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Need Recommendation for Charleston, SC

Discussion in 'Southern US Wireless Forum' started by Peaceroses, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Peaceroses

    Peaceroses New Member

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    My son will be a freshman at College of Charleston, SC, beginning next month. We are from Beckley, WV, and our current cell phone service provider (Cellular One (GSM), locally owned and operated) is not available in SC. We have been pretty happy with them. It would be less expensive to continue sharing minutes with a family plan, but that makes Sprint our only option. Cell One has already said that son will need a new plan since most minutes must be used in network. I have heard Sprint doesn't have great coverage on the CofC campus and it may not be great here at our house. Does anyone know if that is true about Charleston? What would be a good choice if we have to have separate providers? We have completed out two year contract with Cell One and can change freely.) We need to be frugal as we are paying out of state tuition! Cell phone service in our market is Cell One, Ntelos, Sprint, Nextel and US Cellular. Verizon is in Charleston, WV, but will be in roam in Beckley. Son uses about 3/4 of our minutes- about 1800 minutes, but I expect that to increase. Thanks!
     
  2. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    This past summer on a vacation to Myrtle Beach I drove down to Charleston, SC for a day to visit some family. Alltel coverage in the area appeared to be great. I'm not sure about their coverage in Beckley though. You might be able to pick up a free roam in that area and I would bet that you would as close to the Interstate as Beckley is.

    But Alltel National plans are very fairly priced. You get more minutes for the price than any of the other carriers plus you can get MyCircle or night minutes starting at 7 pm if you're trying to save all the money you can. If you're interested in trying to use it at your home in Beckley, I don't think you can buy an Alltel phone/plan in Beckley but you can definitely buy it elsewhere such as Charleston, SC and return it to your home to test it out. Be sure to take advantage of the 15 day trial whoever you go with.
     
  3. luv2fly007

    luv2fly007 Junior Member
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    Hi

    I currently live in Charleston SC.

    If your son is going to use a lot of minutes you may want to go with SunCom.
    They offer an unlimited plan right now until the end of the month for only $59.99. Normally the plan is $79.99! This is a great plan if you do not need to add anyone else to the account.

    He will be able to call anyone in the country for free as long as he is in NC or SC. When he travels outside of those two states he will be roaming.(parts of GA, WV, an PR are also included) See the coverage map for more details.

    I think especially for a college student an unlimited plan is the way to go.

    I would not recommend Alltel for the simple reason they are expensive and their customer service department is absolutely horrible.Talk about people that do just enough not to get fired :eek:

    I would have to recommend the new W300i or w810i by Sony Ericsson.
    You are going to get the best bang for your buck. The phone is bluetooth compatible, built in FM radio, MP3 player with 256 SD chip included (Up to 1 gig expandable) + it comes with the necessary cables and software to connect the phone to the computer.

    You can compare phones, plans and pricing information on www.phonedog.com. I have used them in the past when I switched to SunCom last year.

    Good Luck
     
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  4. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    You might want to avoid SunCom if at all possible. Here is a link to a thread that is also under the Southern forum regarding the service that SunCom provides:

    Suncom once again does not get it

    It appears that very few people that have had SunCom are happy with their service. For the same $59.99 for the SunCom plan you could get MyCircle through Alltel and he could spend an unlimited amount of time talking to anybody on your 10 numbers (other cell networks, landlines, etc.) and have an extra 900 anytime minutes on top of that with unlimited nights, weekends, and M2M. He (and you) would also probably get service in Beckley and a much more reliable national network. Actually, now if I'm not mistaken, Alltel roams for free off of Sprint (among other carriers) so you might be using their coverage in Beckley at Alltel's prices. I really believe that is your best bet and CS has always been great for me. SunCom really is more expensive on most plans when you consider that you must add on M2M and night and weekend minutes at an additional cost on most non-Unlimited plans.
     
