I’m a complicated person with simple needs. I don’t require the latest fashion; just give me some functional rather than flashy walking shoes and a few pairs of comfortable runners and I’m good to go. Though I enjoy being served a good meal at an expensive restaurant as much as the next guy, I more often prefer to test out a recipe I’ve come across on the Web or come up with myself in my own kitchen. The reason? Besides simply enjoying doing it at home (especially when I’m preparing the meal for a girl I’m keen on), I appreciate saving a few dollars preparing my own meals. It’s not that I’m a cheapskate. I appreciate the finer things in life and am willing to pay good money for what I find to be truly worth paying for. I just don’t like paying more for something I can get elsewhere (and at the same quality) for less. Who wants to overpay for anything, especially if what you’re paying for is just as good as what’s being offered for a premium elsewhere? I’d rather save more of my hard-earned cash so that I’ll be able to afford to buy more later. So when I’m looking for a mobile service provider, I prefer a less expensive and simple mobile solution to a pricey and pretentious provider.
Do You Really Get What You Pay for with Your Mobile Services Provider?
Something I’ve heard throughout my life is that you get what you pay for. Another idiom I’ve come to appreciate is that you get what you pay for, and sometimes less. (That’s an old saying I just made up. Well, okay, the truth is I came up with my own version of the saying some time ago. Still, I believe it’s often truer than the prior.) Something I’ve also learned over the years is that sayings are silly. One day you learn that a famous playwright once wrote that the world is one’s oyster, while the next moment a notorious rock singer is singing that you can’t always get what you want.
So which is it? Is it really true that you get what you pay for? I’d say that more often than not, you pay for what you get. Walmart may offer an inexpensive prepaid cellular, but look at the meager phone offerings it has displayed on its shelves. On the other hand, Verizon, which is usually the most expensive of the contract carriers, offers some powerful and popular devices, but at what price to the consumer? Usually far more than anyone in their right mind should have to pay for a wireless Web experience.
I believe that you get what you pay for in many cases, but I also know that marketing is deceitful. Advertising departments are paid big money by big companies to “inform” consumers about what we need, making us feel inadequate in one way or another, usually by telling us we’re either spending too much or not enough. Though either sentiment can be true to a degree (depending on the circumstance), the extent to which marketers will go to fabricate narratives designed to frighten consumers into believing their ads’ assertions are often outlandish and — sometimes — seriously scandalous.
Sure, it’s probably unwise for a consumer to buy a burger for a dollar when she can be eating a healthier meal for a few dollars more. Unfortunately we can’t all afford to eat as healthily as we’d like. So we often opt for the less expensive lunch now and end up paying for it with our lives later. On the other hand, how do we really know that buying more expensive food labeled “organic” (or some other marker of health) is really going to enhance our lives? I mean, how many people buy “healthier food” only to counter the action with a marked lack of activity, thinking their diet will make up for their scarcity of exercise? (Case in point: I run frequently while continuing to eat poorly. Pray for me.)
Find Your Balance with SIMPLE Mobile
Now I’m not implying that going cheap on cell phone service is going to cost you your life (unless, of course, you run out of voice minutes just when you need to call 911). But if you’re looking for a simple mobile solution, going with the absolutely cheapest cellular phone service available can end up costing you time and money by providing lousy customer service and spotty coverage. It’s a bit like going mobile by picking up a bicycle with training wheels at a flea market: it’s possible it’ll get you around a bit (if it holds up), but it’ll be a bit wobbly and you won’t be getting anywhere fast. Unless you’re really tiny and inexperienced, you may as well simply walk. On the other hand, there are top echelon prepaid carriers out there that provide services comparable to those offered by T-Mobile and the like without putting as much of a dent in your wallet, leaving you with more money to buy other stuff (such as better transportation).
On the other extreme, paying top dollar for mobile phone service seems to have been all the rage the past few years. Large carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have come to expect consumers to accept unnecessarily complicated and expensive pricing schemes. Consumers, fearful of losing access to the mobility they’ve come to rely upon (or fearful for other reasons I’ll elaborate on in a moment), end up continuing to pay exorbitantly for their wireless services. Yet there’s a middle ground between the extremes, a path consumers have peripheral awareness of but don’t yet fully see because the smaller operators offering these solutions don’t have the marketing budgets to broadcast their messages as far and wide as the larger carriers do.
