The Pros and Cons of an AT&T Pay as You GoPhone (Review)
The Pros and Cons of an AT&T Pay as You Go Phone
This is a review of sorts, for a pre-paid phone plan/arrangement.
So let's say you're a cheap-ass. Just for the sake of argument. You need a phone to reflect this.
AT&T has some pretty nice options if you gravitate towards the pre-paid kind of phone, or even if you just want a plan without commitment of any kind.
If you're willing to forgo some of the fancier stuff and you want a whole lot of control over how much you spend, it can be a pretty good deal, really.
I've had my Go Phone for over a year and it has served me quite well, but, of course, with all things there are some pros and cons to consider.
Advantages to a Pay as You Go Phone
- You get to decide how much you want to pay and how much you need to use on a month by month basis.
And if you think any of their other packages aren't for you this or that month, or you think that you can't limit yourself reasonably and that you're going to talk too much, you can always buy their unlimited package for the month.
If you don't buy any of the packages (i.e. a flat rate for unlimited minutes, or for unlimited nights and weekends, etc), the basic "plans" if you will, for buying minutes, work sort of like Rock, Paper, Scissors--each with its strengths and weaknesses.
For example, you can go for a flat 25 cents a minute, and you'll only be charged for what you use. If that seems too expensive, though, you can set it to 10 cents a minute, BUT, you then have to pay a dollar for every day that the phone is used for voice calls (meaning, they'll only charge you the days when you call someone or someone calls you, and they'll leave you alone your lonelier days). Finally, there's the option of paying nothing per minute, but just paying three dollars for every day that you use your phone.
- No commitment.
Not just in the sense of not having a contract, but even in the sense of not really having a plan. As mentioned before, you decide what you use on a case-by-case, month-by-month basis.
Whatever packages you might buy for the month is a one-time thing each time, so next month you can always switch it up.
- No surprises
Since you can't really use something you haven't pre-paid for, there are few or no nasty surprises with a Go Phone. You can't get charged for something you didn't know you accidentally used on your bill because you have no bill.
Disadvantages of an ATT Go Phone
- You're limited to some degree on what kind of phone you can use, which can be a problem for those fancy types who like bleeding-edge, fancier phones, or those who just like a little variety.
Personally, the phone I use is a brick that cost me about ten dollars refurbished. I can play The Sims 2: Castaway on it. That's about the extent of its extras functionality. Oh, yeah, and it has an alarm clock. I don't know exactly what the other options are for folks who have more refined taste than I do, but I do know that there are some better phones available (ones that actually have QWERTY keypads instead of just the numbers--fancy), even if, as I mentioned, the options are limited.
- If you run out of airtime minutes or a package you bought runs out while you're on the phone, get ready for the call to be cut.
Oh, yeah, and have your credit card handy because you'll need it to buy more airtime to call them back.
Of course, this is expected, since it's a pre-paid phone, so I can't really complain. What do I want, for them to give me the airtime for free? Actually, I do, but that's not plausible.
- It's uncool.
Having a Go Phone just isn't cool. There's no way to get around that. AT&T in general is cool--after all, they are the service providers for the iPhone and, if that isn't cool by most people's standards, I don't know what is.
But a Go Phone...nope, not cool. Not even the fact that it's AT&T can salvage it. Hide it from your friends and family. Heck, it'd be less uncool to tell them you use Metro PCS. Anything but a Go Phone. You want to ever get any girls to be interested in you? Never tell them you have a Go Phone. Your prospects will drop faster than your airtime minutes. Just a word of advice.
So, anyway, hopefully these pros and cons will help you make that final crucial decision if you've been thinking of signing up for Pay as You Go. Overall, I'd recommend it if you're on a budget, but, of course, it's not for everyone. (Like people who want a girlfriend.)
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