Sign In

Walmart Straight Talk Review: Is the Wireless Service Any Good?

Updated

Back in March we opened the DealNews forum to our readers who wanted to discuss Straight Talk. We were quite frankly shocked by not only the number of comments and complaints from customers, but also the questions and concerns that would-be Straight Talk Wireless customers had.

In the months since, we've been working to put together a feature that attempts to clarify not only what Straight Talk is and how it may help certain consumers save money on their cell phone bill, but also offers insight into ways current Straight Talk Wireless customers can rectify some of the most common issues they've had with its customer service. As such, aspects of our Straight Talk Wireless review are culled straight from reader comments; and we'd love to hear more and keep the conversation going. So, what is Straight Talk and is it any good?

Straight Talk Wireless and How It Works


Straight Talk is a month-to-month wireless service sold by Walmart and supported by TracFone. The latter is a company that claims to have "coverage in 99.6% of the cellular populations" and is contracted with major carriers, to purportedly "bring the same level of coverage through the same cell towers." A representative from Straight Talk also claims that it provides service in "more ZIP codes than any other single carrier."

What Makes Straight Talk Wireless Great

The up-front price of $45 per month includes unlimited minutes, texts, and data, and is ideal for light smartphone users. However, Straight Talk may not be the best choice for folks who stream a lot of videos, because the carrier implements speed throttling past the first 2.5GB of data used each month. (Some users swear up and down that they experience throttling before that 2.5GB point, although there are many factors that could contribute to that perception.)

Still, Straight Talk is cheap enough that it allows consumers to purchase high-end phones — such as the iPhone 5 ($549), iPhone 4S ($449), or the Samsung Galaxy S3 ($399) — without subsidization. When Straight Talk originally added the iPhone to its lineup, Walmart offered the phone with a $25 per month financing option, instead of paying in full up-front. However, it doesn't appear to allow financing for any models at this time. Currently, Walmart offers 61 no-contract Straight Talk phones for purchase in conjunction with the Straight Talk plan, including Android phones, Windows phones, Blackberry phones, iPhones, and more; that said, Walmart doesn't yet sell the iPhone 5S or 5C through Straight Talk.

For folks who want to save even more money, Straight Talk allows new customers to use their current GSM or CMDA smartphone on the Straight Talk network. GSM phones have SIM cards and must be unlocked to operate on Straight Talk's compatible frequencies, 850MHz and 1900MHz. CDMA phones, on the other hand, require additional registration and activation to verify compatibility with Straight Talk.

Perhaps more important to potential customers: last month Straight Talk started selling SIM cards for unlocked devices that use AT&T-compatible 4G LTE. CNET reports that Straight Talk's $45-a-month plan is $10 cheaper than AT&T's own prepaid service, Aio Wireless. For existing Straight Talk customers who want LTE speeds, they must buy a new SIM card.

Straight Talk Can Save You $600 a Year

The the average cell phone plan costs $100 a month. Since Straight Talk Wireless customers pay just $45 a month, the difference amounts to more than $600 a year in savings. Even taking into account the cost of a new, unsubsidized smartphone, you'd still break even just 10 months after having switched to Straight Talk.

Straight Talk Controversy: Coverage, Data Plans, Customer Service

The clear-cut savings aside, there are unmissable customer complaints about Straight Talk coverage and the throttling of its data plans. First off, the service has some restrictions; Straight Talk does not permit roaming and it cannot operate as a hotspot. And while the service touts an extensive coverage map, a common complaint amongst our own users is the strength of signal.

In July, a lawsuit alleged that Straight Talk was limiting customers' data speeds after having used a certain amount of data. This concern has since been resolved in the fine print: if a customer consumes more than 2.5GB in 30 days, "data speed[s] will be reduced for the remainder of the 30-day cycle."

But perhaps the most focused point of contention amongst DealNews readers pertained to Straight Talk's customer service, or lack thereof. From the inability to even reach a customer service rep to a representative's failure to address a number of issues in a timely manner, we now understand some of the stresses involved in having to deal with Straight Talk Wireless customer service. As such, we want to offer some tips and techniques for reaching Straight Talk Wireless customer service and prompting the department to resolve your issues.

How to Reach Straight Talk Wireless Customer Service

Thanks to GetHuman.com, you can reach a Straight Talk Wireless customer service rep in less time. Dial 877-430-2355. Press 1 for English, then press press 5; 5; and 2. Notice how we didn't say, "you can ready a Straight Talk Wireless customer service rep in no time"? That's because the average wait time is 30 minutes when the customer service desk is open Monday through Sunday from 8 am to 11:45 pm ET.

Other Ways to Reach Straight Talk Wireless Customer Service

Our research shows that Straight Talk does some monitoring of social media channels and comment boards, so a rep may reach out to help address a complaint in response to a posted comment. If Twitter and Facebook aren't for you, we found an email address: ST.CorpResolutionTeam@straighttalk.com that may be helpful in getting questions answered. When reporting an issue with phone service, it's important to include your phone number and the serial number of your phone in the email.

Straight Talk Wireless won't win any awards for its customer service. Likewise we can't predict how much more restrictive Straight Talk's — or any carrier's — "unlimited" plans might get over time, or how hard it might be to resolve any problems you'll have with your new (or old) device on its network. But it's worth noting that Straight Talk's LTE coverage and continued fixed monthly service cost remain a serious consideration for budget-minded shoppers. And as we've mentioned in other features, there are multiple ways to get a cheap cell phone plan.

Readers, what do you think of Straight Talk Wireless service? Do you have any further pros or cons to add to our review? Please add to the discussion in our comments below.


Contributing Writer

Lou Carlozo is a DealNews contributing writer. He covers personal finance for Reuters Wealth. Prior to that he was the Managing Editor of WalletPop.com, and a veteran columnist at the Chicago Tribune.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
156 comments
ian miller
straight talk is garbage. The equipment is poor at best. Service is deplorable. The employees speak broken English at best and are unknowledgeable. If you call into the customer service(that's the biggest joke around) they make you feel like you are in the wrong and that you are bothering them by making them do their job. They are a perfect match for walmart though. Another company with zero customer service.
BeachAnonymous
I have been a customer of Straight Talk for 3 years. I have contacted the customer support team many times and they have helped me to resolve every problem I've had with eloquence and poise. I would recommend them to a friend in the San Luis Obispo, CA area.
TwistedTalkNeverAgain
I had StraightTalk for a number of years; at first they were "OK." Something happened, though, in the last year of my stint with them, and they became a nightmare to deal with. Customer service was non-existent, and I could literally do nothing to resolve issues. I had to go somewhere else for service, and leaving StraightTalk became the worst experience of all. They would not release my number nor shut down my account. I will NEVER go back.
robbdaman
StraighTalk has provided the worst customer service and overall cell service in the world. Thank you for screwing us over StraighTalk!
jachansen
Lessons learned-
Use the chat and customer service is ok. Don't activate through the website, it crashes. Use Chrome not IE on their site. The site is not IE compatible. Activate your phone via chat, trust me. Renew automatically, if your service stops you lose your number, don't be cheap and change plans monthly. Also make sure you are using less than 2.5gb of data. I looked at my historical average at my old carrier and on unlimited data I was using 2-2.5GB per month paying $116 for an old paid off iphone. The move made sense for me.

How I learned-
I activated on the website and the website locked up and my number transfer didn't go through. I called them and was told too bad, go buy another starter kit. Nothing they could do. I threw that $60 away, decided to give it another try paid another $60 and activated via chat and no issues. I have my plan renewing automatically. The ironic part is I work for one of the big carriers... It's not straight talk.
sunny1day3
There are no words to describe how disappointing my whole experience with Straight Talk has been. I bought a 'bring your own phone' activation kit that would not work on my phone even though they checked it for compatibility and troubleshot the phone repeatedly. I called back after checking several different solutions. I wasn't angry, I just wanted my money back since the product obviously didn't work. I tried explaining the situation but the representative insisted that it was MY FAULT!! The final straw was when the customer service representative HUNG UP ON ME when she realized she didn't know what to do and didn't want to give me my $70 back for a SIM card that plain and simple DIDN'T WORK.
PoolisCool
About 5 years ago I switched over from Metro PCS (poor coverage area) to Straight Talk. My first phone was a Straight Talk Samsung phone(didn't want to put much money into the new service) Not only did that phone last for 2 years but I was able to talk in places that even under contract with Sprint I was unable to talk. I later discovered I was on the AT&T network with them and I learn a bit more about the service and things Like APN's. Today I am running a Samsung S4 Active and I have to say I love the service and promote their service where ever I go. I actually have a Start up kit here at the house. It has all the carriers that Straight Talk uses, Most everyone has Said they love the AT&T service through them. Now of course every phone can not run on AT&T. My wife bought the S3 a few years back and is on there Sprint Flavor and it drops signal about as soon as you enter the doors of any Walmart Store.APN's are well documented on the web.
djrr4386
I had straight talk for over two years. The reason I went to them was for flexibility, depending on my money from month to month. Sometimes I'd buy the $45.00 plan or $30.00. So during one month I ran into money problems so I didn't renew for that month, The next month I renewed. They assigned me a new # & I could no longer have my old number. I call CS and after 30 mins of back and forth, they told me they couldn't give me my old # back. So I assumed that number was assigned to someone else. So I called my old number, to find out, NO one had the number. So I called them back & asked why I couldn't get the # since it was not assigned to anyone else. they didn't know just basic, "we have no control over that", So much for flexibility & convenience. How is it better than having a contract? You either pay each month or loose your number. So I dropped them, I'll go somewhere else. Stay away from them, CS has no idea what they are doing, the Company is worthless!!
Goodguy
Make sure you buy a Straight Talk phone that runs off of Verizon towers, and you won't encounter call issues. Some of their phones run off of AT&T towers...not so sure about those.
Abenne
Worst customer service EVER! Spent hours on hold trying to fix overcharge. Some of the rudest people I have encountered. When given a name to call back no one would connect me to that name that I was told I wld just have to ask for. Regretting I ever purchased straight talk and am currently looking new provider for internet
Midnite333
I have used Straight Talk now for 6 months and am absolutely totally satisfied. Being retired from BellSouth/AT&T even with my "discount", I was paying $78 and that was only for a 450 min plan and limited data usage. Have no regrets ! Only contacted customer service one time and that was for the initial set up of which the representative that helped was more than knowledgeable and solved my issue. Very happy I was able to use my Iphone 4 and port same number. Have great reception and coverage. Sorry, but there is nothing negative I can say about the Straight Talk Plan.....Wish I would have switched years ago !!
alex235
Thanks it was helpful to me, please check this review page written by me http://21streviews.com/verizon-smartphone-reviews/
NorthVandea
I'm an IT guy for a living so Customer Service doesn't matter much to me, in my opinion ever cell company I've dealt with has stupid customer service reps. If I'm actually calling customer service it's probably not an issue "tier 1" support could ever resolve. That being said, I ditched Verizon to go to Straight Talk and it's been awesome! I'm free to choose the phone I want (Nexus 5) on a solid data cap, at a reasonable monthly price without 2 year contract woes and ridiculous carrier bloatware. Straight Talk is slightly complex to set up initially, not totally idiot proof like Verizon or AT&T. Not an issue here, but if you are not tech savvy at all, consider paying a higher rate at a larger carrier to get reps to hold you hand through the entire process.
zimtekcom
Straight Talk (Cliffs Notes)

BYOF = Bring your own Phone - ONLY works with GSM (Sim card) phones - on ATT and T-Mobile networks.