I’ve mentioned the phrase “simple mobile solution” more than once in this post. There’s a reason for that. Not only is the service I’d like to introduce you to a simple mobile solution, but that is its name: SIMPLE Mobile.
SIMPLE Mobile is that middle ground between the outrageously expensive contract carriers and the ridiculously cheap prepaid providers. It’s a prepaid cellular provider, but rather than restricting you to its own line of devices, SIMPLE Mobile enables the consumer to bring his own smart phone to the party. In fact, SIMPLE Mobile doesn’t even sell smart phones or any other devices, which means that you as a consumer get to choose which phone and which apps to carry with you wherever you go. Unlike some other prepaid providers, you won’t have the hassle of having to figure out how to root your phone to remove bloatware from your smart phone because SIMPLE Mobile provides you with a SIM card and service, not software (and that’s a very good thing).
Due in part to its evolution from the cheaper cellular services, there’s a perception that all prepaid mobile carriers offer services that are aren’t as good as their contract counterparts. This perception is false, and promulgated by the monopolistic postpaid providers. Mind you, I’m not trying to come across as anti-corporate or anything; I’m a capitalist and I appreciate how the business world works in my country. As I’ve already noted, there are some cheap wireless providers, and those providers generally give you what you pay for. But then there are providers such as SIMPLE Mobile, which offer the experience of an expensive mobile carrier without as much expense.
What SIMPLE Mobile Has to Offer
For the past five months I’ve been using SIMPLE Mobile’s no-contract cell phone services with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smart phone provided to me for temporary use by the company. The service has simply been marvelous. Not only have I enjoyed my best mobile Web experience of the past several years, but I’ve been converted from a smarmy smart phone skeptic to an enlightened mobile computing evangelist. Being able to share a precious moment with others from the field (literally, as in the accompanying image of my dog) using a great device paired with a great mobile connection can quickly convert a “I can live without it” naysayer like me into a “I want to be able to afford this” job seeker.
And great devices can indeed be brought to SIMPLE Mobile, including the most popular smartphones and tablet devices on the market. Have an iPhone? Have it unlocked and bring it to SIMPLE (or really, bring SIMPLE into it). Same goes with the iPad. Sporting the latest Android smart phone or tablet? Head to trysimplemobile.com and check out its FAQs for a list of compatible devices. SIMPLE Mobile supports Windows Phones, too. There’s a plan even for those of us who don’t make phone calls, preferring to restrict our devices to data usage.
SIMPLE Mobile is not a bottom-of-the-barrel provider — as I mentioned before, it’s not one of the absolute cheapest wireless service providers available — but it is among the least expensive of the no-contract carriers, and the best that I’ve used so far. As an added bonus, SIMPLE doesn’t require a credit check, which is great for those of us with outstanding debts. What’s really exciting about the service, however, is that it enables anyone with an unlocked GSM cell phone to migrate from their existing carrier to SIMPLE Mobile, freeing consumers from expensive cell phone contracts. The following one-minute video demonstrates how easy it is to migrate a smart phone over to SIMPLE Mobile.
SIMPLE Mobile currently offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $40 a month (and no hidden charges), a price I find difficult to beat. The data is truly unlimited, too, though 4G speed is only offered for the first 250 megabytes at that price point. After the 250 megabytes at 4G speeds is reached, you still receive unlimited data, just at a slower speed. In my neck of the woods, no carrier offers true 4G data — not T-Mobile, not Sprint, nor AT&T or even Verizon. So my review is entirely based on unlimited talk, text, and the slower data speeds we pick up in my area (though I may have picked up a 4G connection during my drives through other regions earlier this year). And though I can imagine enjoying the luxury of a faster Web experience in some areas of the country, I’ve been thrilled at the data connection I’ve been receiving through SIMPLE Mobile here.
If you have 4G available where your are and find 250 megabytes to be too limiting for your purposes, for only $10 more a month, smart phone users can get unlimited everything. $50 gives you unlimited talk, text, and Web at 4G data speeds. I’ve seen other services offer similar prices, but not for unlimited 4G data, unlimited phone calls, and unlimited text messaging. And remember: no contract, no credit check, and no hidden fees. As I said before: difficult to beat. This is a simple solution for the smarter consumers who don’t buy into the marketing razzle-dazzle the contract carriers want you to believe. It’s all smoke and mirrors, folks. This here is the real deal, for only $50 a month — and no contract termination penalties, because there are no contracts.
