Net10 is a spinoff of TracFone (*Est. $10 per month and up), a Best Reviewed prepaid wireless carrier that gets especially high marks for call quality and its nation-spanning network. Net10 offers simple pricing plans and a wide range of phones. The service meets industry averages for expert and user reviews; except when it comes to customer service, where it ranks below average.
Straightforward pricing plans. Net10 uses the same network as TracFone, but oddly enough it gets better ratings for plans in a 2012 roundup of prepaid cell phone services by TopTenReviews.com. Editors at PrepaidReviews.com give Net10 an impressive 4.5-star rating (out of 5), citing its straightforward pricing plan.
A $20 Net10 card has 200 minutes good for 30 days; choices range up to a $100 card with 1,500 minutes good for 180 days. Unlike TracFone, Net10 also offers monthly plans, including a 30-day unlimited talk, text/picture messaging, web/email and 411 plan for $50. If you need less time, consider the $25 monthly plan, which gives you 750 minutes. You can also bring your own phone, as a SIM-card plan costs $50 per month for unlimited talk, text, data and 411.
Service is just OK. As Net10 uses TracFone's network, its performance is similar. User contributors to Viewpoints.com give TracFone good marks for call quality. TopTenReviews.com gives Net10's performance features average scores. Subscriber comments at PrepaidReviews.com give Net10 mixed reviews and a low average 2-star rating, with subscribers either being very impressed or terribly unimpressed with Net10's call quality and coverage.
Below-average customer service. The main drawback to Net10 is its customer service, according to reviews written by frustrated users. On the Viewpoints.com website Net10 comes in at about average in most categories, including call quality and coverage, but falls short for customer service. Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com agree that Net10's customer service is of low quality.
Wide choice of handsets. TopTenReviews.com states that Net10 has an average selection of phones, but it's actually quite extensive, with a choice of over 40 handsets. Choices range from a Samsung T201G flip phone (*Est. $20) to the LG Optimus Black smartphone (*Est. $330) running Android 2.3.
1. J.D. Power & Associates
Review Credibility: Excellent Net10 comes in at fourth place in this survey of about 6,400 prepaid wireless cell phone users. It loses out to Boost Mobile and MetroPCS as the most highly reviewed prepaid phone services.
Review: 2011 Wireless Non-Contract Customer Satisfaction Index Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, March 31, 2011
Review Credibility: Good Net10 places fourth in this 2012 review of prepaid phone services for 2013. Editors at TopTenReviews.com say it offers a better selection of plans than its parent company, TracFone. Its phone selection, features and customer service receive average scores. Be aware, however, that TopTenReviews.com's evaluation of prepaid cell phone providers is based only on features and doesn't look at how each phone service performs.
Review: 2013 Prepaid Cell Phones Comparisons, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Editors at PrepaidReviews.com give Net10 an impressive 4.5-star rating (out of 5), citing its straightforward pricing plan (although minutes are no longer 10 cents). Subscriber comments give it a lower 2-star rating, with subscribers either being very impressed or terribly unimpressed with Net10's call quality, coverage and customer service.
Review: Net10 Prepaid Cell Phone Service, Editors of and Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com, As of December 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Over 110 customer reviewers on Viewpoints.com award Net10 a score of 68 out of 100, exactly the industry average. While Net10 comes out about average in most categories, including call quality and coverage, it falls short in customer service.
Review: Net10 Wireless Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of December 2012