For the past month, I’ve been testing out the Walmart Family Mobile plan, and I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my cheap wireless plan. Getting my phone activated and set up was a breeze. I shared how easy it was to shop for the Walmart Family Mobile plan, as well as some of my initial first impressions of the lowest rate plan.
The $40/month price tag for my unlimited talk, text and data (with just another $35/month for a second line) was something I was looking forward to given what I used to spend on my mobile service, but I would be giving up 4G speed and I was anxious to see how the reception would be given the $40/month I would be paying.
There was no need to worry about the reception or the 3G speeds. Yes, 4G is technically faster, but I had no worries with anything I did. I was able to listen to Pandora without any hiccups and I could search the web and navigate directions just as easily as I could with my 4G phone. Were I to go over my 1GB data allowance, my speed would have been reduced to 2G, and I would have noticed that, I’m sure, but 1GB was plenty of data for me.
In fact, whenever I’m home, I use my phone via the wi-fi in my house, which means that I’m not using packets of data from my plan which helps to extend my life and would probably give me plenty of data were I to add my husband to my plan for that extra $35 per month. Were we more heavy data users or were we to add the wee ones, we might want to purchase a data pack that would give us more data – something you can change each month as needed – for just $10 for another 1GB or $20 for 3GB.
The biggest win for me, however, is my savings. I originally was interested in the Walmart Family Mobile no contract plan because it does have no contract, a benefit in a world where technology changes so fast and what I signed up for 2 years ago isn’t even close to current offerings yet I’m bound by a contract and can’t reap the benefits of the updates in technology and offerings. I like the freedom that no contract offers. The fact that it’s only $40 a month for me is my main point of pride. When I take a look at the plan I used to have an compare it to the Walmart Family Mobile plan, I’m blown away.
Not only is my service significantly cheaper, but I’m getting more features for it. This really makes it feel like the best wireless out there. Adding texting for two phones and unlimited web for one phone and increase the minutes from 1400 per month to unlimited and I save $660 per year? That’s almost a vacation right there. How exactly do you say no to that?
The Walmart Family Mobile plan is super easy to manage, too. When my bill was ready, I simply got a text notifying me of the due date, the amount, and how I could pay it. Granted, this was only a partial bill for my first month, but I have never in my life had a $26 cell phone bill. Talk about making my day!
I chose to pay it online, which was a simple process. It was easy to log into the account I’d already set up, and had I forgotten my password (which remarkably I didn’t), there was a clear and easy way to have the password sent to my phone. I liked the security of that.
Paying my actual bill was just as simple. As with most online bill payments, I had the option to choose autopay where I wouldn’t have to remember to log in to pay each month or to simply pay that month’s bill. I also could choose whether to save my card information for future payments, even if I didn’t choose autopay. That’s something that will save me time and effort later on.
This phone has been a fun toy, and I’ve enjoyed the service I had with it. Having an extra phone allowed me to test having a phone for the wee ones when we went to tae kwon do, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be back from running errands before the end of class. It was a nice security blanket for them, knowing that I was easily reachable. I’m not quite ready to give my nine year old his own phone yet, especially since he’s never left anywhere by himself, but it was a good practice run.
Because I’m a paranoid parent, of course I made sure to set the parental controls on the phone while he had it. I was amazed by how easy it was to do using the online account management tools – far easier than setting parental controls on my computer! I simply logged into my account, went to my profile, and chose which phone controls to edit. I loved the ability to turn data off entirely, something that concerns me with the young and not quite mature having access to way too many apps and ways to communicate inappropriate things. Were I to choose to leave data access on, I can also easily restrict the level of content available from child, teen, young adult, or no web filter. That’s another safety net I liked.
Beyond that, there are so many options to control how and when children use their own phones. You can block or always allow certain numbers. You can set data, text or minute limits – with the phone giving an error message after the child has reached them. There are also hours when the phone can’t be used so there are no nighttime conversations that shouldn’t be happening or anyone getting in trouble for using a phone at school.
My current contract isn’t quite up yet, but I have to say that the Walmart Family Mobile definitely gives it a run for the money. Literally. And once my contract is up? Don’t expect to see me signing another one anytime soon!