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In this report

Prepaid Cell Phone Plans: Ratings of Sources

Total of 16 Sources
1. J.D. Power & Associates
Feb. 6, 2013
2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Non-Contract Performance Study
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentIn the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Customer Care survey of non-contract cell phone users, MetroPCS narrowly edges out Virgin Mobile for the top spot, both receiving a full 5 out of 5 stars. MetroPCS earns high marks from customers who dealt directly with a customer service rep.
2. J.D. Power and Associates
Aug. 15, 2013
2013 Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Study
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentJ.D. Power and Associates surveys over 5,000 wireless users who rate their wireless purchase experiences. The survey includes those who bought service at retail stores, online or over the phone. Among prepaid, non-contract carriers, Boost Mobile ranks highest for satisfaction for the second consecutive year, narrowly beating MetroPCS, which also receives 5 out of 5 stars.
3. ConsumerReports.org
September 2013
Prepaid Cell Phone Service Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org polls more than 58,000 cell phone users, asking prepaid wireless users to rate their services for voice quality and value. Editors then rank services -- including prepaid wireless providers -- from best to worst.
4. PCMag.com
March 13, 2013
Readers' Choice Awards 2013: Smartphones and Mobile Carriers
by Ben Gottesman
Our AssessmentThis article addresses overall satisfaction with cell phones and cell phone service as reported by PCMag.com readers in 2013. Straight Talk gets the Reader's Choice award for prepaid carriers, followed by MetroPCS; both receive an above-average overall score. A chart shows how each service stacks up in a dozen categories, including price and handset choices.
5. PCMag.com
Nov. 22, 2013
The Best Cheap Prepaid Phone Plans You've Never Heard Of
by Sascha Segan
Our AssessmentPCMag.com identifies a dozen less-well-known carriers that are worth considering for cell phone service. Sascha Segan doesn't pick a favorite, but he briefly describes each plan and its pros and cons.
6. TopTenReviews.com
Not Dated
2014 Best Prepaid Cell Phone Reviews and Comparisons
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentAlthough this website doesn't conduct its own tests or ask owners for their opinions, it provides one of the very few comparisons of prepaid cell phone plans. It ranks 14 popular wireless service providers based on features, including coverage and fees. Intangibles like customer satisfaction are not considered.
7. GottaBeMobile.com
Sept. 28, 2013
Cheapest iPhone 5s Plans Compared: How to Save
by Craig Lloyd
Our AssessmentGottaBeMobile.com's Craig Lloyd looks at the plans available from each of the big four wireless service providers and selects the cheapest contract and prepaid plans from each. Overall, the AT&T prepaid plan works out as the cheapest for individuals and the T-Mobile postpaid plan best for two people sharing.
8. CNET
July 19, 2013
Quick Guide to Cell Phone Carriers
by Kent German
Our AssessmentCNET discusses what to consider when selecting a cell phone carrier, then discusses some popular postpaid and prepaid choices. On the prepaid side, MetroPCS, Cricket, Virgin Mobile and Boost are profiled. Although Kent German doesn't pick a favorite, the website is a great starting point for shoppers, with concise things you should know listed for each service.
9. About.com
Not Dated
Top 3 Prepaid Mobile Phone Services
by Melanie Pinola
Our AssessmentPinola reviews three low-cost, and even free, alternative mobile phone service providers to the four major networks -- FreedomPop, Republic Wireless and Ting. These services are often limited in the geographic regions they cover and the features they offer, but she says that they offer enough advantages to make them worth a look.
10. AndroidAuthority.com
May 31, 2013
The Best Monthly Prepaid and No Contract Plans in the U.S. of 2013
by Joe Hindy
Our AssessmentJoe Hindy of AndroidAuthority.com provides details of no-contract and prepaid plans available from a wide variety of wireless cell phone-service providers. Hindy covers the four major players, smaller regional carriers including H20 Wireless and Straight Talk, and niche providers such as Kajeet for teens.
11. My Rate Plan
July 18, 2013
The Best No Contract Cell Phone Plans of 2013, According to MyRatePlan.com
by Editors of MyRatePlan.com
Our AssessmentUsing criteria including price, data speed and limits, coverage, voice minutes and consumer reviews and expert opinions, editors of MyRatePlan.com list their top three plans of 2013 -- Straight Talk Unlimited, Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk and Boost Mobile Android Monthly.
12. PrepaidReviews.com
As of November 2013
Best Rated Pay As You Go Phone Plans
by Editors of and Contributors to PrepaidReviews.com
Our AssessmentThis website rates 28 prepaid wireless providers. The highly detailed write-ups are based on an evaluation of features and prices rather than on testing, but the information seems accurate and helpful. Four carriers earn 4.5 stars out of 5 -- Net10, Straight Talk, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile -- with scores ranging down to 2 stars for the last-place carrier. Each write-up includes details about roaming charges, 411 calls, data plans and much more, making this an excellent place to begin researching plans. There are also loads of revealing user reviews.
13. Kiplinger.com
October 2013
6 No-Contract Cell-Phone Plans Worth a Look
by Lisa Gerstner
Our AssessmentGerstner lists six of the top no-contract monthly cell phone plans and gives brief details about costs, phone selection and network coverage. In the comments for each service, she sometimes mentions any pay-as-you-go plans.
14. Viewpoints.com
As of December 2013
Cell Phone Providers Reviews
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentUsers rate most major wireless carriers, both prepaid and contract, at Viewpoints.com. Verizon Wireless beats out TracFone in the features and customer service categories, with over 900 and 200 reviews respectively. TracFone scores slightly higher for plan options.
15. The Wall Street Journal
July 31, 2013
Are Wireless Prepaid Plans Best?
by Thomas Gryta
Our AssessmentGryta states that prepaid cell phone service is no longer "the poor man's plan," as many such services are on high-end networks. He highlights AT&T's AIO prepaid wireless service that runs on the main AT&T network and Sprint's prepaid Boost Mobile network.
16. Los Angeles Times
Feb. 19, 2013
More Cellphone Users Switch to Prepaid Plans
by Marc Lifsher
Our AssessmentGiving statistics that show that, in most of the rest of the world, prepaid cell phone plan users greatly outnumber those on cell phone contracts, Lifsher says that this trend is occurring in the U.S.; traditional cell phone companies are now "scrambling" for this business at home. He highlights TracFone as the largest U.S. prepaid cell phone company and MetroPCS as one of the most expensive, though its plans are still 60 percent less than the cheapest contract plan.
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