They don't overtly advertise the carrier of each phone, but it is in the lower left corner of the Box (must do some research or go to the Walmart):
CDMA-V = Verizon
CDMA-S = Sprint
GSM-A = ATT
GSM-T = T-Mobile

CDMA = Code Division Multi(ple) Access
GSM = Global System for Mobile(s)
These refer to the two incompatible voice technologies that US cell phones are currently built on.

GSM is better for world travel (but ST only works in the US so irrelevant).

CDMA , has fewer hand off related dropped calls due to its soft hand off. (can and does actually communicate with two cell towers at once).

Re: Verizon, Straight Talk no longer offers new technology phones with Verizon (stopped about 2 years ago), but they do still support some older technology phones with CDMA-V, if you look around... And NONE of the CDMA-V are 4G.
momto6ls
I have been a customer of Tracfone for 7 years. I loved it when I got it, but they have become impossible to work with. The customer service has gone from "great" to "a nightmare". I have learned that if you want something fixed ask for a supervisor right away. They don't give their regular cs people authority to do anything.

I was considering switching to Straight Talk - that is what my dad uses - but now that I know it is owned by Tracfone, that is not an option. RUN, people. it is not worth it.
dj
I have 2 accounts with straight talk,for over a year.The phones are excellent and i never have a problem with customer service.
Compare to AT&T,i save alot of money for the same services.
No Contracts,sometimes i even buy a $30.00 plan..Can't beat the price and service,Wait time for customer service is about 3 mins. 5 stars
howard.byrd@charter.net
I JUST SPENT A GOOD PART OF AN HOUR READING COMPLAINTS ABOUT STRAIGHT TALK & CUSTOMER SERVICE BUT, I FEEL THAT COMPLAINING TO THEM IS A LOST CAUSE! EVERYONE & ANY ONE WHO IS READING THIS POST NEEDS TO COMPLAIN TO WALMART SINCE THEY ARE THE BIGGEST SELLER OF STRAIGHT TALK PHONES & SERVICE! WALMART NEEDS TO KNOW THAT THE CUSTOMER IS TIRED OF ALL THE NONSENSE FROM STRAIGHT TALK..EVERYONE, SEND EMAILS,WRITE LETTERS CALL WALMART CUSTOMER SERVICE & COMPLAIN ABOUT STRAIGHT TALK SERVICE..CUSTSRV@WALMART.COM---1-800-WALMART...NOTHING WILL EVER BE ACOMPLISHED UNLESS WE BAN TOGETHER..
Idunno
thanks so much for this article. it was more helpful than anyone in Walmart or from Straight Talk that i've attempted to get information from. My husband's phone is a straight talk Samsung Centura. It's ok...not bad. The CUSTOMER service for Straight talk stinks ... but the cell service is fine... we use verizon towers. I'm getting ready to switch the rest of us over and that is where i am having trouble getting info about what iphone models work ... every walmart tells something different, and i see varying info in my internet research. My daughter wants to buy new... so we i think are up to speed on that, but I am trying to find out about getting used phones...unlocked, clean esns... there is just a lot and nobody from walmart or straight talk to give direct answers. VERY FRUSTRATING.
quinno1
Just got the APN SETTINGS For A T-MOBILE WINDOWS 8.1 LUMIA PHONE switching TO the STRAIGHTTALK BYOP plan.


Go to ---> Settings
Then go down to ---> Access Point (near the bottom)
Click on the + sign "to add" then follow these directions:


1. Connection name: StraightTalk


2. Internet APN

Access Point Name: wap.tracfone
Username: (leave blank)
Password: (leave blank)
Proxy adress: 216.155.165.40
Proxy port: 8080
Network type: ipv4/ipv6
Authentication type: None

3. MMS APN

Access Point Name: wap.tracfone
Username: (leave blank)
Password: (leave blank)
Proxy adress: 216.155.165.40
Proxy port: 8080

MMSC address: http://mms.tracfone.com
Network type: ipv4/ipv6
Authentication type: None


4. Click on the Check Mark for "Done"

5. You might have to go back one page to "Access Point" and click on Straight Talk until it becomes active and the other one inactive.

6. Reboot.

7. Test out internet.
sureymari
I will never recommend straightalk to anybody. The company does not protect its customers from cell phone identity theft. In fact, they do not care about it. My phone account and personal information was stolen through this company, probably an inside job. After many complaints and no action, Corporate told me it is out of their hands. When you pay a service, you trust the company with your personal information. That information is private, and they have to protect it. Yet, they do absolutely nothing. Now I feel vulnerable and violated thanks to straighttalk. I live my life checking my credit and obsessed with the idea that there is someone out there with my personal information because they are careless and, in my view, part of this scam. I am not the only straightalk customer that has experienced this horrible and terrifying situation, and in my opinion, it is not worth it.
mmdsy
I have been using straight talk for about 3 yrs now and the coverage area is good. About 6 months ago, I upgraded to a "smart phone" and have been having problems ever since. Also, I have been trying to talk my mom into switching to straight talk from trac phone for about 2 yrs. She finally switched recently and the website said that she could use her phone but the customer service rep said that it was not compatible. She wanted to keep her phone number and they programmed the SIM card with the wrong number and had to mail her a new card. After almost 2 weeks without a phone they sent her "another card" and this was all taking time away from her 30 day plan that she had purchased. Now she is having the same data connection problems and dialing problems that I have been experiencing lately. I also just found out that you can't have numbers blocked from your phone if someone is harassing you, you have to change your number. They are about to loose me as a customer.
K20
Horrible Service! DO NOT do business with STRAIGHTTALK! They lie about their so called "Unlimited Data Plan". It's not what it is all cracked up to be. My phone will not dial out, echoes, youtube takes forever to load, and other issues.
Arinny
Never EVER buy a phone from this company. If you want to do a prepaid phone, do net10.

My issues from StraightTalk are getting way out of hand. When I first got my phone, it was okay. My service was okay, everything was peachy. I went back home and found out I had NO SERVICE. I went 2 weeks without a phone, and when I tried paying for minutes for it, they charged my card twice and only got 1 month of minutes. Never got the other 50 back. My calls got dropped, picture messages never sent, phone conversations cut short because the other end couldn't hear me when I was NOT muted. I tried sending it back when something happened to my screen, and it kept freezing within the first 30 days I had it, and they wouldn't take it.

If you want to go through literal phone hell, sign up with straight talk. It's definitely not worth wasting money with this company.
Laurie Reese
Straight Talk is the worst phone service I have ever had 3 weeks trying to return a phone and this is the 5th phone I've gotten from them that did not work Android sassy phone I have been flat out lied to several times when asked to be moved further up the chain to talk to someone I was told there was no one higher that I could only go one person above the one that answered the phone when I calledStraight Talk does not seem to care about its customers or how they are treated all they care about is getting your moneythey seem to be dragging this out until my card runs out so I have to buy a new one when and if I ever get my replacement phone I was told they were sending me a label to send my phone back and that was a lie too they sent me an email with a bunch of BS on it but no label I think the FCC needs to do something about straight talk and I think it's about time we all start calling our attorney generals and the FCC and try to get straight talk shut
Laurie Reese
Straight Talk is the worst phone service I have ever had 3 weeks trying to return a phone and this is the 5th phone I've gotten from them that did not work Android sassy phone I have been flat out lied to several times when asked to be moved further up the chain to talk to someone I was told there was no one higher that I could only go one person above the one that answered the phone when I calledStraight Talk does not seem to care about its customers or how they are treated all they care about is getting your moneythey seem to be dragging this out until my card runs out so I have to buy a new one when and if I ever get my replacement phone I was told they were sending me a label to send my phone back and that was a lie too they sent me an email with a bunch of BS on it but no label I think the FCC needs to do something about straight talk and I think it's about time we all start calling our attorney generals and the FCC and try to get straight talk shut down
koalayummeee
Second, regarding customer service:

Simply put, customer service leaves a lot to be desired. I had a sim "go bad." Despite the rep's promise to expedite delivery of a new sim, it still took over a week to get a replacement--during which time I was out of a phone.

The biggest problem is that Straight Talk for some reason blacklisted my address, which prevents me from using auto-renew. Customer service reps refused to acknowledge any issue on their end (or any purposeful blacklisting) and insisted it was an issue with my credit card. After a few weeks of getting nowhere, I gave up on ever fixing the issue and now purchase $45 refills from Walmart.

So, the takeaway:

Don't expect much from customer service. Expect challenges to arise. But in spite of the challenges, if you want to save a lot of money, you don't like surprise charges on your bill, and you don't want to be locked in to a contract, Straight Talk is hard to beat.
koalayummeee
First regarding the service itself:

I've used Straight Talk since June 2012. On AT&T towers, calls are consistently clear and rarely drop. Data speeds are fast, considering I live in a rural area. On LTE, I get roughly 15MB/s download and 5MB/s upload. On HSPA+ it's about 5MB/s and 2MB/s. I've been throttled before, but not since Straight Talk clarified its data policy of 3GB/month.

One issue is poor signal in large buildings such as hospitals. By comparison, a coworker with an actual AT&T plan gets bars where I don't--despite supposedly using the same towers. Maybe due to how AT&T prioritizes traffic on its towers?

