at Net10laughoff.com – you should check it out, it’s too much fun!

  12. I don’t understand enough to know, if I buy a Net10 CDMA phone that is not listed as one that works in my zip code/calling area, would it work? I really need to get a bluetooth enabled phone because I have new hearing aids that it would “stream” to, but the only one listed as available in my area is a big slider.

    • There’s always a chance that it would work in your area, but there are no guarantees if it’s not listed as being compatible. (Then again, cell carriers don’t exactly guarantee usable service even if your area is on their map…but that’s a different topic. ;-)) I didn’t even know that Net10 carried CDMA phones.

      • Voyagerfan, thanks for the response. I’ve been looking around on the web. I think I got my terms backwards. The Net10 phone I’m interested in has a SIM card, so I guess it’s not CDMA. The Net10 phone I have now also has a SIM card. From what little I understand, I guess I can’t just order a Net10 bluetooth phone and put my present SIM card in it.

        • No, they seem to discourage that with the way their system is set up. You might have some luck messaging their customer support service from their website, though sometimes the answers leave something to be desired in terms of clarity and thoroughness… Good luck with your search, though. I hope you can find a phone that meets your needs.

  13. Great write up. I am on my second Net10 phone now. The first was a complete fail. I just got this one and will have to see how it works out. Net10 and other no-contract phones have their pluses and minuses. I have some info for your readers:

    When you buy a phone from Net10 they use your zip code to determine what carrier they will put you on (ATT, Verizon, etc.). Hint: they prefer to put you on someone other than verizon. Maybe they pay them more than the others. If you want a CDMA phone to get on Verizon’s network, you can put in a zip that only verizon services (a google search will find it for you but I think Helena, MT is one such zip). Then just change the zip back to your real zip in the shipping info and confirm. They will ship you the phone and when you activate it in your area, you will get an area code from your area so no problem there. This is a nifty trick if you want the Samsung r355c which is only offered as CDMA on Net10 right now. Just make sure to look at the maps first to see if your network choice covers your area. But if you want verizon, they pretty much cover the whole US.

    Now about Net10’s shortcomings:

    – You say you use google voice? Nett10 phones I have used do not play well with it. For example, trying to activate \Google voicemail on this phone\ has failed on both Net10 phones. There must be software or network lock.

    – Contacts are another sticking point. If you ever plan to transfer them to another phone, you will most likely be out of luck. Your best I think is trying bluetooth and your computer but it’s not for the faint of heart and you will likely have mixed results.

    – Your blocked number scenario is another sticking point. There is absolutely no way to block a number on my phone. Believe me, I’ve checked every option. I get 10 calls per day from a credit collector since I got my new number (the calls are for the previous owner of the number). There is absolutely no way to do so on this phone. I should be able to block the number without contacting Net10.

    Basically, you get what you pay for and Net10 is no exception. I am going to use this phone for some months but I will probably get a smart phone on a plan at some point. If you use ultra-low minutes, the go phone from ATT is great. You can put in $100 and it is good for a year. You have call forwarding, call blocking, and it works great with google voice. But at .25 per minute and .20 per text, you can go through a $100 pretty fast.

  14. Almost forgot. This is a huge one for google voice fans! Although my phone allows pauses to be inserted in a number to be dialed, verizon/net10 will not call any numbers with pauses. The call fails! Says network is busy or something but it’s not because if you immediately try it manually it works. Every. Time.

    So think about it. You want to call someone through your google voice number so that is shows up on their caller ID instead of your net10 #. No such luck. You want to use google voice to make really cheap international calls. Again, no such luck. If you plan on using google voice to make outgoing calls, you are going to have to speed-dial your google voice # and then wait for prompts and enter them PLUS the number you are calling manually!!! That is simply insane! So for google voice lovers, net10 is definitely a fail.

  15. Hey, Thanks for the great review. The story about your New Years is pretty interesting. I have the unlimited plan with NEt10 so I don’t really have to worry about charging. Strange though that yours didn’t go through and your friends on Verizon had no problem since they use the same network. I was thinking about getting that new LG900 phone. Does anyone have any information on the phone. I wish they had a greater selection, but it seems like this LG900 will be perfect and I’ll be able to utilize the unlimited data plan. It’s pretty sick to not have to worry about time and individual costs anymore. Some months when i’m strugglin tho I switch back. It’s nice to be able to be flexible on a month to month basis.

  16. rachelgrey40

    Love Net10 overall. Haven’t been TOTALLY floored by Net10 but they make for a really great transition or discount phone. For 50 bucks a month, I got service from Verizon towers (it may be ATT where you live but it’s based on whatever is better for your service) and I don’t think it ever dropped a call. Not very powerful though, and limited phone selection.

  17. jonnyjones73

    Net10 is great! Great signal strength even though the phones aren’t too fancy and the internet is a little slow, but I expected a tradeoff for only 50 bucks a month!

    I agree with most of the comments posted above. Net10 has been a really great solution for me because I can’t afford a super high-end service but I still want the power of an unlimited anything plan that I can really use. The signal strength has been really great so far, no dropped calls or anything like that!

