Momma Told Me: #FamilyMobileSaves Time + Money So You Only Have To Worry About What To Do With More Of Both

Blog Archive

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

#FamilyMobileSaves Time + Money So You Only Have To Worry About What To Do With More Of Both

***I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Walmart Family Mobile® #FamilyMobileSaves #cbias #SocialFabric All images and photos are original content copyrighted to Momma Told Me Blog, 2013.
Momma Told Me: Don't let technology take over your life.

Have you ever stopped to watch someone lost in their technology? No, I don't mean the early adopters who seem to have 4+ electronic devices on their person at any given time; I'm referring to those overwhelmed by the devices that seemingly have wormed their way into everyday life. I could say it's generational, but the truth is there are just as many 20 somethings who own devices with capabilities they'll never grasp, as there are 50 somethings. The simple truth is that technology moves much to fast for the average consumer to keep up. When I was a young girl Momma adopted the pager fad as part of her 'personal security' initiative. If I had a dollar for every time little 5'8, 90lb, Momma had to pull off the road in an unknown town to find a payphone, I'd be rich. But isn't it amazing how society learns to accept these little inconveniences, in exchange for the social status these devices offer? The truth is, we shouldn't have to choose between empty wallets and over-complicated devices; there is a phone and cheap wireless plan for everyone!
For me, my mobile phone has been a love-hate relationship since my first pixelated handset in high school. Machines, or technology, cannot hear our angst when data goes missing, or an important call is dropped. Smartphones, despite the name, cannot walk us through troubleshooting, or negotiate contracts; for that, a human is still required. Unfortunately, about 50% of the frustrations that come along with modern technology are due to user error or lack of operations understanding. I'll be the first to admit I've spend ample time yelling at my handset, wondering why the caller on the other end couldn't hear me, only to discover my Bluetooth device had  been left on. Technology and services seem to change so quickly, I can only imagine the classes I'll need to take to learn the next generation- 'Genius phones' here we come!

If you're like me, you've probably been thinking about upgrading your handset for months, maybe even years; but have been afraid to invest in a high end handset while still swallowing the never-ending surcharges, contract fees, and monthly service plans. I have been with my current provider for almost 3 years now. Thought I recently upgraded my father to a new Windows Phone, and switched him to a T-Mobile No Contract plan, I was still hesitant to make the switch myself. My current provider and I have a love-hate relationship that's been increasingly tipping towards the later as of late. Just last month I called to update my billing information only to be billed, twice, on my old card the very next day. I then spent over 6 hours on the phone with customer support trying to rectify the issue; which included no compensation for the time or inconvenience. Sadly, this has become a monthly event in our home; every month I have to physically call the provider and 're-opt' back into the unlimited no-contract plan. I have to verify my billing information again, and often speak to 4-5 individuals before my call is done.
Walmart Famiyl Mobile
I spend hours on the phone with my cellphone provider each month for technical support or to simply keep my service active. Even worse, I've found my service to be lacking as of late. As you can see in the image of my handset, up above, 90% of the calls I receive show up as 'missed.' Though I spend the majority of my day at home with my handset by my side, I miss call after call. Then I'm forced to dial in to the dreaded voice-mail, listen to messages and call offices back, playing phone tag to reach the initial caller. More of my time, wasted; and that's just the service issues when I'm at home. If my coverage can't be reliable when I'm standing in one spot, how will I be able to rely on it while out and about in an emergency? Even more concerning, our household is paying $10 a month more than some competitors for this spotty service and rotating billing issues. That's right, my family wants to reclaim me from my mobile plan!
no contract comparison
Recently it was suggested I make the switch to the new and improved Walmart Family Mobile plan. Currently the other half and I maintain independent providers in a no-contract relationship, simply because our phones were not 'unlocked' to be activated on outside networks. (That tells you how old my smartphone is.) Today, it seems more and more major cell phone brands are producing phones than can surf between networks and be activated across multiple plans. The Walmart Family Mobile plan offers the freedom of buying a new handset in store, or bringing your own handset to their comprehensive no-contract unlimited plans. Operating on the T-Mobile wireless network; my father has trusted for over 10 years; the Walmart Family Mobile plan has extensive coverage nationwide. Prospective customers can easily check their coverage map (our home is in an 'Excellent' zone), to determine if the network is right for them. While I knew our hometown received consistent coverage on the T-Mobile network, it was great to see it in black and green!
While it might sound a little intimidating for those currently in contract plans, or independent no contract relationships, the Walmart Family Mobile plan is actually fairly straight forward. For $40 a month a customer can enjoy unlimited web access, US calls, and texts. While the plans support 4G devices, it does seem the current service caps 3G speeds at 1GB, then proceeds to drop down to 2G for the remainder of the month. Additional lines, for a total up to 5, are $35 more per month, though the 3G data cap is shared among users. How the difference in speed will effect me, remains to be seen but, is my primary concern. Regardless, I journeyed into our local Walmart to learn more about the plans and devices available. As it turns out, the department manager was not only knowledgeable about the Walmart Family Mobile plans, but a user himself! He was more than happy to walk us through the set up process, verbally, and set us up with the one time activation pack ($25/device), which would provide us with our first month of service upon activation.
#FamilyMobileSaves
As it turns out, my new handset is actually a much newer rendition of my old one; the Optimus L9 Walmart Family Mobile smartphone will be replacing my old Optimus Net device. It features 4G capability with a beautiful 4.5" qHD touchscreen, 5MP flash capable camera, with front facing camera, Android 4.0, and more. Setting up my new handset and Family Mobile plan was as simple as following the easy steps outlined in my Walmart Family Mobile Starter Kit. Not only could I port over all of my old contacts and images, etc through Google+, but I was able to keep my old phone number on the new plan! A quick recap of the phone logs from the past 3 months, and I've spent an astounding 9.4 hours on the phone with my old provider, in that quarter year alone! I'm hoping, not only will I be saving time, and stress, by making this switch, but I know I'll be saving an extra $5/month (and more if Jay and I join plans) as well. Just think of all the things I could be doing with that extra time and money!
It's too early to say if the cheap wireless plan will live up to the hype, and my expectations, but the full bars on my new Optimus L9 are a good start! I'm looking forward to having a fresh new contract free plan that works into my lifestyle, not the other way around. Not to mention all the extra time I'll have to spend time with my family doing the things we love; more berry picking at the farm, more girls spa days in, more baking delicious treats- more 'Win' all around. And what will I do with that extra money in my pocket each month? I just might indulge in some ice cream on the boardwalk, after all, we all deserve something a little extra sweet, don't we? Check back in a month to see our update on the Walmart Family Mobile plan, and hear if Jay's going to jump on the savings wagon with me! In the mean time, check out our trip to Walmart and see how we narrowed our new plan down in our #FamilyMobileSaves Google+ album.