Overall, $45/month for 3GB of data and unlimited calls/texts is a great deal.
my st phone
So I hear all the complaints about their customer service. I have been on ST for 2 years. Pay for 1 year in advance and comes down to $41 per month and don't have to pay for the fee's. Ported my number, it did take some time, but after paying $100 per month, it was worth the wait. ST now gives 3 gb of LTE per month. Then unlimited at 3g or h+ if you're phone supports it. Whine if you want and keep paying more.
Tenatena
Bad Bad Bad. Please never buy this. I did not receive 1/3 of what I purchased. People told me not to buy this but... Please take their advise ( I didn't ). Walmart will not back up this purchase either - that surprised me too.
Ddddskin
Ditto bad service. Trying to port a land line number told it could take up to 30 days, once I started having problems. No mention of that before. Burning through my Tracfone minutes on hold for hours.
jethrotulll
Attention! If you want great customer service DO NOT go with this company. If you want very cheap pricing for a monthly service than DO go with this company (or Page Plus). DO NOT complain about customer service when you are paying 1/4 of what Verizon or ATT are charging. Our bill went from 280 per month to 90 per month and no contract. For those wanting to whine about the customer service, please just stick to one of the big carriers and you will get GREAT customer service....but you WILL pay for it. I spent over 20 years paying nearly $300 per month. That is $72,000 for phone service. Straight Talk would have only cost me $21,000. I'll save $51,000 in the next 20 years, so I'm not that worried about great customer service. Do the math people. Quit complaining about how bad your steak is at McDonald's.
Smart Phone User
I live on the east side of Cincinnati, OH.

ATT was fine in my area, but was angry that I was already paying $90+/mo to use my old iPhone, and then would get charged additional overages for minutes and data. Far too expensive - and that was the corporate discount rate.

I then tried TMobile - got the Galaxy S4. Loved the phone, hated the coverage anywhere outside of the big city.

So I bought a $99 phone at Walmart and then pay the $45/mo (about $48/mo w tax and fees). The service is awesome - even out in the hills of southern Ohio. I need to upgrade my phone in serious way, but the service I can't complain about.

Now that the iPhone 5s and 5c are available, I'm looking forward to upgrading this summer. I'd prefer the Galaxy S4 or S5, but I'll work with what's available just to avoid a contract and pay a lot less.
vallyo
I am a truck driver going all 48 states so before I decided to switch I test drove straight talk on ATT I had my old ATT phone and a straight talk phone along side there was no difference in the coverage whatsoever.So I gave the straight talk sim card to my girlfriend and I ordered one for me coming form ATT I didn't need to unlock my phone just put the sim card chaged the APN settings and Voila. Well I had to call customer service to port my number because I couldn't do it online but it was painless and within 2 hours on a Saturday it was done. And for 5 months now I am happy with the service as is my girlfriend. I would advise eveyone to get a ATT rather than a T-Mobile sim card as ATT has better coverage and faster LTE.
Charlie90
Simply the worst service/company I've ever used. I will NEVER buy this again.
bjnk
I switched to straight talk from verizon. The customer service is horible. I am having problems with my phone and it is still under the manufactures warranty. I am unable to be without a phone and they will not send a phone unless the get the other phone first. Then in 2 weeks they will send a new one. I asked to talk to a manager and they put me on hold for a half an hour. I asked if the manager could call me and they said no. I talked to walmart about the problem and they said they have the same problem and straight talk will not solve the problems. I paid alot for this phone. I would think I would get better service than what I have had. I would recommend staying away from straight talk.
slynch
I just switched to StraightTalk last week, and wanted to share my experience thus far. I began with a T-Mobile iPhone 5S for which I had a great plan, but horrible signal/service in my area. The phone was paid off and unlocked (if it's paid for, you must still call T-Mobile to unlock it if you want the AT&T sim card, which I did, and that can take up to 2 weeks). I went into the ST experience expecting the customer service to be as horrible as all of the reviews. For some reason, the website would not transfer my T-Mobile phone number (I kept that account running because if you cut off service, you can't transfer the number), so I did call ST customer service. They weren't as bad as I expected, and my TM service was transferred to ST within 1.5 hours of the call. The StraightTalk AT&T sim card works great with my unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 5S, and I couldn't be happier with the signal I get in my area (LTE outside, 3G indoors), much better than T-Mobile 2G for slightly less money.
Christina.M.Moore
So in December of 2011, I bought a Straight Talk phone. I had already been a Straight Talk customer and so I had a phone number I switched from AT&T. The guy in the Straight Talk store set up my new phone and he put the SIM in and the phone worked fine with no problems until Thursday when it quit receiving texts. Straight Talk this morning (Saturday) and they started telling me the SIM I had was a bring your own phone SIM and would not work in this phone. This exact same SIM installed by a Straight Talk employee has worked just fine in this phone since December, 2011. Miraculously it doesn't today. Unbelievable. They acted like they thought I did something to the phone. They said they are sending me a new SIM and cut my service off for the next five days until my SIM comes. Nice. My parents are elderly and in bad health and this is the only way to contact me in emergencies. Customer service was not helpful and frankly one of them was quite rude. Goodbye StraightTalk.
pjy
i'll be honest, I hate cell phones and not a big fan of technology. that being said, with my job it is still critical I have a phone. I've had every plan under the sun and got really sick and tired of 300-600 dollar a month phone bills. I gave up a $600 smart touchscreen smart phone to buy the simplest phone on the market with the cheapest plan. I went to straight talk about four years ago and have been happy since. I pay the $30 a month plan and it suits me fine. the coverage has been better than most any other carrier. they use Verizon towers but for some reason I get coverage in places even Verizon customers have trouble. I am an otr trucker and use it coast to coast. the customer service could use a lot of improvement but my biggest complaint is when I bought my daughter a new phone her boyfriend tried to use it as a modem and straighttalk disabled the phone to never be used again. it was only a week old. it took along time to straighten out that mess. all in all, very happy
dscheffer
None of the CSR's speak fluent English. There's no corporate office to contact. They have BYOP program but the only phones that you switch over are GSM= AT&T and T-Mobile (sim cards which contain the customer's info) you can't switch CDMA phones=Verizon or Sprint which some have a sim card, but the card is only used for 4G LTE.
dscheffer
None of the CSR's speak fluent English. There's no corporate office to contact. They have BYOP program but the only phones that you switch over are GSM= AT&T and T-Mobile (sim cards which contain the customer's info) you can't switch CDMA phones=Verizon or Sprint which some have a sim card, but the card is only used for 4G LTE.
LadyBo
Of I am paying for "Unlimited", thats what I expect. Not 2.5 weeks later and throttle down my Data Speed!!! I rely heavily on my phone, business etc. will be looking for another more reliable, "truthful"? Service.
catleek
What ever you do DON'T SWITCH TO STRAIGHTTALK. I left Verizon and a week later I switched back. I had dropped calls, echo's, could not open text because they were too big, had to use Wi-Fi all the time which drained my battery, it took a long time to connect to the internet, can't really see anything on you tube because it takes FOREVER to download. You get what you pay for, DON'T DO IT!
chungsuleemay
Striaght talk is scam. They advertise as unlimited international plan but actually its not unlimited. They don't tell customer that they can make only 15 unique numbers
lilylane
I like my phone but the service range isn't great. I don't like the 2.5 data because when I had Verizon I paid 50 a month unlimited and no matter how much I was on line watching videos over the 30 days it was always 3G. There wasn't a data limit. The youtube was better with Verizon too. With straight talk it takes forever to load even when they say you have high speed data availability and it plays and freezes constantly. So to watch a 3 min video it takes 35 mins. I miss the non stop viewing with Verizon. It took a couple of seconds to load and the video played non stop till the end with 3G service. So I wonder if when straight talk says your getting 3G if you really are?
MichaelSFO
(Cont.)

Phone Upgrades: One of the biggest benefits to using Straight Talk prepaid is that I can upgrade or switch phones any time I want. You can't do that with a postpaid carrier.

If there's a phone I covet I buy it, , then simply list my current phone on eBay and get most if not all my money back. For example, I originally had a Note, then went to the Note 2, the a Note III, all within about 14 months.

The cool thing about Straight Talk is that you can use any GSM phone with the service. If owning the latest and greatest phone is important to you, Straight Talk can't be beat

Bottom Line: Look up any carrier in Google with the word "complaint" also in the search field. You are going to find thousands of complaints about any carrier. All companies suffer from the declaration: "_____ is the worst cell phone carrier on the planet..."

Look at it this way: if you only do business with companies who are complaint free, you won't be doing business with anyone.
MichaelSFO
(Cont.)

Limited Unlimited Data: Is anyone aware of a carrier or home ISP who provides truly unlimited 4G, LTE data? T-Mobile, Sprint, Comcast, and AT&T all throttle customers who exceed unlimited plan limits. So that Straight Talk also throttles my connection on exceeding 2.5 GB, so what.

Besides, I use a WiFi source to access the Net, check e-mails, or play games on the mobile. So 2.5GB of data is plenty for on the road use.

And think about it, would you rather be an AT&T customer, who imposes AUTOMATIC overage charges when you exceed plan limits. Watch one too many movies on your mobile, get ready for bill shock.

Price: For $45 monthly I get 2.5 GB 4G LTE data, plus unlimited talk and texts. I am using my AT&T Note 3 with the service. I am not stuck with a two year contract and nor have to worry about early termination fees.

Since I am using AT&T's towers my connection has always been great. I have saved so much money that I bought a Note 3 with that money.
MichaelSFO
I'll defend Straight Talk amidst all the complaints.

Firstly, I believe Straight Talk has over 30 million U.S. subscribers. So a few hundred complaints here and there is hardly representative of the company and its service.

- I am a Straight Talk "pioneer" meaning I was one of its first customers when American Movil (the parent company) made a move to the U.S. I have always been satisfied with the company.

- Customer Service: Most companies have "offshore" service centers, where "furriners" read from a script (I recently had an issue with eBay. On all calls I talked to CSRs with thick Filipino accents. And they read from scripts.

I'm not concerned about custo service because I don't call customer service that much. I'm not going to pay $900 more annually just to get someone in custo service who sounds like they are in the U.S.

Bottom line: I don't care where the CSR is located. I simply want my questions answered, which Straight Talk has always done when I have called.
Gordon Theis
Signed up for Straight Talk at Walmart with a ST approved phone. The Walmart employee couldn't get the phone activated and ST told us it was a bad SIM card and one would be sent in 4 business days.

Over an 8 week span, 11 SIM cards and were sent before it worked . Walmart would not take back my order.
My experience proved that there is no accountability in the ST system or any acceptance of blame. When they couldn't complete the activation, they simply called it a SIM card issue and thus kicked the can down the road for the next rep. Many reps could hardly speak English and I couldn't understand them. They reacted to my problem by reading from a script which often didn't make sense. Twice they hung up on me. When asking for a manager, was either told one was not available or that they were the manager. When I asked for some form of remuneration for my two months aggravation, they countered with the fact that they sent me a SIM card and that I didn't call back soon enough.
finernfrogfur
Correcting myself... I sent it to 10 (ten) of Straight Talk's corporate executives, not 6 (six).


finernfrogfur

I previously posted about a complaint I had with Straight Talk. My post began with "I'll preface this with I have e-mail communication with Straight Talk to confirm what I am about to share with you is in fact the TRUTH!!"