With Services Such as SIMPLE Mobile Available, Why Do People Pay More for Contract Carriers?
Since I’m a freelance writer and probably have more time on my hands than you have, I’ve been in the unique position of being both financially challenged (i.e., perpetually broke) and able to research consumer behavior over the years. I’m not talking about simply subscribing to Consumer Reports (though I have subscribed to the publication in the past). CR is a decent publication, but using one resource isn’t the best way for a consumer on which to base his buying decisions. These days we have a ton of resources available for gathering and monitoring data about buyer behavior, and being the information scientist (i.e., librarian) that I am, I’ve read far and wide on issues of how and why people buy what they do.
All my research has consistently brought up one thing over and over again: people overspend, particularly when it comes to acquiring symbols of status. As that fact applies to the wireless world, there’s evidence that consumers are finally beginning to switch to prepaid cellular providers, but the majority of smart phone owners are either still unaware of the bundle that can be saved by switching to a prepaid cellular carrier, or they’re hesitant to make the switch due to fear or uncertainty. And what could consumers possibly fear about switching to a lower-cost wireless solution, you ask? For one, loss of status.
For many consumers, it’s important to preserve their sense of status. It provides them with an identity, a sense that they have it all together. That they’re making the best choice. That with this particular device, they’re going to get the girl. It’s herd mentality, and the unscrupulous marketing practices of monopolistic wireless service providers have exploited our sense of insecurity to discourage us from moving over to prepaid providers in a more rapid fashion. Again, I’m not anti-capitalist. Certainly all companies, large or small, are in the business of making money. Though I don’t enjoy being falsely — or let’s be kind and simply use the term disingenuously — informed, I understand that’s its part of the marketing machine. Still, I don’t like being fed a load of prunes, so I make it an aim of mine to get to the real deal.
I also enjoy sharing my findings with others who may benefit from my research and experience. There are few things more satisfying than showing somebody, especially somebody you care about, how to save money. It’s right up there with having family and friends, a good job, and an eager and experimental lover. Saving money enables people to spend more time with their family and friends, enhance their working lives (perhaps by working less), and use their savings to buy more toys to enjoy with their partner. And mobile technology is one of those areas of research I constantly seem to be researching. In fact, I have to admit I probably spend way too much time seeking out the best mobile deals — the perfect combination of wireless services — delivered at a cost that I can manage.
I mentioned before that my needs are simple, but they are not simpleton. I may not opt to select the most fashionable devices or services available, but I do choose the best possible ones that I can afford. I’ve made the mistake of going the very cheap (not simply less expensive or downright inexpensive, but cheap) wireless route before only to find myself regretting the decision. My only consolation is that one of the phones I purchased from that service for 50 dollars can still be used as a GPS device and digital music player, which is useful for when I’m exercising (and that’s about all the device is useful for).
Today I offer you some valuable advice that may change the way you approach at least one aspect of your life as a consumer: the way you purchase your wireless services. In the end, you may decide to continue paying your hard-earned money to whichever big carrier it is you perceive to be providing you with better service than the smaller and less expensive carrier I’m offering as an alternative. It’s difficult for tiny voices like mine to get heard through the cacophony of noise the old guard shamelessly broadcasts in its charade of responding to “more sophisticated customer needs.” Still, whether or not you’ll ultimately make a change in your purchasing habits, you’ll be a more informed consumer, and that’s always a good thing.
The Conclusion is SIMPLE Mobile, Which Gives Me Everything I Need for Less
I jog regularly, and along with my dog, the Galaxy Nexus has been my jogging companion since last December. Music streams flawlessly to my ears using Google Play Music (I don’t store music on the device) while I’m running. Sometimes while on the go I stop and capture a picture or a video and share it on Facebook or YouTube. On occasion I watch a video from the park. I’ve even used µTorrent with great success over SIMPLE Mobile’s service. When you’re connect to the Web through a mobile service that works, and works well, there’s simply no way to measure the amount of fun that can be had. Basically, you’re only limited by your imagination.
There’s not much more to say about a no-contract cell phone service that simply works, and for less expense than any of the competitors in its class. If you can find a better service, let me know. For now, I’m keeping it SIMPLE.