What Daughter Says: Modern technology should enhance your life, without making you broke. #FamilyMobileSaves modern families money, while pairing the best handheld devices for every family member with trusted T-Mobile network service.



23 comments:

  1. More people should read this post. I feel that technology is taking over everything. Time AND money. Some of the amounts I have heard people pay for their monthly cell phone bill is crazy!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with "heavenly" that we need to take time away from technology and if plans like this make it easier, all the better. I love saving money for sure too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with you! There's so much high tech stuff in our lives sometimes we don't really connect anymore. That's why I am trying my best to spend less time with my gadgets and more with my loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Seriously I have a lot of the same issues with my current phone! I've been test driving the walmart plan for the last month and I love it so much more than my old plan! But easier and better service too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really need to look into something like this for teens.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for this post that is filled with so much great information on the Walmart plan. I love saving money, and this is a perfect plan for me. I look forward to reading your follow-up post :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. As usual your posts illustrate to ANYONE why the product is superior. I have been dying to try the Walmart plan since it came out! Even more so now that I understand it from your details.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey...I'm all about saving the bucks. My cell phone bill is killing me every month. For real.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I tend to think of savings in one lump sum. $60 a year (for just one phone) would pay for a family membership to the zoo or something fun like that!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I so need to see how much I can save, but also curious to know how it will work long term

    ReplyDelete
  11. I need to see if we'll save on this! It's bad but we're on our phones even during dinner, sometimes trying to save time but it's not exactly good either.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm with your daughter on the ice cream, lol. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am getting fed up with my plan that I have right now with my cell phone provider. I definitely need to head into Walmart to check them out!

    ReplyDelete
  14. There is nothing that bugs me more when we go out to dinner and instead of talking to each other people are on their phones texting etc....

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a great post!! I personally hate cell phones so I've had the same Trac phone for 6yrs!! It's a phone,period.I buy minutes for it every 90 days and ya, I'm done.
    My husband loves T-Mobile and is thrilled with his plan, so if I ever decide to "upgrade" this will be the way to go for me too!!

    Sharon
    lunrei@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. alright-- I too have the trac phone only because my husband says so--- I am not a phone person but When the roads were icey this last winter and I went into a burrow ditch I was thankful for it-- Now this is a much better deal all the same an well with looking into-- thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Full bars is great but time spent with the family is priceless!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey, I just stumbled on your blog here. I like it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I also agree with you.Our current plan is not that great and frustrating at times.I was curious about this Walmart plan.Nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm afraid that I am one of those who feels a bit overwhelmed by some of the technology--not so much the devices themselves, but the complicated service plans! Our situation has changed i the last couple of years as we no longer have kids on our service. We actually have a much bigger plan than we need. I am glad to read this about the Walmart system Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. We've always had contracts and although I really don't know why - our bills are far too high and even our service at home, in an area that is supposedly solid, is spotty at best. I was so surprised to learn that a no contract plan could be compatible with such a wide variety of phones, not to mention, so affordable! I'm looking forward to reading more about your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for the info! I am checking on leaving my contract for this!

    ReplyDelete