Well, I'm back to give you an update. I did send my e-mail complaint directly to 10 (ten) of Straight Talk's corporate executives who responded immediately. I had included documentation to confirm what I was telling them was in fact the truth. They resolved the problems to my satisfaction. It's a shame that this matter had to escalate to such a level, but I'm glad that Straight Talk stepped up to the plate. It's only fair that if a person has filed a complaint and that complaint is resolved that it too should be acknowledged. So, thank you Straight Talk for hearing my complaint and bringing satisfactory resolution.
finernfrogfur
I previously posted about a complaint I had with Straight Talk. My post began with "I'll preface this with I have e-mail communication with Straight Talk to confirm what I am about to share with you is in fact the TRUTH!!"

Well, I'm back to give you an update. I did send my e-mail complaint directly to 6 (six) of Straight Talk's corporate executives who responded immediately. I had included documentation to confirm what I was telling them was in fact the truth. They resolved the problems to my satisfaction. It's a shame that this matter had to escalate to such a level, but I'm glad that Straight Talk stepped up to the plate. It's only fair that if a person has filed a complaint and that complaint is resolved that it too should be acknowledged. So, thank you Straight Talk for hearing my complaint and bringing satisfactory resolution.
barbus55
Absolutely worst experience of my life with Straight Talk. They only access 25% of large carrier towers, so when I traveled I barely had service. They kept interrupting my service saying I asked for a new SIM which I never did. When you call customer service (which I never thought I would never had to do) they hang up on you, and if you are lucky enough to have someone that cares, you cannot understand them. Bottom line they are HORRIBLE. Lost service 3 times in one week, all their error, and then they disconnected my ported number while I waited for a SIM which never came. Thus, I went back to Verizon, and had to get a new number. Thank You Verizon for the prompt, discounted winback deal.
chelsea.longabaugh
I had a defective samsung galaxy s2 and after calling straight talk they said they would send me the exact same phone as a replacement since it was under warranty. After waiting over a week I called and they said I had to send them my phone first to get the new one. Risky. But I did it anyway. Biggest mistake ever. They sent me a replacement phone alright. A zte solar which has horrible reviews. I called to straighten it out and have been given the biggest run around ever. Apparently my old phone isn't in their warehouse so they sent me the closest current market value phone. Although I bought mine last year for $300. I said then give me a galaxy s3. After elevating my case 4 times I still have to wait another 24-48 hours for someone to call me. (They never do). They are horrible and as soon as I get this resolved I am leaving this sucky company who has no idea what customer service is. Never use them!!No one speaks clear English and keeps pushing you off to someone new. Horrible!
preachergirl68
I recently purchased a Straight Talk wireless router. I worked for 2 days and then stopped working. I thought my internet time ran out (even though we barely got to use it), so I purchased more time. I followed all of the instructions the CSR gave me, and then said I want my money back for the device AND the internet access cards. I was told I could return the device at Walmart, but would nor be reimbursed for the internet usage cards. I WAS LIVID!!!!!! I asked for a Supervisor. I spoke with a woman named Angelica, who said she was a Manager. I admit, I did use a few expletives when she told me I would not be able to get my money back, but I apologized a few times. Angelica hung up on me, then called me back saying the phone disconnected mistakenly. She said, "Thank you for calling Straight Talk Wireless...goodbye". I said I am reporting the company to the BBB, and whoever else will listen.
kirt.casler
Junk, junk, junk! Enough said
jpreston
Straight Talk LOST MY NUMBER.I had that number for 15 YEARS! I called them to transfer my number to another phone and they gave me a new phone number instead. The customer service rep said "your new number is..." I told her repeatedly that I wasnt calling for a new number and I asked her 3 different times that my number would still be same. She said yes. As soon as I hung up, I noticed that I had a new number. I was so upset. I was on the phone with customer service for over an hour and they could not get my number back. They said once the number goes back to the Verizon Towers, then Straight Talk cant get the number back. The same thing happened to my sister when she called them a few months later. My point, DO NOT CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE , or YOU WILL LOSE YOUR NUMBER. Other than that, straight talk has been a great phone plan for me.
thepoetivory
Quite frankly, I had the plan approx. 4 years ago... give or take. Honestly, I found coverage areas were almost identical to AT&T and Verizon. This was before my love of smart phones, "facebooking" and emailing, etc... on my phone. My current "smart phone" is now approx 4 years old... give or take & it has NEVER been right... I spent HOURS with AT&T customer service... they STILL could not get it right... At that time, I was a level 1 tech in a call center for an ISP and I knew more about what the issue was and possible fixes then both cooperate and local customer "care." While the phone lives... by some miracle, it is clearly out dated and I am SO OVER AT&T's idea of customer "care"... Lemme go back to the folks with the accents from another country... At least they ATTEMPTED to solve my issues! Sincerely, soon-to-be-EX AT&T customer
finernfrogfur
I'll preface this with I have e-mail communication with Straight Talk to confirm what I am about to share with you is in fact the TRUTH!! Within 3 months of purchasing my brand new LG Optimus Zip LG75C cell phone at Wal-Mart I escalated the unresolved problems to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) who opened a claim on my behalf.

It doesn't matter if you deal with Straight Talk's technical support department, which is in the Philippines and they have NO CLUE about product or service, or if you talk to their BBB representative in Seattle, WA, who not only IGNORES YOUR MULTIPLE REQUESTS TO RESOLVE they also have NO CLUE about product or service. FINALLY they admitted that my phone itself was defective, but will only replace it with a USED phone. THAT'S UNACCEPTABLE!! I will now e-mail the corporate executives directly. If they don't step up to the plate I'm going to the FCC and PUC.
snscharlau
I recently had to deal with Straight Talk's customer service (lack there of) when attempting to assist my s/o in troubleshooting her phone. It took close to an hour before we were able to speak to a human at which point we routed three different times. The third/final tech that phone call had her send several text messages to herself to help troubleshoot not receiving sms' at all. < 10 minutes into the phone call with this person she was informed that they had exceeded the maximum time for the call and she would be placed on hold until someone else could assist. 25 minutes later frustration won out and she hung up with them.

Being the computer person I am I thought I had a better plan; I would use their "Live Chat" feature. I thought I was getting somewhere when the system slowly updated me from being 20 in the queue to being 2 in the queue. 5 minutes after being 2 the "connection was interrupted". Went over to T-Mobile's site to get some quotes, took < 1 minute to get a human. js
llf86
Just ordered a phone through their website and opted for their Fed-Ex overnight delivery. Used a coupon so the shipping cost was taken off. However, it's been two business days, and when I went to track my order, it still says "In Progress". Decided to online chat with a representative to figure out what was going on, and after explaining to them the situation, the rep told me "not to worry and that the order will be delivered once processed", and then immediately discontinued the window, so I was unable to ask or confirm anything that he wrote. Not the best impression so far regarding customer service.
tsouth
I want to switch to ST, but a reliable source (manager @VZ) told me vz was not going to continue to let ST use their towers. Does anyone know if this is a fact?
robinstl
Unlike many people I had no problem at all. I was on ATT GoPhone service and switched. I did not keep the old number since I only had it a few months and used it sparingly because of the limited service amount. The SIM showed up, I popped it in, followed some simple instructions and was up and running in a few minutes. I did a speed test from the iPhone and was able to pull in excess of 10mb on the 3g side so the internet worked fine. I am not stupid enough to allow automatic billing or give them my CC information so I just log on and add time when needed. If you are technologically challenged and call customer service to whine about every little thing this is not for you. If on the other hand you want to save money, know what you're doing and realize that with no contract the worst you'll ever be out is $45 or less...then you'll love this.
Kota57
Been 5 days without cell service. Called 5 times-same sad story about porting the phone, chat? I receive a form-letter type text about CALLING their Portability Dept (with no cell service, great), and email? What email? No response, no nothing. What an AWFUL way to get peoples credit card info (Oh, I cancelled my Visa so they won't hammer it again!
jaredpincock
They are just like the government.. screw you hard and blame it on everyone else(walmart).. every person i have talked with had to read the notes which took for ever and didnt understand them. they dont care about their customers no matter what.. even if they know they are losing a customer. DO NOT GO WITH THEM!!! the only positive thing is that they are a month to month and i can quit whenever..haha
kbrown2105
The absolute worst customer service possible. I got another straight talk phone request online and the phone to transfer my phone service from one straight talk phone to another straight talk phone. What happened they deactivated my current phone but failed to activate the new phone. After calling customer service numerous times 15 or more, they finally said the transfer did not go through because the old phone used Sprint towers and the new phone uses Verizon towers. They failed to fix the problem the could not reactivate the first phone or activate the second one they lost the phone number I had for ten years. I am not out of money for an unlimited service plan and two straight talk phones and I am still getting the run around. They don't have a clue as to how to fix the problem. Distraught customer. RUN FROM THIS COMPANY. CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORST EVER.
sarahkins
Worst customer service ever! Do not go with them I have had the worst experience I have had so many phones with them and each a flipping hassle to activate. They are rude and don't understand half the tings i say when i give hem my number and etc.
0101adm
straight talk has by far the WORST customer service of any company I have dealt with in my entire life.

they are completely incompetent and under-trained. they have also lied to me to get me off the phone. promising one thing, only to be disappointed.

i have called about this particular issue FOUR (4) times and just checked my account to see that, again, i have been lied to and will have to call AGAIN for the fifth time.

that means my service plan, with all the time added up, should expire 3/4/15. of course, since NO ONE at STRAIGHT TALK has any idea of what they are doing (they barely speak/understand English).

the last four times, i tell them they need to escalate the call to a real manager (they lie and say they are a manager -- dont believe them!). they assure my the dates are changed. i call them liars. again, they assure me. i usually have to submit to their incompetence cause by then i am just so frustrated.

