It’s Activation Day
Continuing with my transition to Android – It’s time to make the switch from Windows Phone to Android (Samsung Galaxy S5). I bought the SIM and 30-day $45 plan on-line because I could get 5GB of data each month (more later about this).
The box arrived on time (had to sign for it).
Then I went online to look at the instructions. They was pretty detailed and easy to read. But that’s where I ran into my first roadblock. I registered my IMEI number, then put my SIM in and assembled all the other numbers I was going to need (the SIM number, the network number and the plan number). It did not like the SIM number I entered in. I checked it several times to make sure it was typed in correctly and then I gave in and called customer service.
Oh yes, it was India or somewhere like that. The first girl/woman I spoke with had such an accent that I continually had to ask her to repeat herself. From her, I found out I would need these things in order to port my number over:
- my ATT gophone SIM card number
- my ATT account number
- my ATT PIN
So I hung up with her while I went to collect the above. Perhaps I would have been told this on-line – maybe I hadn’t gotten far enough.
I found no ATT account number on my original paperwork – lots of other numbers, but no account number. I called again and got a young man I could understand. We got the ATT SIM and PIN figured out, but since there was no account number I had, he transferred me and I was escalated further up the IT chain.
This young man I spoke with was also easy to understand and he said he was going to call ATT and get the account number and would I stay on the line in case they wanted to talk to me. So we went through that – it was actually pretty quick. The ATT person gave me her ‘sorry you’re leaving’ and ‘you can come back’, spiel. I asked why my account number wasn’t on-line or on my paperwork and she said they didn’t give them out for this type of account (probably to make it harder for us to switch once they’ve got us in their clutches).
With that last piece of information, the ST guy said everything was done and my SIM card was activated, however, I needed to wait until 5 PM (it was probably 3) and then dial this number sequence and follow these instructions given from the phone and then that was the last thing to do. So I waited until 5 and of course the numbers he gave me didn’t do a thing. I ended up calling AGAIN and the CS agent suggested I reboot the phone – why didn’t I think of that! After I rebooted, I finally saw the 4G LTE symbol on my phone – success! After an hour or so on my own, 4 calls to CS and of course, reading through some forums on-line, it works!
ATT GoPhone vs. Straight Talk
When we left T-Mobile (too many dropped calls and they cut me back to 1GB/data/month), we decided to try out the ATT Gophone service. Most people I’d talked to have great reception and no dropped calls. There is a local store in Edmond where I could take my phone and have it set up – that was very appealing.
We had good service and reception with ATT. I had one dropped call the first day and it’s been perfect since then.
ATT GoPhone and Straight Talk currently charge $45/month for unlimited talk and text. ATT gives 1.5GB of high speed data, but ST has a promo going right now for those of us who bring our own phones to get 5GB of 4G LTE data a month! I did not see this deal in the Wal-Mart store – only on-line. The in-store was for 3GB of data – twice as much as ATT. I was apprehensive about going with a newer provider and although I could have taken my phone into a Wal-Mart store and let them deal with it, I would have been there quite some time, I think. They are not set up as well as the phone stores to get folks switched from one carrier to another. I also was not comfortable with the level of expertise the clerks had.
Both carriers have a $30/month plan for talk and text and no data. Other plans are available as well.
Straight Talk-So Far So Good
I’ve been using the service for just 6 days, but everything seems to be going well. Straight Talk is on the Verizon network and they have good coverage here. I do switch off my data while at my home office to not use it unnecessarily. My phone has a setting where I can look at data usage via Wi-Fi and Data separately, so that’s kind of cool.
I would like to see Straight Talk stores where people can go in and have an expert handle the switch-over and activation. I think someone purchasing one of the ST phones might not need technical help, but phones can really be tricky. Bringing your own phone was challenging for me and a store would have made it painless. But now I’ve got it set up and plan to keep this plan.
If you’re thinking of leaving your major carrier, perhaps this post has given you an idea of what to expect.