    #4 UFO, Jul 24, 2006
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  5. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    I agree, avoid Suncom like the plague. Besides, he would have to pay 50 cents a minute on the unlimited plan when he comes home..there is no roaming "plan" on the unlimited...leave NC & SC and you pay 50 cents a minute. As far as Alltel customer service being poor, I could not disagree more. Back in the late 90's and early '00's they were not all that great, but that either, they are the most reasonable priced carrier out there. I will say they do not have many options for under 40 bucks a month, but everything for 49.99 and up is a bargain in my opinion. Verizon and Cingular are by far the most expensive out there! Oh, and I DO NOT work for them or an agent!!
     
  6. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Shew! God no, SunCom is horrible. I had SunCom and so did other people I know in the past and we all ended up switching from SunCom. I've seen very few happy SunCom customers. DO NOT go anywhere near SunCom!

    I can't speak for the Charleston, SC area but generally Verizon and Cingular have the best coverage in NC/SC. In some spots Cingular is better and in others Verizon is better, so it all depends on where you live/travel to on which one might be better for you. So look into Verizon and Cingular first. Sprint is ok in the Carolinas but nothing to brag about. Alltel has good coverage but they do suffer from somewhat poor customer service and limited customer service hours. Plus Alltel's phone selection is also poor, so Alltel wouldn't be my first choice for service.
     
  7. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    I haven't ever been to CofC but I can tell you that Alltel has superb coverage on the USC campus in Columbia. I can't see why just down the road they wouldn't do the same on another campus.

    Cingular is another very solid choice in the Carolinas as long as you are in town and on major highways. Their only problem is being 1900 the signal drops off quickly inside buildings.
     
  8. Peaceroses

    Peaceroses New Member

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    My husband and I spoke to someone from SunCom when we were in Charleston earlier this month. We already felt that we were getting information that wasn't entirely accurate. We aren't novices at this. We've had cell phones for a long time and have been with Ntelos, US Cellular and Cell One. So we already heard things that sent up red flags. We didn't think that the rep was being deliberately misleading, but we did think she was willing to say whatever we wanted to hear to get the account. :thumbsdow

    For my part, I need to have a WV area code and I have an unbelievably great number that I'd want to port over. I have to wonder that no one seems to have any experience with Sprint. One thing I do like is that they sell extra minutes in 50 minute blocks for $5.00. Not good if you go over by one or two minutes, but it beats paying .40 to .50 a minute for going over by 30 minutes or so. You break even at 10 to 12 minutes. But as they say, "What good are the minutes, if you don't have the coverage?" I stood under a Cell One billboard with that message in Buckhannon, WV, with no reception. It was hilarious!

    It looks like I'm leaning toward two separate plans. I hate that because I know it will cost a lot more. Total monthly bill right now for 500 shared anytime minutes, including free nights and weekends, free cell to cell, 500 text messages, insurance, Internet access and tax is $86.00. When I drop the second line with Cell One, they'll probably make me sign a new contract.

    Sprint anyone? Otherwise, I guess I will shop Verizon (they have a tower on campus), Alltell or Cingular for the best deal. I'm still willing to listen to more advice! Thanks.
     
  9. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    The Alltel plans will offer more minutes typically. If he gets a plan that is 59.99 or higher you get to call and recieve calls to any 10 numbers completly free. For example, Alltel offers the same free m2m, n/w, and with the 39.99 (cheapest) plan offers 50 more anytime minutes per month then Cingular and VZW, and 100 more then Sprint.

    As for Alltel's service, that person talking about SunCom being better is completly utterly wrong (no offense).

    If you go with Alltel,
    The phones are not that behind VZW, but there is a little less selection, Alltel has the Motorola RAZR, the Moto E815, the latest Blackberry, and quite a few cheaper alternatives. The do not have the Moto Q yet (smartphone/pda) but will eventually. I reccommend the RAZR and e815 as they get the best reception with the Nokia 6235i being very comparable.
     
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  10. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    If you ported I would think that you could keep your # with the WV area code no matter who you switched to or if they provided service there. But I'm not 100% sure about that because I've never ported. And if you were able to port the number, I'm fairly certain you could find a comparable plan for that price. But I agree that even for single plans you really do get great coverage in the area and more minutes for your dollar with Alltel.