i am done trying to get what i paid for.
kellyanne67
Oh never mind I found it. sorry.
kellyanne67
Where can you purchase the lte sim card for AT&? I can't find it at walmart.com nor is it shown on the smarttalk site...
Shorelines
Do NOT order your phone online from Straight Talk. They sent me a defective phone (LG Optimus Ultimate) that would not move beyond "security error" when I tried to turn it on. I wasn't surprised because the phone seemed cheap right out of the box. I was forced to pay for the postage myself to return the phone! So they sent me a defective phone, and because I didn't want it replaced with another piece of crap phone, I got to spend $15 to send it back! Nice customer service!
peecom
I switched to straight talk 2 months ago for my wife and son's phones. I purchased new phone from Motorola and switched my wife's phone from AT&T. I purchased the sim cards ahead of time. I activated my son's sim and service was on almost instantly and when I switched my wifes number over from AT&T it took only 15 minutes to switch the number to the straight talk sim after activation. I did every thing online no problems we receive the same quality of service we did from AT&T with half the bill. I was easy and convenient. There is almost no reason to have to call any one. Help online is very clear and using the online services is easy. And when using the AT&T Straight talk sim I did not need to immediately need to unlock my wife's HTC One X it just worked no problem. I think if the only thing I need to sacrifice is doing most of the transactions online for the cheapest unlimited service going I can live with that. I have used online tech support chat and they were fast and helpful.
hugos
like most of you, verizon has the best coverage in my area. how can i find a list of verizon compatible phones that i can use on straight talk? the link http://www.flumongu7s.com/ does not include verizon in their compatibility info. thanks
andrelv
Nightmare ... auto-refill charge is just crazy ... worst customer service ever. They just don't care about you.
st3v3nru55
With Straight Talk you have the choice between Verizon, At&t, and T-Mobile networks. Find the one that has the best service in your area, buy a compatible phone for that network, and set it up with Straight Talk. You can find a variety of compatible phones at http://www.flumongu7s.com
crunchem
Do not use auto-refill - they (Straight Talk) charged my credit card for three service plans @ 45 each when I had two phones. When I quit using one of the phones, they charged me two times for the remaining one phone. I caught this two months into my service, then watched it two more months. They deny all wrongdoing. I now purchase a card at Wal-Mart every month. My bank is no help either - they say I received air time for the charges, but I did not.

Service is ok, it's cheap, the iPhone we bought from them is ok. They are just fraudulent in their business practices. Use at your own risk.
carolinablueheels
switched from verizon to straight talk a couple of months ago using two existing cell phones, a Samsung Galaxy S (original) and HTC. Both worked fine, great service, no problems, used $45 plan on each, saved $45 over Verizon. Decided to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S III from straight talk and toss the HTC. Samusung S III is a great phone, not a problem with it BUT......it runs on Sprint towers instead of Verizon. The HTC and Samsung Galaxy S thru Straight Talk ran on Verizon towers. After 18, yes...18 phone calls to customer service (last one today),told me that the Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Sprint, not Verizon as my other phone. Asked if they had a S III that ran on Verizon towers, they said no. I asked if I could return the phone (had it since 12/8/13) they said no, have to buy a different phone that runs on their Verizon network but no refunds for the new phone. FRUSTRATING. Am in 27707 zip, work in 27616. Terrible service with Sprint towers and NO help from Straight Talk
roseyposey
So far I have not been able to port my At&t phone over to Straight Talk. I purchased two minutes cards and two sim cards to switch my phone and my husband's phone. When I attempted to port my phone, the customer service person told me my sim card was not working and they would have to send me another one. When I attempted to activate the second sim card, they told me my minutes card had expired, and now the second sim card won't work either. So far, this seems like a huge ripoff. I have spent $114 on Stright Talk products and am still stuck on expensive At&t service.
porterboston
If you know who has the better network in your area, att or verizon, buy a phone that uses that network.
porterboston
I have had their $45 plan for over 2 years. No problem with the plan with ATT phone. But the Nokia phone crashed and memory was full 4-5 times. I use voice, text and get my emails so it never really was full. Customer service never took that long to get to and only once was there a communication problem. Now getting added to a company ATT plan I get different answers from cs all the time. Makes st look good. Add to it the price and it is a winner. I feel I will be back if this gig ends.
tim.mattson.948
All I can say is I had been getting good service and have referred many people to Straight Talk.
The operative word is "had".
Since changing to this new CHINESE phone (ZTE) my signal is non-existent. Now I either have to go back to my old phone or change carriers.
Customer service has always been terrible. Thankfully, I haven't needed to use it much.
To the knuckleheads who think negative posts are a conspiracy by the "big boys", really? All I can say is , WOW.
timothyf7
I have only notified the Better Business Bureau twice in my life. Both times were about StraightTalk's Customer Service. This last time, just this week, I called to change the credit card on file for my auto-refill on my phones. My credit card number was stolen over the Holidays and I had to get a new card. The first Rep I talked with could barely speak English and didn't understand what I was trying to do. After about 10 minutes of him fumbling around, I asked to speak to a Supervisor and he refused. I hung up and called back. I got a different Rep and in 5 minutes he fixed everything... I thought. Two days later, my phone is off. I called again. This time the Rep went through everything again and said it was fixed. I told her that I wanted my minutes back, since something the first rep did closed my account. She said they didn't give minutes. Asked for Supervisor, he said he fixed it. Got up the next morning and both phones are deactivated. Still trying - 4 days later.
jazz12
Customer service is non-existent. They also charged me for one week of service I never received. Can't resolve the problem because there is no customer service. "Call back in two hours" Quality of voice transmission is poor. As soon as I recuperate cost to buy into this service, I will leave it. Would not recommend this to anyone.
bradnicholson07
I purchased the Iphone 5s from walmart.com on 12/15. I was a Verizon contract customer for years and was going to port over the number from Verizon to Straight Talk. I was paying $118 a month with taxes and was simply looking to save money. I activated the phone on 12/18. I had to call customer service and reached a human who spoke english within a minute. He was very helpful. He did everything to get the phone ported over and within 4 hours the phone had been activated. After 3 days, the service is great, the phone, data and texting works fine as far as I could tell. It works as good at my house and my work as my old iphone did on Verizon. So far, i couldnt be more satisfied. I NEVER write reviews for anything and just want people to know of my good experience.
vwoom
Btw, for the record I was a very long time T-Mobile customer. I was with them since 2003(!) on a 1yr contract(!) via Amazon. Just last year, I jumped ship to Straight Talk using the same T-Mobile network. Granted, customer service is somewhat subpar (I see no huge contrast from T-Mob when I was with them, really), network and data service is more than what I need. I get strong signals where ever I am in Los Angeles.

I was a hold-out of an unlocked Android Gingerbread Acer Liquid MT for so long (had been getting only 3-5Mbps with it). Now with a locked T-Mobile LG G2, it runs superbly and I don't need to purchase a new microSIM. Since for some reason, a new microSIM via Walmart.com would not work on my zip code, I resorted to trimming my old standard SIM card to a microSIM. Never been happier with my Straight Talk service.
vwoom
"GSM phones have SIM cards and must be unlocked to operate on Straight Talk's compatible frequencies, 850MHz and 1900MHz...."

Not true. I am running a just purchased T-Mobile locked LG G2 D801 and had the APN configured to run on my old SIM card trimmed to microSIM Straight Talk/T-Mobile $45 plan. Everything is running perfect. I am near a T-Mobile tower and get 14-15Mbps 4G LTE easy.
jgamb
I'm contemplating switching from Verizon's exorbitant fees to this service. Reading the comments, I decided to test ST's customer service response time via the Facebook chat support feature. Either I was miraculously fortunate, or the stories about taking hours to reach a person are wildly overblown - I had a human chatting with me within 5 seconds of submitting a request.

Whether or not they could actually resolve any issue I had, that remains to be seen. They typed in excellent English, comprehended my questions, and were very polite.

Take these reviews with a grain of salt, or better yet give ST a shakedown run like I did. I don't know if the service is great, but I can debunk the responsiveness complaints.
LEjohn1
We have been using this company since 2011 with no problems. We have introduced ST to family and friends who have had the same experience. Their customer service is practically non existent. However, their business model is pretty straight forward: cheap service on the big boys' networks. If you have a problem of some sort it's generally during the setup. Once that's resolved you don't need them any more. This is certainly no different than with the major's over the years. If a person uses more data than the "average" person, they will throttle you. If you read the fine print, all the majors will do the same thing via a clause referred to as "best practices" option. In summary, it is awesome to finally have some genuine competition in the cell phone business. It behooves the wise shopper to be aware that the big boys are frightened enough to use any tactic they can to discourage us from switching from their over-priced, extortionary, price gouging schemes. For what it's worth.
LEjohn1
Just a word of warning to those who would be hesitant to consider doing business with Straight Talk after reading all the negative "comments" on this thread. Do to the cut-throat, destroy the competition at any cost mentality of big business these days, comments made on these kind of public forums must be taken with a grain of salt. Big companies literally pay firms to monitor the internet and use paid trolls, posing as regular people, to attack the competition. We have found that person-to-person, word-of-mouth evaluations and personal experience about products/companies from people you know, is the best and most reliable source of information.
julia911
I recently switched to ST and can't tell the difference from the ATT plan that was costing me almost twice as much. The service so far is flawless. I don't do much high data activity--little video streaming and no tethering--but for average use I have great connectivity and speed.

I'm surprised customer service is the big issue. I called ST a few times when getting set up, always spoke with a live, polite, and competent human, and never experienced wait times. My dealings with them were in late November, so just before this post went up, and maybe they've made some dramatic improvements to CS since the research for this post was done? They could not address my main problem, which was the phone that ATT would not unlock, but they were correct that there was nothing they could do about that.