  18. jonnyjones73

    Net10 is great! Great signal strength even though the phones aren’t too fancy and the internet is a little slow, but I expected a tradeoff for only 50 bucks a month!

  19. I have been in love with the net10 service ever since they got the LG900g phone. Before this phone i never even looked at them. I sacrificed been in a contract service which i use to pay 88.90 dollars and it wasn’t even unlimited 🙁
    But thank god they decided to bring out a line of what i like to call semi smart phones haha, now they offer everything great coverage either through at&t or verizon and affordable unlimited rates :))

  20. This has been the best “cynical” review of Net10 that I have read. I am a cynical person myself and enjoyed the “Hey this is evil, but it’s cheap so I’ll give’em a break.” style.

  21. You mentioned you use google voice, I just bought a net 10 phone for my son for his birthday. I am trying to do the google voice thing for him, as I have it on my sprint phone. I bought the new LG800G for him (a touch phone) so when google tries to verify the net 10 number the call comes through, it says enter the two digit code and I do it but it doesn’t register.. it says unable to verify, try again.. How can I do this?

    • I verified my number a long time ago, on (as mentioned above) an LG300G.

      The LG800G very well might have problems sending the touch tones to Google Voice. Poke around in the settings menus to see if you can find any references to “touch tones”, “DTMF tones”, or something else like that. Also post in the Google Voice Help Forums.

      I envy you now. As of July, I have switched to Virgin Mobile and an LG Optimus V (which I reviewed a while back, a review I should probably update). VM is owned by Sprint, but Sprint has chosen to disallow forwarding to services like Google Voice. GV couldn’t even call the first number I was assigned; I had to request a different one that works. I kind of miss the voicemail forwarding…

      Good luck solving the problem!

  22. i have had a net lg 900for 2 or 3 yrs now and spend several thousands dollars on mins,and have always had issues with it, not to mention customer service sucks,just spent 1 and 15 mins on the phone to get hung up on.and every time you call them its a 15 min wait to speak to someone! finally a supervisor says my phone is not compatible with urls most in fact that most people use! pissed off! that they even wasted my money now! will never use another net 10 product ever in my life! they are about stealing your money ! and if you are smart you wont either! i will make this known all over the world!

  23. Net10 has now released just SIM cards so you don’t have to have a Net10 phone. But I have a LG900g right now, had it for about 6 months, I haven’t really had that many problems with Net10 just that the failed texts being charged. I mostly stay away from the web/fb app on the phone. I only use the phone for texting & sometimes calling. But my major problems are with LG, for example short battery life, and the charging port is not made strong enough.

  24. Have been using NET10 for years. A couple of years ago I required a phone with Bluetooth so upgraded. I had about 6 thousand accrued roll-over minutes and though it took a little time and effort, NET10 shifted all to my new phone and tossed in some bonus minutes and time for good measure.

    I needed Bluetooth because I’d purchased this nifty little cellphone gateway, the Xtreme Technologies Xlink BT at Amazon. There are other brands too, I’m sure.

    The way it works it that you find a cellular sweet spot in your home and put the gateway there. You plug your regular phone (or phone wiring), into the gateway, then set it up to communicate with your cellphone via Bluetooth.

    Now when somebody calls your cell, your house phone rings and the call can be answered from anywhere in the house. ALSO, when you pick up any phone, you get a dial tone just like always BUT your outgoing call goes out over your cellphone.

    NOTE: I unplugged the commercial phone line at the juncture box outside my house, then plugged the gateway into the nearest phone jack. It took over the phone wire harness in my house so that when it gets a call from the cellphone any phone in any jack anywhere in the house rings and outgoing calls work the same way.

    I used this system not only to burn off those 6,000 minutes but to also replaced my wired telephone service. Since I buy NET10 service a year at a time, (works out to $15 a month), this is a lot cheaper than a wired phone service and, thanks to the gateway, just as convenient.

  25. I have had recurring problems when F*ing Net 10 suddenly & with no explanation stops sending touch tone signals. Customer service is no help! even after spending a couple hours and being transferred all over the place. In the end they just tell me to do a master reset of all setting . Then you have to go back & reset everything. You loose some info like anything on your memos

  26. Does anyone have the address of the main Net10 office. I would like to reach the upper management to resolve a problem. The people at the customer service number don’t seem to have any authority to resolve a lost prepaid Net10 card.

    At first, they had me to fax to them a copy of my receipt, which I did. Now they tell me to go back to the store where I bought the card and get a smp number or a control number from the manager. After consulting with the manager, she told me that they don’t keep that information in their store and that the only information they would have is what is on my receipt.

    I spoke to at least 3 of the reps there and they agree with each other and offer no other recourse for me. I advised them that this problem should not be complicated and that I am sure I’m not the only customer to loose a card. Are they even in the country? Is their customer service so bad because they know any complaints will fall on deaf ears?

  27. Thankfulness to my father who informed me about this weblog,
    this weblog is truly amazing.

  28. I have a Verizon contract phone and after Net 10 activated my Sim card I had great phone service but no mms messaging. I went on line found what I needed went into phone changed a fue settings and now have everything I had with Verizon contract for 1 third the price. I’m using a Galixy S-4 love pre paid hate contracts

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