    I also agree with the Moto e815 recommendation. I have that phone and love it. I can also clearly make a call with just one bar. I've also heard great things about the Razr.
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Why not shop ALLTEL??? Even if ALLTEL does not reach the campus(which, if the campus lies within ALLTEL licensed area I'm sure they cover it) your phone will roam free on the Verizon tower on campus. ALLTEL is a cheaper alternative than Verizon and offers things like MyCircle and early nights and weekends.
     
  12. Peaceroses

    Peaceroses New Member

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    It isn't clear to me that I'd have service in WV. It looks like I could be in a white area of "no service" on the Alltel map. :confused: Certainly I travel to many of those no coverage areas. If we're not sharing, of course, I'll look at Alltel. I'd still prefer a shared plan, if possible. Also, when our son comes home, he'll need to have coverage.
     
  13. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    Chances are Alltel will roam free on Verizon, Sprint or USCC in your area of W Va.
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Try ALLTEL see if they do free roam in your area or not. If they don't, looks like Verizon free roams in your area and has native coverage on the campus.
     
  15. elmo01

    elmo01 Senior Member
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    using zip 29424 (from usps site as Charleston)

    I see these as your best options for a rate plan


    all 3 are national roaming and long distance included...

    Tmobile $59.99 1500 Unlimited n&w Unlimited MtM
    Alltel $79.99 1400 unlimited mtm and unlimited n&w
    Cingular $79.99 1350 min with rollover unlimted MTM and N&W
    after that is just picking out a phone...as an addon (and precaution) I would reccomend phone insurance....
     
  16. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    T-Mobile does not serve Charleston.

    For Alltel, the best choice would be the National 900 for $59.99. It includes My Circle so 10 numbers can be added in as unlimited mobile to mobile calls. Your son could add the rest of the family and call all of you for free, as well as friends, etc.
     
  17. UFO

    UFO Bronze Senior Member
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    If Sprint, Verizon, or USCC will pick up at your location in WV, Alltel should also pick up there. Alltel users roam for free off of Sprint, Verizon, and USCC so if you're in a white area of no service, which is possible but doubtful because Beckley is just off the interstate, Sprint nor Verizon should not pick up in the area either. Just take advantage of the 15 day trial offer to be sure.

    And if you're looking at family plans, I could find none cheaper than the Alltel 2 line plan--$75 for 1000 anytime minutes combined on the 2 lines, MyCircle, Free M2M, Free Nights and Weekends starting at 7 pm. The 500 anytime minute plans are less. I agree with tragic on the best single plan because of the MyCircle option.
     
  18. elmo01

    elmo01 Senior Member
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    like I posted... I used that zip (from USPS for Charleston) went to the tmob website ... the carrier cant sell you a service for an area that they are not licensed for... that area is defined by the zipcode....


    the 59.99 plan in this case I dont think would be enuf... the OP "Son uses about 3/4 of our minutes- about 1800 minutes" even with the circle numbers being utilised to thew max... methinks it would be better to initially be on the higher bucket of minutes to assess useage ...or run the risk of the 35¢/min overage...trust me... he.s better off and safer in the long run...
     
  19. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    900 minutes plus unlimited circle minutes? I'd be willing to bet he talks to a select few of friends that much. Circle would solve that pretty quickly.
     
  20. Ironwalt

    Ironwalt Junior Member
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    I know I have a had time using my anytime minutes now that I have the circle.
     
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  21. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    Same here. I have Greater Freedom 1200 NC/SC and I rarely go above 400 anytime minutes used. Most of those are used because of tethering, WAP, and sending MMS's.
     
  22. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    My wife and I used 3400 minutes last month and only used about 600 or so of our 1000 anytime minutes. N&W at 7 help too with the 75 dollar family deal. I can't find one carrier that can beat that with the great coverage to boot!
     