In my experience, ST is a good bet for the average user. I would only suggest switching when you're ready to get a new phone, because getting ATT to unlock was a joke.
prim
ST works great for me. We have an IPhone and Samsung S3 Mini. Both were on ATT. We then switched to T-Mobile to save money and it didn't work. Then switched to ST and works great. Set up on iphone was a little complicated at first. Very happy with the ST service and the savings.
ladyme
Past summer upgraded my phone and plan to a Samsung Gallaxy3.Specifically told I would connect through Verizon or AT&T. Horrible coverage, dropped calls, Unable to connect to network area.. Never more then one bar reception. Here and out of state.
Spoke with 4 levels of tech support. Top guy tells me I connect to Sprint (useless where I live)
Today called customer service..Wasted an hour and got # for supervisor.Call supervisor # and was told they could do nothing unless I call from area I have no network error. um ok I need to knock on someone's door and ask a total stranger to make a long distance phone call to customer service to tell them I have no network?This same supervisor also tells me that 2 months after they sold me SG3 they switched to have all connect through Verizon. But, they won't replace my useless $400 phone for exact same phone that connects through Verizon.
Totally lied to, ripped off and looking to file formal complaint somewhere? FCC
jcmpli
Fake 4g LTE on ST
I have super fast 4g LTE phone. Speed test shows 20MB download speed. However, When I go to You Tube and try to play video it take up to a minute just to load and start play the video.( the same is true with other sites with video contents) When the video is played the following happens:
- quality of the video it is poor and grainy.
- Buffering repeatedly.
On WiFi the experience is the exact opposite. It plays super fast and flawlessly.
I cleared the data ( the phone is brand new) in my YT app but no change.
I think that something new is happening here. How is it possible that with 20MB DL speed I cannot ply video.
It is possible that ST found a new way to further confuse and therefor mislead their customers.
If anyone is experiencing the same please post your experience.
kenny.redman.3
Absolutely horrendous customer service. I have been with straight talk for over a year, and typically I don’t have to deal with them directly, but after trying to transfer my number to a new phone I have had nothing but problems. I'm on day five now, and 4 plus hours of customer service phone time, and not only has my number not been activated, they have cut the service to my old phone while they try to fix the problem. STAY AWAY!!! T-Mobile offers the same service for just $5 more a month. Trust me the few bucks savings is not worth it. I'm leaving them straight talk as soon as I'm able to use the phone again.
SeaStar6411
I have been with Straight Talk for 3 years. It has been a good choice for me. Never had any issues with the service. I had been wanting to upgrade to a smart phone and purchased the Windows 8 phone. I did have to call customer service to activate the phone as I couldn't do it through the website. I had no issues. The cs rep was pleasant and helpful. She said it may take up to 24 hours for the phone to activate, but that I would be able to use my old phone till then. Well, it activated in 10 minutes. The only place that I don't have phone service is at my job, which is fine by me as I am too busy to be using my phone.
dealnews-Lindsay
@BigTfromNC The comment cut off because you used an HTML symbol. You meant to indicate "more than" but our site (like most out there) read this as HTML and displayed the copy accordingly. Since you didn't "close" the HTML at any point, it read your comment as an open tag. That's why it cuts off and never comes back. Try posting again without that.
BigTfromNC
Swapped the wife's Iphone 4 from AT&T last October at $90/month including taxes, to Straight Talk at
Av8r400
What a crappy company! I tried to buy 4 iPhone's from them on different orders and they black listed me and cancelled the second order. I spent over four hours of my life trying to correct the situation and get my name off the black list, to no avail. They promised to fix the problem and call me back in twenty four hours. Do you think they called? Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed no. I called to get the particular information on how to return the phones and they said that they would give me two free months of service if I activated the phones today. Are you kidding? No way, no how these phones are going back. I know I will have to eat the $90.00 for the two non refundable service cards but good riddance, a small price to pay to get straight talk out of my life. I hope they go out of business!
m004120
Horrible. After doing some research and asking questions at my local Walmart, I decided to port my Boost Mobile phone to Straightalk. What a nightmare. Last Wednesday I tried to activate my service online. I could not do it so I called customer (cough) service. They managed to charge my debit card twice and still could not activate my phone. After three days with no service I was told I could not port my phone. Now I am told that I am screwed out of the $50 plus $16 because I did not read the fine print. I spent almost two hours on the phone just to get the double charge taken care of. And it will be 15 - 30 business days for the refund. Complete and total crap.
elainebrown5245961
It is a joke. A week after getting my phone, the texting stopped working. On the phone with the tech for over an hour, finally got it working again. Three weeks later the same thing happened. The Wal-Mart tech was on the phone with them over an hour but it did no good. I called them, the same thing. They basically said too bad, so sad. I persisted and finally they said they would send me a new phone. But I had to return the old one first. I am a 61-year-old woman living alone and this is my only phone, so NO! I stood firm again and they finally promised to send the new one first. It never arrived. I contacted them and they reneged on their promise. Now I am dealing only with Wal-Mart and plan to report them to the attorney general of their state.
brp5
Straight Talk customer service is an absolute nightmare of a joke! One they do not speak English... so good luck getting your point across and let me suggest you NEVER use there automated system for payment. If it's down due to IT issues it will lock the system and your debit or credit card information in the automated system and when it's brought back online.... guess what?! Your card will be charged as many times as you have attempted to pay it. Good luck on getting any refund! I am so disgusted with this company that not only has my bank faxed them information about Straight Talk charging me several times in 1 month, I have also tried their corporate office and am now going to the Better Business Service to make a formal complaint. Go with a different pre-paid service or trust me, you will have the same issues!!!! We are switching 5 phones from this carrier ASAP!!!!!
georgie430
I was under the impression that a 45.00 card will buy me 30 days of active service. 30 days, what does 30
days mean?? Do you get a full 30 days, meaning 30 (24 hr. periods)?? Or do you get 30 calendar days??

Its 9:30 pm, I need to activate my phone a Samsung S2. I will probably loose 21 hrs of one day. Also there contract states that for unlimited, which I'm ($45.00 unlimited) if I 'REFILL' my card before my time is up, I
forfeit my existing time, really, how can that be?? If I DO NOT refill before my time expires I may loose my phone number. BUT if I give them ST my Visa # I'll be just right. Really read the contract.

I would have agreed to the auto pay with my credit card, I prefer automatic payments. Just don't trust this company, they don't mean what they advertise.
so_frustrated
I have had straighttalk for over 3 years and up until this last month or so have absolutely loved my service with them! I mean you cant beat the price right?? I bought an iPhone 4 in Feb of this year and hooked it up to straighttalk with no issues until this last month. (when IOS7 came out) then out of no where i was unable to use my 3g connection anywhere and could only use my aps and internet and lets no forget iMessage unless i had wifi connection. I called straighttalk and they had me update my phone, great! Worked no problem until i went to send a picture to a friend who doesnt have an iPhone! Ive dealt with this problem for a few weeks and I finally got tired of it so i called straighttalk. They told me to read the terms of service, WHAT?? It worked before!! Why is it not working now?? They told me to resolve the issue i need to GOOGLE MY ISSUE! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I, ME, HAS TO GOOGLE THE ISSUE???????? ISNT THAT WHY THEY HAVE TECH SUPPORT????
benalexj
I have had Straight Talk for over 2 years in Southeast Alabama. I have the same coverage as my friends at less than half the price with a few restrictions(no hotspot). My wife and my phone bill is now less than the single phone I had with Verizon.
kvgreen
I really hoped that this service (straight talk) would work. However, after spending a DAY working on this (mostly on hold and trying to decipher their online system), I gave up. I hope that someday a company like this will get AT&T and Verizon to lower their fees. However, at this point it is not worth the aggravation and poor service.
MattAustin15
This is the worst service I've ever had. They're customer service and actual cell phone service is absolutely atrocious. They shut my service off when I tried to port my number out leaving me unable to transfer my number. If you're considering straight talk please save yourself the time and money and look into something else.
jpben
Just activated an iPhone4 from WalMart. Phone works as expected, very impressed with the cell/data connection.

HOWEVER, took 3 days to get number transfered ... it was a fiasco. They are located in Asia, but spoke very good English. Each ran me through same steps over and over, each time I was supposedly sent to a higher level of CustServ. I reset phone 6 times and re-setup w/ iTunes, etc. They simply read from a guide, have no idea what is really going on. At one point they had me drive to the cell tower ("seriously, you want me to drive to the cell tower ...") even though had 3 of 5 bars where I was. This was useless.
Bottom line after 5 hrs w/ 6 or 7 CustServ ppl over 3 days was that our number was mixed up with another number and ours (we had for 12 years) was assigned to someone else (we probably had theirs). "Ahh, your cell number is not assigned to your phone correctly ...". "No Sh_t! I've been telling you that for 3 days!" He had it fixed in 5 minutes.

Works great now.
gangof6
I e got a pantec 8010 that was giving to me, nice phonegot a simms card from straight talk put it in and activated it in 5minutes the pantec went from at&t service to straight talk.service no trouble.the signal and service is outstanding every where ive went.gonna save a lot of money with this simms switch,it was way to easy.had to change the apn setting which was provided by straight talk and bam!! pic mess and everything else worked great. best 6dollars ive ever spent. gonna sell my galaxy s11 phone that has virgin mobile on it for 200.00 has 2 extra capaasity batteries that goes with it, hardly used and with box and case
cheryl2020
I've had no problems in the Tampa Bay area using my own ATT GSM LTE phone on Straight Talk. It did NOT have to be unlocked. I use WiFi wherever possible. There are thousands of ATT Hot Spots and open wifi networks here so I've never been throttled. I use my phone for navigation, browsing, Pandora. I don't watch much TV or YouTube. When I started my service they weren't offering LTE sims but I haven't had any issues with ATT's 4G network. I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket. Now that they offer LTE service I'll switch to my other phone, the Galaxy S III.

I'm about to switch my husband's Note to Straight Talk.

The only question I have is how do I get the Jelly Bean upgrade? ATT is pushing it out (I can't get it through Kies Air) but IO'm not getting it.
linky2013
I purchased the activation kit yesterday for $60. I used the BYOP option. I checked beforehand that I could use this phone and it is unlocked. Guess what? I cannot make or receive calls even though I activated the phone and account 24+ hours ago. I emailed and called customer service and was told "wait another 24 hours". Are they stopping the countdown on my 30 days I purchased? Nope. I think I just learned a $60 lesson. Read and trust reviews on these types of things. I will gladly enter into a contract and pay a little more to actually be able to use my phone. Sprint....I'm coming home.
iohvia
I feel dump to bought the Straight Talk simcard and refill value package almost $60 at Walmart. I asked the customer service would working to my unlock phone. They told me that would work, so I don't need to buy the phone from Straight Talk. After I activated the simcard to put on unlocked GSM phone, it is not working and no signal to show, I have a (I phone 3, Nokia Express, AT&T Samsung unlocked phones). None of phone could detect the signal and I spend an hrs for trouble shooting and still didn't working. They told me go the different area to try. This was a worst tech support in my life. I tried to return at Walmart and they won't refund to me and I contacted the Straight Talk and they won't refund to me either. I would not this company to my friend or family. Yesterday, I bought a T mobile same type and working great
77mercedes
I have straight talk and I am pleased with the service plan with unlimited data, texts and minutes but the customer service is straight from HELL !!!!! Anytime you need help in changing phones or get it disconnected.......they are pretty well worthless. Unbelievably incompetent.............the last 2 times I have had to call for assistance, I spent 3 hours on the phone.total. So, in summary, its good for saving money but if you need help with technical or other issues.......God help you !!!!!!!!!!!!!
gserrano69
If you don't have to lead with costumer service, you will be happy with the Straight talk service. I just to have ATT service, after switch to straight talk, the signal STILL THE SAME AS ATT. It looks like I never changed service company. The only difference is the price. With Att I just to pay 106.00 monthly, now with Straight talk I pay only $45.00 a month, what a change. !!!
JayJones
Very Disappointed...I wanted to give Straight Talk(TracFone)a fair shake, the price is reasonable and no contract. Everything was fine until my son's phone stopped working.($200.00 LG Optimus)The journey began with a few calls to a customer service phone number to nowhere.(really) After a few more calls & emails I finally talked to someone, a few transfers later they did agreed the phone was under warranty and would be replaced,(3 months old)and then hung-up twice.(really)This was day one, one week later, more calls and emails. I'm still waiting for mailing info so I can mail phone out. This customer service experience has been nothing short of laughable, a complete spin-cycle routine. Walmart, clearly has not thought out the customer service aspect of Straight Talk or frankly doesn't care. If you bring your own phone to the party you're probably okay. Again, very disappointed, (2) stars is possibly a generous rating.
habahnahdah
@Lindsay --Hi, you may want to once again update your reported Straight Talk unlimited data usage threshold. As of somewhere around the beginning of October 2013 (not sure of the exact date), Straight Talk has clarified their data threshold description as in fact being a fixed amount reflecting a soft-cap of 2.5 GB per 30-day cycle.

