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Thread: Very confusing

  1. #1
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    Very confusing

    Hey guys,

    Isn't there just one carrier that's simple to understand for someone that's slow to understand things like me?

    Here's what's confusing to me. Some carriers will allow you to bring your own device but each carrier is different in that respect as well. Some will allow certain features like wifi calling and VoLTE but only if you buy their phones and some will allow you these features even if you don't buy their phones. How do you really know until you sign up?

    Some people have these features with a phone bought elsewhere while others don't, they needed to use a branded phone to get them. So, it's really a crap shoot? Iphones seem to be able to get these features more so than Android's, why is that?

    Then there's the plans. After a certain data limit is reached the speeds are usually throttled. Some carriers throttle more than others and at certain data limits. Confusing!

    Then there's the so called "Unlimited Data Plans" but they're not really "unlimited" are they, as after a certain data limit is reached they're also throttled. So how can they call them "unlimited"? More confusion.

    Most carriers do this. They advertise an unlimited plan and at some data limit it becomes a limited plan.

    Then the big guys have postpaid and prepaid phones and plans. Usually if they give you a deal on a phone the plans are way too expensive and you have to go post paid. This area is also confusing as most people don't understand the difference between postpaid and prepaid.

    Is there any carrier who actually has an "unlimited" plan that is completely unlimited, without restrictions, who don't throttle after a certain limit is reached, and who allows you to bring your own unlocked device and allow you to use features like wifi calling and VoLTE? Android and Iphones?

    I'm not even going to get into hot spots and their inner workings.

    Sorry guys, just needed to vent a little this a.m.........

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    Yeah. That's just how it is. Not only that, sometimes the rules change, too!

    But that keeps us on our toes, and is one of the reasons HoFo exists!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Yeah. That's just how it is. Not only that, sometimes the rules change, too!

    But that keeps us on our toes, and is one of the reasons HoFo exists!
    Thanks, Yeah, I've learned a lot from HoFo down through the years from folks like you and others on here, so thank you.

    I just find it so confusing at times and would hope an outfit would come along and really simplify things.

    I realize not everything is black and white and it's probably tough for a company to come up with a simplified plan and phone purchase or they surely would.

    The whole GSM and CDMA is also very confusing. Some phones work on one and not the other.

    Anyways, like I said, just venting a little......

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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    I just find it so confusing at times and would hope an outfit would come along and really simplify things.

    I realize not everything is black and white and it's probably tough for a company to come up with a simplified plan and phone purchase or they surely would...
    The hidden gotchas and asterisks are important to providers, because it prevents direct comparisons between plans. The minute you think you've figured it out ("ABC Wireless's unlimited plan is $10 less than XYZ's!") you then find out ABC is only unlimited on weekends, and XYZ's only works in Nova Scotia...

    Maybe tell us what you really need (for example, I have an "unlimited" postpaid plan on T-Mobile, but never use more than 10GB data/month, so I could move to a limited plan, were it cheaper to) and we could offer up some suggestions...



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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    Thanks, Yeah, I've learned a lot from HoFo down through the years from folks like you and others on here, so thank you.

    I just find it so confusing at times and would hope an outfit would come along and really simplify things.

    I realize not everything is black and white and it's probably tough for a company to come up with a simplified plan and phone purchase or they surely would.

    The whole GSM and CDMA is also very confusing. Some phones work on one and not the other.

    Anyways, like I said, just venting a little......
    So, it's not a conspiracy, but it's not a accident either that the marketplace is confusing.

    Can't find a source quickly but there's a school of thought or at least a theory that confused consumers spend more money. There's a point where they run out of time and patience to get the best price for a service and will just do what is the clearest choice for the amount of analysis performed already (sometimes almost none).

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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    I just find it so confusing at times and would hope an outfit would come along and really simplify things.
    I think that's what Visible is attempting with their one $40 plan and discounts for party plans. Now I'm sure they have the normal small print and asterisks regarding data, but there's only one plan to purchase.
    My smartphone is a lot smarter than I am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Relztrah View Post
    I think that's what Visible is attempting with their one $40 plan and discounts for party plans. Now I'm sure they have the normal small print and asterisks regarding data, but there's only one plan to purchase.
    Yeah, I took a look at Visible because of the simple one plan set up. Fourty dollars for truly unlimited data per month seems too good to be true. They claim on their site that it truly is unlimited data but the speeds may change at a later point in time. I would worry about that when the time comes.

    But a few confusing issues with Visible.

    What's up with party pay? What happens if one or more people leave? So you're never sure what your next bill will be? Why not just make it $25.00/mo. for all? Some folks just aren't in to parties.

    Another confusing thing about Visible, I have two unlocked Moto G7 Supra's/Power that are both unlocked from Cricket and after inputting my IMEI to see if my phones were compatible, they claimed they were not compatible even though Visible sells this same phone on their site.

    Gotta admit, that's confusing.

    Or, are they simply trying to sell their own phones? If so, why offer the BYOD option?

    I am definitely leaning towards Visible if I do decide to switch as they are probably the least confusing option out there.

    Thanks...