  23. Peaceroses

    Peaceroses New Member

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    The Alltel plans sound great, but I still don't know how my phone will be allowed to roam 100% of the time, or port if I can port a WV number to a company that claims not to serve 25801. Is it different with a national plan?

    By the way, my son's friend was here today with his Sprint phone. He has one to zero bars in our house. WV mountains make coverage very spotty. Best coverage at the house is Cell One (Highland Cellular).

    I found a website that shows that SunCom has a roaming partnership with Highland Cellular:
    http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_us.shtml

    I'm just getting more confused. :confused:
     
  24. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    You might want to look at Cingular< They will roam with Cell-One when he's at home and the network is pretty good there. Also since you have a cellOne GSM Phone you might be able to have it un-locked and have a Cingular SIM work in it. :D
     
  25. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Wouldn't they be better off on a family plan though or on the same carrier so they can utilize unlimited M2M to each other? If they get cingular whomever stays behind would roam 100% of the time and Cingular has been cracking down on those people across the country.
     
  26. SQFreak

    SQFreak Moto's Not So Bad Anymore
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    You will not be able to port your number(s) to SunCom, or anyone else who does not provide service to the city in which the number is based. Well, you might be able to do it, but don't bet on it. But SunCom in WV? Forget about it.

    Just because SunCom has a roaming agreement with Highland doesn't mean they're a preferred roaming partner. For example, SunCom may have a roaming agreement with Cingular and T-Mobile, but choose only one to serve a particular area, say, Chicago. And SunCom is a confusing company.

    Alltel does have a 50% roaming rule (T&Cs, "Termination By Us" (f)), so it'd be difficult for the family to use them. For just the summer, I don't think Alltel would pursue termination.

    It becomes difficult to do anything...I think I would drop the son's plan from Highland and put him on Alltel with a Charleston number and put your home phone on the My Circle. How's US Cellular coverage where you live? That's who VZW and Alltel would use in the Beckley area, and they roam first on VZW and second on Alltel in Charleston, SC, but they have a 50% roaming rule, and the nearest native USCC market to Charleston is in eastern NC I think.
     
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  27. AndThenScottSays...

    AndThenScottSays... Junior Member
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    USCC has properties that extend down into Dillon, Marlboro, and I think Camden counties in SC. And some others in the general area but I can't remember which ones specifically.

    Either way, USCC has a 50% rule and they are extremely strict about it.

    Alltel, on the other hand, is very loose with theirs... however if the whole family was roaming I don't know they wouldn't have something to say. One person home for the summer and they wouldn't care.

    I agree with SQFreak though, of all your options, putting your son on Alltel and leaving the rest of your family on Highland makes the best sense.
     
  28. hillbilly44

    hillbilly44 Senior Member
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    Andy;

    They could put the son on Cingular and keep CellOne. Cingular roams with Highland so it should be that big of a deal. Besides he'll be in Charleston 9 months out of the year so it shouldn't be that big of a deal.;)
     
  29. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    true, but he will rack up on the minutes to home (and everyone else for that matter)without my circle. Dad can really save some cash with the my circle deal...read my earlier post. Kids love to gab on the phone.
     
  30. strunke

    strunke .:|Always Covered|:.
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    I don't think this will be a problem because her son uses most of the minutes and will be in native Alltel coverage. This will counter-balance her usage and they will not go over 50 percent roaming in anymonth as long as his usage is somewhat steady. The only potential problem I see if they go with the family plan would be coverage at home. It sounds like CDMA hasn't quite been built out as well as GSM at her home area, while I'm a sure this will change for the better, it isn't any good if she doesn't get service. But the bottom line is her son will have the best service with Alltel. She however might have coverage issues at home, you can try it out and see what it is like on the family plan. Or...

    It would probably be more effective to get seperate plans for the time being. He will be able to call her for free assuming he uses My Circle. But it will cost her minutes to call him or recieve calls from him.

    Updated....
    I just remembered....it is per line's usage....so....nevermind about the counterbalance thing.
     
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