From their revised clause in the Terms and Conditions:

"...and up to 2.5 GB of high speed data for each 30 day plan cycle. If the 2.5 GB threshold is reached, data speed will be reduced to 2G for the remainder of that plan cycle. High speed data is restored once a new 30 day service plan begins at the end of your last 30 day plan cycle."
habahnahdah
@DJghr1 ...I'm thinking that your problem is phone based. I can link and unlink my e-mail notifications by adjusting a few settings. And remember, coverage and lack thereof are also based on the phone you are using as well as the network the phone uses. Straight Talk uses all four of the main carriers depending on the specific device being used. My Straight Talk phone uses the AT&T network. My neighbor down the street has Straight Talk service using Sprint and he is always complaining about a weak signal where I have a strong signal not only at home but anywhere in my town where the guy down the street has spotty coverage in a number of places . Our town does not have strong Sprint coverage but excellent AT&T and Verizon coverage. I do agree with your entertaining description of their customer service reps although the ones I have had contact with have been relatively good even though they were indeed reading from a script at times.
DJghr1
Their phone towers must be far apart, for I can't even get calls in my house and I have to walk outside to even answer the phone, if not the reception's bad from the get-go.
Once you link your phone to your email, you'll be forever reminded of any email you get via text.
I tried to unlink my email to my phone but the reps can't seem to understand English and the Reps can only respond from their pre-rehearsed answers from their trainee Q&A book.
I've tried multiple times via email and customer service, but they do is tell me they'll put me on the "do not call" list and then tell me via email how to change my ringtone!!! It's getting frustrating!
AGAIN: DO NOT LINK YOUR PERSONAL EMAIL TO YOUR CELL PHONE UNLESS YOU PLAN ON CHECKING IT REGULARLY VIA YOUR PHONE...and be prepared to be notified for every single email you get, day or night, with no "unlink" option available.
splizzrinkle
Here is a WARNING for all Straight Talk customers. If you are purchasing a plan online and receive any type error from the straight talk website, or you briefly loose your internet connection.. DO NOT continue the transaction. Close the browser window and start over from scratch or you WILL be double charged. The worst part is it takes 30 days to receive a refund for their mistake. Why is it "their" mistake you say? It's simple, as a full time programmer i can tell you it is a severe coding mistake that adds the same query twice to the sql database without checking for duplicate attributes. To make matters worse they are VERY aware of this issue, ad have been for several years now with no attempts to correct it. Also, calling customer service will get you no where 95% of the time, as they are unable to handle the volume of calls. The best, and Fastest way to get issues resolved is to use LIVE CHAT via Facebook.
htbanita60
n with straight talk for years no problem I got the android phone and I was on a app utube well the next thing I knew my internt was shut off i called they told me I broke a rule internet is not unlimited you will get speed cut down if your on it to much and if you watch a video you loose your 45 dollar plan and I hate trying to talk to customer service they suck I've had my phone shut off my number changed and when I sent my phone in for repair one time they lost my phone they have cheated me out of a 150 dollar phone to a fifty dollar phone I've loat a lot of days minutes and noneybwith straight talk
dixievixen
I just bought a new LG 236C Cell phone and the $30.00 1000/1000 plan. I have not opened it yet or activated it. While reading the comments I am wondering if I have to have the new phone or can I use my current LG Verizone phone with Straight Talk? I also need to know how to transfer all my phone #'s to the new phone if I am unable to use the LG I already have. Also is it true about losing the use of Verizon towers ? Any information for a first time usedr is greatly appreciated.
nlw013
the worse customer service ever!!! here i sit another week without a cell phone cause they cant do there jobs right. i haven't had a phone in over a week they were suppost to send me a package to send my broken phone and then send me a replacement phone i have yet to get the package. just the other day i called them to see whats going on and they said we just sent out the package and will take 3-5 business days..remind you all thats just to ship out my piece of crap phone and have to wait longer just for a replacement phone.
sallywhite
I thought Straight Talk was a wonderful service & told everyone until I had to call customer service. What a nightmare! I had enrolled for auto-refill using my credit card account for my niece's straight talk phone. They would send an email to my niece but not one to me. After speaking to 2 different customer reps, a supervisor and a manager, they still refused to send me an email stating that I had elected to un-enroll from the auto refill plan using MY credit card. It's usually standard business procedure to give verification but they said they could not. It was a simple request but they said no and said I was being unreasonable. I don't understand how a business can run this way. I'm suppose to take their word for it? I wished I hadn't bought my sister a phone also (almost got one for myself) and now have to pay for their service. I extremely regret my decision.
Josephinetoaf
Bought the unlimited international and national plan for $60 plus $15 for SIM card and paid for shipping. Was cheated. It doesn't work. Calls are dropped and not able to use the data plan either in unlocked iPhone. Unable to call internationally as well. Had to purchase separate global calling card from them. Took 2 weeks to arrive. Difficult to rech customer service but they did try to help. Definitely a waste of time and money.
tdogg1048
Aside from their phones being unable to hold a charge after a short period of time, now my data service as well was suspended and without Warning".
Yes, maybe this is in the fine print, but I paid for this service that should include as stated "Unlimited talk, text, and Data";. IF your going to limit your customers, and shut off their internet completely , don't hide behind the gate like a dog with it's tail between it's legs, show that and make it loud and clear.. This just makes you look like a 'wannabe' phone carrier that will Never live up to the expectations of your competitors. I just recently received an email letting me know that I will be charged for the next month in accordance with my last form of payment; which I never authorized.
Every time I call and actually get to talk to a person, the language barrier is atrocious, and the worst customer service I have experienced in my life;I wouldnt recommend their service to anyone.
@AlleninTennessee I coudn't agree more. unlawful.
thrdjhn4
The customer service is terrible! A couple of weeks ago my phone just quit working and they wanted me to mail it back to them before sending me a new one. After almost 2 hours on the phone (I used my husband's cell because they would not deal with this via e-mail) they told me to go and purchase a cheap phone until mine could be replaced and they gave me 2 months of free service. Well, today is to be my first day of the new month and they have de-activated my phone due to non-payment. And, again, they do not want to deal with me unless I call them. Unfortunately, it will be mid evening before I have access to another phone. DO NOT GO WITH STRAIGHT TALK! by the way, my original phone was $149 and they replaced it with a refurbished $99 one.
rustykeighron
First heard about this through Clark Howard and knew that it was 'legit' if he recommended it. My wife was on Verizon and VERY resistant to changing; was spending about $80 / month. She has been on it now for 3 years and we couldn't be happier. Agreed at the lack of decent customer service, but the only time I had much interaction was when we ported her old number over to ST. A US based person assisted and it went very well. Have been some issues with it not posting 'future credits' (ie. when adding new credits before the time was up and zeroing out the prior balance) but now buy 6 month cards. Highly recommended.
ssc1234
anybody using an unlocked at&t blackberry torch on the straight talk plan. i have read that straight talk doesn't support blackberry, but they are not offering a blackberry curve as one of their 'phones' on the website. would love to not have to buy a new phone right now . . . .
bunkblount
I have an android smartphone from straight talk and it came with very low internal memory because it has so many apps already installed it makes it impossible to send video messages. It does not play videos well because it will stop and load alot while trying to play them . It gets good service with wifi but its not always availible. It also has a tendency to shut down when your on the internet. They're really needs to be a better way to get all the pre installed apps off your phone. Right now you can't even get rid of them
earldp86
Do any of you have information regarding AT&T and Verizon dropping Straight Talk. I was told today that AT&T and Verizon stopped letting Straight Talk use their towers and that Straight Talk is now using the Boost towers. Please respond with any information or facts. Thank you.
earldp86
My new Straight Talk Galaxy Centura smartphone was just activated last night. I have no experience with smartphones. I was told today that Straight Talk lost the ability to use the AT&T and Verizon cell towers, and is now connected with Boost mobile. Therefore, if true, their advertising coverage across America is false. Does anyone have any information on this?
dealnews-Lindsay
@jarob99 To be fair, that's the day this article was first published.
jarob99
Isn't it interesting that all the positive comments are posted on March 11th?
jedisme
Beware! Customer service is terrible. The attendants are polite, but very limited on the help they can offer in a problem situation. Twice I have had a problem they can not help resolve. One attendant even said they have a script to follow and that there were no supervisors or management I could be forwarded to. Yes their price is good compared to the big guys, but that's only good if you don't have a problem. I would caution everyone to think twice.
AlleninTennessee
I m getting pretty frustrated with StraightTalk. I was marketed and sold a plan that claims to be Unlimited. For $45/Month + taxes and fees I was lead to believe that I was purchasing unlimited voice, text and data.

On June 21, 2013 I received an automated call from StraightTalk informing me that I had been categorized as an "excessive user" (I averaged 1.5 gigabytes a month this year) and that my data speeds were being reduced (they meant to say discontinued).
I have reviewed StraightTalk's Terms of Use and although there are statements in section 6 of that document stating that users can be terminated for misuse (it defines misuse) it states no monthly data limit.
And, I have NEVER engaged in any of their prohibited uses described in section 6 of the Terms of Use statement.