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    If one or more people leave your Visible Party Pay, you or other remaining members immediately post the link to the group to HoFo, SD, Reddit, or a number of other forums with a Visible Party Pay thread. Currently, spots are usually filled within an hour. As long as the group is full by the time your next payment is due, you'll only pay $25/mo TOTAL.

    Visible is picky about what phones they allow, probably due to the experimental nature of their service. My son ported his old iPhone 8 to Visible in March. But most of the phones on the Visible website are priced as cheap or cheaper as you can get them anywhere else, not to mention the $100 or $200 Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account that is available. My son's experience is related at https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...4#post17133124.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    ...I just find it so confusing at times and would hope an outfit would come along and really simplify things.
    That option has always existed. Just walk in a carrier store and buy what they want to sell you. It's simple and a lot of people still do that. You can find better values, but it requires study and learning or a mentor. I learned most of what I know with HoFo as my mentor.

    I wish I had as much enthusiasm about what car to buy. I find that mind-numbingly tedious.

    I suffered with poor coverage for years because I did not understand that Tracfone had sold me a phone with T-Mobile as the carrier. I know better now and have my Tracfone using Verizon.

    The whole GSM and CDMA is also very confusing. Some phones work on one and not the other....
    GSM and CDMA are obsolete. T-Mobile and a few tiny regional carriers are the only ones still running a bit of actual GSM and it is scheduled to be shut down on T-Mo soon.

    Verizon is shutting down what's left of their CDMA at the end of the year. Who cares about Sprint CDMA. Sprint is a dead man walking the final Green Mile. T-Mo will get rid of Sprint CDMA as soon as they can.

    LTE, Voice Over LTE, and the phone having the right LTE bands for the carrier(s) you want to use is what counts now. That can still be confusing, though carrier agnostic phones have made that not so hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    I have two unlocked Moto G7 Supra's/Power that are both unlocked from Cricket
    That's "SIM unlocked". Not the same with "factory unlocked".
    In order to be able to function on a different US cell network, the phone needs to have the hardware present/enabled (all the LTE bands, VoLTE support, etc). Because of that, the IMEI has to be present in that new provider servers "white list".

    AT&T Cricket firmware on those phones lacks access to LTE bands that the true "factory unlocked" models have. They even have different part numbers, visible in About Phone. On some phones you can flash "factory unlocked" firmware and unlock some of those bands, but sometimes they are missing some physical parts to actually make it work.

    PS: Visible whitelist is horribly small. They started allowing only Phones and added a few models of Android now and then.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for that informative post.

    Talk about more confusion though.

    SIM unlocked as opposed to factory unlocked? I thought unlocked meant unlocked?

    Someone needs to do a better job explaining these things.

    Or maybe they're purposely trying to confuse folks like me? Wouldn't take much.

    I chatted with a Visible rep yesterday and they apparently didn't know about these two different unlocked options as they never mentioned them.

    Maybe the rep was as confused as me............

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    I say 95%+ folks outside of Hofo are clueless.

    I was just thinking I bet hardly anyone but those here know Visible has Party Pay. Etc., etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by curvefan View Post
    Thanks for that informative post.

    Talk about more confusion though.

    SIM unlocked as opposed to factory unlocked? I thought unlocked meant unlocked?

    Someone needs to do a better job explaining these things.

    Or maybe they're purposely trying to confuse folks like me? Wouldn't take much.

    I chatted with a Visible rep yesterday and they apparently didn't know about these two different unlocked options as they never mentioned them.

    Maybe the rep was as confused as me............
    Typically the difference is when. Factory unlocked typically means never locked. An unlocked phone that came straight from the factory that way.

    SIM Unlocked is typically a phone that was locked to a carrier that was unlocked either with or without that carrier's blessing.

    The advantage of factory unlocked is that the device is usually not "rigged" out of the box to work only (or better) on one carrier.

    For example, my factory unlocked Motorola G5 Plus works on all carriers, and the phone features seem to work equally well on any of them (e.g. VoLTE, WiFi calling, etc.)

    On the other hand, my SIM Unlocked Verizon-branded Motorola E4 Plus supports WiFi calling and VoLTE on Verizon, but those features don't work on AT&T or T-Mo, and Sprint won't activate this phone at all. Similarly my T-Mo-issued Motorola E5 Plus doesn't support CDMA, like factory unlocked models, so it doesn't work on Sprint or Verizon.

    Because Visible is an LTE-only service (although they're a Verizon MVNO, they only use the LTE portion of the network), any phone you try to use on Visible *has* to support Verizon VoLTE, because it can't fall back on older tech for voice calls. (As opposed, to say, my SIM Unlocked Verizon E4+ I sometimes use on T-Mobile; while it doesn't support T-Mo VoLTE, it can fall back to 3G or even 2G for voice calls.)



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    Complexity vs. Confusion is how I would label this: Different products to meet different needs and wants. Marketing to target and shape

    those consumers. Some would say it’s a beautiful tapestry , others a big spider web of a tangled mess. Choices create complexity sometimes.

    There are many countries in the world, multiple phone manufacturers, Huge # of Carriers in the world/USA, varied LTE bands / technologies,

    Evolving networks 2G>3G>4G>5G over time, Carrier specific phones noted above.

    It’s the same with virtually all manufactured goods - a lot of variety to meet different needs, wants, price points, features, specifications, etc....

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