I think that this type of misleading advertising should be unlawful.
Dryfter
I now have 9 months of HALF of the service I paid for with a company I no longer wish anything to do with, and cannot afford to purchase a new phone (because ST doesnt allow you to use their phones on another service) along with a subscription with a more reputable company. I have not violated the terms of the agreement, nor used an abnormally high amount of internet on my phone (just over 1GB according to a program I use which monitors that sort of thing). I recieved no warning, and have not once gotten a CS rep to speak to me regarding it. I am joining thousands of others in a class action lawsuit vs. this awful company, and I suggest anyone else ripped off do the same. DO NOT JOIN STRAIGHT TALK! THEY WILL ROB YOU.
Dryfter
ST is lying to you. I live in florida, where the electricity (and inter-webs) goes out VERY frequently, due to inclement weather. I own a Galaxy S2, sold by ST, and was 3 months into a YEAR pre-paid subscription. 3 days into the month, my data was turned off. Not throttled, not slowed down. Turned completely off. When I called to try to fix it, the CS rep (Mark, he said his name was, though in my imagination, 'Mark' MUST have rhymed with Gupta, or an equally Indian name) told me he was transferring me to a higher level of care, at which point I was treated to a 5 minute recording about the trials of high internet usage, and then given the digital equivalent of a middle finger, as there were no options to do anything other than hear the message again.
maryjwise
I use straight talk. Its great ..I can talk to my family all month for $45 and will continue to save money using their service ..Everyone should use it :) lol
maryland_lawyer
I use Straight Talk. Have been a customer since 2009. It works great and I save a ton of money.

The customer service gets bad reviews, but I have actually had good experiences both times I had to call (when I got a new phone).

My big complaint is the no-frills account summaries. You cannot look online to see who you've called (because it is unlimited I guess).
jcauthorn
I'm looking forward to trying Straight Talk this fall when I can unlock my iPhone from AT&T and give it to my daughter for college.
It still bothers me though, that phone companies take this kind of attitude: "Two examples of the most common unauthorized uses are tethering the phone to other devices to access the internet or continuous, uninterrupted live video streaming (such as live webcams)."
Considering there's no hard limit on data, I understand the tethering aspect (to a point, but come on, data is data) because they want to limit the amount of data you actually use.
But this idea that live video streaming like live webcams? So I'm not supposed to use facetime, skype, oovoo or any similar way to video chat?
I'd like to get to the point where we could just encrypt all traffic to get as close as possible to the "data is data" model.
jbtaurus98
I've been using Straight Talk since about 2010. The first I heard of it was from the podcast here. Originally, I had a cheap gophone for service. I have since bought a couple of phones off ebay to use, and now using a Nexus 4. Same ATT network as anyone else. When I test my speeds, it's 3-7 mbs inside, and 5-7 outside. Thank you dealnews for helping me find this.
mrkibbles
After I bought a Nexus 4, I recently switched from Verizon to ST with an ATT SIM card. For the first 2 months, everything was fine and dandy, but the past month has been extremely frustrating. About a month ago, ST stopped offering AT&T sim cards, and for the past couple weeks, I have experienced a severe decrease in data speeds. I don't tether, I use
vwoom
Definitely worth the switch to Straight Talk MVNO $45 Unlim Min/Txt/Data (coming out from 9yrs on T-Mob), though I still use the TMobile network. I get 6-8Mbps regularly where I'm at in Los Angeles. The nearest competition comparable to ST $45 is the $30 T-Mob/Walmart collab Unlim Data/100min prepaid. 100 min usage will be gone in no time for the average user. Go beyond the 100min allotted, you pay 0.40 cents/min additional.If you use only up to 37.5 minutes ($15, difference vs ST) tops, you break even with the ST $45 plan. Go over, well too bad. With the ST plan, no worries, no hassles for me at all. My best $45 well spent!!
mattd1971
Good experience for me in about 3 months of use. Switched from Virgin Mobile. Biggest issue is that sometimes I lose my data connection about once or twice a month. But if I turn off my data connection in the Settings and turn it back on again, then data is fine again. I'm not a heavy data user. Mostly email and occasional web surfing. I'm satisfied with the speed. Streaming seems to be discouraged by Straight Talk. I've got a iPhone 4 running OS 6.1. Some dropped calls, but nothing outrageous. I think it's using the AT&T network here in DC, as the phone was an AT&T iPhone that I unlocked.
Steveg_va
Switched from AT&T to ST almost a year ago, once I was out of contract with AT&T, and AT&T unlocked my iPhone 4 with a very courteous phone call. Transferred my phone number with less than half hour delay time. Followed some online procedures to point the phone at ST MVNO, and a long and involved one (editing a lengthy config file via iTunes on the desktop) to set up MMS without having to jailbreak the phone. Problem for me was that once an iOS update from Apple was applied, the MMS went south, and all I could do was SMS texting. Not a huge problem for me, and I have been too lazy to reedit the config file. Quality of service identical to when I was an AT&T customer. Like many users, I use my phone mainly on WiFi, and I don't make huge demands of the MVNO network when I'm away from WiFi. But, whatever the minor issues (like no MMS), its worth it to pay $45 monthly to ST rather than over $80 monthly to AT&T.
Bakershack
I unlocked two iPhone 4's last September, before they offered iPhones with StraightTalk. While the voice service worked fine, it was a nightmare getting the data to work with the unlocked iPhones due to the AT&T phones not having the Cellular Data screen that allowed editing the cellular data settings. ST said the iPhones were not "completely unlocked". AT&T confirmed that they were. We had to go through a service out of New Zealand to get the data settings changed, after which the data only worked intermittently. Data is critical for both my wife and me, so we switched back after a couple of months. I expect the data service works much better with the iPhones bought specifically for ST, but dealing with ST's customer service during that time has kept me from trying them again.
jgbodog
I switched my wife and I over to Straight Talk in November. I got 2 AT&T iphone 4s off of craigslist and had AT&T factory unlock the phones through a simple form on their site. I then purchased a couple of Straight Talk AT&T micro sim cards. I also picked up one of the free T-mobile micro sim cards so that I could do a card swap and manually input the mms settings without having to worry about jailbreaking. We are currently running the latest version of ios have traveled extensively in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan and have had consistently great 4g hspa+ everywhere we have been. We absolutely love Straight Talk.
pkka
Two of us switched from Sprint to Straight Talk about nine months ago and are using an iPhone 4s and 3GS purchased used from eBay. Setup was not automatic but not a big deal. Our existing numbers were ported over within an hour. Phone reception is the same as with Sprint, data has not been throttled as far as I know. We're saving about $70 a month for unlimited phone, data & text.
One thing to watch out for -- if your service lapses you lose can your phone number permanently. So we buy refills (from Walmart online which delivers the number by email) in 3 month increments and make sure we renew ahead of time.
blue_ridge_hiker
I've got an iPhone 3GS on straightalk AT&T sim (t mobile won't service in my area is worthless). I transferred my # from my old straightalk phone with no problems. You have to jailbreak the phone to get MMS and the best you can do for data is a 3G connection but since I don't even have that in my area I don't mind. I haven't upgrade the OS to 6 due to other comments I've read. Everything works great on 5. As said by others, customer service is horrendous due to the language barrier but at least they always respond in a timely manner. For the price, you really can't beat the service.
smashdavis
The set up is pretty painful between customer service and just trying to change the MMS settings, picking the right SIM card, knowing you can and can't buy at walmart. However, once it is set up it has been seamless. The coverage and SIM card was an ATT ST card. I am using a google nexus 4. I realized that I am wifi most of the time so I can't speak to the choking of data, yet. If you are signing up for the first time, you get decent cash back at FW in your buy direct from ST. Overall, better than a 2 year contract plan.
95m3ltw
Part II,

I switched from T Mobile to ST, using their T Mobile sim card. From my experience, I can't tell any difference at all with the service compared to when I was with Tmobile on contract. Except my bill is 50% less!!! I've not used customer service so can't comment about that aspect though many complain at ST less than stellar customer service. The bigger issue is finding useful information before you switch, the ST website does not provide useful info in regards to what sim you get, deciding on which to use such as TM or ATT. I finally found a local Walmart that actually sells the sim cards, which is supposedly the only store in the state of GA that actually carries the sim kit. FYI, the retail sim kit contains 3 sim cars. A normal sized T Mobile and ATT sim, plus a Micro Sim ATT card for iPhones. The kit is $59, $15 for the cards and 1 month of $45 service. Activating was simple and painless btw.
95m3ltw
It would help if the author provided a bit more information about Straight Talk which in turn would help some users to better understand and comment on the service.

ST (Straight Talk) just simply resells service on all of the big carriers. It is important to understand which carrier you will be using when switching to ST. If you are like me and changed to the service but using your own phone, then it must be a GSM phone and you select which carrier by which SIM card you use, either T Mobile or AT&T. That can make a huge difference depending on where you live. Another important note, if you have a phone such as the Nexus 4 which is a HSPA+ phone, the ST service on Tmobile is faster than the ATT service. To get CDMA service such as Verizon or Sprint, you must buy a ST phone which is on that network. ST offers various plans/sim cards/phones based on region so one might not get the same pricing/options at different locations. Sold by walmart so that comes with issues too
StefanAttaway
They police 300mb per day limit like nazis and choke your connection to 2g, then you will reach out and quickly discover auto attendant only staff, then you will send and email for help and wait days for a response, then you will have to reply and wait days for resolution. Thats my experience going over 300meg in 24hr period on last day of prepaid plan, well under the 2gig plan ceiling when they advertise unlimited data. However ST is an incredible bargain for 4g services. Beware: if you need your hand held, if you enjoy yelling at cs reps, if you need tech suppport or any general service look elsewhere. Att side mvno has excellent coverage
Dez191
I switched over a few months ago from T-Mobile. I'm currently using an iPhone 4 and I don't have any complaints. I must say that I mostly use wi-fi and hardly evey actually make phone calls, but no problems with the service yet and internet speeds are just fine for me. I think it's a great plan for my wife and myself.
gairis
I have a Samsung 720 smart phone that I purchased at Walmart and use the $45/month plan. I have been more than happy with this arrangement. We live in the North Ga mountains where the Verizon network is the most reliable. My understanding is that Straight Talk also uses this network in this area. My old service here was Verizon, and I cannot tell any difference with the Straight Talk phone. I would recommend it to anyone.
itissteve
@Beechbum, TracFone might run on Verizon where you live, but TracFone != Verizon everywhere.
havoc3d
More comments! I am looking at changing two lines over to this plan when my contract is up at the end of this month. I am Apple technician now, so I pretty much HAVE to get an iPhone, but I'm not willing to double my monthly from TMO to ATT/Sprint/Verizon. The Straight Talk plan seems like a good deal, and their coverage map seems too good to be true.
steilkie
I LEFT ATT FOR STRAIGHT TALK AND I'M SOOO GLAD WE DID. SAVING BIG MONEY AND THE NETWORK IS JUST FINE.........
BeechBum
Worst customer service in the world (and that is saying a lot in this day and age). The network runs off Verizon and works pretty well. We switched to PagePlus after 6 months and are much happier.
Leave a comment! or Register